Residents push for changes to Kootenai Street: 'Cars just fly up and down'

Residents of a Boise Bench neighborhood are demanding changes after growth in the area has caused more traffic, and speeders.

BOISE - If you've lived in or near Boise for awhile, you've likely noticed the growth in business, schools, and neighborhoods. But with that growth, comes a negative side which has led some residents living along Kootenai Street to petition for a change.

"This is my town, but it doesn't feel like my town anymore," said Nathan Bishop, who has lived on Kootenai Street all his life.

He and his wife even moved their family into her grandparents house which they bought back in 1945. 

"We know that this street specifically has been trying to fight this traffic on here for 25 years," said Bishop.

Believe it or not, this area used to be considered the outskirts of Boise where the word "traffic" didn't exist. Now, that's not he case.

"Its got a high traffic volume," said Nicole DuBois with ACHD. "We're talking Kootenai between Vista and Orchard so it's a long stretch of roadway."

With growth downtown, surrounding cities and more cars on the roads, comes speeding.

"Cars just fly up and down," and often reach speeds more than double the 25 mph limit, said Bishop.

"I've complained to the mayor, I've complained to Boise Police," he said. "They've been responsive but at the end of the day they say there's nothing they can do."

Those dead ends led Bishop to shelling out thousands of dollars for his own electronic speed monitor that he will put outside his house. 

"The sad part is I have three young kids and they can't even ride their bikes outside," said Bishop. "One of my daughters almost got hit."

That type of potential accident became a grim reality for the Wyatt family last year when 5-year-old Maximo was hit by a minivan while riding his bike in the same area.  

RELATED: Maximo Wyatt meets surgeon who saved his life

"Since that has happened, nothing has [changed]," said Bishop.

In order to move forward, there is a process. Officials with ACHD told residents they needed to circulate a petition and collect signatures to show the majority of the neighborhood agrees with these changes.

118 signatures later, DuBois says Bishop and his neighbors could be seeing some improvements. 

"We're going to be installing some additional speed limit signs throughout Kootenai in that area between Vista and Orchard," said DuBois.

The signs will remind drivers every three to four blocks of the speed limit. Then, the project will make its way to the Planning and Projects Department. 

"They'll be determining what sort of implementations would be best there which could range from bulb outs to chicanes," said DuBois.

There could even be speed bumps put in place. Regardless of the solution, Bishop says he wants his neighborhood back.

"This is for my kids and there's nothing more important to me than my kids and their safety," said Bishop. 

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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