Items Of Little Interest, But Important To Pols

Here is a list of current news topics with a typically cynical GUARDIAN SLANT.

–The Park Center Bridge that Harris Ranch Developers stuck taxpayers to build so they would benefit is about to open with great fanfare from Ada County Highway District.

–Micron is still slurping at the public trough. This time they got $5 million in “stimulus funds” to research LED lighting development. No apparent strings demanding they not ship their jobs, production, etc. out of Boise as they have done in the past. After laying off some 1,500 workers they proudly announce this project is worth 30 jobs.

–Team Dave and the entire Idaho Congressional delegation is demanding the FAA justify a planned relocation of the TRANCON approach radar at the Boise airport. Seems the politicos want the FAA radar folks to sit in a darkened room in Boise watching screens instead of a darkened room in Salt Lake. The politicos claim the move will cost more than the status quo and not be as safe. Never mind the cost of AMNTRAK and the TROLLEY FOLLY!

–VALLEY TRANSIT, the bus agency, proudly proclaims a 16% increase in ridership while also announcing plans to cancel a daily service from Boise to Caldwell along State Street because city of Eagle won’t pony up $15,000 to serve its citizens. A story in the Daily Paper reports the route costs $50,000 a year to operate and averages 27 passengers. We did some checking and the 27 figure is TOTAL boardings per day–fewer than 14 round trippers. That means Eagle was paying about $1,000 a year for each rider and the total cost (based on the $50,000 figure) is $3571 for each round tripper per year! Eagle officials are justified in cutting their funding based on those numbers.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. My, my! You are surly today, Guardian!

  2. Rod in SE Boise
    Sep 25, 2009, 9:47 pm

    The East Park Center Bridge was built only to protect the priviledged class of wealthy people who live on and near Warm Springs Avenue from (gasp) traffic.

    Because the economy is in the tank and will remain so for a long time, it has now become a 20 million dollar bridge to nowhere. Any guesses when the next new home will be completed in Harris Ranch? 2020?

  3. Mr. Watcher
    Sep 26, 2009, 9:09 am

    Say nothing of Micron being one of the largest reasons that my unemployment taxes have gone up. Never in the history of my company has any employee been giving a pink slip.
    So the bottom line is Micron is causing other businesses in Idaho to be taxed more because they run a sloppy business. This is crazy to be giving this company more tax money when they are causing other companies to be taxed more.
    Everyone I talk to that is a business owner or a CEO believes that Micron will go under in due time. But in the mean time that company is damaging other companies by causing them to be taxed more.

  4. Sorry Dave, on the park center bridge, your incorrect.

    Here’s the real skinny.

  5. Here’s a thought. TAXI vouchers instead of a poorly run snail transit system.

    The riders of the bus could purchase the vouchers for about the same as the bus and get better service. It would get older folks off the road who should not be driving due to age and health reasons and still give them a degree of mobility.

    California has a thing call the ACCESS BUS. It is a small coach type bus you can make reservations and they will give impaired folks door to door service for a small charge.

    Just a couple of random thoughts on making transit more efficient.

  6. Sara..your blog states that “Harris Ranch then walked away and sacrificed increased building lots which would have been allowed with the new roadway capacity generated by the bridge.”
    Did they really walk away…or did they smartly just sit on the sidelines waiting for you (ACHD) to finally cave in and build it for them? The building lots are still there waiting to be built upon…and they saved themselves the cost of a bridge that you built for them….right?

  7. Sara made me giggle when I read her website article. Am I just stupid or does relieving if the impact fees for the developer to pay for the bridge just a shell game with money? Yes, it did cost money to build the bridge, yet relief from impact fees does not allow for money to be put in the coffer to replenish those fees. Either solution required the taxpayer to pick up the bill. The question was, do we pay now with a bill or later with no revenue?

  8. Have taken the the Valley Ride bus along the State Street route a couple of times when the car has been in the shop. Was always full (they use one of the smaller buses for this route), but I dare say it was more than 14…maybe 14 from Eagle alone. The biggest issue with this route is two fold: once it leaves Eagle, it is an express route to downtown, thus if you want to get anywhere but downtown, it means a lot of back tracking; it only runs once in the AM and once in the PM. Miss that and you are either stuck at home or sleeping downtown.

    With a model like that, there is no way this particular route could ever be justified if you are looking to break even. Bus systems have lots of routes that need to be subsidized by the rest of the system. Too bad this one depends on City of Eagle funding and not the system as a whole.

    EDITOR NOTE–The info we got was an average of 27 “boardings” for the combined morning and evening run.

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