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Cycling around the cones: A bicyclist's guide to downtown Boise's construction

A bicyclist's guide to downtown Boise's construction is here. (KBOI photo)

Drivers are no strangers to cones in downtown Boise, but what about cyclists? How are they dealing with the major construction happening in the downtown core?

Joe Bruce knows cycling in downtown Boise well.

"I made the decision three years ago to sell my car," Bruce told KBOI 2News.

He now relies on two wheels, instead of four, to get just about everywhere. And Bruce says this recent construction has altered his path a lot of times.

"I find a lot of the bike lanes abruptly end, because construction,” Bruce said. “There will be fencing around here the bike lane is normally."

Bruce says he doesn’t feel unsafe, he’s somewhat of an expert, but he feels for those inexperienced cyclists when it comes to safety.

On Capitol Boulevard, a new hotel going up on the corner of Myrtle Street caused the bike lanes to end and cyclists are forced to share the road with cars around them. And on Grove Street, bikers are asked to dismount and walk around the construction zone.

“8th Street is a main artery for all cyclists of all levels because there's a bike lane, (and people) naturally meander through there,” Bruce said. “And now that it's closed, you have to walk your bike through there, it makes it very inconvenient for cyclists."

The walk will add a couple minutes to your commute.

Timothy Joeseph Thomas Jr. knows these streets well too. He works for Pita Pit downtown and helps deliver pita wraps on his bike. He agrees that in sticky situations, he just hops on a sidewalk instead of riding his bike.

"I do cheat and play sides; I act like a civilian on my bike sometimes,” Thomas said. “I'm just going to bike on the sidewalk and weave in between people."

Boise Police says riding on sidewalks is OK. Officers ask cyclists to yield to pedestrians on a sidewalk, and make eye contact with drivers before crossing an intersection.

ACHD says there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

"We are expecting these projects will be nearing completion, or be complete this fall," said Nicole DuBois, a spokeswoman for ACHD.

The Broadway Bridge Project is included in that fall deadline. There, Greenbelt users are detoured around the construction zone. This upcoming weekend will be put through an extra detour that includes more rocks and dirt while workers pave.

Road bicyclists: Beware.

If you'll remember, ACHD Commissioners recently turned down bike lanes on Main and Idaho streets because of the construction projects downtown. They say they may revisit the idea of more bike lanes when the orange cones start disappearing.

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