River’s Edge Will Not Create New Traffic Problems
One objection to virtually every new development proposal that comes before the City of Coeur d’Alene seems to be that the development will cause traffic problems. In the case of the River’s Edge apartment development in Coeur d’Alene, this argument has less force than you might think, despite the fact that the development is for multi-family housing.
The fact is, every single new home or new business will technically add traffic to a city because the people who occupy or visit the new home or business will undoubtedly use vehicles. So while you can argue that every development will add to the traffic, if adding traffic to the city is to be the litmus test for any new development, the only real option is to eliminate all growth and all business permits.
But that sort of approach is both unreasonable and unrealistic. The economic and social vitality of Coeur d’Alene is absolutely dependent on being able to provide desired housing, goods, and services to the community.
In reality, the critical question, in terms of traffic impacts, is not whether any new development will add more cars to city roads (they will), but whether the cars will create immediate problems based on existing and anticipated traffic patterns. In other words, will the cars from the development have significant impacts on peak-hour traffic in identified areas of high congestion? And the fact is, the location of River’s Edge means that its impacts will actually be negligible in terms of adding to existing traffic issues.
The Location of River’s Edge Means Traffic Impacts are Minimized
IN 2018, the City of Coeur d’Alene purchased the riverfront property between Belle Rive/Riverstone and the Mill River development to build Atlas Mill Park and Atlas Beach. In preparing for the development, the traffic impact study that was carried out also included the site of River’s Edge, knowing that it would include multi-use housing. This traffic impact study involved public comment, and was extensive; the report is 466 pages long.
If you look at the details of the traffic impact study, one thing that is clear is that the location of River’s Edge means that traffic leaving and entering the complex will not significantly impact the areas where traffic problems are most likely to occur. While the Northwest Boulevard traffic and the I-90 interchange are probably of greatest concern to local residents, the location of River’s Edge west of Atlas Road along Seltice Way means that much of the vehicle traffic can take alternate routes away from this area. The study concluded that Seltice Way can easily accommodate traffic coming from both the public park and beach on Atlas Road as well as River’s Edge. In fact, people who think the River’s Edge location is problematic would likely have to oppose the Atlas Road public park and beach for the same reason.
When you look at the location of River’s Edge on a map, it is easy to see why this location is actually ideally located in terms of route options. To access areas in the north, users are most likely to use Atlas Road, which has a direct connection with another major connector, Prairie Avenue. For travelers heading west, they will use Seltice Way to access Post Falls and westbound I-90 via the Highway 41/I-90 interchange currently under construction. The new interchange will be completed not long after the River’s Edge development is completed.
Residents who want to access Riverstone will be able to do so directly through Riverstone Drive, which is rarely, if ever, congested. And residents who want to travel to downtown Coeur d’Alene can access Northwest Boulevard via a newly designed merging lane, or use Riverstone Way to access Lakewood Drive or Lacrosse Avenue. To head east on I-90, they will only have to go through one stoplight at Northwest Boulevard.
In addition, the Idaho Department of Transportation is now reviewing the feasibility of the long-proposed Huetter Bypass, and other improvements to the I-90 corridor between State Line and Coeur d’Alene. If these projects come to fruition, this means River’s Edge residents will have even more options to easily access all parts of Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls via multiple routes, and it will also allow them to access I-90 in both directions easily.
In short, River’s Edge is situated well in terms of convenient access to locations near and far. More pointedly, it is being developed in conjunction with improvements that are already being made to local roads. These ongoing transportation projects will further minimize or even negate the traffic impacts that the River’s Edge will have in Coeur d’Alene.
For more information about all aspects of the River’s Edge development, please review the information on the website.