City Government

Bieter Ignores Public, Seeks More Tax Money From Feds For Pet Train

Ignoring at least two public opinion SURVEYS funded by the city and one conducted by the Idaho Statesman, Team Dave has continued its short sighted quest engineer expensive trains in the Treasure Valley.

Mayor Dave Bieter gave away an autographed Kristin Armstrong bike helmet to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and got a promise of federal help for rail transit plans–plans soundly rejected by the community in the past before the idea train even left the station.

The GUARDIAN has been a strong advocate of a decent bus system that actually serves the community. Local leaders have ignored the bus system in favor of a “downtown intermodal transit center.” Even that idea has been opposed with the latest incarnation being on land owned by the Idaho Land Board.

The local politicos always point to the likes of Portland and other mega cities as justification for spending billions upon billions of public dollars for RAIL BASED TRANSIT. To be blunt, they have the caboose pulling the train (ass backwards).

Before we can even dream of a rail system, a decent bus system needs to be in place! Aside from the fact there is only a single rail line between Boise and Caldwell, there are literally dozens of grade crossings, no stations, no rolling stock (trains and cars). What the heck are they gonna do with thousands of workers who may or may not decide to ride the desire named street car once they get to town? The STATESMAN and GUARDIAN covered past debacles relating to trains.

Will they wander around aimlessly at the Depot which is currently closed to the public? Will they march down Capitol Boulevard? Perhaps create a market for taxis? We need a bus system! If it is accepted and used, then perhaps rail could be considered.

For the money spent on rail, the GUARDIAN could get riders door to door service with HUNDREDS of buses. Team Dave and the other politicos are simply off track on this one.

The litany of mismanagement, quests for money, disregard for public opinion, proposed rail routes, etc. can be mined from the stories highlighted in past GUARDIAN POSTS. (Some of the older links found in those stories to the Statesman are no longer valid)

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Underground maybe?

    Will this end up like Seattle’s Monorail, short and unused by any local residents? Promoted as a tourist attraction for those too young or too old to head to the local clubs and bars.

    Maybe a planned system that would model after Japan’s train system, and not that of an American city.

    Or if modeling after American cities then model the free use of public transportation within the major downtown areas, and have the train system on the outskirts.

    Whatever they do its not like they care what we think, (they never do)

  2. Can we have green trains powered by windmills and solar panels and biofuel, where we can get some Obamacare? Or will be stuck with crappy trains?

  3. Brian Vermillion
    Aug 23, 2012, 8:03 pm

    Beiter clearly wants to establish his legacy by following the Obama plan… that is to say put us in debt so deeply on unneeded pork projects that we’ll never pay them off; moreover they will require perpetual infusions of taxpayer support. Kinda like the Idaho Center?

  4. I don’t think anyone is surprised at the Mayors efforts to get a trolley or a train. When you have no legacy you get obsessed with creating one. If he can get a train or a trolley it would be his legacy. Voters and cost be damned.

  5. The few places where rail, pedestrian, and car traffic is mixed together there is almost daily crashs, many are fatal, all delay the train and traffic. If I recall the demo train in Boise a few years back had a wreck on the first day?? and delayed the traffic near it too??

    A very stupid idea for a car-based town of this small size. VERY STUPID! Thus more money will be wasted. Will someone please buy the Mayor a toy train set so we can move on.

  6. Speckled Hen
    Aug 24, 2012, 11:19 am

    The irony was LaHood’s statement about federal assistance. What has federal money done to expedite the site selection process for a downtown transit center?

    LaHood and others ignore how Portland built their first streetcar line WITHOUT federal transportation funds.

    Further, the buying power of $1 in federal transportation funds is only 50 cents. The red tape, extra requirements, and time to do all of that greatly negate the impact of federal funding sources versus having state or local funding.

    If Boise really wanted it, they could devote 5% of the annual budget to a special fund for the streetcar. It could be mostly funded in 5 years (opposed to 10-15 years ahead of any federal process) at a much lower cost.

  7. @Brian V, for sure Obama has raised the national debt, but if you look at it in percentage of increase compared to the past five presidents, you see a very different picture. Please reference this link:

    And speaking of raising things, anyone takers on a wager that Boise City is the only taxing district in Ada County who raises its levy by the allotted 3% this year?

  8. Bring up public debt every time you speak with a politico. Rub their noses in it. It stinks, they know it does, but they plan to be retired before we need to clean it up. And try not to get sucked into the (D) vs. (R) discussion. They all have done this to us.

  9. Chuck Woods
    Aug 24, 2012, 5:06 pm

    I see nothing wrong with light rail. The problem is that the route makes no sense and doesn’t really get anyone anywhere. Light rail works in other cities but it is used as a transportation medium. The Boise plan goes in a tiny circle and not even on the streets that would be the most beneficial to residents. It might however save shoppers a few steps between stores, or drunks between bars.

  10. Bieter needs to buy a pair of bib overalls and an engineers hat and call it a day.

    A train for transportation in Boise makes no sense when we have such a crappy bus system.

    Fix the bus system so it actually serves the public before thinking about a train.

  11. Brian Vermillion
    Aug 25, 2012, 7:41 am

    There was a very timely news documentary on Fox last night about cities in America declaring bankruptcy due to overextending themselves. One of the main causes was city leaders wanting to create infrastructure by any means necessary. Some examples were trash incinerators (Dynamis),baseball stadiums(Boise Hawks), and sewer plants (lite rail). We don’t need yet another example of the failed Solyndra project. Bieter obviously subscribes to the theory of “Build it and they might come”.

  12. I have an idea for the Mayor. Bring passenger rail service back to southern Idaho. The air terminal can be used since the old depot is no longer handy.

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