Popkey: A new chapter in Bieter-ACHD feud? Naw, just a glitchy sign (w/video)

dpopkey@idahostatesman.comApril 28, 2014 

Eddie Kyle, a sign installer for the Ada County Highway District, tries to read a glitchy electronic sign noting the month-long demo and describes the changes on Capitol Boulevard.

DAN POPKEY

A sign intended to announce a bike lane demonstration project in Downtown Boise doesn't effectively convey what's going on and will be repaired or replaced, says the Ada County Highway District.

The words "bike lane," "project" and "demo" were illegible to motorists as the project began on Capitol Boulevard Monday. The electronic sign for Downtown-bound traffic showed three screens over seven seconds. They read:

Bi ko Lono

Do∏o

Pro ioct

Capi til

Mai n St

Idaho St

April 28

To

May 31

"It's missing some letters or some lights are not working properly," said Eddie Kyle, a sign installer for ACHD, who said the sign is of an older design with fewer lights. (The video exaggerates the flickering.)

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, who has clashed with ACHD for years, wrote ACHD Board President John Franden last week saying the April 28-May 31 project is too short, too expansive and that the public hasn't been adequately informed.

"We strongly urge that it not go forward," Bieter wrote April 21.

ACHD spokesman Craig Quintana said Monday said the sign will be repaired or replaced. For conspiracy theorists who might infer the glitch was the latest iteration of the Bieter-ACHD feud, both Quintana and Bieter spokesman Adam Park dismissed that notion.

"We’re going to spend an estimated $50,000 and a whole lot of staff time on this demonstration, so it’s silly for anyone to suggest that we’d try to tank the pilot," Quintana said. "We want this thing to succeed or fail on its own so the Commission can make an informed decision."

Park said Bieter supports the new bike lanes "but has concerns about the way they are being presented to the public via this brief and somewhat rushed pilot program."

"But now that the pilot is proceeding, we encourage everyone to try out the new bike lanes and submit their comments to ACHD," Park said. "As for the sign, we don't think the malfunction was intentional."

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