Merchants Not Onboard 10th Street Bus Hub



Despite official claims to the contrary, based on what we have seen and heard about a transit mall on Boise’s 10th Street, it looks pretty much like a done deal.

The goal is to get a federal grant from 2006 spent before a March 2009 deadline.

Officials at all levels of government–and there are many–are being bombarded with conflicting locations for a transit mall and myriad designs. The most popular, at least from records we have seen and reported comments by officials, seems to be “option D,” which would leave 10th street open to traffic to satisfy complaints of merchants.

However, it looks to us like a recipe for disaster jamming passenger cars, buses, and pedestrians into a narrow side street. Not unlike shoehorning the Grove Hotel into the space it occupies at the expense of sidewalks and traffic lanes.

The result would create a loss of parking spaces, no bike lanes, compromised access to the alleyways that serve the merchants and restaurants, and a generally congested area.

Both the Daily Paper and KBCI-2 (which is 8 if you have cable or something else if you have HDTV), ran stories over the weekend indicating there was far from a consensus among merchants.

No one really wants to publicly oppose the proposed trolley or the transit mall, but privately they seem threatened and resigned to being bowled over by the likes of Boise City, ACHD, CCDC, COMPASS, and all the others who have public cash at their disposal to make slick presentations and shape public opinion through media efforts.

This document achdjointmtg1 came out of last Monday’s planning session and was “dumped” on the ACHD at a joint meeting on Thursday with the Boise City Council.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Option D looks like some high prices bus stops in a central location. Sure would be nice in the private world to build something without a business plan. How about the new bus routes that will help create instant demand for public transist?

    Will any street direcitons(one-ways) be changed? Downtown Boise could be the rest of Boise- to travel north or south, first go east or west.

  2. How fortuitous. How coincidental. How…

    Just so happens the 10th Street location links up nicely with Hizzoner’s Trolley fetish.

    Boy, some people have all the luck!

    ; )

  3. Maybe the project should be put where the sun doesn`t shine.
    Mr Mayor and others involved, just send the money back to the feds, and quit this non-sense.

  4. This just in (sorry Dave) regarding my preferred location for a Transit Mall on the lot off of the SW Corner of 9th and Front…

    The good Mr. Pat Rice of Gbad informed me that: “JRS, a Simplot sub corp is the owner of the property.” And that they “…did, at one time, take a look at that site for the expansion as it makes perfect sense operationally.”

    Though one would think (hope?) looking at aerial photo’s that this lot would factor into their plans regardless of present ownership.

    I’ll be very charitable to myself and blame my confusion about ownership on that!

    I have no axe to grind with any individual(s) within Boise’s Shadow Government (of which Gbad is part), and choose to believe that everyone working there is pure of heart. And Mr. Rice himself has been very gracious during our couple of informal contacts past, and during this exchange.

    However, I believe – as do many others – that Boise’s Shadow Government has let us down one time too often, and it’s time to say “Thank You” and absorb its various components into City Government.

  5. Great. I’m so happy to see my tax dollars are going to move an existing controversy two blocks to the west. Now that’s innovation!

    Let us not forget that the purpose of this project was supposedly to move away from the Main Street and Idaho Street bus mall that was a major point of complaint and controversy for businesses for many years.

    Don’t mistake this for any support of downtown businesses. They are just as much to blame for not embracing an urban business model. Downtown businesses don’t like anything dwelling in front of their storefront. Period. In downtown Boise they continually convey a suburban attitude as if they were doing business in Meridian or Eagle.

    They love being downtown but want their customers to be able to park right in front of their business and not have to walk, oh heaven forbid, a block or two. They oppose single bus stops in front of their store (see Flying M). They cater to the car crowd, as is evident by the abundance, yes abundance, of parking in downtown Boise. (If you don’t believe me, check out downtown Google Earth and outline all of the parking areas you see from the sky that are lots, garages or on the street. It’s almost half of the downtown footprint, not counting the multi-story parking garages.)

  6. What the hell is going on here? Verbally we hear that bike traffic may be affected by the “multi-modal idiotic transfer whatever thingy” but in Fearless’ and the shadow mayor’s and that dude from CCDC’s letter they say they want to insure a “welcoming situation for bike traffic”! Make up your minds! You may be the triumvirate of the “ill-qualified, the ill intentioned, and the down right ill advised”, but you still have to answer to the citizens eventually! OH WAIT!! No you don’t!! None of you hold elected positions! Gee! No wonder you are so arrogant!!!

  7. As a merchant in the area I was “told” that this project was in “my best interest” and that the City Council will “move forward” with or without my support.

  8. Jon Q Publique
    Feb 16, 2009, 9:36 pm

    It’s interesting to note the car lanes are much wider than the bus lanes. In the real world buses are much wider than cars. What gives?

    Maybe the extra room for cars is so the cars can play pedestrian dodgem.

  9. 2 Points!
    First, the attached sketch is the artistic result of two years discussion and is actually part of the agency proposal! I would wager there are some 200 6th. graders in the school system that could sketch better than these agencies!
    Second, why would anyone believe this proposal will stay as presented. Just think about all the other proposals that wound up NOTHING like the proposed product!My crystal ball says that one year after completion, these agencies will announce that “it don’t work”
    Say goodbye to the cars, bikes and the businesses. Enter the “choo choo” for the mayor. And we will be told “all is well in Oz”

  10. Looks to be they made some nice wide bike lanes- 12 feet wide. I bet traffic will avoid this area, mostly empty lanes.

  11. What a Mickey Mouse plan! My God! If we can just assume, for arguments sake, that a transmit mall is really needed, then we need to have a REAL frickin’ transmit mall! This is lame. I cannot even believe our leaders talk about crap like this. Maybe they can iron it all out over free drinks at the COMPASS party.

  12. […] think it’s a great idea and should move forward.  But, as The Boise Guardian says, “…it looks to us like a recipe for disaster jamming passenger cars, buses, and […]

  13. Re: “believe that everyone working there is pure of heart.”

    Mike: Thanks for the chuckle. I needed that!

  14. We aren’t the first city in the world to ever contemplate a transit center. Many of them have been successfully done elsewhere and the media should be discussing these examples. I have an entry at that gives examples of cities that have done this before.

  15. If the citizens of Ada and Canyon county were aware of the CRAP and “wrong doings” of the VRT Executive Director and the ValleyRide Boise General Manager, who isn’t even a VRT/ValleyRide employee (he is a third party contractor), they would wretch their guts!!! Their hidden agendas are not for providing quality transit services to the area, but for self promotion.

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