City Government

Boise Legal Loses Yet Again

Boise’s legal department continued its losing record Friday when Judge Thomas Neville ruled the City once again overstepped its bounds in an attempt to stop the widening of Ustick Road.

Last July the City amended its comprehensive plan in an attempt to exercise veto power over the Ada County Highway District project.

In his ruling Neville noted the city attempted to “Invade the ACHD’s authority and jurisdiction.” His decision echoes an Idaho Attorney General’s opinion issued in June.
Both say ACHD is the supreme commander when it comes to streats, roads, and highways.

This is the culmination of a long standing battle between Boise and the ACHD. Residents in the area don’t like the idea of a 5-lane road in front of the houses and ACHD claims city-approved development has jammed the road with too many cars.

We can’t blame the legal department for all the losses–part of the problem is the opponents and causes the City Councilors and Mayor Dave Bieter choose to battle. It does seem like voters should question the persistant losing record.

Team Dave Spokeswoman Elizabeth Duncan said in a press release, “The most important issue in all of this is doing what’s right for the citizens of Boise.

“Traffic concerns are growing each day, and we will be responsive to our citizens. We must balance moving cars with preserving neighborhood livability. This ruling did not tell us anything we didn’t already know. This is not about who has jurisdiction — it’s about doing what’s right for the citizens of Boise.”

Apparently following the Idaho Code as interpreted by the Attorney General and a Fourth District Judge doesn’t qualify as the “right thing” for Boise City.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Yep, they lose again.
    Still, there’s something wrong when city officials and residents have *no* say in what happens inside their city.
    I have split emotions about whether the widening is a good thing or a bad one (it apparently is both), but I am bothered by ACHD’s almighty power.
    Seems to me we’ve created a bit of a monster.

  2. words fail me………….. is it possible to elect a more inept bunch of people? They say it’s because they want the best for the citizens but in the same breath they will be the ones to tell us what is best, and deny us input.

    Meanwhile they allow overdevelopment, complain about it, then sue somebody about it. Then they take all the money they made off it, cut city budgets to the bone, and build what they want despite the fact that these things have been voted down. This is killing me.

  3. I don’t think the mayor and council could get more two faced on an issue. They claim they are comcerned about traffic yet almost all of them personally promote massive projects that add HUNDREDS of car trips a day to local neighborhood streets.

    In other areaas of the city they have openly disregarded the crys of nieghborhoods to not overload local streets – yet they approve projects anyway. They continue to promote skinny houses that cause more on-street parking.

    The council is personally responsible for some local streets having over 2000 car trips a day! A 100% more than ACHD plans for new subdivision streets!

    To say that the mayor and council are concerned about traffic is a two-faced joke.

  4. ACHD needed to be disbanded years ago.
    Some how we the people need to get the power back. I have yet to attend a meeting that promises were made and never full filled. And yet to attend one that they even bothered to listen to the people. They just do as they feel.
    What will it take to get a handle on ACHD. Maybe it’s just to late to contain the monster.

  5. Gordon, the Boise City folks did have a say about their roads and gave their input back in the 70’s when they voted to set up ACHD and get rid of the duplication of efforts, costs and the “good ole boy” corruption that was part of the road and street system. The citizens also had another voice in the process when some tried to get the ACHD dissolved and that failed by the voice of the people.

    Anyone who lives on one of the main or section roads in the valley should expect to have changes to their neighborhood. Improvements to the streets are very necessary to get all the new people through these neighborhoods safely. The cars are going to go through these neighborhoods with or without safe roads. Why fight the obvious and inevitable?

    The real losers are the citizens of Boise with the paying off of the legal costs again of the inept decision of their leaders.

  6. BrianTheDog
    Dec 25, 2006, 6:51 am

    Of course they lose again. If the city lawyers were any good they would be in private practice. Time to stick a fork in Bieter, he is done.

  7. It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. ~Ansel Adams

  8. As much as we may not want to face it, Idahokid is right on the money on this one.

  9. One of two things needs to happen: 1. City’s should have final approval in how their roads are planned by ACHD, or 2. ACHD should be disbanded.

    In some few cases widening the road is the proper thing to do, but in most cases widening roads only increases problems, including traffic, and irreparably hurts surrounding neighborhoods, and their are plenty of examples of this in the area. ACHD needs to stop acting like a maverick agency or they will force the city’s to band together to rid themselves of this menace.

  10. idahokid: There’s a lot more to improving traffic flow than just widening roads and putting signals at every subdivision entrance, and ACHD needs to wake up to that. Like I said, the Cities should have final approval for any projects that occur within their limits. Unfortunately ACHD knows next to nothing about urban planning, they just design and implement road systems.

  11. idahokid:
    You are right, of course, that the city and the people created the situation. At the time,. I did not favor adding yet one more level of government, and now that I see the result … Whew!
    The city wants this, ACHD wants that, ITD wants something else, the people are divided … and ACHD just does whatever it wants.
    As for “Why fight the obvious and inevitable?” — Well, if we all had a defeatist attitude like that, all these governments could roll over us even more than they already do.
    You’re probably too young to remember Pearl Harbor, but the first reactions of a lot of people were “What? Those funny little yellow people that live on some islands somewhere? What can they do?” and them “What can we do? They’ve blown away most of our Navy. It’ll be impossible for us to defend our country.”
    Have you ever noticed you’ve never seen a 1943, 1944 or 1945 automobile?
    What could we do? All the automobile manufacturers immediately switched to building tanks, jeeps, trucks etc. for the military. Aircraft companies cranked out fighters, bombers, cargo planes, etc. On the domestic scene, gasoline, tires, sugar and many other things were quickly rationed, so all that stuff could go to the military. Women tore their sheets into strips, rolled them and sent the off to be used for bandages for the military. Thousands of men immediately volunteered for military service. Thousands of others were drafted. Women also volunteered to help in any way they could. And women who never before would have been allowed to have any jobs but teachers, secretaries, nurses etc. streamed into factories, electric plants and other essential businesses (Did you ever hear of “Rosie the Riveter?”) Kids emptied their piggy banks and used their coins and allowances to buy war bond stamps.
    And, of course, the scientists got busy trying to create something that could blow Japan off the map.
    The point is: When something seems impossible, the American way is to get busy and do it anyway.
    So don’t ever think anything is inevitable.
    The question now is not whether the growth and the resulting constant traffic increases (and, surprise!, it’s not just the main or sections roads that keep growing. Look around!) are inevitable, but whether we should just let it keep going constantly forever the way it is, or try to find some way to control or slow the growth and the traffic.
    Enforcing zoning laws instead of just changing them every time somebody with money wants to build another 1,000 or 5,000 or 10,000 homes could help some. Mass transit of some sort could help. What else? I don’t know, but folks a lot smarter than me should be working on that rather than just on “which road should we widen next? Where can we jam in another freeway?” etc.

  12. Liz Duncan , hit the nail on the head, by suggesting that both ACHD and Mayor and Council should be working together for the Community. City government created ACHD to do the job that The People elected them for and now they are fighting their own whining off-spring.( Sounds like a soap to me…- As boise Wobbles-) I can see how a five lane road ” destroys” a neighborhood that it runs through and I can see that Boise needs intelligent road planning for an ever enlarging population. What I fail to understand is why ACHD and City government are fighting each other instead of cooperating to make boise a better place to live.Let this be a lesson to Team Dave- your bureaucratic creations to do your job will haunt you ( and create a lot of rich government officials at taxpayers expense!)

    EDITOR NOTE–ACHD was created by the Ada County voters.

  13. What I find a puzzling is why expand Ustick from Cole to 5 mile, only to bottle neck from 5 lanes down to 2, from Five mile to Eagle road and then expand back out at Eagle road. If you’re going to widen it…..then widen the whole thing!

  14. Here’s what doesn’t make sense to me. Local government and any organizations it has spawned, sometimes with a vote of the people, is supposed to work for the people,right? Why won’t the Mayor,Council and ACHD sit down like adults and elected representatives of the People and reason this thing out until they come to a GOOD solution for the People? Isn’t that what responsible adults do?

    If they do that and it doesn’t work the minutes of that meeting need to be publicized so whoever is creating the problem needs to be gotten rid of.
    We have a good city and can make it better but not with this type of irresponsibility.

  15. I’ve followed the Ustick issue fairly closely. Boise City has tried to work with ACHD and come up with a compromise, but ACHD won’t budge. ACHD is basically saying that “we’ve had this widening planned for over 10 years and we’re going to do it.”

    Problem is that things have changed in that 10 year span. We’ve come to understand transportation and land use planning much differently than in the past. Essentially, plans need to be reevaluated, but unfortunately ACHD seems to be stuck in an outdated mode of operation and thinking. It is amazing to me how little ACHD understands how transportation planning links with land use planning. But I agree, cities need to have more control over how roads are laid out within their jurisdictions.

  16. Joe – you would think that is how it should work but when you feel you know more than the voters (or anyone else on earth) about everything regarding Boise you tend to not want to hear from them (voters) as they are simply too stupid to understand (your point of view or anything else you say).

    That is the entire problem with this bunch – it is their way or you’re stupid. They say one thing about public involvement to get elected then thumb their nose at neighborhoods and voters that clearly know more than they do and have MUCH more background in the historical issues.

    Unless the voters remove these folks next year it will only get worse as any who are re-elected will pronounce themselves truely anointed spokesmen of the people and to hell with those who oppose them.

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: