People always ask “When is that railroad trail going to be finished?” What if the answer were “never”? Discussions between the City of Nampa and Union Pacific have come to a critical point. If we really want the Stoddard Pathway completed to 2nd street (map) we MUST speak up in the few days. The City of Nampa has been actively investigating, researching, and negotiating with Union Pacific regarding this corridor for the past 8 years but those conversations are coming to a head.
Think about it. Why are you asking when it will be finished? Why do you care? Why does it matter to you? Why does it matter to Nampa? Your sincere and thoughtful response to these questions is what is needed to influence the Nampa City Council and Union Pacific Railroad to come to an agreement and make the investment needed for the pathway project to happen.
The Nampa City Council will have to vote in the next few weeks whether to approve or reject whatever terms Union Pacific offers.
If the City Council rejects the terms it is uncertain what will happen next. This corridor might well be placed on the open market where it would languish for years due to lack of adequate vehicle access and frontage. In the interim it will become a weed and trash filled area of urban blight and an attraction for criminal behavior. The completion of the Stoddard Pathway could be delayed indefinitely because acquisition will become even more complicated and financially unfeasible.
What can we do? Here’s our action plan:
- Submit your comments of support at the “Stand for the Stoddard” form.
- Mark July 7 and July 21, 6:30 p.m. on your calendar. These are the next two City Council Meetings when they might be voting on the decision. You will not need to speak – just be ready to show up in support.
- Donate an hour of time to help us contact the homeowners adjacent to the pathway. We have the maps, the fliers, the tools. All we need is feet on the street.
- If you have video editing skills, contact me. We’d like to create an effective 2 minute video to communicate the message.
- Video someone’s response to the question: “why do you care about the Stoddard pathway? Why is it important to Nampa?” Upload the video on the Bike Walk Nampa Facebook page.
If you want more information, here is all we know for sure:
- The property needed for the pathway is owned by the Union Pacific Railroad.
- An open house was conducted in 2012 for Transportation Improvement Funds to pave the section from Iowa to Sherman Elementary. The grant was received but negotiations have extended so long that the funding opportunity has been lost. However, if the corridor is acquired, the application could be resubmitted along with other grants to fund development.
- The rail line has completed the official abandonment process.
- The city has contacted the Western Rails to Trails Conservancy office for advice and guidance. According to them, we’re doing all we can do.
- Union Pacific is entitled to fair market value for the property.
- If the City of Nampa wants this property for use as a pathway the City will have to purchase it or come to some other agreement with Union Pacific.
This corridor extends from Iowa to 2nd Street South. It is part of the Nampa Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and a key component in the Bike & Walk to Downtown pathway project. This segment runs past Sherman Elementary School and would provide a vitally needed, safe, off-street option for kids in this part of town to bike and walk to school and families to bike walk downtown.
If you have additional questions or ideas, Please contact LaRita at Bike Walk Nampa at email@example.com