Board briefed on District 3 activities at October meeting

The transportation board was briefed on various District 3 activities at its meeting at the district office on Oct. 24.

To address concerns with fatalities along segments of Interstate 84 in the Treasure Valley, slope improvements were made to expand the recovery zone. Safety audits were on conducted on Idaho 16 and Idaho 51 to identify improvements to enhance safety on those routes.

The avalanche program on Idaho 21 has been a successful initiative to improve mobility by reducing road closures. Last year was a record for least days closed with average snowfall in the canyon near Lowman.  The District also provides avalanche assistance to other areas in the state, including Lost Trail Pass on U.S. 93, U.S. 12, and on Idaho 75 at Galena.

Through innovation and partnerships, the Hammett Maintenance shed erected a mile of snow fence along U.S. 20. The mile of fence and 400 Juniper trees cost less than $4,000. Four of the trees planted in the spring of 2012 were lost, but remarkably, the trees were not lost in the range and forest fires of 2013.

Community Choices
Staff provided an update on the Community Choices for Idaho Program.

The Department received 89 initial applications for funding. After reviewing those, staff determined 64 met the requirements. The federal aid requested totaled more than $14 million, while only $3.4 million is available. The majority of requests were to fund bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. The Community Choices Committee reviewed and scored the applications. The evaluation criteria scored projects based on need, benefit, and feasibility.

The project recommendations will be presented next month for review and information and staff intends to seek Board approval in December.

Public Transportation
Valley Regional Transit (VRT) and the Public Transportation Advisory Council (PTAC) reported on public transit activities in District 3, with both noting an increase in ridership.

Part of VRT’s mission is to coordinate public transportation in Ada and Canyon Counties and leverage resources. A number of capital improvements were made, such as bus shelters and park and ride sites.

Both groups stressed the importance of partnerships. Some of those include sharing vehicles, working with the Cascade School District to transport students to nearby towns, and relocating the park and ride lot in Mountain Home. PTAC believes there may be opportunities to partner with ITD to identify and develop additional sites for park and ride lots.

Some of VRT’s focus areas have been on serving veterans and providing children transportation to the Canyon County YMCA after school.


Published 11-1-13