Thanks for wonderful tributes
Sue Higgins and ITD community
Dear Sue and all of the other fantastic ITD people, including certainly the ITD chairman and board members...
What a party! Yes, I did say party. The auditorium was beautiful... all the flowers, pictures, etc. A beautiful cake with Jack's picture on it, all the cookies, coffee and punch. Almost forgot to tell you how nice the corsages were. The book at one end for those who wanted could write a note or two.
The impromptu speeches were delightful and the wonderful gifts – that beautiful picture of the Tetons and flying geese, cuet old-time picture of the crew on the old car... The clock and the inscription were lovely. I must be leaving something out.
It was so nice of you to include our family and to make arrangements for two of our sons to watch on teleconferencing.
I know my husband was a little overwhelmed – never imagining such a celebration. I could tell by his speech.
Thank you, thank you. He will always remember this and all of you. We hope to see you now and then when we are in Boise. All our thanks and appreciation for a fabulous occasion. Well done.
Eileen and Jack Combo and family
Continue funding enhancement projects
Dear ITD board members:
Thank you for considering this letter in support of the federally funded Transportation
Enhancement (TE) program. The group of Idaho businesses, cities, counties, and non-
profit organizations listed below urge you to fully support this program and consider the
TE program as an integral part of transportation planning. As more and more people call
Idaho home, it is increasingly important that we work to create vibrant and livable
communities. Please consider the TE program as an essential part in preserving Idaho’s
unique quality of life.
The TE program gives communities access to irreplaceable funds that support bikeways
and pedestrian pathways, and to preserve historic transportation corridors and structures.
This program supports Idaho communities that seek to safely link important destinations
by providing a funding source for sidewalks or bike paths. Transportation Enhancement
funds can be used to create a greater sense of place and fund needed beautification
projects through gateway landscaping. This program also supports the preservation of
Idaho’s history, such as the Oregon Trail and the Pony Express corridor. It is important to
note that all of these amenities boost tourism in Idaho’s rural communities. By providing
pedestrians and bikers with dedicated paths or renovating an old train depot station, this
program allows Idahoans to create and preserve livable communities in a fast-growing
In fiscal year 2009, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) expects approximately
5.5 million dollars in federal-aid expenditures for TE projects that will begin
development in 2011. These expenditures amount to approximately 1 percent of the total ITD
budget. To Idaho communities, this funding is considered priceless.
For instance, projects benefiting from TE funding in the northern Panhandle include the
Bonners Ferry Pedestrian Underpass and the Dover to Sandpoint Community Trail. Both
have had enormous positive impact in these communities. The underpass has created a
safe passage across U.S. Highway 95 from the Kootenai River Inn and downtown
Bonners Ferry, while the Dover to Sandpoint pathway is used regularly by commuters,
high school sports teams, dog walkers and untold numbers of joggers, bicyclists,
preschoolers and senior citizens.
Additionally, in 1999 and 2000, over 2 million dollars of TE funds were used to develop
the Three Island Crossing State Park in Glenns Ferry, and the National Oregon/California
Trail Center in Montpelier, Idaho. These historical museums take visitors through the
pioneer experience of traveling along newly created transportation corridors such as the Oregon and California Trails in Idaho. These centers attract tourism to Idaho
communities and provide innumerable social and economic benefits. These projects were
highlighted in Connections: The National Transportation Enhancement Clearinghouse
Newsletter. In this article, Patti Raino, then ITD Enhancements program coordinator,
expressed the true value of the TE program:
“The Oregon Trail is Idaho’s first road, after all, and ITD has helped preserve that
important piece of history through various programs and projects that would not have
been possible without the Enhancement funding.” (emphasis added).
These are just a few examples of how these relatively small projects greatly impact Idaho
communities. As you consider budgeting alternatives and the importance of various
programs during this Board meeting, we urge you to consider the many direct and
indirect benefits of the TE program.
The TE program funds projects that build better
communities, provide Idahoans with safe alternative transportation options, preserve
Idaho’s historical heritage, and foster good- will between state and federal agencies.
Limiting the TE funding opportunities that are currently available to Idaho communities
would be depriving Idahoans of important quality of life options. We urge you to support
the Transportation Enhancement program to the full extent possible.
Mayor Roger Chase, city of Pocatello
and 21 co-signers