Huge project on river would be traffic nightmare

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I am writing to oppose the City’s MOU, as written, for an exchange of City land with the River’s Edge LLC development corporation. Some terms of this MOU are not in accordance with City Resolution 14-049, which requires “comprehensive planning” for the River area.

For example, the zoning change (to R34) and the resulting very high-density development with 879 apartments, would be the largest in the City’s history, and would have significant impacts, such as increased traffic on the already congested Northwest Boulevard (NWB) and I-90 access points. The 879 apartments would produce almost 6,000 vehicle trips per day, most of which will head toward NWB, to head downtown or to access I-90.

Added to this will be the substantial traffic that will come from the eventual development of the City-owned Atlas millsite. The combined effect would mean gridlock for NWB, a key corridor in the City.

Therefore, I recommend a 60-day review period, and appropriate studies, before any zoning change to very high density (R34) is agreed to for the River’s Edge development. These studies must include a formal “traffic impact study” by a Professional Traffic Engineer hired by the City. Such a study should consider traffic from the build-out of both millsites and any other planned development in the vicinity.

This very unique riverfront property is a “once in forever” opportunity for City development. Done wrong it will negatively impact the quality of life in our City. We only have one chance to do it right!

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

•••

Roger Smith of Coeur d’Alene is a retired civil engineer.

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