Important Foothills Access: Time to write an editorial into the Statesman- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Wandervans
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    Important Foothills Access: Time to write an editorial into the Statesman

    In todays Idaho Statesman, they had an article about the people living on the street where a proposed trailhead would be built, complaining that it would bring huge amounts of traffic and additional crime to the neighboorhood. Please read the article I have attached below and make your voice heard in an editorial to the Statesman. It is really easy to submit, just send it too [email protected] and make sure it is under 200 words.

    Chris


    Article published Jan 28, 2005

    Collister neighbors worry about traffic
    Plan calls for parking lot at Foothills trailhead

    Some residents in the Collister neighborhood are worried that a proposed parking area for a Foothills trailhead will invite too much traffic and other potential problems.

    Boise Parks and Recreation wants to open public access to the West Boise Foothills by placing a trailhead a quarter-mile north of the Briarhill subdivision at the end of Collister Road, said Paul Woods, the city Foothills acquisition coordinator.

    The city is buying a 40-acre property next to the neighborhood, which would expand the Polecat Gulch Reserve to 670 acres. Seven miles of public trails will be forged in the area.
    Jim Smith, a resident who's lived on the dead-end road for 15 years, said building a small parking lot nearby would heavily impact his neighborhood.

    "Every single house on the street is as close as possible to the street," he said. "It is going to radically change the nature of our neighborhood."
    Right now, the residential street ends at a private gate and continues on as a dirt road leading to a private ranch. Parks and Rec would build a parking lot with 15 or fewer spaces a little ways down the dirt road, Woods said. The department would gravel and repair the road for Foothills visitors.

    "This is the only logical place to put access," Woods said. The trailhead would also have a fence and a kiosk with a map, he said.

    Smith said he's concerned the parking spaces could fill up and people might start parking along the neighborhood street, where kids often play. He also worries that crime and mischievous behavior would rise.
    Another resident from the Collister neighborhood, who doesn't live in the Briarhill subdivision, said he supports putting the parking lot there.

    "It's purely a NIMBY issue," said Steve Stuebner, an avid mountain biker who advocated for the $10 million Foothills property tax levy, which Boise voters passed in 2001 to pay for open space acquisition. NIMBY stands for "not in my backyard."
    "It's a sensitive issue with the people that live there," Stuebner said, which is "a tiny number of people compared to how many people supported the levy."

    Members of the Briarhill Homeowners Association wrote a letter to Mayor Dave Bieter on Dec. 20, requesting he work with the Parks department to refrain from putting the trailhead at the north end of Collister until traffic studies at established trailheads were completed. The letter suggested putting an alternative trailhead on 36th Street.

    The mayor's office forwarded the letter to Charles McDevitt, who chairs the Foothills Advisory Committee. McDevitt wrote a Jan. 6 response letter to a Briarhill Homeowners Association board member.
    In his letter, McDevitt said "providing public access to public open space via Collister Street is not something newly devised by staff members of Boise Parks and Recreation or the Foothills Conservation Advisory Committee," referring to Collister access mentioned in two land management plans.

    McDevitt's letter also says putting a trailhead on 36th Street would be inconvenient to residents south and west of Collister, and Foothills users would have to travel "over a very significant ridge" to get to the trails.
    This week, the Briarhill Homeowners Association said it will study the trailhead's potential impacts and will work with Parks and Rec to find a solution that softens the impact on the neighborhood while still providing open access to the Foothills.

    "The association is not trying to block the access," said Mark Hayes of the homeowners association.

    Briarhill, which has about 76 homes, plans to show the Collister Neighborhood Association its recommended solutions in April. That timing fits into the Parks and Rec timeline, Woods said.
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  2. #2
    Hi!!!
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    I'm trying to think of other local rec areas that have parking lots right in the neighborhood. Here is the list I came up with....

    The parking lot at Squaw Creek that passes through the trailer park and Harris Ranch.
    The dirt parking lot on the southeast corner of Camels Back.
    The dirt parking lot at the end of Parkcenter that is sandwhiched between Spring Meadows and that new Bonn subdivision.

    What else am I missing?

    If those trails go in...what would they be designated? Foot and bikes only?

  3. #3
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    Foot, Bike, and Hoof only

    Quote Originally Posted by BelaySlave
    If those trails go in...what would they be designated? Foot and bikes only?
    would be the only uses of those trails. Plus think it the city did not buy the land they would probably be building a 100 homes up there, think of the traffic then.

    Chris
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  4. #4
    Hi!!!
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    New question here.

    Does a parking lot have to be built first before the trails can be built or can the trails be built without a parking lot in place?

    Aside from the parking issue...what is the timeline for these trails becoming a reality? Sign me up for some more trail building in 2005!!!

  5. #5
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    Parking lot comes first

    Quote Originally Posted by BelaySlave
    Does a parking lot have to be built first before the trails can be built or can the trails be built without a parking lot in place?

    Aside from the parking issue...what is the timeline for these trails becoming a reality? Sign me up for some more trail building in 2005!!!
    ...and then the trails at pole cat gulch since there is really no existing parking facilities. So this is definatly a vital component to getting trails built. A trailhead parking is definatly better for the residents than having people park on the street. SWIMBA gave a grant to the city and the city is using our grant to apply for more money to build the parking lot. I am sure we will be building trails this spring and summer in the area.

    Chris
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