Letter Requesting an Assessment of Trail Conditions
You might recall I discussed Greenbelt/pathway issues with F.A.C.T.S. a couple of years ago. I don’t think there has been much happening since then.
Spring is here, and while out on the paths, I had an idea for a F.A.C.T.S. project.
Briefly, the pathways need attention. The governmental jurisdictions involved have had mixed results, in my opinion, with their ability to focus energies on the pathways. Indeed, there has been a significant increase in users this past year, COVID has kept work crews from being out in force, and agency planning offices are swamped with new construction requests.
With this understanding, I propose that F.A.C.T.S. assist with documenting needs and presenting this information to all relevant agencies. Hopefully, this baseline data will allow agencies to focus their financial and human resources on the needed work.
I believe the pathways need attention in the following areas:
• Pathway repair/replacement
• Mileage markers (fill in gaps, standardize along routes, etc.)
• Wayfinding signage (nearby services, major streets, etc.)
• Foliage removal/trimming
• Trash removal
• Bike maintenance station inventory and repair
I can certainly broaden my thoughts on each of the above, if necessary, but I’m looking for action, not discussion. The summer seasonal work period is approaching. And public budgets close out at the end of September.
I suggest breaking up the Greenbelt/pathways in Ada County as a start. Identify sections (2 miles each?, both directions) and assign to volunteers. Have the volunteers take a boat-load of photos and send to F.A.C.T.S. (or Compass?) for compilation. Review, edit, summarize. Identify most important needs and which jurisdiction might be responsible.
I’ll be the first to volunteer.
Then, have a presentation at a F.A.C.T.S. meeting with all jurisdictions present.
Disclaimer: I had hoped to have this letter available for today’s F.A.C.T.S. meeting, but missed my own deadline.
Jeff Shinn Shinn51@gmail.com 208/861-5219
Presentation Regarding EXPO Idaho
Scott Koberg, Director of Ada County Parks & Waterways presented to the Expo Citizen Advisory Committee on the greenbelt segment that runs through the Ada County property. This extensive parcel of land is being considered for new uses by a citizen advisory committee. Scott’s informative presentation makes reference to the role of FACTS in advocacy for trail development.
Update on FACTS Activities in Lieu of an April Meeting
Our trails, pathways and neighborhood sidewalks have been getting lots of use as people remain at home more. In a letter from Steve Noyce of Eagle,
I ran the traffic numbers verses last year at this time. We are running at 267% of last year – no kidding. Even the new counter on the Boise border on the South Channel got over 21,000 hits in that period. The crew is having a tough time keeping up with trash etc. our restrooms have to be cleaned several times a day instead of once.
Similarly, Bill Mullane wrote for Garden City.
We are seeing a LOT of people on the pathways and parks in our area, especially families. I think folks will come out of this pandemic with a greater appreciation for these amenities that put us in touch with nature and help keep us active and sane. This could help us when it comes to fundraising to support a better system.
GC let me know that ACHD is doing a neighborhood plan for Garden City this year. This plan is intended to identify bike and pedestrian needs. GC strongly encourages people to participate so there can be a good record of needs.
Jenah at the Mayor’s office said she can’t imagine that the City wouldn’t be supportive of figuring out a connection on the south side of the greenbelt around 52nd street. She was glad to hear about FACT’s increased focus on fundraising and asked if the 52nd street third bridge project might become a priority?
Celis Awusle from the Idaho Transportation Department also referenced the collaboration with Garden City.
District 3 is partnering with Garden City to advance planning efforts within GC. Emphasis is being placed on conducting a holistic, corridor plan for SH-44 (Glenwood), from State Street to Chinden. I am in the process of developing a public outreach plan, how and which stakeholders and road users are important to engage in this process. I anticipate within the next month, we will have a better formulated plan. I will keep FACTS in the loop on this project as we move along farther in the process.
Wendy Howell from Kuna indicates that;
The City of Kuna has added 300 feet to our greenbelt along Indian Creek. The City is keeping our greenbelt open to the public at this time. We have regular trash pickup and dog poo stations located throughout the greenbelt. We have placed temporary signs along the pathway to remind people to keep 6 feet apart.
Also, Parks and the Planning and Zoning departments are working with developers to enforce our master parks and pathways plan as well as the new open space ordinance that has been adopted.
Gary Segers reports that the 11th Street study has hired a consulting firm to begin the concept design for the 11thStreet bikeway in downtown Boise.
Scott Kobeg from Ada County Parks and Waterways has exciting news:
I have my maintenance staff on a staggered schedule and we are continuing to conduct all necessary and regularly scheduled maintenance activities within our jurisdiction of the Boise River Greenbelt Pathway. Additionally we have been steadily and consistently implementing each step of our construction plan and schedule for the Expo Idaho Greenbelt Pathway Project. Our final step in the project (the surface improvement) will commence on Monday and continue through May 19th.
I just posted a message to Facebook and would appreciate others sharing with as wide of an audience as feasible: https://www.facebook.com/adacountyparks/
Gary Payne has been active with the Canals Connect Communities group and they have been meeting via Zoom conference calls. The group is recognizing that with more people walking on the trails and the sidewalks in communities, it is an excellent time to ask citizens to identify areas where trail development along a canal might connect parts of the community that are isolated. They will be sending out a survey to a sample of citizens in the near future.
Rachel Haukkala from Compass is working to schedule the Rails with Trails group to focus on funding strategies. Very likely this will be a ‘virtual’ meeting once the members identify mutually convenient dates and times.
William Gigray has been in correspondence with the developers of a large resort hotel along the greenbelt in Garden City. Hopefully they will be able to discuss their development and how it will interface with the greenbelt across the river from Veterans Park at a future meeting.
and finally, Steve Noyes provides good news on recent work in Eagle related to pathways and Eagle Island access.
Eagle Island State Park Connection
We finally received a verbal agreement from the Newman family approving our proposal to make two lot line adjustments, disclaim land to the Idaho Department of Lands, and then the IDL would issue us easements between Mace River Ranch and the State Park. And while Council is not approving many non-essential expenses, I’ll soon get a shot at presenting a request to City Council to fund an agreement with JUB Engineers to get us those easements.
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FEMA Repairs to Pathways and Riverbanks
The project we started in October is finally nearing completion just now. What a nightmare experience with an short-cutting contractor. The balance of the repairs and mitigation are on hold until the official awarding PDM funds form FEMA, and getting the dollars set aside to pay contractors while waiting for the FEMA reimbursements. But one reward has been the realization of Eagle’s first concrete greenbelt section. I hope that this sets the trend for us going forward.
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North Channel Center Trail
The 1200+ feet that extends eastward to Eagle Road from the picture above has finally been dedicated to the City. As many of you know, it is in a state of disrepair from years of neglect, but I hope to find funds to continue the new concrete standard soon. The reconstructed pathway would eventually connect to the planned bike/ped bridge over the North Channel.
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COVID -19 Related Issues
Trail use has increased a great deal. In the last four weeks our counter by Merrill Park counted 267% of last year at this time (24,717 vs. 9,226). Add our other counter (21,762 counts) and that puts us in a pace for 320,000 for a year (more people than those who had tickets to Woodstock). But trail conflicts have not risen in numbers – people are taking care of one another out there.
Like most cities, our public meetings have been postponed, so the process that allows development has slowed. We are doing what we can to be prepared when these meeting can be held safely.
Thanks and a Suggestion for a Link
Thank you for the email from Hawthorne Community Center and the positive feedback about our web pages. I also appreciate the suggestion for a new link and I have added that link from Ally to the last link on our Links page. The content of your letter is below.
I wanted to send you a positive email about your links webpage, factsidaho.org/?page_id=35712. I volunteer with a children's reading group, and we're currently reading a book called The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle out loud together. The kids have gotten so interested in learning more about cycling and bicycles, so we have been referencing your page when we need to look up some interesting biking info (at least until we can get some warm weather to start biking outside again!) It's been a great way to get the group looking forward to some physical activity in the spring, so I wanted to say thanks for sharing from all of us! One of the girls in the group, Ally, also found a great page of biking tips (all on her own!): https://www.highrises.com/cycling-in-portland-and-general-biking-tips.php Can you include this on your page? She is too sweet and said it was one we hadn't found off your page so she wanted to let you know it existed. I agreed to share it with you since I figured others visiting your page would find it useful too. :-) If you have any other fun information for the kids, please feel free to pass it on if you have a minute to respond. Thanks again! Take care, Lydia Kinney
Ada County Highway Department 5 Year Plan
The 5 year work plan from the Ada County Highway Department is available here:
A Ridge to River Bicycle Connection
A recent newspaper article on the important bicycle pathway being planned between the foothills to the downtown area and a connection to the greenbelt.
A Nice Letter from Local Elementary Students about Cycling
Good afternoon – I thought I’d shoot you a quick email just to give you some positive feedback on the FACTS Idaho cycling page: We’ve just started up our very first “Healthy Habits” club at our library for school-aged children. The club is meant to help our children garner a better understanding and hopefully even a passion for fitness and nutrition. Last week we focused on biking and all of the great health benefits associated with it. We went online together to compile some helpful resources to get us started, and I thought you should know that your page was a great help to the kids, so we wanted to quickly reach out as a group to say thank you!
When I mentioned we would be emailing you, one of the children in the club, Brittany suggested that I pass another article your way as a thank you,
“Understanding High Blood Pressure” at https://choicemutual.com/high-blood-pressure/ .The kids learned that one of the important health benefits of cycling is that it helps to boost cardiovascular health and lowers blood pressure. Yesterday we talked a bit more about the importance of having a healthy heart, and Brittany actually found this particular article on blood pressure herself. She thought that you might like to include it on your page too. I thought it was a really great overview so I decided to print it out for the club to refer to as well.
Timing for Traffic Lights Suited to Cyclists Not Cars
An article from another city further along in the encouragement of cycling and pedestrian alternatives. Traffic lights that are geared to cyclist speeds not automobiles!
A new application for mobile devices provides information and a map of the Greenbelt
At the September FACTS meeting, Nannette Nelson presented about the development of her new application for mobile phones that makes it easy to find your way on the greenbelt. Links to the application can be found on our Links webpage and here is a link to an Idaho Statesman article about the application
1970 Video describing the early history of the Greenbelt
This video narrated by Bill Onweiler provides insight into the early history and formation of the Boise River Greenbelt. The video link is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dskPRdi2k9I
Ada County has released two new apps for drivers and cyclists
The ACHD Bike Map app allows users to access an interactive bike map, which helps bikers identify streets and roads where bike routes have been established. The ACHD Reporter app allows drivers and bikers to report issues like potholes, sight obstructions, signal malfunctions, and other concerns.
Don Stockton was recognized by the Eagle City Council last night for his decades of service to our city.
Don Stockton was recognized by the Eagle City Council last night for his decades of service to our city. No public showing, or award could ever explain what his tireless advocacy has meant to our trail system, City staff and the citizens of this valley. While Don has committed to remain involved with our major projects, he has resigned from our Parks, Pathways and Recreation Commission effective January 1st. He has championed many projects through his efforts on our Commission and has represented Eagle well on the FACTS Board.
The Plantation Island Bridge Restoration Project has Raised the Money to Enable the Construction.
A fund raising project has successfully raised the money needed to replace a bridge washed away in the spring flood last year. The bridge is a crucial link between the east and the west ends of the Treasure Valley.
The overall project is expected to cost between $160,000 and $200,000 for grouting abutments, restoring the island, rip-rap protection of the embankment, repairing the pathway and restoring the bridge.
FEMA has issued a reimbursement grant to the Idaho Foundation, through the Idaho Office of Emergency Management. The award is for 75% of the estimated project. Once the repair is done and paid for, FEMA will reimburse the Idaho Foundation for the repair work.
The Idaho Foundation for Parks and Lands needed to raise $75,000 to begin the repair project this winter.
Work in the Boise River, of this type, is limited to low water flows. Once irrigation season is over, and snow accumulation begins, the Boise River drops to about 400 cfs (cubic feet per second). This flow lasts until February or March, when the Corps of Engineers begin to release water from the three dam complex for flood control. This leaves us with a short window this winter to accomplish the project this year.
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:
- 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.
- “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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Pathway to Eagle Island
- Update 2009 Boise River Trails Systems Plan Including:
- Public Health Benefits
- Joint Powers Agreement
- Pathway planning and standards
- Boise River Easements
Other important projects and initiatives:
- Web Design/Public Involvement and awareness
- Invite other jurisdictions/organizations/individuals to join FACTS Board
- Fund raising
Projects/Initiatives that FACTS will help support and be advocates:
- COMPASS “Bike-Walk Pathway” mapping
- Rail with Trails initiative
- Lake Lowell pathway project
- Legislative involvement at state and local level
- Wine country touring and active transportation
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
There are many events scheduled during the year and a partial list for the Boise Greenbelt appears below.
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
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