Sunday, September 20, 2009

City to Close Carousel Entry at State Street?

Next Monday, the 28th, City Council will hold a public hearing regarding Riverfront Park and the Boise Redevelopment Project. The developers of the Boise project propose to close the entry to the park from State street and create a new entry off of Front street. According to the city:
the City received a request from the developers of the Boise property (Pringle Square LLC) to submit a revised railroad-highway crossing application with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Rail Division. Pringle Square is redeveloping the Boise site into a mixed-use project. The revised application would close the existing at-grade crossing at State Street, just west of the Front Street Bypass, and create a new public street at-grade crossing further south through the former Boise Cascade property. In exchange for the City’s agreement to amend its crossing application to include the closure of the existing State Street vehicle and pedestrian crossing into Riverfront Park and make it possible for a new at-grade crossing to be constructed on the Boise property, the developers have proposed to complete street/sidewalk improvements and create new parking spaces for the carousel.

On September 28, 2009 there will be a public hearing on the proposed request to revise the railroad-highway crossing application.

For questions related to this please contact City Information Manager, Mike Gotterba at telephone 503-588-6347 or
Unfortunately plans for the crossing and entry aren't yet published to the city's website. The plan is complicated, and a diagram and map helps.

Whether you walk, bike, or drive, the plan requires a good chunk of out-of-direction travel to enter the park. And while it relocates a crossing of the RR tracks, it also removes a crossing of Front street and entry. Access by bicycles and pedestrians across Front street will be diminished by one location.

The proposed agreement also increases auto parking inside the park and sidewalk improvements outside of the park, but doesn't help with getting into the park. It does not make improvements for entry and egress for bikes and peds. Both park and Boise project are conceived soley as auto destinations.

If indeed this is the only way to create an entry for both the park and the Boise project, the city and Pringle Square together can make a better agreement, one that improves access for all users, pedestrians, bicyclists, skateboarders, transit riders, and motorists.

Expect more on Friday when the city publishes the staff report prior to Monday's council session.

No comments: