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With summer in full swing, we have a few things to pass on to you. We are taking advantage of the slower season to review and update some of our structures and systems. Last Friday, the Idaho Smart Growth board and staff retreated into the Boise Foothills, mostly to consider whether the 3-year strategic plan is still valid at the halfway point. The conclusion is that generally everything is on the right track. We’ll likely be doing some tweaking in the coming year, especially in how programs are evaluated. (You can find the current strategic plan on our website here.)
 
If you’re interested in engaging more deeply with transportation policy issues in Idaho and at the federal level, you might want to sign up for updates, alerts and meetings of our Idahoans for Transportation Choice coalition. The group meets semi-regularly, especially during the legislative session, and provides a discussion forum and occasionally a chance to hear from guests and visiting policy experts. You can read past reports on our website here, and sign up for the updates if you’re not already connected.
 
Here’s an update on changes in professional planning education in Idaho. After the demise of Boise State University’s planning program this spring, the University of Idaho began looking at picking up some of the slack. With its announcement this week, UI has officially added a graduate planning program to the offerings at the Urban Design Center in downtown Boise, and has hired Jaap Vos, former head of the BSU program and ISG member, to run it. It has been a tumultuous period, but we remain optimistic about the future of planning education in the state.
Upcoming Webinar: "Engage with Local Government: Critical Stakeholders in Your Walkable Community Movement." Join ISG Program Coordinator Elaine Clegg, as well as Gary Toth and Roger Millar, for the latest webinar in the "America Walks" series. The webinar will take a look at how to reach out to land-use planners, traffic engineers, and local policymakers – and effectively engage them in the effort to make your community more walkable. Register for the free webinar here

When: Friday, August 14th at 12pm
Walking and Biking Plans are up on idahosmartgrowth.org!

Check out the recent walking and biking network plans for the cities of Kootenai, Ponderay and Blackfoot that we teamed up with Vitruvian Planning to complete. Our approach is to develop robust plans with solutions that communities can implement easily and affordably. This approach is succeeding – evidenced by the exciting news that some of the recommendations in these plans, such as enhanced pedestrian crossings and newly striped bike lanes, have already been completed. If you know of a community that is interested in this approach let us know.
Other News
  • COMPASS is requesting comments on two transportation projects in the Treasure Valley. Click the link to learn more about the projects and to submit feedback. The comment period ends on August 18th.
  • Also, COMPASS is kicking off its annual photo contest and is seeking entries from across the valley on how YOU get around. So if you’d like to share your transportation story visually here’s the link for more information.
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