Despite repeated attempts at shaping public opinion through surveys, informational events, and “$24,500″ expenditures for consultants, Boise officials refuse to take “NO” for an answer when it comes to Mayor Dave Bieter’s desire named street car.
Citizens overwhelmingly opposed every plan he has brought forth. The Idaho Statesman commissioned an independent survey which also came out opposed. At least half a dozen such polls and plans have failed, but Team Dave still yearns for the “Desire NAmed Street Car” or as it was previously known, “Trolley Folly.”
The GUARDIAN has posted on this ill conceived and wasteful spending approach since 2008. Boise uses our tax money to manipulate our opinions and so far the public has won, but most folks are probably ready to admit defeat…simply worn down by the government PR machine and bottomless pockets for funding.
Now a new consultant will take as much as $50,000 per year to work with a future consultant on a public transportation system in and around Downtown. What part of NO don’t they get?
Boise needs a decent bus system BEFORE anything else is even considered. You can call it “visionary,” or anything else, but the cart is way ahead of the horse. A downtown “circulator” wheeled trolley was tried and it failed for lack of use.
This time around, the city will “enlist the public’s help” in deciding which alternatives fit best. Which means which of the bad ideas has the most support. Any list alternatives should include, “no downtown transit requiring construction in our streets.”
A Public Works media spokesman claims the general idea is a system that runs into and out of Downtown in all four directions, connecting retail areas, neighborhoods, the medical corridor and Boise State University.
Other than that, as the Statesman’s Sven Berg says, “plans are vague. There’s no firm timeline for how long the study will take.”
Meanwhile, ACHD and the City of Boise, along with Capital City Development Corporation, Downtown Boise Association and Valley Regional Transit will hold an open house to introduce potential transportation projects for downtown Boise and gather public input–presumably for less than $50,000. The ACHD press release follows:
Boise- Mini-roundabouts, converting some one-way streets to two-ways and adding bike facilities – they’re just three of the potential transportation projects for downtown Boise that the Ada County Highway District and City of Boise want people to learn more about and provide input on at an open house this Wednesday.
ACHD, the City, along with the Downtown Boise Association, Capital City Development Corporation, and Valley Regional Transit are creating a plan for the downtown Boise area that will help coordinate roadway projects that are proposed, planned or have been requested. The plan will also create a timeline of when improvements will happen. Please see the attached map for the project area boundaries.
This Wednesday, people are invited to attend an interactive public open house where they will be encouraged to identify locations they think various improvements, such as the addition of bike lanes are needed. They will also be asked to identify routes they currently use to get to and from downtown Boise and will be able to comment on projects they think should be of highest priority, the conversion of targeted one-way streets to two-way streets, and whether mini-roundabouts should be used at certain downtown intersections over traffic signals or stop signs.
What: Public Open House for Downtown Boise Implementation Plan
When: Wednesday, February 13th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where: US Bank Building, 101 S. Capitol Blvd., 2nd Floor (across from the Egyptian Theatre)
For those unable to attend the open house but interested in reviewing the information and providing input, open house materials and an online survey will be posted to the ACHD web site, www.achdidaho.org., on February 14. Comments will be accepted through February 27.
Additional public involvement is planned for this spring.
For more information on the Downtown Boise Implementation plan, visit www.achdidaho.org.
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