Letters to the Editor

Stearns letter: St. Luke’s expansion

The expansion of St. Luke’s may be in the best interests of Ada County residents, but the “proposed” expansion is not. The proposed expansion would close Jefferson Street, a vital east-west through street for Boise, place a regional medical center far from any major thoroughfare, and generate enormous traffic on Broadway, Warm Springs, State and Fort streets.

A cycle track around the campus would cross busy campus entrances, creating a safety hazard. Most patients would travel from the Connector or I-84 across town. Ambulances would navigate heavy traffic generated by new medical office buildings (nearly half of expansion).

Couldn’t some medical office buildings be located on other St. Luke’s property, such as near the Connector, closer to the majority of patients? Wouldn’t that ease traffic congestion and mitigation costs? Wouldn’t that allow St. Luke’s to expand emergency facilities without closing Jefferson?

Aren’t there other options that would allow St. Luke’s to expand without taking over another section of city streets? I hope the Ada County Highway District recognizes that denial of the petition to close Jefferson (on June 22) is not a decision against St. Luke’s expansion, but a decision for an expansion in the best interest of Ada County residents.

Kathy Stearns, Boise