By on June 3, 2015

DISSTongueRoad warriors

This is exactly how sprawl happens. Idaho Falls probably didn’t set out to become Idaho Falls in 1891. But citizens are always wanting stuff, especially an easier drive. We don’t want to see or be in traffic. When traffic happens, our solutions are more roads instead of less people.

It’s not fun when your 12-minute run to drop off the kids at school becomes a 30-minute stop-and-start because you get stuck behind the “keeper of the speed” — who maintains a prudent and mind-numbing two-miles-per-hour-below-the-speed-limit pace. If not her, there’s the tourist who’s busy reading the town and county’s five million road signs — “Hands Free,” “No Jake Brakes,” “35 mph,” “25 mph in construction zone,” “End of Construction,” “Wildlife in Area,” “Bridge May Be Slippery,” “Bump,” “Slow, Children at Play,” “Slow at Night,” “Slow, Slow, Slow.”

Clogged roads are the cost of doing business when you are a tourist town currently crushing it in sales tax revenue. Building more roads to ease a headache or two for July and August is not the answer. The Tribal Trails connector road will require a stoplight on Highway 22, further slowing that congested two-lane. The posted speed limit on Highway 22 will correspondingly be lowered to 45 mph all year round.

The argument that motorists will only use it to get to and from the schools doesn’t wash. Everyone coming from the south headed for the west bank will look to avoid the dreaded “Y” and vice-versa.

What’s more needed than a cutoff for north to west flow is a north bridge over the Snake that would usher traffic out of Gros Ventre Junction. Bar-B-Bar and Fairways Estates residents beware: The county is coming for you next to allow your neighborhood roads to become commuter corridors. The north bridge idea hasn’t come up recently in political campaigns but expect at least one elected official to take a temperature on the idea soon.

And, finally, the number of aggravated drivers perplexed by the Skyline tunnel project has grown to approximately “everyone who doesn’t live in Skyline.” How many residents in that subdivision include kids that need to access a bike path at the middle of the busiest two-lane highway in the state? How many 8-year-olds will be using the tunnel to jump on the Pathway to trike 2.2 miles into town for cigarettes and a loaf of bread?

That’s $2 million for about 90 lots. Lots that include homes belonging to people from California (nine), Texas (six), Louisiana, Nebraska, Illinois, Rhode Island, New York, Washington, Canada and London, England. How many of those real estate tycoons will be biking out of Skyline? And this project will be our nightmare all summer. It’s scheduled for completion in October — right when everyone goes back to where they came from.

The “Stop the Tribal Trails Connector Road” online petition has garnered 175 signatures.


PROPSFistbumpSoc’ing it to ‘em

For a ski town, we sure are good at soccer. The boys and girls soccer teams dominated play last weekend in Jackson as both squads secured 3A state titles.

The Lady Broncs served up their usual home cooking recipe of a suffocating defense and Rachel Fairbanks. The Lady Broncs’ centerbacks and sweeper didn’t allow goalkeeper Paige Asbell to see much in the way of dangerous scoring chances, taking away opponents’ scoring opportunities with keen anticipation and aggressive play. When all else fails for the black-and-orange, lob it long and let Fairbanks track it down. That was the key to their offensive success all year long.

Coach Tom Ralston had high praise for his team’s top-ranked defense (only nine goals surrendered in 17 games). “Goal scorers get the glory, but defense wins championships,” he said. Ralston also expressed satisfaction on the girls’ behalf for their avenging of a 4-0 opening season loss to Star Valley with a 1-0 victory over the Lady Braves on Saturday for the crown.

“This championship was won on hard work, dedication, and love for their teammates,” Ralston added. “If those lessons stay with them for life, our coaching staff has done its job regardless of wins or losses.”

Boys’ coach Tom Bresnehan returned from a hasty firing last year to lead the Broncs to another stellar season. The boy’s team finished the year 17-1 after going unbeaten last season. Junior Tristan Wagner led the way during championship weekend, pacing the Broncs with his five-goal production. It was Jackson’s third state title. The Lady Broncs finished 2015 with a record of 15-1-2.



The Teton Raptor Center is making monumental additions to its staff, hiring an ecologist, a communications director and two field biologists, while also adding two new board members.

Bryan Bedrosian steps in as the center’s senior avian ecologist, adding a research aspect to TRC. Bedrosian brings his 15 years of birdman experience from Craighead Beringia South. He’s bringing along fellow workmates and field biologists Beth Mendelsohn and Katherine Gura. Davis Watson is the center’s new director of development and communications. Watson was previously at the Teton Science Schools.

TRC Ambassador Lisa Frieseck and former intern Carrie Ann Adams both received promotions for the summer season. TRC also added two new members to its board of directors. Katrina Ryan and David Hoster round out the center’s nine-person board. 


About Jake Nichols

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