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Boise Weighs In On ACHD's 20-Year Traffic Plan


City of Boise officials will be asked this week to weigh in on a 20-year plan for the agency that manages the city’s streets.

The Ada County Highway District will be holding public hearings later this summer on its substantial to-do list. While Boise City Hall and ACHD haven’t always seen eye-to-eye on how to govern roads in the City of Trees, they’ll need to come up with some agreement on priorities.

The chief reason? The more than 200 projects on the agency's agenda have a total price tag of more than $856 million. A good chunk of that would be funded through impact fees.

In particular, city planners want ACHD to give attention to five projects:
  • The so-called Emerald Corridor, an east-west bike route connecting Meridian, Southwest Boise and the city’s Central Bench neighborhood to downtown Boise. Currently, the proposal is to expand that corridor to five lanes for vehicular traffic, but city staff says the corridor is increasingly important for bicyclists and would prefer that much of the thoroughfare remains at three lanes.
  • The corridor that links Ustick and Cole roads to Curtis Road. The city wants a closer examination of traffic and growth patterns that link neighborhoods to the busy Cole and Ustick intersection.
  • A higher priority given to the city’s 36th Street extension, north of Cartwright Road to Bogus Basin Road. City staff has already indicated the area for next year’s update to the Master Street Map.
  • Concerns for proposed traffic signals on Hill Road at Collister Drive and Pierce Park. The currently proposed model shows new signals and intersections widened to three lanes (adding a dedicated left-turn lane). In particular, city staff say they’re worried the traffic signals would result in more so-called “green time” on the already-busy Hill Road, encouraging even more traffic on the street, thus pushing more cars to the city’s North End instead of State Street.
City of Boise transportation planners are scheduled to brief the City Council on the plan and their recommendations Tuesday, June 28.