Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Getting with the (comp) plan

I was down at the second Urban Lunch today to hear Tricia Nilsson talk about updates to Boise's Comprehensive Plan, Blueprint Boise, which is now open for public review. Nilsson said that, in sum, her work and that of other city planners is about helping city residents have "the best day possible." In other words, the basics should be covered: We shouldn't have to think about whether the police will come when we need help, whether our children can walk to school safely, or whether our toilets will flush in the morning. But it's good to have some "extras," too: Nilsson described how, about an hour after the new branch library opened at Cole and Ustick last year, a young girl was on one of its computers, checking out a TV show from her native Somalia via YouTube.

The draft comp plan is posted on the city website, and Nilsson encouraged Boiseans to read it and offer feedback, either via email or at one of several community meetings that'll take place in February ahead of the official public hearings later this year. Echoing her earlier comment, Nilsson added that planners are interested in learning where people in Boise are not having a good day, whether it's due to a lack of sidewalks and street lamps (I'll note that we have neither in much of my neighborhood near Vista and Overland) or problems with other basic infrastructure needs.

Urban Lunch will typically take place from noon to 1 the third Wednesday of each month at the Water Cooler, 1401 W. Idaho Street in the Linen District. (The next one is February 17.) You can sign up for announcements at Facebook.

Sharon Fisher from was at today's event, too; I'll link to her post here once I see it.


fortboise said...

Interesting comment about what makes for a bad day. Our neighborhood has as many sidewalks and streetlights as I care for, but opinions might well differ. Do we simply assume that more are better?

Julie Fanselow said...

"Our neighborhood has as many sidewalks and streetlights as I care for, but opinions might well differ."

My opinion is that any urban neighborhood that wants to be pedestrian-friendly and inviting to neighborliness needs to have sidewalks - preferably on every street, but certainly on the major arterials - and a streetlamp on every block. My 1940s neighborhood has neither. But I would say that having our toilet flush is certainly more important!