While listening to the KBOI “eye in the sky” warn motorists of multi-mile traffic jams on I-84, the GUARDIAN editor was reading a newspaper story about a wonderful new shopping mall being built in Nampa.
We wondered if the mall was a result of “Smart Growth, Blueprint for Growth, or just Greedy Growth.”
Hard to argue with the mother who gushed that with a mall in the neighborhood her daughter would have a chance at one of the 900 jobs the developer is promising.
No doubt those jobs will all be high paying management positions. Others in the newspaper story were quoted as wanting an electronics store and a Starbucks! Did they forget McDonalds, Borders, Best Buy, and Red Lobster–all well known local establishments.
Then the eye in the sky guy read an ad for the “stealth bus” system which connects the old Karcher Mall with the Boise Mall and a couple hospitals–there must be a link in there somewhere. Can you see all those Christmas shoppers lugging bags from Nampa to Boise and stopping off to visit Grandma in the hospital?
Wasn’t that long ago (1968) that EVERY vehicle traveling from Salt Lake to Portland drove right down Capitol Boulevard and out Fairview or Chinden.
Boise retailers pretty much were able to charge whatever they pleased and if they didn’t have it in stock they could ship it from Salt Lake overnight on the train or the bus. People begged for a shopping mall like they have in Portland or Salt Lake.
Well, they got their mall and half a dozen more. Meanwhile the roads are not keeping up with the massive retailing outlets that are clogging every exit along the only freeway in the valley. Let’s face it, malls are dependent upon huge amounts of car traffic. Does anyone take the bus to Home Depot?
With the completion of the freeway and subsequent shopping malls we became just like Portland and Salt lake and Denver and Seattle and Tucson and Riverside and on and on and on. Progress!
The solution is a by-pass around Boise across the desert south of town. A “Foothills Parkway” is another idea that may be worth a look to serve all the developments in that area. That road could serve as a true LIMIT to the city and be a gateway to the wilds of Idaho above town.
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