Opinion » Mail

October 11 — October 17

Bury the Dig

So city councilor Alan Shealy wants to put Front and Myrtle underground (BW, "The Little Dig," September 27). Sounds like Boston's big dig to me. Does Mr. Shealy really think the people of Boise are that stupid? Come on, the problem is plain and simple: too many cars. Here are some cost effective ideas:

1. Set some land aside and create mandatory park and ride for people working downtown and suggested park and ride for shoppers.

2. As in London, tax every vehicle (except emergency vehicles) that drives in downtown Boise.

3. Tax people who drive vehicles with only one person in it. This would encourage carpooling, park and ride, mass transit.

4. Offer incentives for those who use other modes of transportation. motorscooters, motorcycles, bicycles. How about this novel idea: walking. How about the city buying a person a pair of walking shoes? It's still cheaper than those two ditches.

5. Start a commuter rail system that goes from Boise to Caldwell. Doing any of the above will lower the amount of vehicle traffic, lower the amount of pollution in the valley, reduce road rage, lower the amount of vehicle accidents.

I will fight this "big dig" until my last dying breath. I suggest council man Shealy dig a hole in the ground and stick his head in it.

--Thomas Conn

Boise, Idaho

Bikers Face Uphill Climb

With the concerns of increased fuel prices, ozone and global deterioration I have turned to transportation of a simpler kind. I am now am one pedal closer to joining the elite of conservationists. Yet, as I am passed by fuel-inefficient super terrain vehicles on the tight streets of downtown Boise, it appears I have joined an extreme sport as well. This became increasingly apparent recently when a friend and I were bicycling  through Hyde Park while a car sped by cuttingly close. One passenger yelled, "Get on the sidewalk, it's safer!"  The same idea must have been shared by another individual who, earlier this summer, squirted me with a water gun. How can such a conscious and respectable community banish the laws of the road, where a bike equals any other automobile? I have also found it disheartening to find on my routine jaunts to local establishments inadequate parking for my two-wheeled transport. One employee dangled a cigarette from his lips and while sending curls of smoke in my direction and motioned toward some cement blocks in an area designated to balance bikes against. Since I wanted to actually lock my bike to something, I ultimately left it chained to a fence in a walkway, potentially in path of others. If this community truly believes in a progressive movement of preservation, respect should follow.

--Adrian Thompson,


Stop Da Prop

Please vote no on Proposition 2. Our private property rights are already protected by the U.S. Constitution and by Idaho House Bill 555. Prop. 2 is a Trojan Horse. Prop 2 allows out-of-state developers to put in anything they want to build next to your property, your church, your local school, your business, or anywhere in your neighborhood. Under this proposition, if the city or county denies such a permit, the landowner can file a lawsuit seeking compensation or the city/county would have to repeal the ordinance. Prop 2 could cost Idaho taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits. A similar initiative passed recently in Oregon. Taxpayers there face claims exceeding $5 billion. No wonder Governor Jim Risch and the Idaho Association of Counties oppose this initiative.

Proposition 2 would dismantle local planning and zoning ordinance efforts to protect your home and property values from the noise, smell and pollution of inappropriate land uses. If Prop 2 passes, it would increase the problem of sprawl in your local neighborhoods.  Proposition 2 would allow outside developers to buy property in Idaho and do whatever they want with it. Vote "No." on Proposition 2 at the ballot box on November 7.

--Kathy Richmond,