Thursday, September 17, 2009

You'll never see this in the Statesman

-and you may never want to because this is truly the casing of the sausage making that is government. However, this is what we did at our ACHD Commission meeting yesterday so I think it's worth reporting on (you can tell not that much is going on in the ACHD world can't you?). We, of course, get no media coverage of our meetings. I wonder, if the media doesn't deign to cover something, did it really happen? Not according to them, I guess.

We had a design review application for the NE corner of Maple Grove and Fairview. This is basically a landlocked parcel with no access to Maple Grove. Since the Jackson's Texaco was removed a number of years ago when this intersection was widened, the remaining convenience store was closed because of poor numbers and a little used car lot lasted all of about a month. Now a loan store is planning on going in there. Good luck to them.

One of the requirements was they put a median (actually one of those long curbs painted yellow) in for about 220 feet from the intersection east in order to prevent drivers from trying to take a left hand turn across the five lanes of traffic in front of this location. The applicant was fighting paying for the median, arguing, successfully it turns out, that ACHD should have put the median in when the intersection was being constructed.

My big issue was access to Maple Grove. We are undertaking a huge study on access management on the Fairview corridor from Orchard to Linder Sts where cross accesses and backage (behind buildings) roads are key. If there is no access to Maple Grove, there is no way to control access to Fairview in this area and then Fairview will stay a ploddy road instead of a "mobility corridor". Well, it turns out that this intersection was constructed with federal funds and in their wisdom, the feds say that if you purchased an access and closed it, although circumstances may have changed or even common sense is sparked, then you have to pay them back for the difference in the valuation of the land with access vs without access.

It turned out that other Commissioners thought access to Maple Grove was a good idea also, but the most we could do was encourage the City of Boise to require the property owner via the applicant to explore with ACHD, opening up this access.

And we all agreed that, by granting an access off Fairview to these properties so close to a major intersection, ACHD should have foreseen the need for a median to keep unsafe left hand turns from being made. Ergo, ACHD will install the median.

It was actually a fairly interesting and lively discussion with good Commissioner participation, as discussions of this topic go. For the staff report, you can go here. If and when the video is up, I'll link to that as well for anyone other than the two viewers who already watched it on television. You can watch the video here. Just scroll down to item 3 and click watch video.


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