Update On Desire Named Street Car

The DAILY PAPER has joined the long list of opponents to Team Dave’s “Desire Named Street Car” with a HUGE EDITORIAL in Sunday’s edition. They didn’t go soa as advocating a massive increase in the bus system, but it is clear (to us) the Statesman has come over to the GUARDIAN side.

Reporter Cynthia Sewell continues her informed coverage in TODAY’s EDITION with a status report on the funding. She tells us requests for Fed money total about 50 times what is available with 1,388 apps asking for $57.5 billion from a pot of just $1.5 billion. Boise wants $40 million from the feds for a $60 million downtown novelty ride that will go in a 2.3 mile circle.

City officials refuse to allow citizens a vote on the funding. Instead, they are jostling around plans to charge owners of property along the route a Local Improvement District (LID) tax imposed by as few as three counselors and the mayor. Despite overwhelming public opinion AGAINST the project, Team Dave continues to push a street car. Latest idea they are floating is a run from BSU to Downtown along Capitol Blvd.

Meanwhile, GUARDIAN reader Bill Goodnight reports from Tucson on the proper way to get a trolley:
“I am currently wintering in Tucson, Arizona. This city has requested $75 million in
Federal matching (stimulus) money to complete an ongoing streetcar project.

If you were in charge of disbursing stimulus money, which project would you think
was more deserving–a proposal from a city of 214,000 wanting to build a streetcar system where most of its citizens oppose the project, or a proposal for a streetcar system from a city of 544,000, sixty percent of whom approved the project in a citizen initiative?”

Headline news: no TIGER funds for Boise streetcar. Will the city continue to pursue the project without federal backing?
As predicted Tucson got a good chunk and so did the Portland Poster child.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. It doesn’t help the good Mayor get support of any kind form the Statesman when they get childish, spoiled child-like e-mails from him.

  2. Speckled Hen
    Feb 15, 2010, 12:26 pm

    You can tell the Mayor and his minions have absolutely no experience working with the federal government on projects, especially transportation projects. There’s no way they can get a streetcar operational by 2012, unless Bieter is pulling a rickshaw.

    It will take them until the end of 2010 to even get a contract signed to study and design the thing.

  3. Wrong O Speckled! According to CCDC and the mayor, they have already sunk HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of our dollars in study, design, marketing, and trips to look at like projects around the country. I find it interesting that they bring the information back from other projects and by the time they release the information, it is chock full of slanted info, half truths and in some cases, outright lies!!

  4. sam the sham
    Feb 15, 2010, 3:49 pm

    Oh what a wonderful visual…Bieter pulling a rickshaw. Now I would vote for that! Good way to raise funding for the non-desired streetcar – the mayor and members of the city council pulling rickshaws week after week until the money is raised.

  5. The mayor and council are from the Obama school of government – – shove it down their throats…be damned what they voters wnat.

  6. untamedshrew
    Feb 16, 2010, 10:00 am

    Hmmm … I thought “the voters” elected Obama. And the mayor and city council.

  7. The voters did elect the president, the mayor and city council, which gives them the right to hold their leaders accountable for making positive decisions that lead to economically healthy cities, states and the nation. The streetcar at this time does not fit that profile. It only increases debt and taxes at a time when recession and inflation are overwhelming taxpayers. My fingers are crossed for no fed funds for this shallow enterprise.

  8. Rod in SE Boise
    Feb 16, 2010, 1:50 pm

    untamedshrew is right. Obama won, by a lot! He is doing what the voters want.

  9. I voted for him. I retract my vote and support until he really listens to the people.

  10. Rod – not sure what planet you are on….Obama wants to change a system that 62% of voters DO NOT want changed… and the Mayor wants a streetcar that 65% of the voters DO NOT support. Neither are doing what the MAJORITY of voters want.

  11. Hello everyone! Did you see today’s Statesman article about the passing of Bill Onweiler? You know, the father of the Greenbelt.

    The nattering nabobs of negativism said the same thing back in ’68, ’69 and ’70 about the greenbelt and Onweiler’s grandiose plan. It’s too expensive they wailed. We can’t afford it. After all, where would they dump their garbage and entrails once the river became a place for recreation?

    Fast forward 40 years, and try to imagine tearing out the greenbelt and selling off the land to the highest bidder. Yeah, that’ll go over like a lead balloon.

    Back track 30 years and the same nabobs nattered about the Broadway Chinden Connector. Too expensive. Tax money this, tax money that. Again, try to imagine ripping up the Connector today and hauling it to the dump. Ain’t gonna happen.

    I would call myself Boise-Optimist except for having to hear all this myopic tripe.

    Ok, gotta go for a walk on the greenbelt to cool off. L8tr!

  12. A greenbelt from Lucky Peak Dam to Centennial Park in Caldwell would be a recreational asset to the valley.

    The Rails to Trails projects in Sun Valley/Hailey/Bellvue as well at the Trail of Coeur d Alene’s and the Trail of the Hiawatha have really helped the tourism in Idaho.

    Too bad the Compass/Mayors/Politicos of the valley can’t figure this one out. It would be something people of all ages could use to commute, recreate and enjoy.

    I can’t imagine a trail would cost nearly as much as a trolly and the bike trail would be used by people.

  13. I would be thrilled if they ripped up the connector. I used to work in the downtown for about 30 years but don’t even like going there anymore. The connector made the area from 16th going west into a vast wasteland because all the traffic was diverted away from the businesses on Main and Fairview. The city bought all the car lots on Main and is still sitting on the purchase which is generating no tax dollars for the city. What a damn waste. I own property in Boise near the 30th street wasteland, but live in Eagle where the city fathers and mothers are even more greedy and shortsighted than Bieter and his gang. What a system we have.

    I can’t imagine a trolley being a magnet for tourists in the area where it is being proposed.

  14. TJ, maybe your memory has faded, but rush hour traffic on Fairview/Main was considerable, even approaching gridlock back in the 70s and 80s. With the metro area having doubled since the Broadway Chinden connector opened, traffic on Fairview/Main would simply be unacceptable. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

    There is a plan for an Urban Renewal District for the Fairview/Main Corridor to help fix damage done by the lack of traffic. BG and many others don’t like it but offer few solutions and mumble about free market. Free market solutions would be great if a free market actually existed.

    In reality, there all kinds of zoning restrictions, to make a long story short.

    You are aware of the Blueprint Boise/30th Street Master Plan draft #42 /:-) open house at Idaho History Museum, Thursday at 6pm.

  15. Headline news: no TIGER funds for Boise streetcar. Will the city continue to pursue the project without federal backing?

  16. Rod in SE Boise
    Feb 17, 2010, 1:47 pm

    If “What?” is commenting on health insurance reform, he is way wrong. Reforming the health insurance system is wildly popular. In fact, most Americans favor a single payer system. And furthermore, Obama isn’t doing it by himself, Congress is doing most of the work on that issue.

    As to his claim of 65% opposition to the streetcar to nowhere, I don’t think there has been any polling done on that. I am willing to bet that about 65% of Boiseans ARE opposed to the streetcar to nowhere, they just haven’t been asked.

    Comparing Obama and health insurance reform with Bieter and the streetcar is not realistic. Obama has to deal with Congress. Bieter just has a few like-thinking yes-persons on the city council. The mayor needs a tighter leash than Obama and 535 other elected officials.

  17. Thank god we didn’t get the TIGER funds to support this street car. It is going to ruin the unique character of downtown Boise and it is a big waste of money that is going to run a bunch of business out because of the tax increase they will be faced with. What do we have to do to STOP this street car business? I am serious, this needs to be put to an end!!!!

  18. TEAM DAVE has already stated they will continue with the project by applying for other federal dollars. I seriously doubt this is over unless we can unseat the current mayor and at least three of the city council.

  19. Rod – Commenter named “WHAT?” is correct. You’re off.

    EDITOR NOTE– Where is obvious! Where is Why? Who really knows What? No, Who is prime minister of China and he replaced When. That’s What. Wrong, What is in Boise.

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