Downtown Car Noise Bad, Bench Jets Good

We noticed a piece in the STATESMAN claiming guests at The Modern Hotel complain that noise from young “cruise” motorists keeps them up at night as they circle up and down Main and Idaho between Capital and 14th.

The former Travel Lodge Motel is at 13th and Grove and is now a hipster trendy motel-bar. Boise coppers are spending some extra enforcement time in the area responding to noise complaints. We are unaware of “directed patrols” in any other areas of the city focusing on noisy kids and cars.

If Team Dave and the City Council get their way, eliminating autos downtown, the cruise could turn into a swarm of bicyclists and the coppers could write hundreds of tickets for riding without front and rear lights and numerous traffic violations. Just a thought.

Boise police have previously reported they spend a full 25% of their resources in the downtown area–an area which provides little or no tax revenue to the city due to its status as an urban renewal district.

Seems ironic the city is so concerned about noise in a commercial area crowded with hundreds if not thousands of folks consuming adult beverages, but have little concern for potential F-35 fighter jet noise in residential Bench neighborhoods.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Dang it! I just bought me a surplus J75-P-19W for the truck. Was gonna cook some ricers with it.

    Noise? Meridian is calling for both concerned groups.

    Just curious, what’s the cash flow from downtown booze tax, DUI, court, probation?

  2. Police can worry about noise downtown. And they can (with concentrated effort) cite those who stop in an intersection downtown. But they won’t do anything about red light running anywhere because (as local news tv reported) “it’s hard.”

  3. Western Ada
    Jun 19, 2016, 1:27 pm

    Editor is WRONG on ‘little or no tax revenue from downtown because it’s in an urban renewal zone’. The city and other taxing districts DO receive property tax revenue from the base amount that was set when the urban renewal zone was created. The city and others do not receive additional tax revenue from increased assessed valuation above the base. The Capital City Development Corp receives these additional revenues.

    Get it right.

    EDITOR NOTE–You are correct and so am I. If you read previous posts we have explained in great detail about the Tax Increment Finance scheme that diverts revenues away from schools, police, fire, etc. to CCDC. The easy way to explain it is the “tax on improvements and appreciated value” (after the date the district was created). For instance the “base” on the Grove hotel and Century Link center is little more that $250,000 which means the tax on the rest of the value is diverted AWAY from the city, county, schools, and ACHD. California–where TIF was invented–has made major changes in urban renewal financing. Here is just one non-partisan view:

  4. I agree with the other comments it is misleading to say Boise receives little or no tax revenue from downtown.

    County property tax is only one type of tax– there is a LOT of sales tax being generated downtown and some of that comes back to the city. Liquor tax. Fees permits. Fines. Parking.
    As downtown flourishes, there is a mix of taxes to indirectly support the city. for example the new St lukes doctor is able to afford the million dollar house paying a lot of property taxes and is here to save the life of the poor old people so the old retirees can continue to pay their property taxes on the Bench too.
    Nonetheless CCDC should be dissolved. I

  5. By the way, a rear light is not required for bicycls in Boise (Idaho)!only a front light.
    /drivers test! 🙂

    EDITOR NOTE–East, as long as you are at it, check the city ordinance. We were delivered a copy from the 1920’s which mandated front and rear lights. No doubt it could have changed, however.

  6. Enforcing laws is much different than economic development. Especially when the economic development carries a big paycheck. Your analogy is like saying, Boise is okaying new tract housing by the thousands while ticketing the homeless for downtown camping.

    I agree about enforcement for all laws- bikes, cars etc… The 1922 Code only specifies front lights and a horn. Currently law (Boise 10-14-3D), only specifies front light and either a reflector or a light for the rear.

  7. Trevor Hitchin - Yours Truly
    Jun 20, 2016, 10:09 am

    upsidedown pyramids can only tilt for so long….it is exhausting though….and ultimately the natives get restles….

    no disrespect….but Dave is just a man, who has painted himself and a few 100/1000 of his followers into a corner….by design….his.

    you pay for his sticky fingers….
    and to that end…remember…and no disrespect….but the chicks in short skirts are downtown….the fights are downtown…the noise is downtown….the action……like in the movies is downtown…..only problem….the mayor and his brothers/cohorts….they are uptown….in a town that has no uptown….the boxes/dreams were built on sand…..the firemen all drive the trucks to see the chicks….the cops….same/same…..

    Bieter sits back and chuckles….and YOU pay the bill…..I never ate at Ruth’s….shopped at North Face….or even bought groceries at Trader Joe’s….couldn’t afford the goods and services…..anymore.

    Thanks Team Dave….I’ll pass.

    you should too…..
    it was your bucks he passed….
    i stop here.

  8. Trevor Hitchin - Yours Truly
    Jun 20, 2016, 10:25 am

    Lambs get silenced.
    Rams do not.
    In like one….out like the other.

    Please post my comments.
    Gag orders are stifling.
    Guard something.

    Thank you…happy first day of summer.. 😉

  9. Yossarian_22
    Jun 20, 2016, 11:00 am

    They call this a noisy “cruise?” LoL! Back when I cruised, there were REAL hot rods and so many of them that it looked like a car show downtown every weekend. There were light-to-light drags all the time and we had everything from 14 to 11 second capable cars down there. It was packed from Capitol to 16th St. Every parking lot was full of hot rods and kids. We knew how to do it. It’s all gone now. To me, it’s pretty quiet downtown. Harleys can still make some noise, though. In the end, I think that Boise should stop whining and enjoy their relative peace.

  10. Bicycles rules from the 1920s? I suppose a whale-oil lamp would have been required since reflective plastic reflectors were not yet available. Hilarious!

    The CURRENT Boise Ordinance matches the state law:
    No person shall operate a bicycle without the following equipment:
    A. Brakes..
    B. A -seat…
    C. A bell, the human voice or other audible warning device…
    D. When in use at nighttime, a red reflector on the rear visible from a distance of three hundred feet
    (300′) when directly in front of lawful upper beams of a motor vehicle, and a forward-facing white light attached either to the bicycle or the bicyclist which is visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet (500′) in front of the bicycle. A bicycle shall be equipped with a front facing white or yellow reflector when the bicyclist uses a generator powered light which is unlit when the bicycle is stopped.

    Not to be to far off-topic, but this is another example of the people coming from another state (or century) that expect Boise & Idaho law to match their previous experience.
    I recently read about people complaining of drivers “running the red light” because they didn’t understand the difference of “permissive yellow” and “restrictive yellow” traffic lights.
    Depending on where (or from whom) you learned ‘what is running a red light’, the answer is different.
    Or in this post, perceived bicyclist behavior is based on ‘when’ one was born. 🙂
    I talked to 2 BPD motorcycle cops last summer and they expressed ZERO interest in citing cyclists without a light- literally while dark bicycles rode past them. Must not be “enough revenue” to the city, eh?

  11. Yossarian wrote: “Back when I cruised, there were REAL hot rods and so many of them that it looked like a car show…”

    Exactly. And that’s why people fled downtown for the suburbs, by the thousands, no by the millions in every city in the land. And it’s why downtowns everywhere died a slow death from absentee land lording, neglect and disinvestment.

    Which lead directly to urban renewal programs which BG readers love to hate so much. You don’t like TIF urban renewal schemes? Huh? Then don’t let the neighborhood go to heck in the first place. Logic, how does it work? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, right?

    Remember when Giuliani saved NYC by cracking down on all the petty crime? No, it’s not as simple as that, but NYC, in an astonishing turn of events is now one of the safest cities in the USA. And not because there’s more guns. Oops, that’s another topic. Strike that, Judge Frazier.

    You CAN NOT ignore the petty crimes. Broken Windows Theory, study up:

  12. boisecynic, you make a good point for crime prevention and the Broken Window Theory. But that is not what BPD is doing. They are responding to a complaint- that is their only M.O. BPD, on their own, would not bother with such an insignificant infraction. Jaywalking, bicycle infractions, loitering, panhandling, and school zones, are examples of BPD ignoring everything except DUIs & drugs in downtown- unless there are citizen complaints asking for action. They are responsive, but not proactive.

    On the urban development districts- “Don’t let the neighborhood go to heck in the first place” would be much easier if all the tax dollars were available to ALL of the neighborhoods.
    CCDC creates inequality (that thing liberals love to hate). In this case it is geographic inequality. 10million dollars being generated from downtown is being spent on only downtown(elitism) instead of being spread throughout the city. Result – the Bench, South Boise, West Boise get ignored. Example- sidewalks on Hervey street get ignore (wait, there aren’t any sidewalks there for kids to walk to school. Granted, that is also ACHD’s problem). Meanwhile, CCDC money pays to rip up perfectly good sidewalk, cut down healthy trees and replace it with a brick sidewalk in downtown (2015).
    The primary liberal theory is, take from the rich (downtown) and redistribute to the poor (South, West) to make sure the disadvantaged “don’t go to heck”.
    That doesn’t happen with a URD. Instead the rest of the city degrades or has to pay more in taxes in order to keep up.

  13. So I guess the ultra-hip Modern Hotel was hosting the Idaho Socialist Party Steering Committee Meeting and their sister organization the North-end Neighborhood Association for a martini mixer/speed-dating/networking/Bernie Sanders fundraising event, when a loud car drove by, thus giving them the bright idea of one more way they could use the government to force other people to only have the available choices and personal freedoms they happen to agree with, and thus remove any possible offense to the sensibilities of their fellow patricians.

    Nice to know these elite never cruised a car when they were young, played their stereo too loud, drove too fast, revved an engine past 3,000 RPM, or any other such nonsense.

    People go downtown at night for the action and the noise, those complaining have lost touch with what downtown is all about. See and been seen, people watch, enjoy the action. I am downtown a lot, I am not young, these cars are not a problem worthy of focused enforcement. Sure…. enforce the laws we have the books with a steady hand, but increase resources to avoid an interruption to someone’s dinner conversation, no.

    I would rather live with cruising cars downtown, than in a society where the government thinks they need to remove such a freedom to protect me from choices.

  14. I, too, can remember the cruises of yesteryear. Good times. Downtown was different then, too… Penneys, The Mode, Falk’s ID, The Bon (formerly C.C. Andersons) department stores. Dive bars (Buffalo Club, Western Club) instead of yuppie microbrew places. Pawn shops. Purcell’s. Shoe stores. etc.

    (Frankly, I always thought Fairview Avenue up on the Bench would’ve been a better place for “the cruise.” But such things aren’t decreed – they just evolve.)

    Was it better? I’m sure I see it through the filter of nostalgia, but I think Boise was a better place to live with population 60,000 instead of 260,000. Despite the Connector and the mall and BSU Pavilion… er, I mean Taco Bell Arena.

    If only we had a choo-choo downtown, instead of all those noisy little rice-burner cars! (A choo-choo with a little ding-ding bell… NOT a 3-trumpet Union Pacific horn!) /sarcasm

  15. JJ wrote: “… a society where the government thinks they need to remove such a freedom to protect me from choices.”

    We are the gov’t and if a sizable percentage tell our elected reps to enforce this or that law then they should do it. But that’s not how code violations work really. It doesn’t take a percentage to request enforcement. It only takes one.

    JJ, your rights to do what you want end at my property line. I don’t see anything in the State of Federal Constitutions giving anyone the right to trespass with engine noise or tire noise.

  16. Laughable Statements
    Jun 22, 2016, 6:38 pm

    bc: If you think the people still have input you are dreaming. Look around, every thing from the Bush/Clinton/Obama dynasty selling us out to foreign donors to our own mayor flipping us the bird and closing Jefferson. The only thing the people are in charge of anymore is what channel of $hit they watch on TV… and the FBI wants to know what that is too.

    The people could be in charge, but due to 50 years of complete bullcrap from schools and the media, the people are clueless. The commies have been successful.

  17. Yossarian_22
    Jun 23, 2016, 1:55 pm

    Some other points. People DO and always WILL go to town centers because they desire a certain amount of hustle and bustle. It’s gonna be noisy to a degree. We like the nightlife and Boise’s version is pretty tame by most standards. I think it’s just about right.

    Boisecynic said that people fled for the suburbs. Well, that was the plan that Robert Moses laid out for real estate developers. Most of the kids I cruised with CAME from the suburbs. Some of my best friends came in from Kuna to cruise. Again, you can flee the city but then you want to dive back into it again right away. It’s called having your cake and eating it too.

    I will tell you this much, back in the 60s and 70s, downtown during the days were really packed with shoppers. What I see today is a sleepy market that looks real pretty but is pockmarked with commercial vacancies and weird cannibalized stores. So many buildings geared for a particular staple business are now schools and shops that don’t fit their genre. They are cleverly modified and it’s trendy, but it tells us that we are filling in the holes with makeshift services and sales. The real heart of what a successful economy looks like is much different. There used to be tons of market opportunity, but now there are just fads and filler concepts that die off. This is because we don’t build anything that’s tangible in this country any more. We import it and then fill in the local blanks with facades of an economy. I’ve seen both and so I can see the difference.

  18. Dave Bieter and the friends do not care about F-35 noise, because most flight tracks go south of airport.
    Bench homes, I think, they must consider a collateral damage to brand new F-35 mission.
    By the way, they have been told by Airport Director via Airport Noise study that F-35 are not any louder than F-15, if you looked at averaged DNL airport noise contours. The noise of new F-15 mission is louder than present noise contours, and they would be even louder if the number of take-offs and landings increased as in preparation for deployment in Summer 2015.
    F-35 are known to be at least 2x louder than F-15, and have to use afterburners at take off. So they cannot have same noise countours as F-15, assuming all else was the same in the noise model.
    But the noise study uses dbA units, instead of db. dbA are derived by applying a low frequency noise filter that takes off up to 55 db in low frequency range. Because, you see, not every human ear can hear it, while the buildings and windows will shake.
    Ultimately, they do not care because there are not enough noise ordinances and airport land buffer zonining laws in Boise, ID, to make them care.
    The FAA only cares about 1 mile out of the end of runway, and about 0.5 mile along the runway.
    Since F-35 peak noise is way higher of average civilian aircraft (that FAA required to be replaced by quieter new models), the averaged DNL countours from the airport do not adequately represent impact of new F-35 mission on the residential areas around the airport.

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