Boise Greenbelt now spans the entire city

Posted at 5:40 PM, Sep 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-16 19:55:07-04

Friday was a big day for greenbelt users.

Nearly five decades later, Boise dedicates the last section of the pathway. The greenbelt now spans the entire city, which is about 26 miles in all.

Whether you use the greenbelt as a way to get some exercise outdoors or as a pathway to get to work, it just got a lot easier to pedal around town.

"We have the potential to get almost anywhere with the greenbelt with this last bit now connected," said Lorna Mitson, a longtime Boise resident.

Mitson will be moving into a home along the greenbelt on the Garden City side of the river soon.

So, she couldn't resist riding on the new, nearly one-mile section on opening day.

The south side of the river between Americana Boulevard and Garden City is now connected.

"We have set out to be the most livable city in the country and this is what we mean," said Mayor Dave Bieter, city of Boise. "All of it fits together, the foothills, the river, the cleanliness of the river, the way we protect it and the way we enjoy it."

Mayor Bieter commended the community for supporting efforts over the years to clean up the river and pave the way for a connected greenbelt.

Despite bumps along the way, the last section was complete. Bieter said the entire project is a great example of how things are done right the first time in the City of Trees.

"It's a wonderful day and credit is due to so many people and so many in the community that have supported it over the decades," Bieter said.

With a now complete path, drivers may want to consider investing in a bike. It can shave some time off the commute and provide for a scenic way to start the day.

"We're pretty famous for our greenbelt," Mitson said. "And, this just enhances it that much more."

Recreation may have been the focus for the greenbelt early on but city leaders say that's changed over the years. Each year, over 70,000 people use it as a way to get to work.