Bike Shop Wants Space For Cars

An example of “be careful what you wish for,” popped up this week when Mayor Dave Bieter sent a letter to the ACHD seeking to eliminate a left turn lane downtown in favor of on-street parking spaces in front of Intermountain Touring downtown.

Bieter is up for re-election in November.

Here is the Ada County Highway District press release:

Commissioners will consider altering the design of the freshly paved intersection that would keep parking on the west side of 13th Street – but that would come at the cost of a left-turn lane onto Main Street.

The current design would remove parking from in front of Idaho Mountain Touring, a sporting goods shop, to make room for the turn lane, which traffic engineers say will be needed as 13th is converted from a one-way, northbound street to a two-way street with southbound traffic. Without the turn lane, traffic will back up when drivers want to go east onto Main, they said.

The owner of Idaho Mountain Touring, Chris Haunold, has told the Commission that the parking is vital to his business. On Wednesday, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter sent a letter to the Commission urging the turn lane to be sacrificed in favor of parking.

“If the intersection proves to be problematic the dedicated turn lane can always be added at a later date and we can look at alternatives for replacing the parking, such as narrowing the sidewalk,” the mayor wrote.

A majority of Commissioners indicated they would like to consider the change at the September 23rd Commission meeting, which starts at 6 p.m.

As of today, the intersection of 13th and Main has been repaved and temporary markings show where the lane lines would go. Permanent striping has been held off as discussions continued over whether to save the parking.

The intersection design sprang from the Downtown Boise Implementation Plan, a joint project of ACHD, Boise City, the Capital City Development Corp. and a number of other partners. The plan has led to the conversion of 13th and a number of other streets from one- to two-way operation, among many other changes.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Bieter Begone
    Sep 17, 2015, 11:12 am

    Follow the money.

    Building containing Idaho Mountain Touring owned by 13th & Main LLC.

    13th and Main principal David Wali.

    David Wali VP of Gardner Company

    Gardner Company – huge donor to Bieter and also maxed out in donations to Woods and Goldthorpe from ACHD.

    So definitely give the donors what they want and let the driving public go spit. (Why a bike shop needs parking is a mystery.)

  2. How about a bike corral? There are a few in downtown Boise.

    Or maybe a Parklet!

  3. Kent Goldthorpe
    Sep 17, 2015, 1:14 pm

    Mr Frazier, since you sometimes like to pose as a stickler for full disclosure you may wish to check your facts once again considering candidate campaign donations. If you did you would discover that the Gardner Company maxed out contributions to many of last year’s ACHD candidates, including my opponent, Mitch Jaurena, and Bob Bruce, one of the opponents of Paul Woods.

    And you’re certainly welcome, Mr Frazier. I know you’ll be wanting to thank me for bringing this to your attention. Anything else I can do for you just give me a call.

    EDITOR NOTE–Mr. Goldthorpe, comments are honestly from a reader and are not mine. I do thank you for the info about Gardner hedging their bets by making payments to all the candidates. Just like the Statesman, Boise Weekly, and other blogs, we post comments from one and all.

  4. Bieter Begone
    Sep 17, 2015, 2:11 pm

    Mr Goldthorpe. It may be true that Gardner plays both sides against the middle. Sure comes in handy when they want something in return. Juarena and Bruce aren’t in a position to pay them back, but you sure are.

    So who will you back? The drivers who use the road or someone who gave you money for a quid pro quo. Thousands versus one. Follow the money.

  5. Bieter Begone, what exactly does Gardner Co. have to do with this? This sounds like Boise City and ACHD attempting to be more responsive and accommodating of affected businesses, regarding road changes nearby. Would you rather than ACHD listen less, and just do what they want?

  6. The story at that intersection and others downtown, is why in the heck has it taken so long?

    IMT has certainly lost sales due to that intersection being torn up, road closed, parking lost during construction.
    If they can’t install the traffic light posts until September, maybe they should not have ripped out the sidewalks in ?June?. It’s been so long I can’t remember.

    ANOTHER cluster by ACHD.

  7. Bieter Begone: Why a bike shop needs parking is a mystery.

    I can’t believe somebody really posted such a silly comment. (At least a “pen name” was used…)

    Um… Idaho Mountain Touring sells bikes. They also sell a wide variety of hiking, running, camping, cross-country skiing, etc., gear. And they must be doing it successfully – they’ve been in business, in several locations in downtown Boise, for years and years.

    And even if they only sold bikes… the vast majority of cyclists ride “toy” bikes – you know, for their bike-riding hobbies. They drive to get where they’re going, and their motor vehicles require parking spaces. (The thoughtless subsidization of vast motor-vehicle infrastructure is another topic for another day.)

    Surely the Big Brains at the “Downtown Boise Implementation Plan” realized that reconfiguring the streets would result in parking issues, intersection waiting-to-cross issues, etc.

    Like many other folks whose jobs force them downtown, I’ve seen the changes to the streets. Not sure I’ve yet witnessed how things are better now, than back in the one-way Dark Ages.

    (I hope I.M.T. gets their parking spaces – they are good people and I’d rather deal with locals than with the suburban chain sporting-goods and bicycle stores.)

  8. I can confirm that Gardner Co and Tom Alquist are in Beiter’s pocket and visa versa and that Alquist will do anything to preserve the CCDC and the money that flows.

    We live in a city were 5 bikes get more attention than 5,000 cars and the tax payers that drive them.

  9. Kind of on the topic, my prediction:
    these 2 way streets are going to be bad for downtown traffic.
    The street configuration was indeed bad before and needed to be changed- but ACHD/Boise went the wrong direction (get it? ‘wrong direction’).

    Within 2 years, more cycle/car collisions, more car/pedestrian collisions, and more cars driving aggressively, on those streets and at those intersections. 2cents.

  10. Ted, as far as I understand, Idaho Law is what is keeping the CCDC money flowing – the urban renewal/tax increment financing that redirects property taxes to CCDC. But these districts have an expiration date (I think the central downtown one expires next year or the year after).

    In this thread and others, it has been pointed out that cyclists are taxpayers too, and deserve infrastructure, especially where they’re most concentrated, which is downtown.

  11. I’ve parked there dozens of times. Darn near every time I’ve shopped at IMT. I would think they need those spaces.
    I also think all the bigwigs are evil, but not in this case, it’s a sensible decision. One of the very few…

  12. Bieter Begone
    Sep 18, 2015, 7:19 am

    Crony capitalism is alive and well in the bieter administration. Guess that’s okay when ones ox is not gored.

  13. What good is a bicycle if ya gotta strap it to a fancy overpriced stylish SUV anyway.

  14. Steve Rinehart
    Sep 19, 2015, 8:49 pm

    Looking past the conspiracy theories: IMT is more than a bike shop, and sells a variety of good outdoor activity gear; many who shop there, even for bike stuff, live aways away: if your bike is broken it is handy to drive to the bike shop. So, really, it is not unreasonable to suggest waiting off on the turn lane to see if there is a problem, and meanwhile keeping the parking in front of the store. FYI, I drive and bike.

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