In April 2011, Boise Weekly first told readers about something called SSTTOP—or State Street Transit and Traffic Operation Plan—a little known, but high-impact blueprint for one of Idaho's busiest corridors.
"All of our figures indicate that we would need nine lanes on State Street just to accommodate our growth," said Kathleen Lacey, a senior planner for the City of Boise back in 2011. "If we don't go with expanded bus rapid transit, and if we don't get a HOV [high-occupancy lane], we would fill up nine lanes of traffic by 2035."
The Ada County Highway District has counted more than 30,000 vehicles on State Street on an average weekday, and say that by 2035, an additional 26,950 cars could be added.
"It's unsustainable," said Lacey. "In terms of traffic flow, we simply can't keep pace with the increase in population."
Nearly two years later, the Boise City Council will be asked this Tuesday, March 12 to adopt a revised State Street Transit and Traffic Operation Plan that recommends implementation of a seven lane cross-section on State Street with two lanes dedicated to transit and other high-occupancy vehicles.
The plan "recommends projects to expand the capacity of the transit system and bicycle and pedestrian facilities and to design State Street to accommodate all travel modes."
City of Boise planners will ask Mayor Dave Bieter and members of the Boise City Council to adopt the operational plan as an amendment to Blueprint Boise, the city's comprehensive plan.