By Mitch Jaurena, ACHD Commissioner
Recently allegations have been made by a Kuna resident that suggested our City’s residents, businesses, schools, police department, elected leadership, and ACHD have somehow neglected Kuna’s true transportation needs in order to pursue “yet another plan” and that, “[the] money could have gotten us sidewalks through the older parts of the city.” Also, this individual incorrectly stated that the current plans, which were collaboratively developed and approved by Kuna citizens, businesses, elected officials, and ACHD, are unnecessary and that, “the city won’t want it when you see the devastation to businesses and pedestrians.” Frankly, this individual is either grossly misinformed or is cloaking their true agenda, which I believe is clearly NOT in Kuna’s best interest. Let me state the facts:
- The Kuna Downtown Plan which was approved by the City and ACHD is not a quick fix as alleged. In contrast, the plan provides a comprehensive set of transportation improvements that support Kuna’s long term vision for the next 20 years. The hard fact is that the individual who made these allegations was ITD’s representative on this plan and had failed to raise any concerns during the very lengthy planning and extensive community involvement process. It is wildly inappropriate that, after being invited to the planning table to make recommendations and failing to do so, this person now seeks to openly criticize the work which he himself neglected to engage in.
- Our joint efforts with all of the other stakeholders who readily participated in the process successfully resulted in an integrated plan composed of 14 capital projects and 26 community program projects, valued at $20,300,000. Moreover, in recognition of excellence, Kuna’s plan was highlighted in Washington, DC and awarded COMPASS’s “first place” recognition as a stellar example of integrated community planning. It simply does not get any better than that.
- The planned roundabout at Linder, Main, and 3rd Avenue is a near-term, high priority, Kuna City project and a key element of the Kuna Downtown Corridor Plan which was developed after substantial public and business involvement. It is not, as the individual claims, something that “will not fix anything.” Currently, all ACHD approved roundabouts are operating effectively and safely. This individual’s accusation that a roundabout was responsible for a child’s death in Meridian is not only flat wrong, egregiously insensitive and inappropriate, but seems to underscore what appears to be his consistent attempt to erroneously characterize events for his own gain. I cannot let that accusation stand.
As your representative on the ACHD Commission, I wanted to take this opportunity to clear up any uncertainty and assure you have the facts. The truth is that the City, its citizens, and ACHD have been, and will continue to be, partners in successfully bringing Kuna safe, and effective transportation options that reflect what the city and its citizens desire to see in our community.