The order of the day was umbrellas, a ribbon cutting and a giant fish (public works mascot Eddy Trout), as Boise Mayor Dave Bieter and his Garden City counterpart John Evans christened the new 36th Street Greenbelt Bridge.
The bridge is located at the end of Pleasanton Avenue on the Boise side of the Boise River and the end of 36th Street in Garden City.
"This is the first of a series of major improvements coming to the 30th Street Extension and Esther Simplot Park," said Bieter. "I look forward to the day that residents can use this bridge to observe kayakers using the river park below."
But not everyone joined in the party. Gary Segers, representing Citizens for an Open Greenbelt, told Citydesk that Greenbelt bicyclists are still prohibited through a 1.5-mile stretch in Garden City, sending them through a 2.5-mile detour.
“The detour is unsafe,” Segars said. “You think Mayor Evans would say: ‘Let’s talk.’ But he’s been incredibly reluctant. What he will tell you is that the Greenbelt path is unsafe. But the street isn’t more safe.”
“These claims are without merit,” Evans responded. “The detour is one of the most beautiful rides in town. This is a residential area with a 20 mph speed limit and dedicated bike lanes. That’s as safe as it gets.”
The debate may end in court—COG has sued the state of Idaho and Garden City.
As for today, Boise and Garden City can boast a new bridge ready for walkers and cyclists alike.