Now it's open warfare between the City of Boise and the Ada County Highway District. After fighting via memo (BW, News, "Battle Over Ustick Heats Up" 7/26/06) the two will now meet in court.
Just days before the were set to meet in a mediation-style setting, ACHD opted to sue the city in Fourth District Court. They argue that the city's July adoption of its Comprehensive Plan amendments went against ACHD's hegemony over area roads.
"Going to court is aggressive, but if we can get their elected officials to treat ours as equals, it would be worth it," said Craig Quintana, a spokesman for ACHD.
The battle is over whether or not ACHD has the authority to widen Ustick Road to move cars, when the city wants to protect the neighborhoods that border the road. But the court case will be nothing short of a referendum on controlling growth in Boise.
"If we've learned anything about urban planning in the past 20 years, it's that land use and transportation must go hand in hand," said Mayor Dave Bieter in a prepared statement. "Separate the two, and you end up with a disaster." A June 1 opinion from the Idaho Attorney General's Office states that ACHD is the entity with the control over Ada County's roads, not city hall. The city will get one thing it wanted--delay of Ustick construction. While they wait for the court to rule, ACHD has decided to halt further work on Ustick, which was slated to begin this winter.