By Laura Colvin
Kuna Melba News editor
The Kuna Downtown Corridor Plan is ready for public inspection.
That’s the word from the Ada County Highway District (ACHD), who recently presented a draft of the plan to the Kuna City Council and will return to the council’s next regular meeting Oct. 2 to conduct a public hearing.
The 121 page document, which is available for review at Kuna City offices as well as online at http://www.achdidaho.org/Projects/PublicProject.aspx?ProjectID=225, details the project study area, background, purpose, need and objectives while also outlining the process and providing supporting documentation.
It also recounts more than a year of meetings, public workshops, feedback collection and concept development, while projecting on various aspects of future need.
The Corridor Improvement Plan itself includes scale drawings of the preliminary design, for intersection layouts, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and approximate right-of-way needs. Additional information, such as drainage facilities and enhanced pedestrian crossing locations are identified as well.
None of it will happen this year, and much of the plan will likely reamin plans on paper through the next decade.
But ACHD planners say its a tool for days to come.
“It provides a good template for future planning,” said Jeff Lowe, ACHD Senior Transportation Planner. “It lets people know what’s going to happen, and what it’s going to look like.”
ACHD commissioners, Lowe said, would like the council to adopt the plan at the upcoming meeting.
“I think they’d like to know the city is happy with the plan so there’s some buy-in” he said.
If the council does adpopt the plan Oct. 2, it will then likely go before ACHD commissioners for consideration Oct. 24.
If it gets a nod there, something could happen.
“Basically the top project that comes out of the plan will go as a placeholder on the ACHD five-year work program,” Lowe said, noting the “top project” would be determined partly by its placement on the plan priority list, and partly by other factors, such as project cost or nearby development.
Generally, he said, the feedback he’s received from the community has been good.
“People are happy we’re looking at things in Kuna, and happy we’re listening,” he said noting, however, that he has heard some trepidation about plans for roundabouts.
Kuna Mayor Greg Nelson, on the other hand, said his preference for a top projedt would be a roundabout at Linder and Main, hands down.
“That’s the most dangerous intersection we have,” Nelson said. “There’s been more wrecks there than anywhere else.”
Roundabout or not, Nelson said the ACHD plan does not address his one real downtown sore spot – parking, or lack thereof.
“The rest I could be talked into one way or another,” he said. “I think we should make our own plan for parking–take over the 4th Street Gym, move city hall over there and open up all that parking.”
Corridor Plan for downtown Kuna based on the Preferred Corridor Alternative C2-3. Specifically, the plan identifies the following elements:
- Corridor improvement plan
– Access management considerations
- Pedestrian and bicycle network
- Conceptual construction cost estimates
- Other design considerations
The Corridor Plan provides a comprehensive set of transportation improvements to establish the long term vision for downtown Kuna and to serve the growing multimodal travel needs within the area for the next 20 years and beyond. The plan was developed with extensive public involvement through the alternative screening and evaluation process described in this report.
Near-term Improvements (0 to 10 years)
The near-term phasing represents an approximate timeline of the next ten years for planning, design, and construction of the identified improvements.
The near-term phase includes five capital projects and eleven community program projects. The capital projects include the following:
- Single lane roundabout at Linder Avenue/Main Street/3rd Street intersection
- Traffic signal at Kay Avenue/Avalon Street intersection
- Widening of Avalon Street East to five lanes
- Multilane roundabout at Swan Falls Road/Avalon Street intersection
- Curb return improvements at the Shortline Street/Swan Falls Road intersection projects.