Bieter expressed concern over ACHD bike-lane pilot program

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- The Ada County Highway District's pilot project testing public opinion about swapping some traffic lanes for bike lanes on Capitol Boulevard as well as Main and Idaho Streets got going this week..

But one person in particular has some serious reservations about the ACHD pilot project: Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, who on April 21st wrote the Highway District, urging that the pilot program not go forward.

"The mayor's concern was that the pilot program was coming on quite soon without sufficient time to educate the public about the changes prior to them taking effect," said Adam Park, Mayor Bieter's spokesman.

In his letter to ACHD President John Franden, Mayor Bieter also wrote: "We confidence in the pilot project as currently envisioned and are gravely concerned that it will have the opposite effect of turning the public against a more complete transportation system."

Mayor Bieter is personally interested in making Boise a bicycle friendly town. After all, he frequently commutes to city hall on his bicycle.

But in his letter, Bieter stated the one-month pilot program is "far too brief to draw any solid conclusions" and public notification "is far too short."

Park said the mayor preferred a longer public awareness period and a pilot project lasting sixth months or a year.

But ACHD feels its one-month demonstration project will be effective.

"We have every confidence," said ACHD spokesman Craig Quintana. "Our traffic engineers have looked at what we're doing. It's a big project, a big change, but a month is time for people to get used to new patterns."

And now that the pilot project has started, City Hall hopes residents will co-operate with the highway district and provide the public input ACHD is seeking.