Pocatello is a great city and the vision of having an alternative transportation system along the Portneuf is a deserving goal that once accomplished will be a wonderful asset for lifetimes ahead.
In the more than 20 years since its inception, the Portneuf Greenway Foundation has continually attempted to work fairly and equitably with landowners neighboring the proposed trail areas. We are still, once again, working diligently to have open, diplomatic conversation and establish a dialogue with the landowners to address their concerns. In January, we went door-to-door delivering invitations for a meeting we held the following week during which we were able to hear the concerns of those who attended. We see this as a very positive step.
We began our pursuit to have a public hearing to discuss the mechanisms available to complete the Greenway alternative transportation system with the City of Pocatello not to confiscate property, but to bring the landowners to a negotiation table which had not been successful in the past 20 years.
The Foundation exists for the purpose of financing and building trails in collaboration with the City of Pocatello. Based on the City’s Implementation Plan and 1999 resolution committing to completing the alternative transportation system, we are in support of holding a hearing with the public to evaluate the opportunity to complete the system in accordance with their plans. We are in favor of the hearing because we believe the City of Pocatello and its residents can benefit from a connected alternative transportation system. The heart of this issue is about asking the City of Pocatello to support their 20-year transportation plan that included the creation of trails on top of the levees they are required to maintain and certify.
We regularly conduct trail maintenance, removing graffiti and generally clearing the area of debris. It is unrealistic to think, with the tagging problems facing every kind of structure and surface in Pocatello, that the Greenway would be exempt. Maintenance issues will always need attention, but they should not be used as an excuse to not build a trail for the residents of Pocatello.
While asking the City to evaluate our citizen’s support for our alternative transportation route, as well as the tools it has at its disposal to follow through on its transportation plan by having a public hearing, we also continue to explore all viable alternative routes that we can develop and that others have suggested directly to us. Our objective is simply a safe, completed and connected alternative transportation system for pedestrians and bicycles.