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SH-55 Banks Beach Parking Study

Problem Description

The Federal Highway Administration, Western Federal Lands Highway Division (FHWA-WFLHD), in cooperation with the Boise National Forest and the Idaho Transportation Department, proposes to improve safety and operations at the Banks Beach picnic area. The picnic area is located at milepost (MP) 77.9 on the west side of Idaho State Highway 55 (SH 55).

Banks Beach provides access for day use of the Payette River, such as sunbathing, swimming, fishing, and other riverside enjoyment. Currently, users parallel park next to the highway in an approximately 500-foot-long pullout area. Parking demand exceeds the capacity of the parking pullout in peak summer months and recreationists searching for parking cause congestion on the highway. During overflow situations, visitors park at pullouts north and south of the site or at other unestablished parking locations nearby, and then walk on uneven surfaces at the road’s edge. Those who park to the north also must cross the highway, which is signed for 55 mph, further exacerbating safety issues.

Project Partners

  • Federal Highway Administration – Western Federal Lands Highway Division
  • Boise National Forest
  • Idaho Transportation Department

Scope of Work

The design team is currently exploring solutions to meet parking demand and improve safety and operations at the picnic area. The project is in the early stages of development and, at this time, no construction funding has been identified.

Anticipated Timeline

  • Project Study Start – Fall 2020
  • Study Complete - Summer 2022

Project Photos

Project Documents