While they try to make a case for trains, trolley, street car or circulator there seems to be a concerted effort to punish motorists in Boise and do little to improve a token bus system.
Recent plans call for returning one-way streets to two-way streets to “help make it easier to reach businesses.” Huh? At the same time it is estimated about 160 street side parking spots will be removed and one lane of traffic will be eliminated for bikeways and “create some congestion, but not too much.” We remember when the two-way streets were made one-way to relieve congestion and make it easier to reach downtown businesses.
No doubt this congestion will be impetus for a trolley. Which brings us to this note which came in “over the transom” today regarding development plans for the area across Capitol Blvd. from BSU off South 9th. It will probably be the next attempt by the CCDC Urban Renewal folks to divert taxes from the city, county, highway district and schools. Some would call it “visionary” and others would say its “developer driven” excess.
In regard to the changes to our viewshed and the Capitol building, take a look at the Lusk Street Master Plan, specifically page 11:
“The Ada County Highway District developed a preliminary design(figure 16) for the intersection of 9th/Royal/Capitol Boulevard that would create an additional full access point into the Lusk Street neighborhood. Initial modeling indicates that construction of the intersection would alleviate anywhere from 12-18% of the congestion at the Ann Morrison/University intersection. This would provide relief for current congestion, however the long-term effect would not alleviate traffic congestion for potential build out of the area.”
The proposed road segment will wipe out existing mature trees, be located about 70 feet from the Greenbelt and the John Booth Memorial, and will cut through “Land & Water Conservation Fund lands.” It also will include the installation of stop lights on both Capitol and 9th Street. So much for our historic Capitol Blvd. viewshed. Look closely at the proposed road and you’ll see that the bike lanes and pedestrian crossings are dysfunctional and dangerous. So why would the City encourage ACHD to build this road? And why did this road vault to the top of ACHD projects and is now scheduled for completion in the next year? The City’s own report shows that it will not relieve any congestion now or at the envisioned build-out of the Lusk Street neighborhood. Could it be that the Trolley to Nowhere lives on? As an FYI, rumor has it that ITD’s new bridge at Broadway is being overbuilt to accommodate trolley tracks.
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