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Old 09-30-2011, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Southeast Idaho
4,063 posts, read 10,127,410 times
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Question Former Schlotkzy's in Idaho Falls

When I drove by there yesterday, I saw that there was a sold sign atop the realtor sign, does anyone know anything?
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:12 PM
 
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Saw your post on another site and thought you might be able to answer our question. We are over 60 and thinking of moving to Idaho Falls. My husband has 30+ years driving CDL and has his own truck. He saw lots of hay trucks last time we drove through and is wondering if there are jobs out of Idaho Falls hauling hay. This is his personal favorite haul. Thanks for any info you might have.
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
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Hi, Sweetie...
A hard right turn on this topic thread!
Your hubby might find a job as a hay hauler. The region around here has had a good hay year, and there are a lot of harder hit areas that will be buying hay for the winter. How much we have that will be sold down to Nevada, Cali, or other areas is something I don't know much about.

Traditionally, the big dairy farms in the Twin Falls area always buy some hay from here; that would be a full day trip, but wouldn't be a 2 or 3 day. I suggest you try to dig up a list of trucking companies here, and start talking to a few of them. I'll bet some farmers have their own delivery trucks for hay.
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:58 PM
 
3,957 posts, read 6,617,360 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cleosmom View Post
When I drove by there yesterday, I saw that there was a sold sign atop the realtor sign, does anyone know anything?
No, not any new info, other than previous rumors of Carls Jr, but I can't offer any confirmation at this point. Carl's would seem to be a possibility, as they have a Burley location. But I don't have any confirmation of that.
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Old 09-30-2011, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
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The footprint property is valuable. I don't know who bought it, but there could be a number of businesses who could fit in the existing building, and it may have a larger footprint, which could make an addition possible.
Another possibility is an existing fast food outfit may have bought it to move- 17th has a bunch now that are difficult to access because they enter & exit onto 17th st., and the high traffic makes both hard to do now. The Schlotkzy's location has big advantages that way.
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:33 PM
 
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17th in Idaho Falls is quickly becoming not an asset, but a deterrent. The old Taco John's is still for sale, and I would guess the access issue was and remains a problem.

This is indeed an Idaho Falls city problem. However, not much can be done here. There is no room to expand 17th, and while the expanded Sunnyside has taken some pressure off, there are few businesses on Sunnyside, so 17th still is the main arterial. Solutions are complicated, if not impossible.

Perhaps an expanded service road around Teton mall would help, and an expanded service road around areas to the west would help, but that would take out current businesses. This is a typical example of growth and development that needs to happen, but with no real room to do it. Unfortunately, this area will just get more congested, and ultimately will hurt business in the area.

Example: On any given Saturday, I will avoid like a plague 17th and Hitt. It is impossible, with delays of 15 minutes or more. So if people avoid the area, then what is the net gain? Not much. Idaho Falls (and Ammon) need to figure this out, because if they are to maintain revenues, they need to provide an easy entrance to their retail centers. This problem is getting worse year by year. Eventually, shoppers will simply avoid the area.
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pw72 View Post
17th in Idaho Falls is quickly becoming not an asset, but a deterrent. The old Taco John's is still for sale, and I would guess the access issue was and remains a problem.

This is indeed an Idaho Falls city problem. However, not much can be done here. There is no room to expand 17th, and while the expanded Sunnyside has taken some pressure off, there are few businesses on Sunnyside, so 17th still is the main arterial. Solutions are complicated, if not impossible.

Perhaps an expanded service road around Teton mall would help, and an expanded service road around areas to the west would help, but that would take out current businesses. This is a typical example of growth and development that needs to happen, but with no real room to do it. Unfortunately, this area will just get more congested, and ultimately will hurt business in the area.

Example: On any given Saturday, I will avoid like a plague 17th and Hitt. It is impossible, with delays of 15 minutes or more. So if people avoid the area, then what is the net gain? Not much. Idaho Falls (and Ammon) need to figure this out, because if they are to maintain revenues, they need to provide an easy entrance to their retail centers. This problem is getting worse year by year. Eventually, shoppers will simply avoid the area.
I fully agree, 72.

17th St. was never thought out very well, if at all. It was one of those situations where an old arterial street may have been widened too much, as it went from 2 lanes to 3, and stayed that way for a very long time. All of a sudden, it was a 5 lane street, bounded on both sides by older homes and lots of small farm ground, all of which were owned by folks happy to sell.

There are many areas along 17th where there are still no sidewalks, and there are no pedestrian barriers to traffic at all- a car collision can easily slam a car onto almost all of the sidewalks. The speed limit on 17th is also fast, a condition that makes all pedestrian, bicycle, wheelchair and scooter travel very hazardous.
I believe that the fast speed limit also increases driver frustration. Stoplights have been set at increasingly longer intervals as the cross traffic has steadily increased, which makes drivers go all the faster between long waits at the lights.

Alternatives to 17th- 12th St. and 21st St. both have slower traffic but are getting heavier usage; 12th has a lot of school crossings, and is posted at half the speed 17th is, and 21st has central dividers. Even so, there is more automobile movement and less waiting for the lights on both.

I travel Holmes Ave. a lot, and always have. Holmes was one of the first 4-lane arterials, and it became a miniature and more dangerous version of 17th over time. The biggest danger was the narrowness of the lanes- drivers had to stop and wait for traffic to clear before turning left, and other drivers constantly sped up to drive around a blockage they could see ahead.

But they couldn't see well what was up in the other lane, or see what left turning drivers on the opposite side were doing. It was all a race to the lane that didn't have stopped traffic, and collisions of all kinds just grew worse and worse. Because Holmes accesses so many 1-way streets, pedestrian and bike accidents were often more lethal than on other arterials, and car collisions were often worse.

Once the city decided to make Holmes a 3-lane instead of 4, the accident rate went down 27% in the first year. Everyone who uses Holmes travels slower now, but the center turn lane keeps the traffic flowing much better than before on most of it. The only real traffic problem are between John Adams and 12th, where the High School really clogs it. I believe 1 more stop light on 8th St. would relieve a lot of the congestion, as traffic really piles up between the lights on John Adams and 9th. Good stoplight staging and an additional light would keep everything moving slower, but moving.

A similar solution may be good for 17th. Eliminating 1 outside lane each way with a low barricade would create a smaller lane for bikes and other small motorized vehicles, and would give pedestrians a fighting chance. Slowing the speed limit and adding staged buffer lights on E. 17th at Ava Ave. and along the long stretch between the Jennie Lee light and Woodruff would also help to stop the long waits between lights. And the entire length of 17th, from the river to the Ammon line, should be completely paved with sidewalks.

I'm sure folks would holler their heads off at this, just as they did with Holmes. But I truly think that a more uninterrupted traffic flow at lower speed is the key to making 17th work, and the cost of this change would be much less expensive than trying to create cross diversions over to Sunnyside. It's not the speed that folks want, it's the steady movement.
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:34 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
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Default Idaho Falls' car culture

As a follow up to my earlier post:

I just came back from a visit to Missoula, a city that is a lot like Idaho Falls in many ways. Missoula underwent a lot of fast growth, has a lot of newcomers, and has many old streets that converge with arterials at odd angles. One 5-way intersection is called Malfunction Junction by the locals.

Like 17th St., Missoula has a couple of arterials that are the result of unforseen consequences that came from widening. Like I.F., Missoula has a river running through the center of town with several bridges spanning it, and like I.F., there has been explosive growth outside the city limits.
One serious problem there doesn't exist here- Missoula is in the bottom of a hole surrounded by mountains. There are real limits to how much the county can sprawl.

Unlike Idaho Falls, the number of bike riders and pedestrians in Missoula is very high. It's a college town, so there are a big number of young adults who walk and ride bikes there. The city, partly by accident and partly by design, has accommodated these folks much better than here. Many of the arterials have bike lanes that are either marked or are just there- the outside lane is wider than the inside on 4-lanes. There are wider intersections on the newer streets allowing better visibility, and there are many dividers of all kinds on the streets. But most of all, Missoula is a better and generally safer city to walk or ride a bike in.

Car drivers are more tolerant of this traffic, and the speed limits around town are all set lower than here, with a less wide range of speeds. There are no 40mph streets there that I know of, but lots of streets that are 25 in one stretch that speed up to 30 or 35 in other stretches.

Idaho Falls is more addicted to cars. Missoulans tend to walk more, because there is better access, more overall safety, and more neighborhood shopping spots than I.F. It's easy there to travel just a few blocks by foot to go get some groceries or go out to eat.

Idaho Falls used to be much like Missoula that way- when I was a kid, there were still a lot of small neighborhood markets and other small businesses scattered throughout the numbered streets and the older areas of I.F.

Somehow, we have really sucked up the entire notion of the Big Box concentrated shopping areas. We all get in our car now to do stuff we used to be able to do with a short walk.

I don't think it has made us a happier place. Except for the downtown area, almost every shopping center in town has turned into a constant traffic fight of some kind, whether it is driving in complicated loops around store parking lots to find the quickest access to a street, or constantly roaming around in cars, looking to save a few footsteps between the car and the store's doorway.
Our addiction to using the car for everything comes partly from our poor access for anything but automobiles, and partly because we have forgotten how nice it is to slow down to a walk and enjoy our errands and common trips to stores. We have also made our town much less friendly and neighborly a place with our zoning laws that prohibit small residential businesses.

It is obvious to me that the car culture I grew up in, and remains so predominant in Idaho Falls, is doomed. Gasoline, no matter how you look at the fuel, is never going to be as cheap as it once was, and automobiles, either.
We already have far too much good land covered with parking lots that could be used for much better purposes, and our solutions for growth that are based on autos first are becoming ever more complex and less satisfactory. For every good traffic fix, another street that is the future congestion point for a subdivision is being graded and paved.

Our small outlying communities are going to get pinched by our car addiction even more than I.F.
As an example, a failed subdivision just east of Iona would have created a perfect nightmare if it had been built. The number of proposed homes would have constituted about a 25% increase, but all lay outside Iona city limits. It had only 2 streets that allowed access to arterials, and none of the arterials were big enough to handle the heavy traffic that would have been created. Fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars would have severe problems getting in or out of the subdivision for 12 hours of every day. One of the arterials in Iona goes past the grade school, where there is a 20mph limit for about 3 blocks. The traffic would have piled up in 2 different directions in that congestion point, and would have endangered little kids.

The county arterial roads would have developed huge congestion points at stoplights just outside the city limits of I.F., and larger congestion points within I.F. city limits.
And the entire thing was approved by county zoning and planning as is.

I believe the real key to good, sustainable, livable growth in Idaho Falls and surrounding areas in Bonneville County is a plan that encourages non-automobile traffic, as many access streets as possible in residential areas, a county-wide speed limit agreement, and wide agreement in city and county planning and zoning.
I also think that breaking up the Big Box building zones would be a very good idea, and less restrictive zoning laws on small groceries and neighborhood service stores should be done.
We once didn't depend on our cars for every single little thing, and we did quite well without them. We still have a few of the many little neighborhood gas and convenience stores that were all over town, and we could use more small cafés and coffee shops in our neighborhoods where folks can get together and socialize with no need to drive across town to do it.

Idaho Falls is already a much friendlier city than lots of others. If we take some care, and look to the future a little more, it can become even better than it is now.
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Old 10-03-2011, 06:52 PM
 
3,957 posts, read 6,617,360 times
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Interesting discussion.

Let me throw something out there and you can shoot me down or not...

How about a limited expressway from just east of where Hwy 20 and I-15 intersect, (utilizing the infrastructure that already exists at this intersection, then a beltway through the Lincoln Road area, not imposing any effect on Lincoln itself. Then a nice gradual curve to the south just east of Woodruff. Much of this area is still unoccupied. Head south through Ammon. End it at Sunnyside with possible expansion southward.

OK, this would be a complicated and expensive project, but it could be the E/W corridor that IF needs.
Just think, a nice way to get to the east side of the IF metro. At the same time, encouraging development along the route.

This, I understand is just fantasy, but if it could be put together, could help solve a lot of the issues with 17th, add development, and provide a new E/W route. You certainly can't do this in-city IF, but there are still areas that are not developed on the north side and into Ammon.

Why not think big? Who would finance it is a total 'nuther question, that is why it is fantasy.
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Old 10-04-2011, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
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Not a bad plan at all, pw!
Since business here always follows road improvement, this would sure be a good way of spreading new businesses out and away from the congestion.
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