There are many factors at play with regard to the debate over the bike lane experiment which goes beyond a simple “car vs bike” issue.
We support the “wait and see” attitude of the ACHD. The agency which maintains and manages 2,100 miles of streets in Ada County has not ruled against accommodating bikes in Boise. The agency has simply said, “not now and not the way the Boise City Council wants it.”
The council has a history of getting its own way, but more often than not the city gets slapped down by the courts. Easy to bully, bluff, and manipulate the little people, but when faced with voters and judges its often a different story.
Under Mayor Dave Bieter’s “Team Dave,” we have seen repeated studies to get a trolley, multiple locations for a transit center, and stacking other agencies with Bieter-friendly members. They also have repeatedly used public funds to hire public relations firms to manipulate public opinion in favor of their desires.
Maryanne Jordan took to the air on KBOI AM 670 radio just hours before yesterday’s ACHD meeting trying to gin up support for bike lanes. While she pooh-poohed the public opinion poll conducted by ACHD, she sought to have the city position get special treatment at the hearing.
The city has ignored the constitution on long term debt issues, voting issues, panhandling, and lost every time. They worked to subvert an ACHD legislative tour during the Valentines Day massacre of 2013 when a staffer in the mayor’s office caused an anonymous letter critical of ACHD to be delivered to tour members.
Boise ignored ACHD when they placed “hockey puck” parking meter sensors in the street without permission. ACHD won that fight, despite Boise claiming they “had to do it” in order to take advantage of a visit by the vendor of the devices.
There’s a lot of bad blood between ACHD and Boise City and we don’t see it getting better soon. Look for Team Dave to get another pro-Bieter ACHD member like Jim Hansen.
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Jun 5, 2014, 5:34 pm
Dave, I agree that government in this little out of the way berg seems to ride ruff shod on the citizens of Boise. While the city (mayor Dave and council) and its charges (city departments) are no doubt guilty almost daily of as you said bullying, bluffing, and manipulating the little people. This is especially egregious when the govt. entity is allowed to make up or decide which rules they will follow and which ones the average citizen must obey.
It does seem to me though that this expands further than just Boise and its city council. It seems to happen throughout the valley it permeates the legislature, and even happens in public-private business deals. IE the infamous drunken theft and subsequent wrecking of a truck and trailer by a legislator, the trash to energy debacle, the way some public employees indiscretions are treated as personnel matters instead of legal matters ect.ect. I think it is particularly poignant that you mentioned the panhandling issue today of all days. In Boise an individual will be at the very least harassed for standing on a street corner begging for money while on Fairview today all 4 corners of an intersection had public employees running thru traffic begging motorists for cash. I know today it wasn’t in Boise but this summer we will see the exact same thing happening with members of BFD.
It is sad when a govt. says to its “people” do as I say… and don’t expect me to follow the same rules.
Jun 5, 2014, 7:26 pm
I like that these two agencies have some friction. Without it they’d spend spend spend.
Jun 6, 2014, 11:49 am
ACHD should be doing what the cities want- as they profess they do. If the city wants to be stupid and wants unsafe bike lanes, so be it. That’s on the city.
The only justification for a county wide road agency is for economy of scale.. even that is a weak argument, when you consider private contractors achieve economy of scale when they are allowed to bid on contracts from all the cities.
ACHD should be working for the cities, not fighting them.
Jun 6, 2014, 11:59 am
Dave – you don’t support a wait and see approach – you support a never change a thing approach. To truly wait and see, ACHD should wait until August to uninstal the bike lanes, when they begin an already planned resurfacing of those streets. Uninstalling them now causes unnecessary expense. Adding to it, five weeks is certainly not a sufficient trial period. Waiting until August would save taxpayer money and give residents a fair oportunity experience the new bike lanes during peak riding season.
Your disdain for the city counsel and mayor aside, you should applaud efforts to increase bike safety – especially considering the trajic numbers of bikes hit by cars. You’re correct to state that it is deeper than ‘car vs. bike.’ With your website, it’s Boise Guardian vs. any decision made by Boise city.
Jun 7, 2014, 3:41 pm
Biker… what is the sense of keeping the bike lanes when they got so little use. The tax payers could have saved a lot of money if this waste of time had never happened.
Jun 8, 2014, 9:40 am
I don’t know how any meaningful data can be assembled in such a short time frame. They spent a lot of money putting the bike lanes in why not run it for the entire summer before pulling the plug?
I do support ACHD as the final word on all things regarding streets and hope this was a wise data driven decision.
Jun 8, 2014, 11:58 am
Power Plays? Not really it is just a compete disregard for common sense and what the vast majority know is best.
When you think you are smarter than the voters, disregard their stated preferences and think all other elected officials should just do what you tell them – and demean those who have a different view than you do some call it arrogance.
We live in a city where the minority believes they can overrule the majority.
Jun 8, 2014, 5:09 pm
Fly… I think the smarter thing would have been not to do it in the first place. IMHO all we really need is some better educated/safer bikers. They are the ones at most risk and yet they fight any type of regulation on them.
Jun 8, 2014, 9:30 pm
Zippo, they spend, spend, spend anyway. Go to the West police office and see how many ‘regular’ BFD vehicles you find. Take a count of the police cars sitting around.
ACHD would like to put 10 traffic lights on every intersection. BW just covered how they have 2 people watching all those useless cameras around town so the local TV can broadcast traffic reports. You give it, they’ll spend it on lots of useless stuff.
But oddly enough ACHD doesn’t own the machine to “remove” those bike lane street candles and that is the reason they can’t wait till August.. the machine (the company) is leaving the area… makes you wonder why the machine was here to start.