First Thursday: Think Smart, Think Growth, Think Smart Growth

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If you could take a commuter rail to work, would you? What about a streetcar? Idaho’s transportation questions need an answer according to Idaho Smart Growth’s staff and volunteers.

Idaho Smart Growth is a Boise-based organization dedicated to planning for an expanding population. That includes community planning, adopting compact building patterns, efficient infrastructure design, making development decisions fair and cost effective, and providing a variety of transportation choices.

Idaho Smart Growth’s Executive Director Rachel Winer told CityDesk, “With more people calling Idaho home, we’re seeing more cars on the road and growing traffic problems. For most of us, a car is the only way to get around. For others, not being able to drive seriously limits our mobility. Expanding transportation options could help improve our quality of life while giving people more ways to get from point A to point B.”

Later today, as part of First Thursday, Idaho Smart Growth will team up with COMPASS, CTAI, D.L. Evans Bank, Valley Regional Transit, ACHD-Commuteride, the City of Boise, Capital City Development Corporation, and the Idaho Department of Transportation for an evening of exploration and conversation about Idaho’s transportation future.

For the first time in years, Idaho communities have an opportunity to chart their own future and start solving transportation problems of mobility, traffic and safety at the local level.

The Governor’s Transportation Task Force is recommending several options to the governor, including a local option sales tax," said Winer. "A local option sales tax could help fund Idaho communities’ ability to keep roads and bridges safe, create reliable bus service and provide safe places to walk and bike. They meet next on November 23, and it’s important that they hear from Idahoans now.”

To get involved in the conversation, go to the Transportation Task Force comments page at http://apps.itd.idaho.gov/apps/WebCommentsTaskForce or join Idaho Smart Growth at their First Thursday event from 5-9 p.m. in the Empire Building on the corner of 10th and Idaho.