NAMPA - Pedestrian traffic took priority over drivers' convenience when about 40 northside residents met on Tuesday.
Citing a lack of interest from a majority of North Nampa residents who would be affected, city officials suggested that $1.5 million earmarked for installation of curbs, gutters and sidewalks throughout a 30-block neighborhood might be better used to install a bridge on 3rd Street North.
The bridge would span Indian Creek and create an east/west thoroughfare connecting 11th Avenue North with 16th Avenue North, East Powerline Road and Victory Road on eastward to Boise.
That idea got nowhere fast.
"I walk to the park with my children," Marci Wendland said. "Broken-up sidewalks and no sidewalks make us move into the street to get where we want to go."
Other residents said that opening up mostly-residential 3rd Street North to through traffic would have an adverse effect on the neighborhood. They also expressed their support for sidewalks as a visible sign of revitalization.
Many also pledged to talk to neighbors about reaching agreement on the sidewalks' placement in relation to existing fences, trees and other landscaping elements.
"I think we've got a consensus going here tonight," North Nampa Residents Association President Michael Gray said at the meeting's conclusion.
Buy-in by participants in the curb/gutter/sidewalk proposal is vital to the project's ultimate design, Nampa Public Works Director Paul Raymond said Tuesday. "Most existing sidewalks on north Nampa's avenues are recessed from the curb; on the streets, they're curbside," he said.
Tuesday marked the fifth meeting on northside revitalization efforts that Gray's group has sponsored since the Nampa Urban Renewal Agency board decided last year to dedicate a larger share of its revenues to residential areas.
In years prior, agency efforts had been more focused on economic development, such as that which spawned the burgeoning interest in development around the agency's major investment so far: the Idaho Center.
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Apr 11, 2001 - Local Page 4