Sherman Avenue: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Summary

Sherman Avenue is in a small town, but "small town" doesn't necessarily mean sleepy. Sherman Avenue is the main vein of connectively through the Idaho resort town of Coeur d’Alene, so the street is always bustling with commerce and festivities that reflect the unique local flair.

Ironman finish on Sherman Ave. This photo was from a city photo contest in 2014. Photo by Diane Hidgem.

Designated Area

The main thoroughfare of Sherman Avenue is a half-mile stretch between Lakeside Avenue and 7th Street.

2015 PARK(ing) IT ON SHERMAN block party and Better Block demonstration project with faux businesses, temporary parklet, landscaping, street trees, bike lane, and the Sorensen juggling team. Photo by David Ronalds.

Planning Excellence

Gorgeous Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, has long served as a relaxation destination in the pine-studded hills of Idaho’s mountainous panhandle. With its scenic background and carefully created infrastructure, Sherman Avenue could hardly be more picturesque.

The street is compact and meticulously maintained for the throngs of tourists that pass over the pavement. The storefronts, the majority of which are local enterprises, are all close to the sidewalk for easy shopping. Bike lanes, well-manicured native landscaping, and ample lighting features hung with floral baskets lend an “eyes-on-the-street” feel.

Connectivity is key on Sherman Avenue. The street connects seamlessly to local parks, lodging, and natural features without detracting from its commercial character. Sherman Avenue connects directly to Lake Coeur d’Alene at Independence Point and the popular City Park and Beach at its western terminus.

There are also public docks around the resort and connections to lakefront parks and trails at the western end of the street. A small public greenspace is found on the east end of the street between 6th and 7th Streets. The street provides ample signage to guide visitors to the various offshoots. The rest of the downtown is easily accessible via sidewalks, which are all protected by street parking.

As the main drag through the town, Sherman Avenue serves as the town’s heartbeat, the central gathering for the local scene. The wealth of sculptures and public artwork, all commissioned from local artists, set the stage for a pedestrian experience focused on the flavor of the town. Historic buildings and public benches invite pedestrians to interact with the street and explore Coeur d’Alene’s quirky Mountain West history. The robust nightlife is supported by the different breweries and bars along the avenue.

Car d'Lane classic car show and sidewalk seating on Sherman Ave. between 3rd and 4th Streets. Photo by Katherine Hoyer, Convention & Visitor Bureau.

Defining Characteristics, Features

  • The public park between 3rd and 4th Streets features open entrances, grassy area for gathering, historic signs, and a wide stone pedestrian path that cuts through the block.
  • The street is lined with mature trees that provide ample shade for pedestrians and benches.
  • Sherman Avenue provides transit connections at 7th Street through Citylink buses.
  • The crosswalks shorten crossing distances and the sidewalks provide plenty of room for the public to enjoy the street.
  • During the summer, visitors enjoy live entertainment every Wednesday evening.
  • Future plans include the revitalization of the eastern end of Sherman Avenue as a gateway into downtown Coeur d’Alene from the interstate.

Events

  • Sherman Avenue marks the finish line for the Ironman Coeur d’Alene Course, one of 11 Ironman competitions throughout the United States.
  • Coeur d'Alene begins its Fourth of July festivities with a parade for the children of the community down Sherman Ave.
  • The street hosts events such as Coeur d’Alene Street fair, a free three-day Arts and Crafts weekend, and Oktoberfest in September.

Pertinent Plans and Documents