Boise Council Takes Up Health Care, Taxis and 'Belvederes' 

Belvederes are safety features which provide pedestrians or bicyclists with a way to step out of the flow of traffic.

The Boise City Council has a full agenda Tuesday, Dec. 17.  In one of their last meetings of 2013, lawmakers will be asked to take up rules for city taxi drivers, new designs for the Broadway Avenue bridge over the Boise River and the creation of a new health care plan, among other issues.

At the stroke of midnight Jan. 1, 2014, a new joint public agency self-funded health care plan is scheduled to go into effect, covering city of Boise employees and workers with Valley Regional Transit. A joint powers agreement between the city and VRT will require the creation of a new oversight board which, on Tuesday, the City Council will be asked to populate with five appointed trustees.

Earlier this year, the City Council voted to support the design for a new Broadway bridge, which would include a 10-foot continuous sidewalk and six flared so-called "belvederes"—safety features which provide pedestrians or bicyclists with a way to step out of the flow of traffic. The Council is now being asked to pare down its options and cost estimates on railing designs for the bridge.

Finally, officials will also be asked to update the Boise City Code chapter on taxicabs. A recent review by the Federal Aviation Administration found that the code didn't address nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in the provision of taxi services, didn't address acceptance of service animals and didn't require taxi operators to have accessible vehicles.

Taxi operators have been sent letters, notifying them of the changes, including the requirement to transport personal mobility devices (like wheelchairs), and prohibiting taxicab drivers from charging an additional fare or fee for assisting a person with a disability or a service animal.

The Dec. 17 meeting is set for noon.


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