“It may look like we made some pretty significant changes, but we noted that even with the bulleted list we previously discussed being removed there were a number of statements throughout that might predisposed the outcome of the study,” Shroder wrote in to CCDC’s Matt Edmunds in June.
She explained in that message that ITD wanted the request for proposals to “be a bit more general and perhaps balanced” if the “intent is to bring in creativity and a fresh perspective.”
- In the very first paragraph, ITD asked to remove text that said the group wanted to “transform an auto-focused, high-speed” set of roads. Instead, they wanted the introduction to just say “balanced” - without referring to cars.
- ITD wanted to remove wording that emphasized that “pedestrian and bicycle treatments are generally secondary considerations”
- They asked references to the street combo as being “10 lanes” be removed.
- ACHD chimed in and wanted the phrase “time-consuming and inconvenient” removed as it relates to pedestrians
In short, CCDC wanted a document that made clear the glut of cars are part of the problem — and ITD worked to remove that concept from the RFP. The best way to sum up the difference of opinion might be this key phrase deep in the document — which CCDC proposed and ITD wanted dropped:
(The plan should promote a) “shift in focus away from moving cars with minimal delay to more holistic objectives and providing mobility equity between all modes.”
In the end, many of ITD’s suggested deletions were removed from the final document.
Boise City Communications Director Mike Journee said the process and number of changes is a “fact of life” with multiple agencies involved.
“We work with ACHD & ITD to put together options for streets in our city grid," he said. “They have specific missions and we have a specific mission. And it’s no secret that there are times when these missions don’t mesh. We do every thing we can to work as closely as we can.”
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Gonzalez says her department is also on board.
“We have strong working relationships with all of our community partners,” Gonzalez said after questions about the documents were asked.
On several occasions, she also cited a written statement attributed to ITD engineer Amy Revis.
“The Idaho Transportation Department is actively participating in the study along with CCDC, the city of Boise, ACHD and others with a goal of finding opportunities to enhance all forms of transportation, while preserving mobility of the State Highway.”
CCDC also says it feels good about the process.
“The agency does not feel the RFP was weakened by the removal of the specific multi-modal language,” CCDC executive director John Brunelle said by email. “We do believe the process is on the correct track.”
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