City and St. Luke's debate cars on Bannock Corridor

The city wants to reopen Bannock Street.

St. Luke's and the city of Boise are working to come to an agreement on what to do with the Bannock Corridor -- the section of roadway between the hospital and Mountain States Tumor Institute.

Over the course of the last three days, St. Luke's has met with community members and the city to help come to a conclusion.

"The conversation that was had was a very productive one. I think at times it was very frank with the mayor and some of the council members with what they felt should be done there," Boise spokesman Mike Journee said.

This as St. Luke's works to put the finishing touches on design elements for that section of their master plan.

"What we need to do is come up with a final design for this particular space and find out what works best for the community, what the community needs are. Is it pedestrians only? Is it bikes and pedestrians? Is it cars?" St. Luke's spokeswoman Anita Kissee said.

Back in the spring of 2016, the city of Boise agreed to allow the closure of nearby Jefferson Street to make way for the hospital's expansion. In return, St. Luke's would provide an easement down Bannock Street, which currently is closed to traffic.

"The agreement is a 28-foot easement with a 10-foot walking and biking path," Kissee said.

However, what still needs to be hashed out is what the other 18 feet will ultimately look like. St. Luke's wants the final project to be what's best for their patients.

"This is a space where family come out, they make those hard phone calls, they make those difficult decisions here. Sometimes they're quiet," Kissee said. "We see that every day and we want that to be incorporated into the design as well as all of the other elements. That's really what we're standing for is our patients and our patient's safety."

The city of Boise believes it's important that with Jefferson Street closing that there's some connectivity.

"We want to bring Bannock back into the right-of-way so that there is some connectivity through there and cars would be an important part of that," Journee said.

Journee added the city is aware that the area in question is in-between two hospitals, which comes with some special considerations.

"It's going to be a part of their campus and so it's got to have a different look and feel. It’s got to have a different kind of context to it rather than a regular city street," Journee said.

St. Luke's plans to put the finishing touches on the design of the Bannock Corridor within the next two months. They will then present that plan to the Boise City Council. Both the council and the Ada County Highway District will have to approve the design.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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