Eagle Road stakeholders including homeowners, business
leaders and elected officials met with nationally recognized
transportation planners and local transportation officials
in a three-day workshop last week to create a vision for the
future of the highway corridor.
Eagle Road (Idaho 55) has become Idahos busiest non-interstate
highway, carrying as many as 51,000 vehicles every day from
Interstate 84 to the cities of Boise, Meridian, Eagle, and
on to McCall.
arterials open spaces have given way to well-manicured
subdivisions in park-like settings and extensive retail/commercial
developments, including large shopping and dining outlets
at Eagle Road and Fairview and a river-view Hilton hotel near
Commuters and residents share a concern for safe access to
and from Eagle Road. Workshop participants used arterial study
data, high-tech traffic management models and input from previous
public meetings in their review process.
ITD Director Dave Ekern told the group that the Eagle Road
workshop process could become a model for use in communities
with high-priority corridors and growing traffic concerns.
Ekern said a shared effort among local agencies could create
a technology parkway providing safer and more
efficient traffic flow as well as an aesthetically pleasing
roadway. He explained that traffic planners use the term context
sensitive design to describe the effort that integrates
the system with its environment.
A context sensitive design is one that is in harmony
with the community and the environment, says Ekern.
That means the fit, feel, function and look of the completed
project has a positive impact on the people and community
it was built to serve.
The workshop was part of a collaborative effort that included
the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS),
the Ada County Highway District (ACHD), the Federal Highway
Administration (FHWA) and the Idaho Transportation Department
to create a vision and action plan for improving Eagle Road.
Continued input on the plan will be a cornerstone of future
public meetings. Stakeholders will be notified of times and
places through direct mailings and newspaper advertising.