Letters to the Editor

Letter: St. Luke’s

It’s not about Jefferson Street.

The public debate on St. Luke’s Master Plan has focused on the closing of Jefferson Street. The bigger question is whether the current location is the best place for a regional medical campus.

The plan envisions five new buildings, with two more than 6 stories tall, one extending over 1st Street, and one on top of Jefferson Street. St. Luke’s anticipates 13,262 additional car trips per day and patients traveling from a 350-mile radius. How will this proposed campus between Downtown and a historic neighborhood, and additional traffic throughout the city (Broadway, Front/Myrtle, Main/Idaho, State Street), impact Boise?

St. Luke’s is a critical economic player and service provider for Boise and the surrounding area. The proposed regional medical facility is likely to provide economic and health care benefits to the region. Wouldn’t the city still benefit from additional jobs, visitors and health care services if the additional facilities were farther from downtown, where projected population growth is likely to occur and St. Luke’s could continue to expand? Would the cost be significantly different?

If expansion at the current location is the best option, then, yes, let’s debate whether Jefferson Street has to be closed.

Kathy Stearns, Boise