By Mark Barnes
This is the third in a series highlighting the recreational improvement projects the city of Kuna has been working on.
A few months ago a committee was formed and met in Kuna to develop a bicycle plan for the city. At task was to designate specific routes linking major points in Kuna. After just one meeting, results are being seen around town.
The Ada County Highway District has now put signs up around town designating some of these routes.
“We started with a committee for connectivity on the East side of town,” said Mayor Greg Nelson. “We felt with Ridley’s going in and the high school there, those all had to connect. We wanted the major sites connected in town and we started with the East. The new sidewalk will go down to the extension of the east greenbelt path.”
There have been requests, the mayor has said, by sports groups and others to create the links between the paths around town so that running and biking routes can be designated.
There are currently about 10 members on the committee. Several representatives are from the city and include Bobby Winthrow, the Parks & Recreation Supervisor; Chris Engels, Deputy City Clerk and the Mayor. There are citizens including two area teachers and also representatives from the Bureau of Land Management.
Mayor Nelson said that the ultimate vision is to link city bike routes to recreational routes going south. He added that the highway district has started the process to plan out the bike path south to Initial Point along Swan Falls Road.
“We’re going to try for another grant to go from the trail up to the top of Initial Point,” said Nelson. “We’re going to try to get the BLM to allow us to put a horse trail along side the bike trail.”
Further past Initial Point the mayor said that they are working on requests to add a bike lane south to Swan Falls.
“Eventually, people will be able to bike down there, then go down the river to Celebration Point,” he said. “Then the river trail will be able to go all the way up to Payette. “
Also discussed and planned for discussion at the next committee meeting was linking up bike trails for mountain bike access to Kuna Butte. The plan is to have a map and similar series of trails to the south of Kuna much like the Ridge to Rivers Trail System linking Boise bike paths and the foothills trails.
Jared Fluckinger, Outdoor Recreation Planner for the BLM said that an inventory of trails has been conducted for Kuna Butte but that he was unaware of any plans to produce a map.