Build the highway
told itís time
Express Staff Writer
new four-lane highway.
the clear and straightforward message Jan. 23 offered by a panel of the
countyís mayors and a county commissioner at issues-oriented breakfast.
Valley/Ketchum Chamber of Commerce sponsored the county issues breakfast
held in the Sawtooth Room of the Elkhorn Resort.
panel were Blaine County Commission Chairwoman Mary Ann Mix, Hailey Mayor
Al Lindley, Bellevue Mayor John Barton, Carey Mayor Rick Baird, Ketchum
Mayor Ed Simon and Sun Valley Mayor Dave Wilson.
panelists were not arguing for just a four-lane highway.
For the new
highway to handle the growing traffic, they said, it would need north- and
southbound high-occupancy-vehicle lanes, the Wood River Rideshare program
and a valley-wide rapid transit system.
to these components, "disincentives" to driving cars into
Ketchum were needed.
was the word Simon used to describe a way to discourage people from
driving their personal vehicles into Ketchum.
highway problem ends up in Ketchum," he said.
parking, on Ketchumís streets and in yet-to-be-built underground parking
lots, is frequently suggested as a disincentive.
traffic and noise was also discussed at the breakfast.
wears two hats as the mayor of Carey and manager of Friedman Memorial
Airport, told the audience he would like to see three things happen at the
is to solve the Stage 2 jet aircraft noise, which Baird described as
"ear bleeding loud."
is to have a no-fly curfew for the airport from midnight to 6 a.m.
is to have the transponder landing system, or TLS, in place.
radio signals from the ground to direct pilots how to position their
aircraft while landing.
a pilot to land when there is a cloud ceiling as low as 400 feet with as
little as one-mile visibility.
In a 1998
interview, Baird said the TLS system would decrease the number of flights
diverted from Friedman to Twin Falls because of inclement weather.
Mayor Wilson fielded a question from the audience about a rail system to
move Wood River Valley commuters.
wonít work," he said, "and youíre kidding yourselves if you
think it will. A rail system would cost $1 million a mile."
Mayor Simon agreed. "We need to move on to an HOV lane."
a story to make a point about the growing pains of Blaine County.
airport manager, he was sitting in on an interview to hire someone from
said he couldnít move to take the job because house prices in Carey were
guess Carey has arrived," Baird quipped.