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'It outlived its time frame': Coeur d’Alene East Sherman pilot project deactivated

The diagonal parking and the outdoor, street seating in front of the Moon Time restaurant will be removed starting next week.
Credit: CDA Press

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — When the “Activate East Sherman” pilot project on the 1600 block of East Sherman began in 2018, it was slated as temporary.

Four years later, it’s finally going away, as reported by our news partners, the Coeur d'Alene Press.

“It outlived its time frame,” said Hilary Anderson, city of Coeur d’Alene community planner.

The diagonal parking and the outdoor, street seating in front of the Moon Time restaurant will be removed starting next week.

The city’s streets and engineering crew will be moving through the area starting Sept. 12 to remove the white reflective bollards and revert the parking spaces and roadway centerline back to its original configuration.

There will be one eastbound lane, with parallel parking again.

The city-owned pocket park on this block will remain, along with the benches and planters on the sidewalk that were donated for the Pilot Project.

While the project is over, Anderson said that doesn’t mean it was a failure.

"Useful feedback" was one result.

“It was a mixed bag,” Anderson said.

A survey of more than 500 found that many people liked the diagonal parking and the bike parking. The planters and landscaping were popular. And most business owners liked the lower, 25 mph speed limit, and some said it provided an overall, better look and feel to the area.

But the cons were many.

Diagonal parking was nice pulling in, but leaving difficult because it meant backing into oncoming traffic, and annoyed eastbound drivers were forced to stop.

Drivers trying to turn left or right from 17th heading onto Sherman had to creep out, visibility blocked by the diagonally parked vehicles.

“It put them in an unsafe situation," Anderson said.

Other cons were added time for snow removal, issues with storm water in the street, and the landscaping and crosswalk art wearing out.

“There were more cons than pros,” Anderson said.

But they did learn things.

Anderson said as part of the pilot project, the city wanted to see if diagonal parking could work on other blocks of East Sherman, specially, 13th to 17th.

The answer was no, as there were just too many driveways.

“Diagonal parking just didn’t work anywhere else,” Anderson said.

The city isn’t giving up on hopes to create "positive transformation" on East Sherman. It will consider other design options and try again later.

That end of town has had mixed results with revitalization. New business have settled in and some, like Jimmy's Down the Street, Vertical Earth and Moon Time have been stalwarts.

But vacant office spaces and lots remain. There is a plan near 20th and Sherman for townhouses and retail shops.

The city wants to get input from business and property owners within the East Sherman corridor on some of the other street design alternatives that were included in the draft East Sherman Revitalization Plan.

"The plan is to reconvene the East Sherman Leadership Committee and bring on new members to vet some of these ideas and discuss other desired changes to the corridor," according to the city report.

The Coeur d'Alene Press is a KREM 2 news partner. For more from our partners, click here.

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