Saturday, August 16, 2014

Take a Look at Some Recommendations for a New Boise Downtown Circulator

Posted By on Sat, Aug 16, 2014 at 12:00 PM

With very little fanfare (at least so far), the city of Boise's latest effort to introduce a so-called circulator—planner-speak for a streetcar, trolley or dedicated bus line—to its downtown core is moving forward. And some very interesting data is beginning to surface.

Boise Weekly readers have been hearing about  the new analysis for nearly a year, and this past February, the Department of Public Works turned to citizens, asking them to weigh in on what they would like to see.

In 2011, Boise secured a grant of $375,000 from Federal Transit Administration to fund a study of the circulator. Then, the city and the Capital City Development Corporation each ponied up $62,500. That still wasn't enough, apparently, because just last month, the Boise City Council pumped $63,000 more into the study, which now totals $563,000.

The analysis is expected to continue through next spring. If enough citizens and lawmakers are convinced to move forward, it would take approximately 12 more months to secure local funding commitments and, according to city documents, final design and construction could commence as soon as spring 2016.

According to feedback from last winter's open house, 54 percent of citizens said they preferred rail service versus 26 percent for a circulating bus line.

But where should the circulator go?

Take a look at the map below, indicating where citizens said they would like to see the circulator stop. High on the list was Boise State University and the downtown Core, which would drive a north-south route. Also high on the list was St. Luke's Hospital and the Linen District, which would drive an east-west route.

What's next? a public meeting is expected sometime this October. Plus, you'll be hearing more about a so-called LPA—or locally preferred alternative. A final LPA is supposed to be presented this December.

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