Outdoors Blog

Family Fun: Are Greenbelt detours at Broadway safe for kids?

Once a month, we’ll write about an activity from a family perspective.

 

The Broadway Bridge construction could have a significant impact on summer recreation.

On both sides of the Boise River, detours have pushed cyclists into potentially dangerous situations — particularly for children. I decided to test the safety and viability by taking my 7-year-old son, Oliver, for a ride.

For us, it was a tale of two sides.

The detour on the north side is clearly marked with extra-wide lanes and cement barriers between cyclists and motorists. Still, there are a few trouble spots to watch. The left turn onto the temporary path along Park Boulevard (going west) scared me a little — a child who misses the turn will ride into traffic. The crossing of Broadway is a bit nerve-racking — it feels weird crossing that busy intersection without waiting for a light, but the only traffic is from the construction site.

The detour on the south side of the river is narrow, poorly marked, confusing and, in my eyes, too dangerous for kids. We ran into three women at the intersection of Broadway and Longmont, near Chili’s. One asked us how to get to the westbound Greenbelt. We asked the other two how to reach the eastbound path. They showed us what turned out to be a popular shortcut — through the business parking lot across from Chili’s and down a ramp. But that requires using a piece of Greenbelt that is marked closed.

The defined route runs south on Broadway, turns left on Belmont and turns left on Leadville. The streets in that neighborhood, which are narrow and cluttered with cars, don’t seem safe for kids. The sidewalks aren’t much better.

After our input, the city of Boise requested that the Idaho Transportation Department improve signage on the south side — but that still won’t make it a kid-friendly route.

ITD plans to encourage users to cross Broadway on the north side — and when I’m with my family, that’s definitely what I will do.

Construction is expected to conclude this fall.

Chadd Cripe

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