Has anyone noticed all the construction going on around the Treasure Valley?? Well it isn’t just to make our roads prettier; public transportation is trying to make some innovative changes to accommodate the evolving lifestyle of Boise and Meridian areas.

Starting with downtown Boise, projections from the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho claims 4000 people living downtown in 2014. Good news!! Jobs are a part of this shift, the unemployment rate is improving little by little, currently there are about 20 jobs downtown for every resident compared to larger regional cities like Portland and Seattle have 3-5 jobs for every resident. That is a huge motivation to stake a claim on downtown property.  Another reason for this population growth is the emergence of young professionals seeking smaller quarters near restaurants, nightlife, and grocery stores. These reasons and more are motivation to change residential life in downtown Boise to Urban. Imagine living and working in downtown Boise, what would you want?

Ways to accommodate cyclists in transportation are being sought. Pilot programs have already begun and were well received by the biking community! One-way streets made to help traffic get through downtown Boise quickly, will possibly change to 2-way so that downtown becomes a destination and not a thoroughfare.  Boise City Councilwoman Elaine Clegg says these changes are, “Back to the Future. We always had 2 way streets, we changed them to one-way streets with the understanding that, somehow we needed to move more cars through downtown. What we really need is to get people downtown.” The traffic changes downtown are in an effort to reconfigure how people use downtown.

With all these signs of growth, Boise proves again to be a wonderful place to live. Downtown still thrives on local businesses and restaurants and hopefully we can keep that alive as we renovate. Boise City Councilwoman Lauren McLean said that “Boise is unique in that we were looking for locally sourced food before it was cool.” She expects that with the growing demand for locally sourced food, expanding downtown is now at a food sustainability point and that we can expect opportunities to take off. Homegrown food is going to be a key component and a more central role in downtown Boise’s food portfolio.
So there you have it. They are calling downtown Boise “the core.” It is growing, it is changing but it still has its appeal and is increasing in sustainability. The changes are pointing us toward an urban city, with local homegrown food and bicycle transportation.


Statistics and quotes found in Boise Weekly 2014-2015 Annual Manual