More evidence raises the question on 15-minute cities by including a string of bikeways in Ada County.
Dust off your bike folks, who needs a car? That means families, elderly and the disabled community, rain, shine, hail, or snow. Ada County Highway District (ACHD) is implementing bikeway corridors throughout Ada County. The current corridor planning started in 2022 and is projecting a Five-Year Plan to 2026. Included in this plan is a Bike Master Plan with the motto “ACHD Supports You However You Choose to Travel.” This plan is to “connect you to where you want to go.” It gives adequate space for cars and bicycles.
These corridors include a “Low-Stress Bikeway Network.” Be prepared to share the road with bikes. One can find this already in Hyde Park in the North End Boise and elsewhere. Picture yourself driving so slowly behind a group of bikes. Courtesy and common sense no longer needed and replaced with entitlement.
Is this happening in your neighborhood? Are you seeing construction and not really clear on what is going on? The following is a list of bikeway corridors from the Ada County Highway District’s 2022-2026 5-year plan.
- 11th St Bikeway, State St / Heron Street — 2022-2023
- Liberty St Bikeway, Douglas St / Denton St – 2023
- Ustick-Northview Bikeway Connection, Shamrock Ave / Milwaukee St & Poplar St Bikeway, Milwaukee St, to Orchard St. This plan is in pre-adoption.
- Nez Perce Street Corridor Study – 2024
- Garden St Bikeway, Cassia St / Greenbelt – 2024
- Columbia Village Bikeway, Hwy 21 / Boise Ave – 2025
- St Bikeway, Resseguie St / Bannock St – 2025
- 43rd St Bikeway Connections, Ustick Rd / Greenbelt in Garden City – 2026
- Bannock St Maintenance and Bikeway, Broadway Ave / Greenbelt – 2026
- Hollandale-Targee Bikeway, Locust Grove Rd / Entertainment Ave – 2026
- Linder-Meridian Bikeway, Pine Ave / Temple Dr – 2026
- School Ave Bikeway, King Rd / Deer Flat Rd – 2026
The recent corridor that Ada County Highway District is implementing is the Ustick/Northview & Poplar Corridor. Let’s take a look at the plan. This corridor goes from Shamrock Avenue close to Ustick to Orchard Street which enables a bike rider to get downtown quickly.
The road sections in purple have bike lanes. The roads that are yellow mean they are a low-stress shared street bikeway. This gives bike riders the authority to ride down the middle of the lane. The roads with dots in them have traffic calming features including curb bulbouts which narrows the street, speed cushions which are vertical humps in the street, and neighborhood traffic circles which have raised islands placed at major street intersections.
There are other bikeways that have already been implemented. With this 15-minute city concept in question, is this “convenience” really convenient? Those that would love this concept already do this within their personal lifestyle. Come on, who would object to these bike corridors, this wouldn’t affect me? This one size fits all approach to transportation and getting rid of the carbon footprint isn’t showing the progression of the 15-minute city honestly. Is this our transportation future? How will we easily camp over the weekend? Not only would long-distance planning become difficult, how would families travel? What about the elderly and
disabled? Not everyone can work from home. Not everyone goes downtown. Not everyone has the desire to ride their bikes in the snow. Alarmingly, Boise is not the only area included in ACHD’s plan. It is spreading to all of Ada County. The shared-street bikeway discourages cars from going down particular roadways. Ultimately closing off roads to motorists. It doesn’t make sense that those who live on a particular street are the only ones who can drive on it. People who are driving cars may need to take a longer way around to get to their destination to avoid the shared-bike road.
Even The View’s Whoopi Goldberg complained to then Mayor de Blasio on his bicycle infrastructure expansion and the traffic nightmare in New York City. This plan doesn’t seem to have worked elsewhere. Is this part of the ‘bikes good’ / ‘cars bad’ mindset? Is this just the beginning? Let’s keep a watch on what is going on in our valley.
Authors: Jackie Davidson and Christi Warhurst, Ada County Concerned Citizens
This Op-Ed was submitted by Jackie Davidson. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.
Tags: 15 Minute City, 15 Minute Neighborhood, ACHD, Ada County, Ada County Highway District, Bike Corridor, Bike Master Plan, Bikeway, Boise, Traffic, Transportation