City Council has an opportunity to facilitate a win-win solution to St. Luke’s expansion by insisting that the option of a bridge over Jefferson Street undergo more strenuous review. City residents, especially East-enders, strongly support health care and love having St. Luke’s in our neighborhood. But our support of the expansion cannot include tossing excellent urban design to the wayside and destroying quality of life even for a business that has our support. This issue is far larger than merely saving a few commuters’ route. It has to do with preserving Boise’s unique quality of life that prioritizes small city blocks of walkable/bikeable streets. The guiding principles of Blueprint Boise clearly disallow any business, no matter how beloved, from gobbling up city streets to create user-unfriendly “superblocks” for convenience. St. Luke’s says it needs to take Jefferson to ensure their ER is on the same floor as other services. Yet most of St. Luke’s expansion will be in new medical buildings and a Children’s Pavilion that don’t impact Jefferson Street at all. It’s time to build a bridge – literally – between great health care and the healthy urban design that has become a hallmark of Boise.
Mardi Stacy, Boise