City Government

Mayor Hotline October 24 to 30

Gary Zimmerman
851 W. Front St. #904
Boise, ID
Streetcar; I’m calling to voice a concern with the streetcar that Mayor Dave Bieter is in support
of. I am within the proposed impact zone and I am very much against the streetcar. I don’t
believe that it will serve any useful value to either tourism or the citizens, and it’s coming at an
extremely high annual maintenance cost let alone the $60 million to build it. It’s definitely the
wrong time to have our city’s dollars going to a transportation option when there are much more
scalable options such as expanding our bus service and offering maybe different fare options
such as these free fares for tourists and other users. I think definitely getting routes to the
airport or to the University should be at least a higher priority than that loop that’s currently
being proposed at a cost of $60 million. I think it would be tying up traffic, be burdening the city
for a long period of time, and I just don’t understand why Mayor Dave Bieter is so strongly in
support of this when clearly Portland’s path has not gone as well as we’re being lead to believe,
and there are other options much more scalable available to the city, particularly at this time.
Thank you.
Action Taken: sent letter

Gary Zimmerman
Streetcar: I live within the impact area of the proposed streetcar and I just wanted to indicate
my dissent with the streetcar; I’m actually thinking it would be much more scalable to introduce
bus service maybe at that free price point for folks, but I’m very much against the streetcar. I
don’t think it’s an affordable option for our city and I think this is definitely the wrong time to be
introducing that; we should be looking at expanding and leveraging something that is much
more scalable both up and down at this point, such as bus service, and also getting routes to
the university and to the airport I think would be of much higher importance than the currently
extremely walkable loop that’s being proposed for the streetcar. At any rate I wanted to share
my opinion.

Janice Hughes
2778 Ona St.
Boise, ID 83705
Streetcar: Just a comment on the trolley system that they’re wanting to get started. It’s not
been all that many years ago that they were still trying to get those old trolley tracks out of the
street so they could not fall apart. Anyway, you still need to rely on the bus system to use the
trolley system if you were trying to get people to come into town to use that from the light rail or
even just within the city itself. The bus system, you can take a 15 minute errand by car and take
two or three hours or more to get it done by the bus system if you have to go east and west
rather than north and south. It’s fine if where you want to go is right on that bus line but you still
have to wait an hour on a lot of them between getting off to do your errand then sit around and
wait for it to come back again. Yes, I know that you have to start somewhere, but you know
you’ve got to have support to use it and you’re not going to have much support if you’ve got to
screw around with the bus all day long trying to get down there then get somewhere else to get
to another place. Anyway it’s an awful lot of money for something that’s – we want to be
Portland, well we don’t have Portland’s tax base; we don’t have the number of people that
Portland has. I don’t think it’s really a good thing; it’s just one more layer of congestion on those
little tiny streets down there. Thank you.
Action Taken: sent letter

Citizen of Boise
Streetcar: I just wanted to convey my complete disrespect for your office, outrage at your
spending. You don’t even have the money yet for this trolley car and yet you’re going to go
ahead and spend money on people trying to sell the idea to us. I think it’s already sold; a good
idea will sell itself and a bad idea needs somebody to try and hawk it to. We’re not here for you
to hawk your ideas. You don’t even have the money and it’s the first step. So, unless you have
the money you shouldn’t even have voted on it. It’s a waste of time; it’s a waste of money.
Nobody’s going to be riding a trolley car, it being November, December, January. Forget it. It’s
the most utter waste of money you guys could think up.

Walter Shook
1806 N. 28th St.
Boise, ID
Streetcar: Another dissention on the street car. I think the money could be better spent in other
directions and better development be done rather than just a single streetcar. I think we should
have some other types of mass transit that would better suit our needs. Thank you.
Action Taken: sent letter

Streetcar: I’m calling in regard to the streetcar deal that’s going through apparently. I am not
for this; it is not feasible. What we do need is something to transport people from the
Nampa/Caldwell area to Boise to and from work. That would keep down emissions, car traffic,
all of that, but I’m not in favor of the streetcar whatsoever. It’s absolutely ridiculous and way too

Albert Coon
1911 Spaulding St.
Boise, ID
Streetcar: A comment about the streetcar question: I just don’t think this is the time to be
addressing this issue. I know of a medical practitioner in this community, who has a single
practice, but two part-time people work for this individual, and one of the persons is leaving and
they have had sixty job applicants for that job with no benefits behind it. So, there are people
out of work, businesses are struggling and I think the money could be better spent elsewhere,
like re-timing the street lights so we have a more efficient travel flow through the community,
and any rapid transit system you build has to be time competitive. The average soccer mom
that I’m thinking about works, tries to be four places at once and manages her day on a minute
by minute basis and simply does not have time to wait at a bus stop or trolley stop to catch a
ride to work. They’re going to choose the most time-efficient method to get to work. I am
reminded of Marie Antoinette who said, “Let them eat cake.” Sometimes I think elected officials
get so caught up in their world that they lose track of what’s really going on in the lives of the
people that they are supposed to be representing. I am diametrically opposed to the streetcar
at this point in time.

Action Taken: sent letter
Kirk Kenney
McMillan Rd.
Streetcar: I feel the streetcar is a bad idea right now. You’ve got all these unemployed people
and you think the economy is going to get better? Or do you think it’s going to get worse? I
think we have hit our high mark and it’s coming down from here buddy. To put this tax burden
on your citizens is a sin.

Greg Olson
Solar Concepts in Meridian
8399 W. Hill Rd. (residence)
W – 377-8399 C – 389-9956
Streetcar: I wanted to voice my very positive opinion of us putting a trolley or tran-system
downtown. I see it as a very worthy endeavor to both invigorate downtown and make a transit
through those streets a lot easier than it is right now. It’s worked for San Francisco and I really
think it would be an asset here. It could also mean that you could transfer some of the buses
that are presently serving downtown to more outlying areas. So, I think it would be a good
resource allocation that will serve us on multiple levels. Thank you.
Action Taken: sent letter

James McLaughlin
1575 N. 12th East
Resident of Mountain Home, ID 83647
619 315-5043
Streetcar: I need to weigh in on this trolley system debacle. It is going to be the worst thing that
has ever been done to Boise if it actually gets done. Coming from San Diego, CA where there’s
a $22 million a year deficit with their trolley system; coming from Phoenix where there’s a deficit
running every year, it is insanely wrong to think that public funds should go into something that
will have to have double, triple, or quadruple that $40 or $60 million that would need to be put
into it. As far as it goes, if there was a private company willing to take it on, even maybe with
some grants from the government, if there was a private for-profit company, they would make
sure that it was run correctly, that it was run legitimately without tax funds coming in and being
pumped into it every year. That’s what needs to happen if it’s going to go in, but it would have
to be a private company to do it.

Streetcar: Concern the streetcar to nowhere, I think it’s ridiculous that you’re spending $90
thousand of your cronies, or should I say Cronin’s, to have him try to convince people who have
already lived in Boise for a long time and realize it ain’t going to do what it’s supposed to do
other than tear up the streets and waste a lot of money; plus it’s going to increase property
taxes because you’ve got to build something in the budget to maintain that mess in the streets
and it’s going to put an extra burden on the property taxes of the poor and the elderly. By the
way, maybe if you would purchase some more city buses which are virtually empty any way,
you might have a little more people riding it. And, I don’t see where you get 485,000 going to
ride that street car, there hasn’t been 485,000 people ride the buses in the last ten years. Bye.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Mr. Olson, may I assume that your economic endeavors center around increasing “green” sources of energy and a lessening effect of the carbon footprint in the valley. If so, I am in complete agreement with you, as are many of our fellow citizens. Unfortunately, the proposed streetcar will accomplish none of those goals at a tremendous cost to the city when we can least afford it. This project will not remove a single car from traffic, it will not lessen the carbon footprint problem,
    (in fact it will make it worse, due to the slowing of traffic downtown as we negotiate the same traffic lanes with a streetcar that moves at a much slower speed). Without any sort of destination on either end of the proposed route, we can expect very low ridership at a tremendous ongoing cost to the citizens of Boise. I fail to see any way of looking at this with any hope of a positive outcome, now, or in the future!

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