Here's a quick roundup of some recent transit-related news:
The Idaho Statesman had an excellent editorial in Sunday's paper on the perils of amending the constitution for local-option votes, as HJR4 would do. "Lawmakers say they are trying to break the deadlock over local taxing authority, and give Idaho voters a chance to settle the issue in November. Don't buy it. This doesn't really help local governments and local voters pay for their needs. To make matters worse, lawmakers have cynically co-opted the state Constitution in the name of political expediency." Read it all here.
Writing at the Idaho Conservation League's "Wild Idaho" blog, Sara Cohn added the only argument that the Statesman editorial strangely failed to mention. "One obvious problem with this amendment is that it doesn’t provide an avenue by which regional areas can address transportation problems. Traffic congestion and air pollution do not stop at city or county limits," she wrote.
Meanwhile, over at Eye on Boise, there were some hopeful signs today that the Senate may not be quite so gung-ho to pass what amounts to a poison-pill amendment for effective regional transit solutions.
I missed it while traveling last week, but state Rep. Scott Bedke penned a Statesman op-ed that telegraphed why he, Mike Moyle, Butch Otter, and others are so intent on sealing local option into the constitution: Ada-Canyon bashing. "It is extremely disappointing that a few local Treasure Valley interests have determined that meeting their particular transit needs are more important than addressing the broader needs of communities in 42 other counties throughout Idaho," he wrote. That's a laugh, since the legislature flat out refused to consider the Moving Idaho Forward proposal backed by a coalition from all over Idaho.
Finally, tomorrow night (Wednesday, March 26), Todd Litman of Victoria, B.C., will give a presentation called "Work Smarter, Not Harder, to Improve Transportation." It's set for 6 to 7:30 p.m.. in the North Star Room of the Doubletree Hotel-Riverside, 2900 Chinden Blvd. If you can, call ahead to 855-2558 (ext. 222) and let 'em know you are coming.