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Old 07-01-2007, 08:20 AM
 
110 posts, read 550,320 times
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I was surprised when we drove to Nampa on a Tuesday during rush hour! Seven years ago, the drive from Boise to Nampa was about 20 minutes even during rush hour (unless there was an accident). On Tuesday, it took us almost an hour to get to exit 38 in Nampa, it was stop and go in some areas and the exits to Meridian and Eagle were packed, the line of cars was very long. It seems like we need 4 lanes on each side of the freeway just to accommodate for all the extra cars on the road now. Meridian, Eagle and the surrounded areas developed very fast but the infrastructure didn’t keep up with all of the development. The exit to Eagle was the worse and I know even if you take the back roads to Nampa, it is still quite slow. My husband does the Boise/Nampa commute during rush-hour quite often and he says the drive usually takes anywhere from 30 mins-1 hour, depending on the day of the week, accidents and weather conditions.
I heard there are plans to add extra lanes to the freeway, is this true? Does anyone know if the project was approved? I guess it was a little sad to see how the area has grown but how the traffic has and is getting worse. Also, the road is in very bad condition, I know they re-did most of the Boise stretch a few years ago, but it seems like the entire stretch needs to be re-done.
Fab

Last edited by fabforever; 07-01-2007 at 09:15 AM..
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Old 07-01-2007, 10:22 AM
 
1,011 posts, read 2,985,412 times
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I think they approved redoing that stretch and making it 3 lanes (which makes no sense to me...why not 4?).

Personally I think the money would be better spent on developing ways to keep people in their hometowns, rather than encouraging a commute. You build a better freeway, you'll just have more people moving into Nampa/Caldwell/Meridian and making that drive to Boise. If the commute is insufferable, people will either reconsider moving, or else start looking for jobs in their hometowns.

But yeah, I84 is bad. There's usually a fatal wreck per week on the stretch to Mountain Home.
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Old 07-01-2007, 04:27 PM
 
121 posts, read 713,554 times
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The traffic is a direct result of the escalating real estate values. Over the past several years the cost of housing in Boise has increased so much that the average worker can't afford to buy a home. First Eagle, then Meridian, now Kuna and other outlying areas have become bedroom communities for Boise workers. Unfortunately the freeway system hasn't kept up with the pace. They really need an additional express/carpool lane like other large metro areas. If congestion gets any worse they'll be installing traffic lights at the onramps like in the Seattle area.
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Old 07-01-2007, 05:44 PM
 
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Very true.

The average worker can't afford to live in Boise or Eagle (and hardly Meridian anymore). So she must live further away and suffer the horrible commute. And at the same time, if the commuting conditions are improved, more people move outward, real estate again escalates, and the commute becomes even more horrible.

The only solutions are to either mass commute, to live close to work (and walk or bike), or to have local leadership encourage businesses to locate in these bedroom communities (and open another can of worms).

It's so bleak.
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Old 07-02-2007, 07:37 AM
 
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One thing that I noticed at my new job is that most of the sales reps and mangers all tend to live in Boise. All of the people in support roles like our drivers and CSR's all tend to live out in Nampa, Meridian or Kuna. So the people making the least amount of money are driving the most everyday into work. Is it the same at anyone else's job?
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Old 07-02-2007, 09:50 AM
 
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The traffic on 84 is no different than any other metro area in the U.S. Try going through Sacramento during rush hour, or Seattle or Phoenix. The country is growing everywhere and the freeways have not kept up. That's just the way it is (unfortunately).
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Old 07-02-2007, 10:13 AM
 
110 posts, read 550,320 times
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I disagree; I think the Boise metro area is very different in size than let’s say Portland or Seattle. I mean, we don't even have a metro system or a (real) public transportation system here, although we might need one soon! We drive from Portland to Salem (OR) often and although the traffic is bad in certain areas, they have done a great job in promoting the metro system and getting people out of the roads. However the traffic on I-84 during rush hour looks much like the traffic in those bigger cities. I heard there is a plan for a metro system (connecting Boise & Nampa) in the future and hopefully people will use it. I think part of the problem is that in this side of the country, people see public transportation and carpooling in a negative way. I talked to several people who would rather be stuck in traffic for 2 hours than to take a metro or an alternative transportation method! It is a stigma I think people in the Boise area will have to let go in the next 10-20 years! I actually think people will have no choice, and with gas princes going up, public transportation will become more and more appealing.
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Old 07-02-2007, 12:03 PM
 
41 posts, read 163,084 times
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A metro system might relieve some of the traffic, but it isn't going to change things all that much. Sacramento has a metro system and you can still barely drive through that town. Granted it would be worse if everyone who was riding the bus and train decided to drive, but the majority of areas in the U.S. have not improved the infrastructure to keep up with the growth in population. Boise is no different.
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Old 07-02-2007, 08:33 PM
 
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The problem with the light-rail idea is that there isn't much room for one. We could use the existing rail system, but it runs too far from existing business sectors to be useful.

I can't see most Idahoans willing to walk or bus to a light-rail station, riding the light-rail, and then again taking a bus or walking to their destination. It would almost be offensive to them, to be without their SUV.

I think the first thing we need to do is to create carpool/hybrid driving lanes, and then increase the bus system (times and routes). We also need to look into developing our communities in ways where we can live where we work.
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Old 07-04-2007, 10:21 AM
 
41 posts, read 163,084 times
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When you have a few minutes to spare the video on this link will give a reason why the freeways are so crowded - everywhere.

Immigration_by_the_Numbers.mov
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