City Government

BSU Desert Track?

Dog owners had a leg up when it came to an “off-leash” dog park. BSU lost the race to get a running track at Reserve Park.

BSU officials–like everyone in officialdom–want to expand and stimulate growth. Bronco Stadium is currently enjoying great football teams and attendance, so the athletic department wants to eliminate the running track, dig the blue turf deeper and add more seats in a sort of mini-bowl design. Of course that will mean more revenue and TV time.

But what to do about a running track? BSU contacted Boise Parks and Recreation. They explored the possibility of building a new facility in the flood holding ponds off Reserve Street which are currently designated as a dog park. Neighbors and their dogs growled and barked about losing their space to BSU, so the University backed off and will look elsewhere.

The first hurdle on the track was Eastenders not thrilled about having more traffic, parking problems, noisy public address systems and displaced dogs searching for fire hydrants.

Besides the obvious issues of cost and neighborhood impact, there are some larger issues to be considered:

–Should Boise City Parks be using its resources to solve a BSU created problem?
–Boise Schools use the current track on a regular basis along with other schools during state tournaments. Who wins or loses financially on any deals?

The Boise Parks department staff and budget are already maxed out. How about BSU joining with the Boise Schools to buy the 200 plus acres of sagebrush land the city foolishly purchased in yet another expansion effort off Gowen Road? That scam includes designating the sagebrush as an “urban renewal” district. What the heck, if the schools will benefit the city can sell it at a loss.

That land near the outlet mall would have plenty of space for parking, the noise wouldn’t offend the hospital or the quiet east end neighborhood and there would be easy access off the freeway. We would also do away with using taxpayer funds to encourage growth at an ill-conceived industrial park.

It looks like the University dropped the baton in the first heat of this relay race. Maybe they can get on track at another location.

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