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Op-Ed: Is The City Of Boise Poised To Become A 15 Minute City?

By • March 6, 2023

Is the city of Boise poised to become a “15 Minute City?” A string of evidence gives those that are paying attention to their local government pause to connect the dots.

Are there changes being made to our beautiful Boise? In the fall of 2022, there was public testimony on redistricting the City of Boise to help with equal representation on the City Council. This was a solution to a problem where many City Council members lived in Boise’s North End. This was a great idea since much of West Boise didn’t feel the love from the city, unlike the North End, East End, and Central Bench. Now a city council candidate must live within one of the six newly drawn districts. The challenging effort to equally divide a community isn’t always easy and you can’t please everyone. There was a large group of West Boise residents that objected to map 11’s districting lines. It still passed by unanimous vote. While disappointing, it still gave Boise equal representation throughout greater Boise. West Boise’s needs would be met with more accuracy and promptness.

There has been a great push for carbon free transportation. E-bikes, bicycles, public transportation and walking is highly encouraged. Many bike-lane corridors have been popping up throughout the greater Boise area. The idea is to give citizens easier access to Boise Downtown. The green belt is no longer the one size fits all bike-friendly pathway around Boise. Although parking has become more difficult, the green approach to transportation is a great personal sacrifice to help the environment, right?

Boise has enjoyed 60 years of successful zoning codes. When the current Boise Mayor got into office, she showed interest in modernizing Boise’s zoning codes. As of late, there have been many visible Don’t Upzone Boise signs popping up all around Boise. What is Upzoning? This has been tried in Seattle, WA and Austin, TX. What it does is rewrite city code. This allows a developer or investor to buy a single-family home in a nice quiet neighborhood, knock it down and erect a 3-unit triplex or a 12-unit apartment. Street parking appears to be encouraged which will cause congestion, one-lane roads in some areas and will be an overall eye sore. Live-work communities will still encourage community input. However, this gives businesses permission to potentially open up a shop on every corner. One out of 4 units are required to be “affordable.” How does Boise City define affordable? Will these units be affordable to the people that already live here or is the target market those that are moving here? Will many Boise natives be displaced from their current home?

With all of this said, there has been buzz around the world of 15-minute cities. Oxford, England is aggressively implementing their 15-minute city despite the residents’ push back. They are dividing the city into 15-minute neighborhoods where shopping, entertainment, and general necessities will be within walking distance. They sell this as a solution to better the environment. Paris, Toronto, New York, and Cleveland, Ohio are now fully implementing these 15-minute cities. There is a 20-minute city in Portland, OR and also 10-minute cities or 15-minute villages that are being proposed around the world. Is this an indication that Boise, Idaho could become the next 15-minute city? Signs point to this possibility. More to come on this story.

Authors: Christi Warhurst and Jackie Davidson, Ada County Concerned Citizens

This Op-Ed was submitted by Christi Warhurst. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.

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Tags: 15 Minute City, 15 Minute Neighborhood, Affordable housing, Boise Mayor, Carbon-free transportation, High Density Housing, Lauren McLean, Live-work communities, Upzoning

23 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Is The City Of Boise Poised To Become A 15 Minute City?

  1. It would be interesting to see what part the hundreds of new 5G Small Cells play in this new 15 minute Smart City!! I hope that you can address that in a future article. Also, why is the North End and SouthEast Boise pretty much devoid of these new 5G Small Cells? I would love to know the answer to that question.

  2. Boise is captured, UN Agenda 2030 is on its way, face scanners are a crucial element to this Orwellian nightmare, no leaving your ‘zone’ without permission.

  3. From the Title we were hoping the entire current government of Boise was going to be dismantled and laid to rest in the next 15 minutes.

    Yet all we get is more Communism, not good.

  4. Mayor McLean is 100% on board with the globalist agenda. I’m sure she can’t wait to lock us down during the next plague and not let us leave our 15-minute city.

  5. “60 years of successful zoning”

    Perhaps successful for the people who got to buy when the market was cheap. But if the current housing situation is a reflection of Boise’s zoning “success”, maybe we need to redefine what success looks like.

    Also, it’s actually nice not having to drive everywhere. Being able to walk / bike places will not only be more pleasant, but cut down on drunk driving (a regular Idaho tradition!) and vehicle deaths.

    Car manufacturers have sold the lie that cars equal freedom, which dissolves when you think about it at all. Cars need roads, highways, parking, licensing, insurance,

    1. Well since Boise seems to be building more than ever, evenn attaininng one of the fastest growinnnng places innn the country- it certainly seems successful at providing growth. Any popular place like gets more expensive as it becomes more popular. There are places in Boise you describe. There is also a healthy mix of singlle family homes, apartments, condos, townhomes, even manufactured homes- balance is the key. Cars certainly do bring a certain amount of freedom depending on how you use them. I enjoy camping, road trips, hunting and fishing to destinations I wouldn’t try to ride a bike!

    2. “It’s actually nice not having to drive everywhere” when you’re 20 years old, single, healthy and the weather is mild and sunny. It’s easy for these people to walk and bike everywhere. It’s not-so-easy for the rest of us, including the elderly, parents with young children, the disabled and most people who work for a living. And what about rainstorms, snowstorms, heat waves and other weather? It’s not-so-easy many times of the year. This is another radical left feel-good idea that isn’t practical for most people.

      1. None of the changes on offer would prohibit folks who need to use automobiles from doing so, they simply make it easier for those that would be interested in cycling and walking to do so.

        I think this binary between 20 year old fit cyclists and elderly car dependent individuals is a false one: people in their 50’s, people with families, kids on their way to school, and yes, even folks in wheel chairs could benefit enormously from safe active transportation and a better clustering of amenities. They simply don’t have that option right now.

        And the best part: these changes would be better for those that choose or need to drive. Rather than every single trip being in a car due to the risk of walking, we could encourage other forms of transit and leave the car space for workers and others that truly need it: not just the folks (myself included) who get in a car to drive 1/4 mile to the grocery store because there aren’t sidewalks.

    3. Cars do equal freedom. Just wait until you’re not allowed to drive to the mountains to get away from the city nightmares, or to just experience peace. It’s coming for you. Soon, you will be completely locked down and controlled.

  6. “neighborhoods where shopping, entertainment, and general necessities will be within walking distance”

    That sounds nice! Boise’s most desirable neighborhoods are those where you can already do this (North End, East End). If the zoning reform encourages workforce housing near amenities and safe transportation options, I’m all for it.

    1. Hmm, Garry, where do you shop now or do you order out? You could be stuck eating only high priced food with little choice. So then can we lock you in once you have your dwelling??

      1. Not sure about Garry, but I bike to Freddy’s or WinCo. Or I walk to any number of the 10 smaller markets in my area. Lots of choices. I think many people would love to live in similar circumstances.

        Not sure why you’d want to lock me in?

    2. WAKE UP Brah, your experiencing One Psy-Op Globalist Lie after another, GOD Bless your Soul….your SO Easy. STAY AWAKE, Break any Dependence on Big Pharma, Big Med and Big VAXX!!!

  7. Portland is actually a zero-minute city because no one dares to walk around there. The reason is that the peace, order and public safety have been destroyed by leftist politicians of your mayor’s ilk.

  8. How about fixing the road systems? Why do we still not have a bypass highway so trucks can go around Boise instead of through it – especially during rush hour? And along with another east-west corridor, we really need a couple more north-south corridors to cut down on the disastrous congestion that is Eagle Road.

    And for the love of Pete, can we STOP converting intersections into worthless roundabouts!?!?!?

  9. The plan is to use you cell phone and the cameras to monitor your every move and score you ESG this is going on now and is being implemented now in the US. 15 minute cities many other programs through every tentacle of the government are designed to lay the groundwork for this to be in full force so that you will be in a virtual electronic prison.

  10. Sounds like a scene out of West Side Story. Create barrios and then pit them against each other. You’ll be able to leave your barrio, at a price, be it transportation tax or toll, and at risk of getting physically assaulted for being outside YOUR barrio. (Remember the violence over face masks). Divide and conquer. You need to fight this with all your freedom loving internal fortitude.

    1. YES, Douglas! We must stand up to this authoritarianism in all cities. Mayor Casper openly admits her agenda to transform Idaho Falls into smart city, so it’s happening everywhere. Likewise, watch those property taxes excelerate, which is another way they can enslave the public.

  11. I’m in total agreement with this article and the premise, and agree that under the Mayor’s leadership we are headed in a bad direction. However, I’m confused by how lumping the state of Idaho mandated redistributing is involved? In 2020, the Idaho Legislature passed House Bill 413 into law, which requires that cities with more than 100,000 residents divide the city into districts that City Council members are elected from. This law insures equal representation at the local government level, and prevents the major problems seen in cities like Portland, where the city representatives all reside in a centralized city core and do little to represent the residents in the outlying areas. There is no doubt that the liberal City Council of Boise carved the districts that best suited their agenda, but the push for districts did not have an origin in any UN program. Great article!

  12. Thanks for this intro to 15 minute cities. You prompted me to find more articles and info. I learned that while on the one hand advocates tout the earth-saving, conveniences of the plan, others see a dark side. This CNN article and many others lament the growing number of conspiracy theorists warning that digital technology will be used to confine us to our 15 minute neighborhoods. I think we have enough experience now to recognize that todays CNN scoffing at a conspiracy theory is tomorrows Twitter emails revelation that it not only was true, but is worse than we imagined.

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