I am from Portland, Oregon, and had the opportunity to spend a week in Boise recently. I hadn’t been in the downtown area in many years. I was amazed at the growth, the restoration of things and the cool new buildings. Everything was so clean, there were trees everywhere, it was just stunning and I could even picture how it will still look good in the winter.
What amazed me more is how you are handling the growth. I live in a much larger metropolitan area and yet we don’t have a single four-lane highway. We aren’t even allowed to discuss it; you built it. You do need to educate your drivers that the left lane or lanes is for passing, not cruising along. That trend continues when you all cross state lines! I heard the gripes from longtime residents, but your freeway system is marvelous, please keep building!
I noticed that your suburbs were growing and, from a commercial standpoint, quite vibrant. Something as cool as old town Meridian would not survive out here. Perhaps because our government makes it hard for us to drive to places.
I read where your population increase is primarily coming from California, and we went through that over 20 years ago.
This is where I see the warning signs for your beautiful town. I saw a new bike lane that made no sense and was not near the university. I saw the electric scooters and assume the rental bike stands are taking up a parking place somewhere. While cool, it is also an early warning that that camel is sticking his head in the tent. The people behind these ideas and more have essentially ruined my town. They are sneaking in to Boise with shiny objects.
Don’t fall for the train or light rail speeches. Build more roads wherever needed. Caution yourself against centralized planning and the ilk that comes with it. Watch out for legalized marijuana advocates; the homeless will surely follow, and if you get suckered into a commuter train, they will move into the suburbs, as well. Picture your beautiful parks and walkways filled with tents, debris and human waste. This is what left-leaning thinking will bring you.
I haven’t done any research into your political arena, but they will invade city councils and planning commissions from out of state, and they will cram the ‘burbs with left-leaning voters, as well. Keep your eyes open for code words like “green spaces,” “bio swales,” “parking enhancement.” Seriously, when they remove parking places in Portland, they call it “enhancement.” Watch out for social justice warriors preaching inequity in urban design; it’s just code for herding people.
It is not a new concept, but still no less insane. People move to a beautiful and affordable city like Boise, and then try and turn it into the very place they left.
Please don’t let it happen, and you can do that at the voters box.