Bungling Bureaucrats Botch Boise Buses

In a refreshing bit of local journalism, Cynthia Sewell of the Daily Paper detailed a pattern of
BUNGLING BUREAUCRATS either unwilling or unable to put together a plan to spend federal funds for a downtown transit center.

The fed money was earmarked for Boise in 2005, but Boise City, the Urban Renewal Agency (CCDC), Ada Highway District, and Valley Regional Transit officials have dithered so long it looks like the money will be lost without an act of congress to extend the spending deadline.



In the process, ACHD people complain of being left out of the loop, developers have come to town with their own projects and they don’t want a transit mall next door. Options include closing two blocks of 10th street and some adjacent property owners don’t want that done. It’s a mess.

Based on what we could glean from the lengthy story, only the ACHD wants to involve the public in the process and that looks like a it will be a swift token hearing at this point without the extension.

The GUARDIAN is concerned that Team Dave and others are so keen on a trolley system they are just scurrying about with “plans” and forgetting to include citizens and the ACHD which are the ultimate authority on ANY use of streets or long term debt.

ACHD commish Sherry Huber summed up the situation saying, “They may have everything all decided, but we have a higher standard of public input.” (GO SHERRY!)

Team Dave and the VRT director discreetly traveled to Bellevue, Washington in November with a with a major property owner/developer to look at an “in street transit center” which seems like what we currently have. Based on the complaints of an ACHD commish being “left out of the loop” and lack of news reports or press releases, it would be fair to conclude Team Dave is quietly working with the developer to cater to his wishes.

Meanwhile Boise has no viable bus system and no doubt the public will be given an “either or” choice (if any choice at all) when it ultimately comes to a transit system.

The GUARDIAN has long advocated a well run bus system on existing surface streets, providing frequent service BEFORE jumping into long term debt for infrastructure. Common sense dictates
a good bus system needs to be integrated into ANY transit plan.

There will be a meeting Thursday Feb. 12, at the ACHD offices, 3775 Adams in Garden City. The public will NOT be allowed to speak to the issues.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. That’s it! I have finally figured out why there is that little “security” kiosk in the lobby of city hall. You are required to check all intelligence,common sense,logic,and any personal sense of reality before entering!

    Remember the mayor’s race? Remember when the big wigs came to town to “study” our inter-agency lack of cooperation? Didn’t they say “start talking to each other”?

    Wasn’t there this grandiose “exchange of cell phone numbers” by the different agencies and valley leaders? Oh! I forgot! The election is over so it’s back to “business as usual”! Some fat cat developer says Not In My Back Yard! So city hall roles over like a 6 week old puppy urinating on itself because someone scratched it’s belly and says “You Bet! We were just kidding about the transit terminal! We will move it right away”! Now the VRT says they need to look at BOTH sites, the developer says it is a DONE DEAL to move the site to 10th.,and ACHD(who is primary decider on the roads) knows NOTHING about it!

    These people shouldn’t be recalled or impeached. They should be euthanized!!! As a sidebar. Anyone catch the good mayor’s speech at the Special Olympics welcoming ceremony? Looks like he needs a “refresher course” from Andrus on public speaking! His speech was in a word, PATHETIC! A true embarrassment on an international stage!

  2. Unwilling – Would be my guess.

    When you consider how “they” are trying to fill every square inch of “downtown” (the boundaries of which continue to grow under the CCDC) with Convention Centers, Condos and other development, I can’t see the Red-Headed-Step-Child that is Mass Transit getting much of a voice at the table.

    I either have to believe that, or that they are so very incompetent that they are incapable of building a simple Transit Mall.

    This ain’t the Manned Mission to Mars folks!

  3. How many people in elected office would you hire as the CEO of a multimillion dollar corporation, serve on a board of directors or put in any responsible capacity?

    All that is necessary to serve as an elected official is to be 18 years old, be a voter in good standing and get yourself elected. Pretty weak set of credentials to run a multi million dollar outfit like a city.

    Professional management is the answer and it is high time taxpayers consider the concept of a city/county manager form of government. Good ones are not cheap but the mistakes and problems well meaning people are creating for taxpayers to clean up at great cost need to be openly discussed.

    A good city manager will save cities and counties money.

  4. I thought ACHD was in charge of streets in Ada county??? (and that includes the ones in BOISE) If the city is going to have street cars and transit stations doesn’t ACHD have to be the agency to approve and maintian the system? Seems like Boise City is doing an end run around ACHD.

  5. So we are are going to rush into something just so we don’t “loose federal funds”? That is the worst reason for doing something. The feds ALWAYS attach strings to the money. The money often shuts off and the locals are left scrambling to make up short falls and end up raising local taxes.

    At the open house that was held last year to show off the idea of the transit station it was very clear that there were many more questions about this whole project than were answers. This is clearly a city council agenda that they want done regardsless of the thoughts of the people.

    Besides that there is no more money to even cover the services that we already have. Budget cuts must come in 2010 and may go into 2013. If the city want to find new funding they could fire all the “pubic information” and “planning” people that serve as the inhouse marketing staff for this stuff.

  6. Tom Anderson
    Feb 7, 2009, 10:10 pm

    ‘Peak Oil’ will likely crush our economy like an ant under a boulder, to the point that a transit station will just be another homeless shelter, if it ever even got completed.

    As far as rushing into this… We’ve been talking and planning and holding public meetings forever. For Team Dave to pull this is rediculous, unless he also believes Peak Oil will destroy our economy.

    Cyclops: I was at the very first debate before Dave Bieter was elected, between him, Chuck Winder, and Vaughn Killeen. If anybody had taped that debate and shown it publicly, Bieter would have been made to drop out due to never-ending ridicule. He stammered, stuttered, and BS’d his way through, while sweating profusely. He couldn’t answer any of the questions intelligently, and acted like he didn’t know anything about our city. Dave Bieter is a fraud and it is a wonder most folks haven’t figured that out yet.

  7. Tom Anderson
    Feb 7, 2009, 10:38 pm

    I found this on the “conservationreport”

    …Buses Were First Step to Ending Streetcar System

    GM first replaced trolleys with free-roaming buses, eliminating the need for tracks embedded in the street and clearing the way for cars. As dramatized in a 1996 PBS docudrama, Taken for a Ride, Alfred P. Sloan, GM’s president at the time, said, “We’ve got 90 percent of the market out there that we can…turn into automobile users. If we can eliminate the rail alternatives, we will create a new market for our cars.” And they did just that, with the help of GM subsidiaries Yellow Coach and Greyhound Bus. Sloan predicted that the jolting rides of buses would soon lead people to not want them and to buy GM’s cars instead…

    If you Google…
    General Motors scraps trolley system Yellow Coach
    …you can read about it from hundreds of sources.

    EDITOR NOTE–This is the same GM the Feds are donating cash to so they will be able to continue making cars for Americans to purchase and “stimulate” the economy.

  8. Tom, it was so bad with Bieter,(see Guardian, no nasty here) that he paid Andrus’ company over $4,000.00 to teach him how to give a speech and “bluff” his way through a debate.
    The speech part was easy.
    1- What a great day it is here in Boise
    2- As I ride my bike to work I discover…..
    3-Years ago, my Basque father, mother, aunt, sister uncle etc., taught me that….
    4- Sorry I can’t stay for questions, I am Mr. Mom today!
    The debate part was a little more difficult and a testament to how good Andrus is rather than how much Bieter learned. Press announcements and public comments were really simple to solve. Team Dave just hired a bunch of “talking heads” to make such statements so he wouldn’t have the public exposure. Then you factor in that Jade Reilly really runs the show on a day to day basis, and Team Dave has the answer to “what do we do with this Jamoke?”

  9. Serendipity
    Feb 9, 2009, 10:42 am

    There will be a meeting Thursday Feb. 12, at the ACHD offices, 3775 Adams in Garden City. The public will NOT be allowed to speak to the issues.

    Oh great! As the ACHD insists that they listen to the public, now they tell us to shut up.

    EDITOR NOTE–Well founded complaint. In defense of ACHD, there is a legal notice requirement for public hearings and they wouldn’t have been able to comply with the law for a hearing. This entire “trolley folly” is being foisted upon everyone and it is simply not being done right.

  10. Cyclops said: I have finally figured out why there is that little “security” kiosk in the lobby of city hall. You are required to check all intelligence,common sense,logic,and any personal sense of reality before entering! Jeeze, you just figured it out?

    The kiosk is fairly new, but the leaving of intelligence etc. outside has been mandatory for many, many years.

    I noticed it a few days after I got here, more than 40 years ago, and I suspect the rule existed long before then.

    As for the transit center. What the heck good is a transit center if you don’t have any transit? Aside from a few buses that run for a few hours on a few streets, there are taxis and private vehicles. Shouldn’t a transit center hook buses up with trolleys, subways, trams, els, … “something”???

    Or is it just a way to close off a bit more of the street to give people a place to wait for a bus to come along — or for a new route to be assigned, so they can finally get where they want to go?
    (Buses are great, but be sure you go home real early, don’t come into town on certain days, and don’t expect to catch or get off one near where you want to go.)

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