GARDEN CITY -- After a request by the city, a highly contentious plan to put a roundabout in downtown Eagle has been scrapped by the Ada County Highway District. But Eagle's mayor says that's not the answer.
Wednesday, ACHD commissioners discussed a letter they received from the Eagle City Council asking them to stop part of a project that would put in a roundabout at Old State Street and Eagle Road. Eagle City Councilman Jeff Kunz presented that letter, citing safety concerns and claiming that most folks in Eagle just don't want it, "By a significant majority, the people that I spoke with, by going door-to-door, also oppose the multi-lane roundabout."
Things even got a little heated. Commission President John Franden said ACHD came up with this plan at the request of the City of Eagle, and he felt like ACHD was being blamed for this unpopular idea, "I do not appreciate, just me personally, the characterization. I know there have been some characterizations made at the City Council, by some, not necessarily you (Kunz), trying to lay this off on the highway district, saying this is their idea and they want to barrel through with this."
But after Franden made that point clear, the commission talked through the issue and eventually voted 3-1 to accept the city's request to halt the plan to build the roundabout. ACHD will also not reserve any right-of-way to build the roundabout. However, ACHD will move forward with expanding Eagle Road near the intersection and other elements of the capital improvement project.
Eagle businessmen and city councilmen in attendance were excited about the decision. However, Eagle Mayor Jim Reynolds says a vocal minority is determining policy that isn't the best for Eagle's future.
"They want to keep it this little country town," said Reynolds. "Unfortunately what happens then, is all around you, it builds up, and then you get all of the traffic and all of the negative aspects of it without any of the positive aspects of it. I'm going to try real hard not to let that happen."
Franden says he drives through the intersection two or three times a day and stressed that something has to be done to improve the traffic flow. ACHD wants the City of Eagle to figure that out and get back to them, soon. However, Reynolds says it could be tough to get the Eagle City Council on the same page about what should be done with that intersection.