Mayor Dave Bieter continued his pitch for a trolley in the narrow streets of Downtown Boise with an op-ed piece in the Daily Paper Wednesday.
Out of 10 comments posted so far, there was one flat out supporter, one “sorta for it” and eight who flat out were against it. Count the GUARDIAN in the group who think it is downright foolish.
Here are some facts that will be added to the curriculum by the GUARDIAN as citizens get “educated” in a vacant storefront at 821 W. Idaho Street at a Thursday “Open House” produced by a public relations firm:
–For the cost of a 2.3 mile trolley we could buy a fleet of 240 buses! ($60 million for a trolley divided by $250,000 for each bus)
–Any increased tax revenues from new development along the trolley route will go to the CCDC by law–not Boise City.
–INCREASED TAX ON BUSINESSES will be the rule in most cases if a LID (local improvement district) is created. Most “triple net leases” have a clause requiring tenants to pay any increases in fees or taxes.
–NO CITIZEN VOTE is planned for this “profound project” which has the potential of changing the face of the downtown. We deserve to be heard at the polls.
–A NOVELTY RIDE at best, this expensive retro ride to nowhere cannot be considered a viable transportation resource.
–THE MAYOR and three councilors is all it takes to skirt the will of the people and have iron rails planted in our streets.
–RUBBER TIRED electric vehicles would be safer, cheaper and could be operational almost immediately if there really is a demand for downtown transportation. Downtown businesses cancelled the last one.
–UNSIGHTLY WIRES carrying high voltage electricity will be strung up and down the streets to power a trolley.
–PUBLIC HEARINGS are rigged and meaningless (Remember the health care resolution). Demand a binding vote of the citizens of Boise on this important community issue.
Finally, there is the question of where the trolley would run since Ada County Highway District has not agreed to allow the use of streets for a trolley.
Here is an OFFICIAL STATEMENT from ACHD:
“We have not been asked, formerly or not, for permission to put a street car into downtown. We cannot agree or reject anything we’ve never been asked to consider.
Last year, the ACHD Commission received a briefing from CCDC’s Phil Kushlan and Boise Councilman Dave Eberle on the proposal, which obviously occurred before the most recent incarnation and did not include possible stimulus funding.
The fact that ACHD Commissioners and staff members serve on some of the various task forces that have been called to deal with the street car and related issues should not be construed as an endorsement from the District. Ultimately, this will be a Commission decision and will have to go before the elected officials in an open meeting. Whenever this question has come up in the past, the Commissioners have indicated that they would like to see ACHD do its own, independent public outreach before considering such a major change to the traffic pattern downtown.”
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