ACHD Offers Street Sizes S,M, L, and XL

streetsectionarterial4The Ada County Highway District is holding some OPEN HOUSE events during the next 10 days to see what size and price range citizens would like on their streets.

We hate to always be so cynical, but if citizens indicate a desire for broad avenues with trees, bike lanes, and sidewalks, it really won’t make much difference because the developer dudes building subdivisions won’t be interested  in using space that could be sold for high density houses.

Planning and zoning officials have a past record of allowing narrow streets, gated communities, and anything that will create high density living.  We hope the open houses won’t be exercises in futility, but our guess is  there won’t be a ground swell of public participation looking for “full proposed livable streets” as depicted in the drawings.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. If ACHD and Boise truly wanted to make livable streets they would create an auto-free day on certain streets. Many cities close off a major roadway on a Sunday and only allow pedestrians and bicycles. It originated in Bogata and has since spread.

  2. Oh boy, you are getting cynical. These open houses by ACHD seem to be aimed at supporting your side. ACHD doesn’t have control over the developers or the myriad of city and county P&Z boards that usually roll over to the developers whims and regularly override ACHD recommendations. I think these open houses are an in your face attempt to get people involved in the process, without going so far as to alienate the powers that be that they have to work with. So “What kind of street do you want near your home?” is the text, the subtext is “get involved”.

    I really think Ada County needs to consolidate P&Z in the same way ACHD is.

  3. Streetscape
    Mar 3, 2009, 9:49 am

    The quality of the streetscape is in large part due to the market niche the developer is after. If you want affordable housing with lower lot costs you will get less impressive streetscapes. If you want beautiful streetscapes you can expect your lot prices to be greater. If you hate growth and are successful in stopping it you can continue to not-enjoy the cheatgrass and livestock denigrated landscape.

  4. Tom Anderson
    Mar 3, 2009, 10:52 am

    I really feel it is ridiculous to build any more roads.

    Every newspaper in America ran a story 3 years ago that evidently every American has forgotten. They all essentially said “When the price of oil rose above $45 per barrel, we ceased to be able to maintain our current roads at a minimum level of service, even if all government money were directed to road maintenance.” If you cannot maintain a ‘minimum level of service’ then the roads will fall into a state of chronic decay and will become unusable.

    Almost every economist, and especially the ‘peak oil’ aware ones, are saying that oil prices are headed back up to around $75 per barrel will probably spike over $200 when the economy tries to rise from the grave.

    This means our roads are going away, so building new ones is a pointless waste of resources.

    My livable streets plan would involve a large, camouflaged car-crushing machine that could be moved around the city at random to keep the motorists guessing.

    The car crushing machine would grab an unsuspecting vehicle, warn the occupants they had one minute to evacuate, then crush the car, melt it down, and the internal auto-manufacturing device would produce bicycles that would be presented to the former vehicle occupants.

  5. “…inspiring, proactive infrastructure development…”

    Where have i heard that before?

    We can have beautiful, healthy boulevards if we want them. Hell… We could have chattering monkeys at every intersection if that’s what we really wanted.

    It just takes a City Hall more concerned with actual livability than with livability slogans.

  6. M.Murphy. “It just takes a City Hall more concerned with actual livability than with livability slogans.”

    This is so true, whether it be some study(Blueprint for Growth) or some paid top 10 list. Instead of any study ACHD just needs to look at already successful neighborhoods- Northend and Eastends. Both very walkable or bikeable to schools, store, etc..

  7. What a joke!

    The current policy manual of ACHD defines what a “standard street” is supposed to be. The porblem is that they DO NOT FOLLOW THIER OWN POLICY.

    In many public hearings ACHD has approved sub-standard roads – roads that do not meet the MINIMUM measurements they say they require. Several times commissioners have stated that it is perfectly safe to have roads in Boise that are “really narrow”. In fact the Boise Fire Department has had to step in to ensure that they could just get fire truks down the streets. Their logic – or lack thereof – was that if the road is too narrow then nobody would drive on it.

    There are reems of testimony on record that many of the streets that ACHD has approved are simply too dangerous to even walk on – and one of these days when someone gets hit and killed a good liability lawyer is going to have a feild day sueing ACHD. Then people wonder why we drive cars rather than walk. Go figure.

    ACHD commisioners Franden, Arnold and Huber would rather cater to developers than protect walkers and the public. Regardless of what the public wants or says they will continue to ignore the input of the voters that testify in front of them – just as they have done in the past.

  8. AAHHH! Grasshopper. Please pick one from column A,B,or C. Then we will build it as we please! It is insulting to even ask for input when they have no intention of taking any of it seriously.

  9. Yeah, imagine more of the awful streets like we see in original Idaho townsites: narrow streets to slow traffic, small blocks, small lots and sidewalks with a strip of grass and trees. In truth, these are classic American neighborhoods, not “high density” to be sneered at.

    For many years, local officials approved streets built to very primitive standards, like streets without sidewalks. I give them credit for trying to find better standards for streets and asking people what they think about it. But there must be some sinister intent behind it according to The Guardian.

    Also, gated subdivisions tend to have larger lots and lower density and are private streets. I know The Guardian is categorically opposed to anything more advanced (and spendy) than caves and dirt trails, but at least be consistent.

  10. Rebecca Arnold
    Apr 26, 2009, 1:18 am

    FRED needs to get his commissioners straight. I have not advocated or approved narrow streets. As an example, take a look at the record for the proposed Sherman Hollow project. I would be happy to sit down with you and discuss your concerns.
    Commissioner Arnold

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