Friday, March 8, 2013

Transportation and Open Space

This is my third in a series of blogs discussing Communities in Motion 2040 and the relationship between transportation and other issues discussed in the plan. You can find the previous two blogs below (transportation/land use and transportation/housing). Today I am discussing transportation and open space.

Transportation planning has slowly evolved from a focus strictly on moving people and goods in the most efficient manner to a broader focus that encompasses moving people and goods, but also integrates transportation solutions with land use policies to support broader societal goals, such as quality of life and a healthy environment.

As shown through the passage of the Foothills levy in Boise in 2001, the COMPASS scenario planning process in 2012, and the popularity of local parks, hiking trails, and the Boise River Greenbelt, preservation of, and access to, open space are key factors in the quality of life in the Treasure Valley.

What is the relationship between transportation and open space? How can planning for future transportation have a positive impact on open space in the Treasure Valley?

On the surface, these answers seem fairly straightforward.  The future transportation network can be designed to provide access to open space, especially for those who may not have easy access to open space today.

In addition, preservation of open space should be considered as new roads, bridges, etc. are designed and built. Are there places to augment the transportation network without infringing on existing open space?

However, is there more beyond that? Today I’m turning this blog around to you.

How do you view the relationship between transportation and open space? What connections exist, or should exist, from your perspective? Above we discuss how transportation can impact open space. How should or could open space impact transportation? Comment below and share your thoughts on this relationship.   

Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho

COMPASS is the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization responsible for transportation planning in Ada and Canyon Counties. The COMPASS Board comprises 39 members representing the cities, counties, highway districts, educational institutions, state agencies, and other entities within the two counties. COMPASS plays an important role in making decisions about future long-range transportation needs in the Treasure Valley, taking into consideration environmental and economic factors that affect the quality of life.