Some folks seem to be fixated on this notion of 'a few cyclists who would be inconvenienced if Jefferson Street were closed.' The vast majority of comments we receive from Boise residents living, commuting or working near St. Luke's report serious concerns about the river of traffic, and the related public health and safety threats of that traffic.
Closing a public right-of-way like Jefferson is like placing a dam across a a stretch of river, then opening the flood gates upstream.
|The traffic volume of in the area of Warm Springs/Broadway and Avenue B is set to increase by 39% if the expansion occurs here. That barrier to connectivity is not an abstraction for people who live, commute or work in this part of Boise.|
|Broadway looking south towards Front Street at 12:44 pm. Southbound traffic hoping to turn right on Front was at a standstill through at least two light cycles.|
The graphic below illustrates traffic impacts linked to the proposed expansion. Essentially, the results would mean the Warm Springs/Avenue B/Broadway and Fort/State/Reserve corridors would see the volume of traffic we currently associate with Boise's Town Square Mall. The difference is that mall traffic doesn't impact a historic residential neighborhood (or its desirability from a real estate perspective), and this likely would.
|New daily trips attributable to expansion.|
|New vehicle trips per day attributed to hospital expansion.|
St. Luke's currently has 2,853 parking spaces; hospital buildout will require 4,378. For comparative purposes, the Boise International Airport has a total of just under 3,000 parking spaces, with 2,070 of those covered spaces.
Never mind closure of a public right-of way that would force even more of this traffic onto already failing roadways and intersections. Imagine pedestrians and cyclists—of any age—trying to navigate Avenue B or any aspect of the surrounding roadways. And imagine the additional exhaust from all the stop-and-go traffic added by the expansion.
St. Luke's fixation on 'cycle tracks to nowhere' does nothing to address growing traffic threats, and it can never restore loss of direct connectivity for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. It diverts attention from the real permanent harm to Boise's livability, safety, health and integrity.