Friday, April 20, 2012

Mountain Rides to reconsider transit hub site

Organization to look at up to 9 alternative sites


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

With the city of Ketchum's decision to reconsider a proposed bus transit hub on East Avenue, Mountain Rides Transportation Authority is going back to the drawing board to consider alternative locations.

"We are going to take the time to go back and study somewhere between seven and nine other sites," board Chair Susan McBryant announced at Wednesday's meeting of the Mountain Ride board of directors.

Board member Jim Jaquet said he thinks "it's important to look at other sites, get an analysis of those sites and see how it impacts our goals and objectives."

Mountain Rides Executive Director Jason Miller said the organization, in conjunction with the city, is considering a new contract with LSC Transportation Consultants to evaluate other locations where a transit hub might be built. LSC, based in Tahoe City, Calif., earlier recommended East Avenue between Sun Valley Road and East Second Street as the preferred location and developed conceptual designs under a $12,370 contract with Mountain Rides and the city.

A new contract would evaluate up to nine additional sites, providing the pros and cons of each location, provide information on how other resort communities have sited transit hubs relative to land use and community acceptance, and evaluate traffic patterns and how they would be impacted.

"We'll also make the case in a more strong way, a more clear way, to say why we need that project," Miller said.

The new information would be available this summer, when, Miller said, additional public workshops will be held prior to any decisions. He reiterated that a final decision is up to the city of Ketchum.

If built, a transit hub would serve as a location for passenger bus changes within the Mountain Rides transportation system.

It was originally planned for construction this year, but Miller said the earliest it could now be built is 2013.

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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