Is Treasure Valley growing too fast? Some think so

Posted at 1:47 PM, Oct 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-19 19:19:38-04

An increasing number of southwest Idaho residents feel the area is growing too fast, putting demands on public transportation options -- according to a survey released by Boise State University officials.

BSU’s School of Public Service released the second annual Treasure Valley Survey Thursday morning. The survey asked 1,000 adult residents of Ada, Boise, Canyon, Gem and Owyhee Counties for their opinions on a variety of topics, including economic development, employment, housing, taxes and public spending priorities.

Justin Vaughn, Survey Director for the School of Public Service, said the results show that Treasure Valley residents continue to rate life in the Valley quite favorably.

“From the economy to neighborhood safety to how welcoming their fellow residents are, respondents give the Treasure Valley high marks. There are some areas of dissatisfaction -- for example, an increasing number think the area is growing too fast and the demand for public transportation options has grown -- but by and large, the results of this study underscore the high quality of life the region has come to be known for,” Vaughn said.

More than 85 percent of respondents ranked the Treasure Valley as either “very welcoming or somewhat welcoming,” and more than 90 percent said the quality of life is either “good” or “excellent.” Furthermore, the Treasure Valley’s economy got high marks with more than 70 percent ranking it in the top two slots, compared to about 40 percent that ranked the national economy similarly.

This year’s survey showed that 54.9 percent of residents believe that the Treasure Valley is growing too fast, more than ten percent more than last year.

Corey Cook, Dean of the School of Public Service, said the school was created in July, 2015 to help serve as an objective and unbiased resource for citizens and decision-makers.

“We conduct statewide and regional public opinion research because we think this is an important way to understand more about the priorities and preferences of citizens of Idaho. We hope that the data we provide online will be accessed and used to inform decision-making in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors” said Cook.

In other results, nearly three-quarters of all respondents said their community could use more mass transit options and 34 percent said they would like to see public transportation as a public spending priority. When asked what the Treasure Valley’s top transportation priority should be, 29.9 percent said a commuter rail and 23 percent said bus routes.

Treasure Valley residents overwhelmingly said they feel safe in their neighborhoods with more than 99 percent of respondents ranking their neighborhood as either “extremely safe,” “very safe” or “somewhat safe.”

While respondents said they feel safe and enjoy a good quality of life, more than 80 percent said they are concerned about opioid abuse -- and more than 43 percent said they are unaware of resources and support programs for those affected by opioids.

To read the full report and breakdowns by county and city, visit[].