Freight, signs, transit highlight December transportation board meeting

The Idaho Transportation Board will discuss the statewide freight plan, outdoor signs, public transit planning and funding at the Dec. 14 board meeting at the headquarters auditorium in Boise.

Business meeting
At its meeting, the board will be asked to add a transit project to the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.

Valley Regional Transit was awarded a nationally-competitive grant from the Federal Transit Administration to conduct transit-supportive planning for the State Street corridor, where a bus rapid transit project is being planned. The transit agency will work with its partners and stakeholders to develop comprehensive-plan strategies, zoning-code changes, transit-oriented development concept plans for four sites, and assessments of affordable housing and infrastructure needs for the corridor.

The planning must examine ways to improve economic development and ridership, foster multimodal connectivity and accessibility, improve transit access for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, engage the private sector, identify infrastructure needs, and enable mixed-use development near transit stations.

The $433,000 project includes a match of $125,000 from the city of Boise. Other local funding is also being contributed.

Outdoor advertising program
The annual report on the outdoor advertising sign program will be presented.

In 2016, there were only two new outdoor advertising sign applications, down from four applications in 2015. There are 10 illegal signs and 192 non-conforming signs throughout the state. Non-conforming signs complied with law at one time, but due to a change in conditions or rules, lost their conforming status. Non-conforming signs are allowed to remain in place but cannot be improved.

Nearly a third of the state’s outdoor advertising signs — 326 of 1,153 — are located in District 3.  District 5 has the fewest signs, 123.

Statewide Freight Strategic Plan
Staff began working on the Statewide Freight Strategic Plan in 2015.  The plan, which is a requirement of the federal Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, will be presented to the board for approval.

It was developed partly with guidance from the Freight Advisory Committee and participants of the Idaho Freight Summit, held last February.

The plan provides a multimodal study on freight’s impact to Idaho’s economy, an analysis of the current network, a highway safety analysis, a discussion on freight-related policies and an implementation plan. The implementation plan includes a budget-constrained project list and critical rural and urban freight corridors that help define how ITD utilizes federal freight formula funds. Idaho can nominate 150 miles of roads as Critical Rural Freight Corridors and 75 miles as Critical Urban Freight Corridors.

Published 12-09-16