The Boise Greenbelt - oft-described as a "crown jewel" that enhances quality of life - has a bottleneck for cyclists. I've commented before about the arbitrary closing of a section in the red-headed stepchild community of Garden City.
I'm happy to report an interesting and promising development. Below is a "news release" I got from the Citizens for an Open Greenbelt organization.
For almost three years the Citizens for an Open Greenbelt (COG) has attempted to reverse the bike riding ban in Garden City. We have been unwavering in our commitment to eliminate this unjust Garden City bike ban ordinance. During this time countless hours have been spent with officials of both Garden City and the State Land Board to resolve this issue. No doubt both the State and Garden City hoped that our grass roots organization would quietly go away - but we haven’t. Unfortunately the State and Garden City are resolute in maintaining no bike riding along this section in the Riverside Village area; the same section (our public trust lands) that had been called a “bike path” by the State and Garden City for many years.
Having exhausted our efforts to resolve this out of court, this last Friday, November 12, our attorneys filed a complaint on behalf of COG in the Fourth District Court, in Ada County. The defendants in this case are Garden City AND the State of Idaho Land Board. Essentially we are arguing that:
1. This disputed section in Garden City (Riverside Village area) was intended, designed and created for bike riding.
2. The State and Garden City have arbitrarily and wrongfully limited the citizens’ right to utilize a public bike path for bike riding.
3. Garden City enacted an ordinance that is unreasonable, arbitrary and in violation of prior agreements for which they were a party to.
This was not an easy decision for COG as we had hoped either the State or Garden City would respect the interests and needs of the bike riding public in the Treasure Valley. But they chose not to. As much as we’re glad this case is moving ahead, it’s unfortunate that we could not resolve this without the need for legal action. Now both the State and Garden City will be committing taxpayers’ money and resources to defend this lawsuit.
Thanks to the many of you who have contributed your time, support, and money for this cause. We also are very fortunate to have three talented and dedicated attorneys who are willing to devote their time to this case pro bono.
As this case unfolds we will keep you informed.
I donated both effort and money to this cause; I'm glad it's proceeding forward.
The Idaho COG group has a Facebook presence; that may be the best way to get in touch, if you'd like additional information.