A Bicycle for Your Mind

Steve Jobs famously called a computer ‘a bicycle for our minds.’

His Explanation, “I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet. The condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. Humans came in with a rather unimpressive showing about a third of the way down the list […]

That didn’t look so good, but then someone at Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency of locomotion for a man on a bicycle, and a man on a bicycle blew the condor away. That’s what a computer is to me: the computer is the most remarkable tool that we’ve ever come up with. It’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.”

Update on the Plantation Bridge

June 26, 2018 04:53 PM

The Idaho Foundation for Parks and Lands has gotten indications from the FEMA that the project to repair the bridge and pathway has been partially funded.

This has taken a lot longer that we first expected. While the damage in Idaho was not large in total dollar costs, we were competing for the people in FEMA who review and authorize these projects with the Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico Hurricanes and the California wildfires.

The Idaho Foundation will now work with State of Idaho Emergency Management, Ada County, Garden City, City of Boise and Flood District 10 to plan and execute the repair project that will commence sometime this winter once river flows drop below 800 cfs.

In the mean time, the Idaho Foundation will need to partner with biking and pathway groups and other like minded recreational groups to raise the 25% of the project that FEMA does not cover. We will be getting back with your group in the near future to discuss what we all can do to raise the money to get the bridge and pathway open again as soon as possible.

Significant damage delays opening of new Greenbelt segment. Cyclists ignore closure.

June 26, 2018 04:53 PM
Updated June 26, 2018 04:53 PM
Ada County was prepared to open the long-awaited, reconstructed Boise River Greenbelt segment on the eastern edge of Boise this month.

But a week before the June 22 target date, the county discovered that construction crews had damaged the new asphalt while grading the 2-foot-wide, gravel shoulders that border the path, said Kate McGwire, the public information officer for Ada County.

The opening is on hold indefinitely — and eager riders aren’t pleased. They’re ignoring closure signs and barricades and even, apparently, removing the notices the county placed updating the situation.

Read more here: https://www.idahostatesman.com/outdoors/playing-outdoors/article213873509.html?#emlnl=Morning_Newsletter#storylink=cpy

By Chadd Cripe


Recent Objections to E-Bike Legislation

Recent efforts to pass e-bike legislation in the Idaho Legislature failed. Major opponents of the legislation were the organizations of counties and law enforcement who raised the following issues with the proposed legislation:

  1. In the definition of “multi-use path” or “trail” it includes the limitation that it must be “two-way”. Grade differentials or obstacles can sometimes produce one-way trails or pathways.
  2. “Sidewalk” is not defined in the motor vehicle code.Nor is it used in the restrictive provisions of the proposed legislation – only the permissive. However, sidewalks are far more common in everyday life and would likely be a place where electric-assisted bicycles and pedestrians or bicyclists might come into conflict.  If violations can be established for unlawful use on “trails” and “paths”, can they be sustained on “sidewalks”? Communities often forbid bicycles on sidewalks in certain high traffic areas.  If the statute addresses “trails” and “paths”, are sidewalks included?  For example, cities may want to allow children to ride on residential sidewalks while forbidding the potential hazards of fast-moving electric bicycles.
  3. Any person, including any child of any age, would be allowed to operate an electrically-assisted bicycle (class 1&2) wherever a bicycle may travel. No licensing would be required, nor would any test of knowledge or physical competence.
  4. Age is the sole criterion for operation of a class 3 electric bike. A moped, which can only go 2 mph faster, requires a full driver’s license with age, skill and knowledge requirements.
  5. The proposed legislation allows a local jurisdiction to regulate a “bike path or trail.”  That is not the case however when it comes to the other components in the legislation including the definitions, who gets to ride or not ride in bike lanes, on the streets, and on the sidewalks/crosswalks. The proposed legislation allows class 3 ebikes on sidewalks (28 mph or faster), when the speed limit in most neighborhoods is 25 mphs.
  6. Additionally, local jurisdictions may be prevented from prosecuting DUIs or violations of the Idaho Stop law when it comes to Class 3 E-bikes (28 miles per hour capability) because they are now not considered motor vehicles.

Website Shows Boise Mountain Bike Trails

The website, Boise Trails.com, provides updated information on local mountain biking opportunities for bikers at various levels of challenge. 1/30/2018

Draft of proposed e-bike legislation for the Idaho Legislature

MPN072 is a link to the most recent draft of proposed e-bike legislation for the 2018 Idaho Legislature. 1/17/2018


F.A.C.T.S. Projects identified for the previous year, 2017

These are projects/initiatives in terms of importance per FACTS board of directors meeting on February 15, 2017:

Top three projects

  1. Pathway to Eagle Island
  2. Update 2009 Boise River Trails Systems Plan Including:
    1. Public Health Benefits
    2. Joint Powers Agreement
    3. Pathway planning and standards
  3. Boise River Easements
    Other important projects and initiatives:
  4. Web Design/Public Involvement and awareness
  5. Invite other jurisdictions/organizations/individuals to join FACTS Board
  6. Fund raising

Projects/Initiatives that FACTS will help support and be advocates:

  1. COMPASS “Bike-Walk Pathway” mapping
  2. Rail with Trails initiative
  3. Lake Lowell pathway project
  4. Legislative involvement at state and local level
  5. Wine country touring and active transportation
  6. Signage on pathways and trails

(prepared by Board Member Gary Segers)


Updated map of Boise and Nampa Urbanized Area

Following is an updated map of the Urban Areas in Canyon and Ada County.


F.A.C.T.S. Begins A Process to Revise the Boise River Trail Plan

The Original Boise River Trail Plan has been the planning document that guided the growth of pathways along the Boise River. Since 2009, the document has served to coordinate growth across the cities and counties of the Treasure Valley. As time has passed and the greenbelt begins to be developed further to the west along the Boise River, there is need to update and revise the plan for the government jurisdictions who will be affected. As a result, the individuals and agencies will be contacted to enlist their participation in a planning process to produce a revised Boise River Trail Plan. The original trail plan is a good starting point to understand what the next step in the process might entail.

Idaho Statesman Article Attempts to Clarify Differences Between Laws for Cyclists and Automobiles

A recent article details the legal distinction between requirements for bicycles at stop signs and stop lights. Many people think the same laws apply to bicycles that apply to cars but in some cases there are differences in Idaho. Knowing the law can help reduce the frustrations that both drivers and riders sometimes feel. The Statesman article is here.

New Technology Uses Lasers for Visibility of Cyclists

An emerging technology that will increase the visibility of cyclists is being developed. A video describing it appears here.

Ada County Highway Department has a New Map for the Public

6/20/2017 The Ada County Highway District has just launched an online map, ready for cyclists looking for alternate routes around flood-damaged areas of the Boise River Greenbelt. It is called the map app and will be updated as routes change.

Comprehensive Pathway Map of Ada and Canyon Counties is now Available

A remarkable achievement has now become available to the public. A well researched and updated map of bicycle and walking pathways in the Ada and Canyon Counties is available on line. The Bike Walk Pathways Map is available here.

This application was created by the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS) in an effort to inform member agencies, elected officials, residents, and visitors about the existing and planned bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure within Ada and Canyon Counties. Infrastructure within this map are either existing or a reflection of local agency planning documents.  Each feature on the map has additional information including name, facility type, jurisdiction, and plan source, and can be identified with a single mouse click.

Information within this application is updated biannually, during January and July of each calendar year, or as needed. There is a slight delay between infrastructure addition and map update. COMPASS makes no warranty, representation, or guarantee as to the accuracy of any information presented from this site. You should verify the accuracy of all information obtained from this web site. By using or relying on any material contained on this site, the user knowingly waives any and all claims for damages against any and all of the entities comprising COMPASS that may arise from the contained data. Planned infrastructure information has been compiled from the agencies having jurisdiction.

Have a question? Find an error or something missing?

Please send feedback to Tom Laws, 208-475-2233 or tlaws@compassidaho.org

Recent Drone Videos along the Boise Greenbelt

May 10, 2017

Guy Hand has produced several videos of drone flights over sections of the Boise Greenbelt. They can be found at https://vimeo.com/album/4558398.

A recent video of his shows the levee construction along the Judy Peavey-Derr section which remains at risk of flooding. Video of April 30


The River Walk in Star

The river walk is in pretty good shape.


How the Greenbelt is Doing Under the Heavy Snows of Winter.

Both commuters and recreational users have found challenges when they tried to access the pathway system since mid-December. Below are recent 1/29/2017 photos from respectively, the South side of the South channel looking east from near Eagle road and the Chevron/Tesoro trail junction on the South side of the North channel). This area is paved but not plowed.

In a city like Boise, the pathways are cleared. Kudos to the hard working guys from Boise Parks and Recreation who have tried to keep the paths as clear as possible. Apparently these guys frequently get out on the pathway at 3am to get the job done.

This is another area where a joint powers agreement between the various government entities could lead to sharing of resources and more consistency for users of the pathways.


Article on Treasure Valley Bicycle Path Beside the Railroad Tracks

A recent Idaho Statesman front page article discusses the beginning of negotiations to develop a bicycle trail from Nampa to downtown Boise.


Pathways are waiting when it snows!

Liz Paul of Community LLC wanted us to see how the pathway gets used after the snow we received in the past week. It looks like great cross country skiing. (01/04/2017)




Tom Laws, F.A.C.T.S. Board Member, Receives Important Recognition

COMPASS Associate Planner Tom Laws received the 2016 Idaho APA Planning Tool or Implementation Award on October 12, 2016 for the COMPASS bicycle and pedestrian counting project. The project is the first of its kind in Idaho and uses technology to provide accurate information about the numbers of bicyclists and pedestrians using certain routes over time. Both permanent and temporary counters have been placed along bicycle and pedestrian routes to gain a quantitative measure of pathway utilization for planning purposes.

In the linked video, Tom explains the system that is being used to measure the pedestrian and cycling traffic on pathways in the Treasure Valley.


Judy’s Path: Ada County Renames Greenbelt Path Section




Judy Peavey-Derr, a past president of the Foundation for Ada County Trail Systems (F.A.C.T.S.), was honored by the Ada County Commissioners for her advocacy that led to the extension of a portion of the Boise Greenbelt. Among other activities, she helped obtain five easements that were used to extend the Greenbelt pathway system downstream from Garden City on the south side of the Boise River.

She is pictured above at the ceremony with F.A.C.T.S. members Jerry Hastings, Scott Koberg, Gary Payne, Judy Peavey-Derr, Sharon Hubler, Jeanne Barker and Steve Noyes.

Additional content about the award can be found in Ada County Renames Pathway in Honor of Former Commissioner and in an article in the Idaho Business Review


Special Events on The Boise River Greenbelt

If you are planning a Special Event to take place in a Boise City park, please review the Boise Parks & Recreation Policies for Event Planners, and Boise City Code Title 5 Chapter 10 and Title 13 Chapter 3.

Requirements for all Special Events:

There are many events scheduled during the year and a partial list for the Boise Greenbelt appears below.

The current schedule of special events

Six great routes for fall rides on the Boise River Greenbelt

Click for a link to the Idaho Statesman article


September, 27 2016

Lake Lowell Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan

The newly published Lake Lowell Area Bicycle and Pedestrian Access Plan identifies short and long-range bicycle and pedestrian facilities that will provide the public with safer and more convenient access to the area around Lake Lowell and the Refuge, which is currently served by higher speed rural roads with narrow shoulders. The increased use

of non-motorized transportation connections to the Lake Lowell area and recreation sites within the Refuge enhances the safety and visitor experience, while minimizing the need to widen rural roads. The plan also increases connectivity to and from the cities of Nampa and Caldwell and around Canyon County and provides real and effective travel mode choices. October 2, 2016

A copy of the plan is available here


Boise Municipal Park renamed for Kristin Anderson

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong on Sunday became the latest Boise woman added to the city’s Ribbon of Jewels — a network of parks running through the city center — after Municipal Park was renamed after the cyclist.

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter unveiled the park’s new signage at Kristin’s Gold Games Celebration, a welcome home fete for Armstrong after her recent time-trial triumph at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The 28-acre park, located at 500 S. Walnut St., is one of Boise’s oldest.

“If it wasn’t my favorite park yesterday, it’s my favorite park today,” joked Armstrong, who also holds a Key to the City and has an 8-mile stretch of Bogus Basin Road and a 0.6-mile children’s bike trail in Boise Hills Park named for her.

For Armstrong’s friends and fans alike, the dedication seemed fitting. “You think about what is a suitable honor for someone who has accomplished this much, and a park exemplifies what she stands for,” said David Duro, president and CEO of the Treasure Valley YMCA. Duro once worked as Armstrong’s boss at the Y. He joined three local children to present Armstrong with additional awards from the organization during her celebration.

Read the full article here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/local/article98479352.html#storylink=cpy


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