Recently Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, on the heels of the record-setting snow and the ensuing challenges, urged again that Boise gain control of its roads. The issue was accountability for snow removal.
The city of Boise has always believed “there is nothing we cannot do better.” It is time to explore this possibility further. In this instance, Bieter, known for fiercely protecting and advocating for Boiseans’ quality of life, asserted Boise should be responsible for the snow removal on its own roads (see Guest Opinion by Mayor Bieter dated Jan. 13). Mayor Bieter stated, “It’s time to have the discussion of city streets being returned to (Boise).”
The Ada County Highway District currently governs Boise’s roads. I have great respect for the five talented elected commissioners, its director and staff, and their best efforts at maintaining and developing the roads in Ada County.
Of course that includes snow removal, the cause of the latest “dust-up” between the city of Boise and Ada County Highway District over control of Boise’s roads.
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As a Boise City Council member, we are tasked with economic development, land-use planning and public safety. Perhaps that should include snow removal. There are many times when having control of our roads would enhance decision making and planning. As Commissioner Paul Woods stated in his Guest Opinion (also dated Jan. 13) the “city of Boise can make some good arguments why Boise should control its own roadways.”
I would submit that this issue of who should control Boise’s roads be resolved by the voters. A clear and transparent debate about “control” of the roads in Boise and other cities in Ada County should occur. Let the voters of each city in Ada County decide this matter.
Scot M. Ludwig is a Boise City Council member. This opinion is supported by Boise City Council Member TJ Thomson.