Friday, September 30, 2016

And the winners are…

We asked. You responded. And, boy did you respond!

After over a year of collecting photos and votes, we’re excited to announce the winners of the “Treasure Valley: On the Go!” photo contest.

But first, how did we get here? Let’s take a look at the “Treasure Valley: On the Go!” contest by the numbers… 
  • 14 months
  • 34 photographers
  • 89 COMPASS social media posts (+ countless “shares” and re-posts)
  • 20 email blasts
  • 15,659 flyers distributed to 27 schools
  • 116 photos received
  • 41 finalists
  • 240 votes

 And…drumroll please… 

Scroll down to see all the winning photos – I think you’ll be as impressed as I am. The variety, quality, and creativity of the photos is outstanding! Congratulations to all our winners, and to everyone who entered!

The winning photos will be featured in the 2017 “Treasure Valley: On the Go!” transportation calendar, on the COMPASS website, and across all COMPASS social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more.

Calendars are FREE and will be available beginning November 2016. Contact to reserve your calendar today!

Thank you to all our photographers and everyone who took the time to vote, and, again, CONGRATULATIONS!

Roadway Category:

Balloon Festival by Mike Thueson

Sunrise in the Treasure Valley by Toni Tisdale

Into the Unknown by Kris Cox

Bicycle/Pedestrian Category:

An Afternoon Walk by Mary Huff

Boise River Greenbelt by Jessica Kruger

Hulls Gulch Nature Trail by Jeremy Rigby

Public Transportation Category:

Club Red by Nicole Stern

Zone One by Ken Schick

Kids Boarding by Lanette Daws

Freight Category:

Caldwell Trains by Mark Pemble

Big Mike by Nathan Edwards

Ag Traffic by Greg Kreller

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

“Treasure Valley: On the Go!” We Want Your Vote!

The primaries ended in May, and general election isn’t until November, yet we want your vote now. What’s up with that?

Over the past 12 months, we have asked you to look at, think about, and photograph our local transportation system. It’s been more than a simple exercise in taking photos, but a chance to highlight how we all rely on transportation in our daily lives – from recreational mountain biking to freight supporting our economy.

Your friends, neighbors, and colleagues have been photographing the many aspects of the Treasure Valley’s transportation system and sharing their photos with us through the “Treasure Valley On the Go!” photo contest.

We received 116 photos from 34 photographers from around the valley, showing how they see the Treasure Valley “on the go” in their lives. The photos are creative and diverse – from historic railroad bridges to brand new bikes, from shady paths to snowy roads. The entries truly capture the gamut of transportation options in the Treasure Valley. 

With the help of our Public Participation Workgroup, we narrowed the entries to 41 photos, which are now open for public voting. This is where you come in. We need you to select the winning photos by voting online by 11:59 pm, Tuesday, September 14, 2016. It’s easy – simply click, check out the photos, vote for your favorites, and submit.

The top 12 photos will be used in the 2017 “Treasure Valley On the Go!” calendar – three representing each of the four transportation components that will be included in Communities in Motion 2040 2.0 (bicycle/pedestrian, freight, public transportation, and roadway). Other entries will be used in COMPASS outreach materials, on the COMPASS website, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and more. Watch for them wherever you see COMPASS materials.

The calendars will be available for free later this fall. Watch for announcements when they are available, then grab yours and enjoy a year of seeing the “Treasure Valley: On the Go!” through the eyes of your neighbors.

Remember to submit your votes by Tuesday, September 14, 2016.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

How do you eat an elephant?

How do you eat an elephant? You know the answer: One bite at a time!

The answer is the same when you ask how we can address the region’s immense transportation needs: One bite at a time!

Most large transportation projects are like the elephant; they can’t be tackled all at once. Even relatively small projects often cost multiple millions of dollars.

Instead, transportation agencies frequently take the wise approach of building or improving transportation facilities in small bites. Eventually, all of those bites will complete the larger project to fill a regional need.

The DRAFT FY2017 – 2021 Regional Transportation Improvement Program, or TIP, now open for public comment, includes one of those “small bite” projects. The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) has budgeted about $7.5 million to widen US 20/26 (Chinden Boulevard) between Locust Grove Road and State Highway 55 (Eagle Road) by adding one additional lane in each direction. Construction is currently planned for fiscal year 2021 and is funded through ITD’s Strategic Initiatives Program – a highly competitive statewide funding source designed to fund projects that increase safety, promote mobility, and stimulate economic opportunity.

We know the need doesn’t stop at Locust Grove Road; improvements are needed all the way to Middleton Road in western Canyon County. However, this project constitutes that “first bite” to meet that larger need. The remainder of the improvements are unfunded; US 20/26 from Locust Grove to Middleton Road sits as #3 on the prioritized list of unfunded projects in Communities in Motion 2040. COMPASS and ITD will continue to seek funding to complete improvements along the corridor.

The project along US 20/26 is just one of dozens of transportation projects funded in the DRAFT FY2017 – 2021 TIP. I encourage you to review the TIP while it is open for public comment and share your feedback on the upcoming projects. Are the “right” projects being funded? Do you see other needs that aren’t addressed?

While we can’t fund every need right now, we will continue to take small bites and eventually eat the elephant.

Public comment is open through Monday, September 19, 2016. Visit to review materials and submit your feedback.

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.