By WOTS Staff

Word on the Street Issue 41, March 2024

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Subject: Positive Developments in Addressing Safety Concerns on Americana Blvd

Interfaith Sanctuary is pleased to report significant progress in addressing safety concerns along Americana Blvd. Jodi Peterson-Stigers, our Executive Director, recently attended an Ada County Highway District (ACHD) public meeting where she presented compelling data on vehicular and pedestrian incidents on this particular stretch of road. This information underscored the urgency of the issue, exemplified by the tragic story of Jeffrey Garrett, a shelter guest who lost his life while crossing Americana Blvd.

In a recent article by Margaret Carmel of Boise Dev, the stretch of Americana Boulevard from Shoreline Drive to Rhodes Skate Park, beneath the I-84 Connector, was identified as a notable hotspot. This area, home to our emergency shelter, Cooper Court alley, and Corpus Christi House Day Shelter, often serves as a gathering place for Boise’s homeless community. The data presented from ITD’s study for the years 2017-2023 highlighted three fatal pedestrian incidents, nine reported incidents with injuries, and an additional 11 unreported pedestrian/car incidents managed by Interfaith Sanctuary staff.

Following the presentation, ACHD commissioners expressed their commitment to address these concerns. Early redesign plans were shared, and Peterson-Stigers was invited back to ACHD for further discussions with the design team. A comprehensive plan has been presented, focusing on immediate needs to enhance outcomes for all. Starting in March, ACHD will initiate improvement work on 15th and 16th St. from Grove to River St. The proposed enhancements include a reduced speed limit, expanded curbs to shorten crosswalk lengths for those with disabilities, and the installation of flashing pedestrian road crossings to alert drivers.

This collaborative effort between Interfaith Sanctuary and ACHD is a commendable step towards creating a safer environment. The swift response and planned improvements bring relief and gratitude to those who serve our unhoused population and individuals within these systems. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to ACHD for facilitating this crucial conversation and swiftly implementing improvements in the area.