Idaho Transportation

Public Affairs Office
P.O. Box 7129
Boise, ID 83707
Fax: 208.334.8563

COMPASS to unveil long-range regional plan

The Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS) announces completion of the Communities in Motion: Regional Long-Range Transportation Plan 2030. Anyone interested in the vision for transportation in Southwest Idaho can pick up a copy of the plan during an event at the Best Western Vista Inn at 2645 Airport Way in Boise on Saturday (Feb. 24).

“Putting Communities into Action,” a transportation planning fair, is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event also is intended to thank the public for participating in the planning process and to share strategies for implementation, according to Terri Schorzman, COMPASS Communications Coordinator.

Seventeen organizations will staff exhibit booths, and eleven presentations about transportation and planning issues will take place throughout the day. Exhibitors and presentations scheduled for Saturday include:

  • Ada County Highway District and Commuteride
  • Ada County Development Services
  • Blueprint for Good Growth project
  • Boise State University
  • Capital City Development Corporation
  • Central District Health
  • City of Boise
  • City of Caldwell
  • City of Garden City
  • City of Meridian
  • City of Nampa
  • Community Planning Association (COMPASS)
  • Idaho Department of Environment Quality
  • Idaho Smart Growth
  • Idaho Transportation Department
  • Treasure Valley Clean Cities Coalition
  • Valley Regional Transit

Excerpts from the plan’s executive summary

Defining the vision:
We envision a Treasure Valley where quality of life is enhanced and communities are connected by an innovative, effective, multi-modal transportation system.

Communities in Motion (CIM) is the regional long-range transportation plan for Southwest Idaho and provides regional transportation solutions for the next twenty-plus years for Ada, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, and Payette counties.

Communities in Motion evaluates projected population and employment growth, current and future transportation needs, safety, financial capacity, and preservation of the human and natural environment.

Communities in Motion offers a vision for land use, known as “Community Choices” and addresses:

  • How land use affects transportation
  • How investments in transportation influence growth
  • What the transportation system supposed to achieve
  • How transportation projects are selected
  • How transportation projects serve regional needs

The CIM planning process identified a broad vision, community goals, objectives, and measurable tasks. This was accomplished by engaging people early in the process. Over 2000 residents, stakeholders, and elected officials participated in developing the plan.
Of those who reviewed and commented on the plan, 72 percent supported it.


  • Connections: Provide options for safe access and mobility in a cost-effective manner in the region.
  • Coordination: Achieve better inter-jurisdictional coordination of transportation and land use planning.
  • Environment: Minimize transportation impacts to people, cultural resources, and the environment.
  • Information: Coordinate data gathering and dispense better information.

Communities in Motion supports:

  • Balance between housing and jobs
  • Choices in housing types
  • Choices in transportation and shorter commuting distance
  • Connectivity through higher densities
  • Preservation of open space and farmland

Growing our region:

“Community Choices” encourages growth inside city “areas of impact,” and emphasizes higher densities and mixed uses with jobs, shopping and services closer to housing. If growth and development do not follow “Community Choices” and instead follow the current pattern (known as “Trend”), it will be possible to drive through Southwest Idaho and not be able to tell when you’ve left one town and entered another because residential growth will have blurred the boundaries.

More and more people commute to Ada and Canyon counties from Gem, Payette, Boise and Elmore counties every day. For example, more than half of Boise County’s working population and 37 percent of Gem County’s commuted to Ada and Canyon in 2000 according to the U.S. Census, and the percentages keep growing. Other travel pressures exist as well. Recreational travel affects Boise County, while Payette County faces heavy truck traffic along U.S. 95.

But the traffic problems of today will pale in comparison to the problems in 2030, due in part to population growth. In 2000, the six-county region had slightly over 500,000 residents; by 2030, the population may swell to nearly 1 million or more. The location of jobs to support this growing population will be critical. Growth and what it means for the future of our region is the reason for Communities in Motion.

The Communities in Motion planning process looked at how our region might develop.

Using input from public workshops, local governments, stakeholders, and elected officials, COMPASS developed the growth scenario – “Community Choices” – on which the plan is based. The scenario offers a vision for a more cost-effective, multi-modal transportation system. To support this vision, funding for public infrastructure must be directed to areas of growth consistent with those outlined in CIM.

If done, new growth patterns will mean that our region will:

  • Consume less land
  • Save more open space
  • Offer more housing choices
  • Foster the use of public transportation
  • Cut one million daily vehicle miles of travel
  • Ease traffic congestion
  • Reduce fuel consumption

(Note: for the full executive summary of the complete plan, go to:

Published 2-16-07