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Just over a year after opening to the public, Martin Luther King Jr. Way is the latest Pocatello road to be taking home honors.
This week, Idaho Smart Growth named the street recipient of the group’s Transportation Award. The honor celebrates “development projects and planning efforts that exemplify smart growth principles.” Smart growth principles include providing a variety of transportation choices, creating walkable neighborhoods, fostering distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place, and adopting compact building patterns and efficient infrastructure design to name a few.
“Besides increasing the livability of the area and improving the commute of thousands of Pocatello residents, this project exemplifies a cooperative and collaborative effort on the part of multiple organizations,” said Matthew Lewis, Planning Manager for the City of Pocatello. “We’d like to thank the Idaho State University Administration, Bannock Transportation Planning Organization, Idaho Transportation Department, and our private partners for helping bring this beautiful section of road to fruition.”
Checking in at just over 1,000 feet, the street saw sidewalks widened, bike lanes added, and landscaping placed between the road and sidewalk.
“We utilized strategies that help to calm pedestrian and vehicle traffic and reduce potential conflict between the two, as well as improve the treatment of storm water before it reaches the Portneuf River,” said Lewis.
But this isn’t the first honor being heaped on the road. Earlier this month, at the Idaho Chapter of the American Planning Association’s Annual Conference, the road was highlighted as an Honorable Mention for the Planning Tool/Implementation Award. The category honors projects that show originality, innovation, and effectiveness.
While Martin Luther King Jr. Way was undergoing construction, crews coordinated several other projects including changing the configuration of 9th Avenue from Martin Luther King Jr. Way to Lovejoy, reconstructing the sidewalk in front of the Idaho State University College of Technology Building, and reconstructing the steam tunnel and utility corridor at 9th Avenue.
City staff will be officially presented with the honor at the 2016 Grow Smart Awards. The ceremony will be held in Boise November 17.