Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Leadership in Motion Award Winners

Each year, we ask our community to nominate businesses/nonprofits, individuals, and projects that have demonstrated leadership in supporting Communities in Motion – the regional long-range transportation plan for Ada and Canyon Counties.

Specifically, we want to see instances in which exceptional leadership and commitment have been applied to further the goals and vision of Communities in Motion.

This year, we received a collection of commendable nominations from members of the community, and, after a careful selection process, chose seven submissions.

As I’ve noted in previous years, it seems that a common thread often runs through the nominations provided, and 2018 was no different. Among the various businesses, individuals, and projects, we noticed a theme of connection and accessibility. For example, the Boise State University Bronco Shuttle provides a connection between the campus and downtown, the rebuilding of greenbelt sections creates regional access and connected pathways, and individuals have used their skills to foster regional connections through collaboration.

So without further ado, here are this year’s exceptional winners:

Warm Springs and Penitentiary Canal Greenbelt Pathways, Ada County Parks and Waterways 
  • The Warm Springs and Penitentiary Canal Pathways project rebuilt the Boise River Greenbelt between Warm Springs Golf Course and the East Park Center Bridge and between Shakespeare Way and Diversion Dam. These new paths allow regional access to the greater greenbelt pathway system for commuters, while providing connections to regional recreation and open space areas and promoting increased public health and quality of life.

Bronco Shuttle, Boise State University, Department of Public Safety
  • By providing students, staff, and the public free circulator routes connecting Boise State to downtown Boise and St. Luke's Regional Medical Center, Boise State has enhanced the transportation system and improved accessibility and connectivity to jobs, the university, and key services.

CBH Homes, Syringa Valley
  • The Syringa Valley subdivision by CBH Homes is a multi-generational community, offering diverse and competitively priced housing options linked together by pathways and recreation facilities to encourage physical activity and social engagement for all residents. In addition, the two-mile extension of Lake Hazel Road and Orchard Road, constructed through a cooperative effort between CBH Homes and the Ada County Highway District, will connect Syringa Valley residents to the broader Treasure Valley community.

Dana Ard, National Federation of the Blind
  • Dana Ard has been involved with public transportation and improving access in the Treasure Valley since 1975, when she began riding the city bus to her job. Over the past 43 years, she has made it her life’s goal to improve accessibility and connectivity for all Treasure Valley residents.

 Sara Baker, Commission President, Ada County Highway District (ACHD)
  • In 2018, Commissioner Baker led the charge for ACHD’s low stress bicycle network, multiple neighborhood master plan initiatives, ACHD’s largest capital construction effort in the organization’s history, the development of ACHD’s Strategic and Single Integrated Operations Plans, their most aggressive Integrated Five Year Work plan to date, and continued Commuteride growth.

Amy Revis, Idaho Transportation Department, District 3 Engineer
  • Through her leadership, vision, and collaborative style, Amy Revis was the driving force behind securing the largest transportation grant Idaho has ever received – a $90.2 million Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant. The money will be used for the expansion of I-84 in Canyon County - the #1 priority in Communities in Motion 2040.

Amy Schroeder, Idaho Transportation Department, GARVEE Program Manager
  • Amy Schroeder led the team of engineers and grant writers who applied for and received the $90.2 million INFRA grant. Amy’s tireless efforts and attention to detail guaranteed no stone was left unturned to ensure the application was accurate, meaningful, thorough – and successful.

The leadership exemplified by each of these individuals, agencies, and businesses has helped encourage collaboration throughout the region, accomplish community goals, and develop real solutions to transportation challenges.

We are honored to be able to present them with Leadership in Motion awards for their dedication and unrelenting efforts to keep the Treasure Valley thriving.

To learn more about the winners and to see full description of their accomplishments, click here.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

2018 Leadership in Motion Awards

We’ve all seen the housing developments pop up, enjoyed the new shopping centers, and lamented about the slowing traffic. We’ve read the articles, listened to the radio shows, and spoken with our fellow community members about the statistics.

There’s no doubt about it – the Treasure Valley is growing.

And in order to sustain the community that we know and love, it’s imperative that our leadership has both a vision and set of goals in place to manage this influx of growth.

So, where do we find this leadership?

It’s simple – it’s all around us in the individuals, businesses, non-profits, and projects that make the Treasure Valley what it is. Just as we recognize our friends and family for a job well done, here at COMPASS we do the same in the form of Leadership in Motion awards.

Leadership in Motion awards recognize businesses/nonprofits, individuals, and projects that have demonstrated leadership in supporting Communities in Motion 2040 (CIM 2040)the regional long-range transportation plan for Ada and Canyon Counties. This plan provides both the vision and a set of goals to guide successful leadership.

CIM 2040 focuses on eight specific elements – and 17 related goalsto guide plans for the future:
  • Transportation
  • Land Use
  •  Housing
  • Community Infrastructure
  • Health
  • Economic Development
  • Open Space
  • Farmland

Based on these elements, the Leadership in Motion awards shine a spotlight on what is working; specifically, how CIM 2040 and its goals are being implemented. They facilitate the sharing of good ideas, strategies, and tactics throughout the community to propel us toward a better future.

As you take a look at the growth occurring around the Treasure Valley, I urge you to also keep an eye out for the people, businesses, or projects that are working to lead, serve, and inspire. Once you’ve done this, I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the nomination criteria and take a moment to recognize the efforts being made in your community. People or projects that support any of the eight elements are eligible to be nominated.

Feel free to check out last year’s winners for inspiration.

This year’s awards will recognize efforts and projects that occurred between July 2017 and June 2018. Nominations will be accepted through 12:00 pm, Friday, September 28, 2018. Leadership in Motion awards will be presented on Monday, December 17, 2018, at the COMPASS/Valley Regional Transit Board Holiday Luncheon.

Growth means change, and change can be scary. But I have no doubt that the leadership I have seen throughout the Treasure Valley is exactly the kind of innovative and goal-driven action that will help our community continue to thrive.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Prioritizing: Time, Money, and Transportation

Summer is in full swing here in the Treasure Valley, and with the rise in temperature comes an abundance of fun activities to explore with your friends and family. From camping, swimming, and hiking, to attending concerts and enjoying community events, the list of things to do can seem practically endless.

To fit the most into your summer, you’ve most likely made a budget for both your time and money. Your calendar is filled from June through September with vacation days you’ve saved up and your piggy bank is heavier than it was in January.

Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to check off every bullet on your vacation bucket list – you have to prioritize. Those items that don't quite fit into this year’s summer "budget" may fall onto next year’s calendar. And, with opportunities like unexpected raises or free weekends, new activities can be added into your summer plans.  

Just like this, COMPASS must prioritize the region’s five-year budget of transportation projects. The budget – the Regional Transportation Improvement Program, or “TIP,” – is updated each year as new projects are added and old projects are completed and removed - similar to checking off those summer bucket list items!

The draft TIP contains over 150 other federally funded, state funded, and “regionally significant” projects that address regional transportation needs. Projects in the TIP range from large to small, and from roads, bridges, and buses, to pathways, sidewalks, and more. Most are proposed for funding between FY2019 and 2023, though some projects in the early planning stages are in the budget in preparation for construction or implementation beyond 2023.

But, we don’t update the TIP in a vacuum. Over the next month, we’re asking you to review and comment on the proposed projects. Are they the transportation projects you think are highest priority?

In addition to this opportunity, we’re also asking for comments on a proposed change to Communities in Motion 2040, the regional long-range transportation plan for Ada and Canyon Counties. The change would add a study to evaluate the environmental impacts of widening State Highway 55 from two lanes to five lanes in Canyon County, from Sunny Slope Road to Middleton Road.

Just like when choosing which summer plans to prioritize over others, we must do the same with transportation projects in terms of time, budget, and necessity. Defining our community goals, evaluating the “regionally significant” transportation projects, and building a budget that addresses the most pressing needs throughout Ada and Canyon Counties will help the Treasure Valley continue to be the place we know and love.

Tell us if you agree with the projects proposed for funding and the proposed change to Communities in Motion 2040. The COMPASS Board will be provided with all public comments before making any decisions in October.
Enjoy the remainder of your summer and all that the Treasure Valley has to offer!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Process matters: COMPASS is looking for your feedback into our public participation processes

If you pay attention to what COMPASS is up to, you have likely seen us ask for the public to weigh in on planning decisions. I hope you have taken the time to submit comments or participate in events relating to issues important to you.

The work that COMPASS does affects every resident of Ada and Canyon Counties; therefore, we strive to involve all residents in our planning efforts. Depending on circumstances, that participation may range from being an active participant throughout a planning process, such as serving on a workgroup, to submitting comments on a draft plan.

Our processes for reaching out to you are guided by a Public Participation Plan. The purpose of that plan is two-fold:

1.     To help you, COMPASS stakeholders and the general public, know what to expect from COMPASS when we conduct public outreach. The Public Participation Plan describes when we solicit public participation, how we promote opportunities for public comment, how we use your comments, and more.

2.     To help COMPASS staff ensure we are consistently meeting, and whenever possible, exceeding, all expectations and requirements for public participation to ensure area residents have ample opportunities to have their say in plans and projects that affect them. 

The Public Participation Plan outlines required and optional outreach elements to request and encourage participation on different types of plans and projects. These elements provide a base from which to build, while allowing COMPASS staff the flexibility to assess each situation individually and use additional, creative outreach elements as they are appropriate for the plan or project.

The Public Participation Plan is part of a larger Integrated Communication Plan. The goal of the COMPASS Integrated Communication Plan is to ensure that all COMPASS communication strategies support public participation efforts.

We are in the process of updating our Integrated Communication Plan, and would like your feedback on the draft update – particularly the Public Participation Plan portion. I encourage you to take a few minutes to review the plan and let us know what you think.

Visit to review the plan and submit your comments online. You will also find a list of libraries and other public buildings in the two county area where you can review a hard copy of the plan. 

And, of course, you are always welcome to stop by the COMPASS office to pick up a copy, or request one be sent to you in the mail. Contact COMPASS at 208/475-2229 or for assistance or with questions.

Comments will be accepted through 11:59 pm, Sunday, June 17, 2018.

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.