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Congestion and pedestrian safety among list of concerns at Nampa transportation meeting

Posted: 10:55 PM, Jul 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-19 05:04:19Z

It's no secret transportation is at the top of Nampa's "fix-it" list, and a recent city survey proved it.

"Transportation is the single most important thing to the people who responded," said Senior Transportation Planner Clair Bowman.

And it's easy to understand why: of the more than 30,000 jobs in Nampa, less than 9,000 of those are held by Nampa residents. That means commuter traffic plays a huge role in Nampa culture.

"It's concerning to our citizens" said Nampa City Mayor Debbie Kling. "They don't like the congestion and the crowded streets that we're moving into."

The city hosted their final transportation open house Wednesday to review proposed improvements and present funding options... options that the mayor says can be hard to come by.

"It's important to understand that we do not have access to the same dollars that Ada County has," Mayor Kling said. "Ada County has access to federal funds that come through that go through to a larger metropolitan area."

At the open house meeting, the city's aim was to discover the priorities of the people.

"We will be asking them, do you want any of these options? Or would you prefer to leave the funding at the level it's currently funded?" said Bowman.

Retired schoolteacher Vernell Crumbaugh showed up with pedestrian safety in mind. "For the children, especially, going to school, I think our lack of sidewalks is a real problem," she said.

In addition, Crumbaugh says the sidewalks in Downtown Nampa could use improvements. "The citizens of Nampa really need access to the city in a better way."

Mayor Kling says that sidewalks are an area of improvement, but also that they are not an "easy fix."

"The lack of a sidewalk has to do with the ground close to an area that has yet to be developed," she said. "When it is developed, those sidewalks will be required. And so we've got this interim time where maybe there isn't access via sidewalk and that is not safe."

Mayor Kling says Nampa residents are encouraged to call or email her office with suggestions, complaints, or solutions.