City Government

Mr. Bieter! Open This Building!

We have pushed for nearly 5 years to get the Boise Depot opened to the public on a routine daily basis during the summer and despite the best efforts of the GUARDIAN, the vast majority of the time it remains only a catering venue for the elite .

We have to admit the Boise Depot is no match for the Willis (formerly Sears) tower in Chicago–the Boise Depot is much more elegant and pleasing to view. However last weekend we paid $15.95 to take the elevator to the top of the Willis and since we have been to the top of both, we can tell you it is well worth a buck or two to visit the Boise tower.

The message is this: Open the Depot and the elevator for tourists so we can show off some of our history and the novelty of climbing or riding to the top of a mission-style bell tower. If Team Dave would give it a chance, promote it as a “Tourist Attraction” with proper signs, it will sell.

GUARDIAN reader Clancy sent us this note about the past weekend event at the depot.

I stopped by the Depot Day with my boys, checked out the cool cars and listened to some speeches.
They mostly talked about the history and what a great resource it is. We waited in line for a trip in the elevator up to the top. I had never done that before and enjoyed the views that I hadn’t seen of Boise. There was a sign stating that if you didn’t make it up the tower today, then come back during public hours. No hours were stated and none are listed on the website.

People were just hanging out on the lawn enjoying the nice day too. I would like to see the depot with some posted hours as it would be a fun and cheap site to see.

I also think a” Sunday Streets or Ciclavia” could be a great community event during the summer. Open the Depot to the public and close Capitol Blvd all the way to the Capitol building. Bikes and pedestrians would only be allowed during those Sunday hours. Maybe invite some local clubs to perform on a stage or have a bike show/swap and few food vendors.

That’s what they do in ancient and historic Mexico City. There are also other places that TRULY cater to bikes. Here are some links from Clancy.

Portland has a synopsis of the 2009 Sunday Parkways.

LA’s first year.
A Mexico City write up.
St. Louis

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Disappointed in the Mayor
    Apr 21, 2010, 3:34 pm

    We went to the Depot Days and saw the great cars too. We stood in line to go up to the top of the tower for almost an hour. There was a line there all day. It was great to go up and see the city from there.

    Just so you know Mr Mayor most of the talk in the line was about how disappointed everyone is with you and the council regarding keeping the Depot open. This is just yet another situation where the “high and mighty” mayor and council could care less about what the voters want.

    To not have the Depot Open is just plain stupid. Why the Boise Visitors Center is not located there is even more stupid – – and oh yes we have heard the argument that it can not be there and have receptions at the same time – that is crap and you know it.

    As tax payers we own the building, we support the building – Mr Mayor OPEN THE DEPOT!

  2. I forgot to mention that we rode up there after riding out to Bown Crossing. On the way home, I was yelled at for riding with my kids on Crescent Rim Drive. I was told I should ride on the sidewalk(no sidewalk present) with the kids. My kids are learning to ride legal and safe. The funny thing is his concern over my kids while cussing in the process.

  3. Actually in Clancy’s case the motorist’s actions were illegal (BCC 10-10-14 HARASSMENT OF BICYCLISTS AND PEDESTRIANS PROHIBITED).

  4. Does no one besides me think that mimicking Ronald Regan’s demand of “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” is more than a little overblown for this situation? I’m with everyone here in that I would love to see the Depot open more just occasionally, but lets turn down the rhetoric a little.

    EDITOR NOTE–Timm, we have offered reasoned debate for 5 years, positive suggestions, explanations about tourism benefits and the best we get from Team Dave is a token open period aimed at allowing residents to visit “their Depot.” You gotta admit the headline is eye catching and hardly rises to “Cold War” intensity.
    Would you prefer, “Mr. Mayor would you please consider allowing citizens to visit the depot?”

  5. The reasonable answer here is the cost of keeping the place open would require staffing the place, janitorial services, and additional wear and tear on the place due to vandals tearing up the restrooms, etc.

    If a local group wanted to staff the place and keep it clean on a daily basis perhaps things could change.

    Another consideration might be if the place could be converted to a restaurant in a portion of the place it might keep the place open.

    In the “cut back wherever you can” environment of local government today I don’t hold much hope of the place ever being open to the public on a regularly scheduled basis.

  6. Timm, that’s not rhetoric! ” Hey Bieter, you have done such a miserable job of running this city with all of the studies, duplicitous efforts, hair brained ideas, and allowing the decay of the downtown corridor, while hiding behind the CCDC, it is time for you to resign, sell your home and move somewhere else.ANYWHERE ELSE!! (by the way, we will need the keys to the depot before you leave)”
    Now THAT Timm, is rhetoric!!!

  7. Casual Observer
    Apr 22, 2010, 11:51 am

    The Guardian is at his best when he is rooting out secret deals, malfeasance, and illegal acts. Depot operating policy is none of those. The g man sounds petulant.

  8. I like the idea of the visitor’s center at The Depot and opening it up to the public on a regular basis. It is a unique city feature that would draw tourists and the hometown crowd as well. Funds are not that short when the city can continue to waste taxpayer dollars on pipedreams and PR. Idaho and the nation must make the best use of what we have now until the economy recovers. That’s what I’m doing. That’s what our elected officials, such as they are, should be doing as well.

    Clancy: fine looking sons you have! Glad you all had a nice time together.

    Casual Observer: It’s a public service, not petulance, to call upon our so-called leaders to listen to the people. After all, we are the BOSS of them, not the other way around.


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