This from the Idaho Statesman this morning. “The future of Idaho is not contained in the North End.”
Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, elicited that response from Gov. Butch Otter’s budget chief Wayne Hammon after asking about the lack of bike paths in the governor’s transportation funding package.
“I know it sounds frivolous,” LeFavour said, “but this emphasis on cars and roads with a total lack of dedication to public transportation. We can’t keep going down this path. We need to prepare for the future.”
Hammon replied: “The future of Idaho is not contained in the North End. There are people all over this state that don’t have the option of riding their bike to work.”
The quip drew “oohs” in the viewing gallery and in the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee.
When chided by Sen. John McGee that he would not be able to show his face in the North End, Hammon joked, “I always go to Java Downtown anyway.”
After the meeting, Elliot Werk, D-Boise — who rides his bike to the Capitol Annex often — said Hammon was expressing 1950s view of transportation.
“It’s a shallow view of what transportation is,” Werk said, adding that travel only by car is leading to obesity, pollution and funding of Middle Eastern nations.
I am beginning to understand Hammon’s thinking. The future of Idaho is not contained in Boise, so no trolley system. The future of Idaho is not contained in the Treasure Valley, so no light rail system. In fact, the future of Idaho is not contained in public transportation or alternative transportation. The real future of Idaho is to stay stuck in the 1950s.