Boise’s Team Dave To Ignore Will Of People With Yet Another Transit Survey

Despite repeated attempts at shaping public opinion through surveys, informational events, and “$24,500” expenditures for consultants, Boise officials refuse to take “NO” for an answer when it comes to Mayor Dave Bieter’s desire named street car.

Citizens overwhelmingly opposed every plan he has brought forth. The Idaho Statesman commissioned an independent survey which also came out opposed. At least half a dozen such polls and plans have failed, but Team Dave still yearns for the “Desire NAmed Street Car” or as it was previously known, “Trolley Folly.”

The GUARDIAN has posted on this ill conceived and wasteful spending approach since 2008. Boise uses our tax money to manipulate our opinions and so far the public has won, but most folks are probably ready to admit defeat…simply worn down by the government PR machine and bottomless pockets for funding.

Now a new consultant will take as much as $50,000 per year to work with a future consultant on a public transportation system in and around Downtown. What part of NO don’t they get?

Boise needs a decent bus system BEFORE anything else is even considered. You can call it “visionary,” or anything else, but the cart is way ahead of the horse. A downtown “circulator” wheeled trolley was tried and it failed for lack of use.

This time around, the city will “enlist the public’s help” in deciding which alternatives fit best. Which means which of the bad ideas has the most support. Any list alternatives should include, “no downtown transit requiring construction in our streets.”

A Public Works media spokesman claims the general idea is a system that runs into and out of Downtown in all four directions, connecting retail areas, neighborhoods, the medical corridor and Boise State University.

Other than that, as the Statesman’s Sven Berg says, “plans are vague. There’s no firm timeline for how long the study will take.”

Meanwhile, ACHD and the City of Boise, along with Capital City Development Corporation, Downtown Boise Association and Valley Regional Transit will hold an open house to introduce potential transportation projects for downtown Boise and gather public input–presumably for less than $50,000. The ACHD press release follows:

Boise- Mini-roundabouts, converting some one-way streets to two-ways and adding bike facilities – they’re just three of the potential transportation projects for downtown Boise that the Ada County Highway District and City of Boise want people to learn more about and provide input on at an open house this Wednesday.

ACHD, the City, along with the Downtown Boise Association, Capital City Development Corporation, and Valley Regional Transit are creating a plan for the downtown Boise area that will help coordinate roadway projects that are proposed, planned or have been requested. The plan will also create a timeline of when improvements will happen. Please see the attached map for the project area boundaries.

This Wednesday, people are invited to attend an interactive public open house where they will be encouraged to identify locations they think various improvements, such as the addition of bike lanes are needed. They will also be asked to identify routes they currently use to get to and from downtown Boise and will be able to comment on projects they think should be of highest priority, the conversion of targeted one-way streets to two-way streets, and whether mini-roundabouts should be used at certain downtown intersections over traffic signals or stop signs.

What: Public Open House for Downtown Boise Implementation Plan
When: Wednesday, February 13th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where: US Bank Building, 101 S. Capitol Blvd., 2nd Floor (across from the Egyptian Theatre)

For those unable to attend the open house but interested in reviewing the information and providing input, open house materials and an online survey will be posted to the ACHD web site,, on February 14. Comments will be accepted through February 27.

Additional public involvement is planned for this spring.

For more information on the Downtown Boise Implementation plan, visit

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Politicians no longer answer to constituents. The evidence of that occurred in 1995 when the Supreme Court gave the legislature back- term limits. Of course the politicians s%^& canned the will of the people. We still have no term lmits. Idahoans even voted those reps back in.

    Nationally its no better.

    This occurred agin in 2012. With a 9% approval rate, the voters of America voted back in 94% of the incumbents that they disapproved of.

    So yea, why would Bieter care what voters think? In fact his arrogant and cavalier attitude will probably get him another term.

  2. why oh why does the Mayor insist on this? There is a park plot that sits empty and full of weeds that could be developed for the cost of this streetcar.

    I moved in from Meridian to Boise last year and I thought I left stupid city governments that build expensive pet projects behind. Only to be reminded of the street car bit.

    Here is a plan…. take all the money they want to waste on the street car, and put that into better bus schedules, or increased operation hours.

    THAT would actually help the citizens that need transportation around the valley to shop or to work.

  3. Rod in SE Boise
    Feb 12, 2013, 2:38 pm

    Totally agree with the Guardian on this one.

  4. Agree with BG (again). But, I know Bieter’s intentions to make Boise a better place is a priority to him. This guy is one of the most honest people you will meet. He comes from a great family and is not in this job for any self-interests. He could make a bunch more money as an attorney than as mayor, but chose to follow in his Dad’s footsteps to make this a better place to live.

    So, I’d like to ask him to explain why he’s chosen to continue with this when the public says nada.

    I know someone that works with the city buses and he says the buses are extremely expensive and the upkeep is enormous. In fact, I understand we have to purchase used buses from other cities because of the cost. So, is this the reason? Or what?


  5. This is just another example, Boise City has collected too much tax money. Seems they always have extra money lying around someplace.

    For this nonsense to stop, reduce amount of money Boise City collects in taxes.

  6. Murphy has it exactly right. The city will SPEND every dime they get.

    For one of the MANY examples, look at how many personal trucks the fire department has- you can’t get a good sense of that number till you go to the West Boise PD/FD facilty on Emerald. Give it a tour.

    EDITOR NOTE–Eastern, you hit a nerve with that one. Would believe there in excess of 150 vehicles provided to coppers to drive to an from work? Most are unmarked and we simply don’t think there are that many people so important they need a $25,000 car with all the maintenance, insurance, and gas furnished by taxpayers–especially when we have other coppers on duty 24 hrs a day.

  7. If you build it they will come

    Mayor Bieter

  8. Sandy. Nice that you think Bieter is so great but I kind of think this gig as Mayor is way more lucrative for him than being a dime a dozen attorney.

    The busses purchased are brand new and while they are expensive to run, I suspect that if this area spent $40 million (the projected price of the bietertrolley – so far) we could have a really great bus system that had more routes with a lot more frequent times.

    Every light rail system in the country always ends up being twice as expensive as the backers say and the projected riders always are more than the actual riders. Boise isn’t really big enough for light rail and the trolley the city is pushing doesn’t really go anywhere.

    Apparently this “free” grant money is what’s driving the next episode in the trolley follies. And the city will continue to waste as much money as they can is search of fulfilling this pipe dream.

  9. So, neolibs of Boise, how is that big “D” suffix (oh yeah, in the North End it is used as a prefix) working out for y’all?

  10. For a single payment of $50k I will tell the Mayor:
    1. Boise is too small for a track based transit system well into the next century

    2. Natural Gas fueled busses are a flexible mode of transportation and a much cheaper option.

    Dang! I just gave it away for free..

  11. Imagine the man/woman hours spent by ACHD and the City of Boise, along with Capital City Development Corporation, Downtown Boise Association and Valley Regional Transit on just this open house.
    No wonder we are in trouble.

  12. Sigh, you all are missing the point.

    First of all, we have the Fairview/Main corridor sitting there almost entirely vacant. This is the chance of a lifetime to develop a whole large section of city.

    The problem is automobiles, not Bieter or North Enders or libs. It’s cars.

    The City can’t allow mid-rise construction on those vacant lots of West Downtown without requiring large parking lots or changing zoning law. Parking lots eat up a lot of land while not producing as much tax revenue as a building would.

    Therefore, a downtown circulating trolley connecting 30th with Broadway and BSU could/would allow for denser development.

    Quit being so cynical, a permanent trolley could easily pay for itself but sure, it won’t happen overnight.

    And again, how much have we spent in the last 10 to 15 years on widening 84, 184, The Flying Wye, Overland, Cole, Victory, Eagle, Chinden, Ustick, McMillian, Maple Grove, Five Mile, Franklin, and the Parkcenter bridges?

    A downtown trolley is a drop in the bucket compared to all those automobile subsidies.

    EDITOR NOTE–C’mon Cynic. You know that taxes on all the high end development you envision will go to CCDC so they can develop even more stuff. NONE of the tax on improvements will go to fund police, fire, parks, etc. You and your neighbors will get huge property value hikes and have city services provided at the expense of the little old lady on the Bench trying to make ends meet on social security. ACHD has dedicated a huge shift of budget to you 30th Streeters, at least have the decency to not try to make us buy you a trolley as well!

  13. thank you Guardian for continuing to follow the streetcar fiasco and Dave’s refusal to listen to his constituents. Dave Bieter loves to waste money! how about a story on all his boondoggle travel? Apparently both Mayor and Councilwoman Jordan are taking a taxpayer funded vacation to Norfolk, VA next week for the changing of command on the USS Boise! I really hate seeing my tax dollars wasted on that kind of crap! Absolutely NO benefit to local taxpayers! And didn’t Dave just return from a trip to DC? ridiculous!

  14. I think some one else is missing the point. The city has no money. No Money, No Spend. It’s pretty simple. Do the Majority want it. No. No permission, No spend. Look, I like the idea, it’s pretty cool. I questioned why we got rid of what we had before the City decided to get rid of it. The ROI is just not there.

  15. Jimmers….Dave doesn’t care if he City doesn’t have the money. He will continue to raise taxes at every opportunity and try to get federal money. He will not give up on this until we get rid of him!

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