The GUARDIAN will provide “reasonable space” for local candidates to voice their opinions prior to the November 4 election. A cutoff of November 1 is probably appropriate.
By Steve Loop,
Dist. 5 ACHD Candidate
Citizens of Boise should always be concerned with how their government agencies
spend their money. Most citizens, however; don’t have the time to get into the
details of the budgets that affect them.
Within Ada County, citizens would have to keep track of the budgets of ACHD; Ada County; Boise, Meridian or Kuna school districts; and finally, the cities of Boise, Meridian, Garden City, Eagle, Star or Kuna. For the average citizen, the best they can do is elect officials that they feel they can trust and then keep a close watch on them.
Whoever is elected to the ACHD Commission will need to take a close look at the
budget to ensure that the public is getting the most bang for their buck. As
important as this oversight role is for a Commissioner, it is more important that a
Commissioner be able to see the big picture and identify the truly important issues
facing the ACHD. The three most critical issues facing ACHD at the present time
Coordinating the transportation priorities of ACHD with the land use plans of
the cities and county.
Improving traffic flow on existing system through low cost coordinated
Improving project management to expedite completion of projects and minimize
ACHD must work through COMPASS to assist in the evaluation of traffic generation
characteristics of varying land use patterns, becoming more proactive then reactive.
The use of impact fees should be evaluated to ensure that projects that reduce
traffic demand and shorten trips receive favorable treatment. The use of
transportation dollars to purchase sufficient right-of-way to allow the separation
of sidewalks from the curb line through use of a landscape strip on high volume
routes should be pursued. When it is determined that arterial streets passing
through existing established neighborhoods must be expanded to handle traffic
generated by new growth, then all alternative means of adding capacity to the street
must be evaluated. If after evaluating all new or innovative approaches, it is
determined that additional width is required, then sufficient right-of-way must be
purchased so that the setback from the expanded roadway to the existing structures
still meets the minimum requirements of the zone within which they exist.
With the current shortfall in available funding to address congestion and safety
issues, all low cost alternatives for improving the capacity of the existing street
system must be exhausted. In some cases, this may require improvements to signal
timing. In other cases, minor restriping of the existing intersection may be
possible to increase its capacity. Opportunities for minor widening of the pavement
within the existing right-of-way should also be explored. When determining
priorities for improving intersections, the interactions of intersections must be
taken into account. Improving intersections by starting with the worst first may
not result in the greatest overall improvement to the street network. Appropriate
analysis tools must be used to identify the correct combinations of improvements to
achieve the greatest overall improvement to the street system..
Finally, when scheduling improvement projects, a careful evaluation of traffic
patterns in the area of the project must be made to ensure that the detour route for
one project is not interrupted by a nearby project. The evaluation of overlaps may
require the evaluation of traffic patterns in a service area covering several square
miles. Also, when projects involve infrastructure under the jurisdiction of another
agency, all necessary agreements must be finalized before construction on a project
begins, so that the completion of the project is not delayed.
Thirty-one years of professional experience in system planning, needs modeling,
priority programming, traffic engineering, construction management, research, and
technology transfer provides the background to successfully address these issues.
Working closely with city, county and highway district officials and staff during
this time also provides insight to the real world of managing a transportation
system for the benefit of all. However, Experience is not enough. Without the
ability to work with divergent groups for the common good, one will never be able to
achieve their goals, no matter how well intentioned.
For more information, visit my website at www.steveloop.com. or leave a message at
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