BOISE, Idaho — Could you imagine life in Boise without the Greenbelt, the path that takes people 15 miles in both directions from downtown on both sides of the Boise River?
The City of Boise is working on a new pathways master plan to provide more off-street access for walkers and bikers.
"We hope this pathways plan will be able to create some real opportunity for transportation choice in addition to having people use them for recreational purposes," said Bre Brusch who works in the Mayor's office. "We hope the paths will go places throughout the city where people can access things they need like grocery stores, schools and work without having to get in their car and drive."
The city started this process in the spring asking people what they wanted in pathways and some of those answers included connectivity, equitable access and safe accessible paths.
The city used that data to come up with a map of choices for people to select from and residents have until the end of July to take the survey.
Some of the choices even include paths along the canals, but for this, the city has to work with the irrigators as these paths have privacy and safety concerns, people should avoid canals because they are a dangerous drowning hazard.
“It’s incumbent on us as a city to meet with the irrigation district and canal partners to see what their requirements would be if we do have a pathway near a canal," said Brusch. "What kind of fencing should we put up to keep people safe and how should we educate folks."
We met up with city employees on the Greenbelt in Esther Simplot Park as they try to spread the word for people to participate, the city will host two more of these pop-up events one on Tuesday at noon at Comba Park and another Wednesday evening at five on the Greenbelt by the Green Acres Food Truck Park.
The city planning department will take the results of this final survey and they hope to present a full draft plan to the city council in September.