Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Boise Votes 2011: Elections and Bicycles

Posted By on Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 8:49 AM

As Boise Mayor Dave Bieter rode a wave of support to victory Tuesday night, along with Council Members Elaine Clegg, David Eberle, Lauren McLean and Councilman-elect Ben Quintana, transit became a hot election night topic.

Bieter told Citydesk that he believed bicycle transportation would become a higher priority in the near future.

"We've taken some good steps, some early measures," said Bieter, pointing to the city's "three-feet-to-pass" law, which requires motorists to grant cyclists three feet of space.

Quintana said that he was eager to begin improving alternative transportation such as bike paths.

"Economic development tools is what those end up being," said Quintana. "I'm excited to start working on that today and improving not only the bike lanes but making it more safe for bicyclists. Hopefully, we can overtake Minneapolis and Portland and become one of the best bicycle-friendly communities in the country."

Bieter, Quintana and Council Member T.J. Thomson all mentioned local-option sales tax as the best bet for expanding public transportation.

"Having multiple options for local pedestrians, bicyclists and, hopefully, rail will come down to local-option tax authority," said Thomson. "It could be integrated over an estimated three- to four-year period."

Similarly, Quintana stated that improving alternative transportation, such as expanding bicycle paths, would help invigorate the economy and make Boise attractive to new businesses.

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