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Communities in Motion: Implementation

COMPASS develops a long-range transportation plan for Ada and Canyon Counties, Communities in Motion, every four years. The COMPASS Board adopted Communities in Motion 2040 as the current plan in July 2014. Now, COMPASS and our member agencies are focusing efforts on implementing the plan. Below we outline just some of the COMPASS projects underway to implement Communities in Motion 2040.

Communities in Motion Implementation Grants

In 2014, COMPASS initiated a program to provide small grants to COMPASS member agencies to assist with local projects that implement the goals of Communities in Motion, with an emphasis on supporting the three Communities in Motion 2040 tasks listed below. Learn about grant recipients and the application process here.

Supports Communities in Motion tasks:

  • 1.1.2.d: Provide better access to transit, bike, and pedestrian facilities to offset congestion
  • 2.2.2.a: Invest in town centers, main streets, and existing infrastructure as identified in three Communities in Motion 2040 goals
  • 2.3.1.b: Develop specific area plans for activity centers consistent with three Communities in Motion 2040 goals and with planned integration of alternative transportation systems

For more information on the Communities in Motion Implementation Grant program, contact Kathy Parker at or 208/475-2240.

Project Development Program

Insufficient transportation funding is the largest barrier to implementing Communities in Motion 2040. While COMPASS is actively working to increase transportation funding overall, the agency is also working with members to ensure unfunded projects are prepared for funding applications as monies becomes available. The Project Development Program transforms member agency needs into well-defined projects with cost estimates, purpose and need statements, environmental scans, and public involvement plans, to ensure readiness for funding applications, from traditional federal transportation funds to competitive grants. COMPASS member agencies can apply for assistance through the program; additional information on application prpcess and timelines can be found on the Resource Development webpage.

Supports Communities in Motion task:

  • 1.3.2.d. Identify funding sources that can enhance the transportation system, including pedestrian, bicycle and pathway network.

For more information on the Project Development Program, contact Kathy Parker at or 208/475-2240.

Agricultural Freight Study

COMPASS conducted a study of agricultural freight movements in 2015 to support and plan for agricultural transportation needs.

COMPASS worked closely with agriculture and freight stakeholders to identify specific corridors used to move agricultural freight in Ada and Canyon Counties. The data, including origins, destinations, volumes of goods, and numbers of trips, were mapped, then shared with stakeholders to identify problem areas and alternative routes. While the initial focus was on the agriculture industry, the information gathered is largely applicable to other freight movements. Identifying these corridors created a springboard for a more comprehensive freight assessment.

Supports Communities in Motion task:

  • 8.1.1.a: Identify existing farm-to-market roads and their travel characteristics

For more information on the agricultural freight study, contact Liisa Itkonen at or 208/475-2241.

Regional Pedestrian/Bicycle Plan

Ada and Canyon Counties have a myriad of pathways, most notably the Boise River Greenbelt, and even more pathways are in various stages of planning. While just about any pathway can provide amenities for exercise and enjoyment, for a pathway to truly be used for transportation, it must go somewhere or connect to something. COMPASS has developed an interactive bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure map, which includes the locations of current and future pathways across the two-county area and identifies gaps in the pathway system. This information will be used to establish priorities for pathway funding to create a more comprehensive, useable pathway system across the valley.

In addition, COMPASS has installed 14 permanent bicycle and pedestrian counters and purchased portable counters to collect data on bicycle and pedestrian use. The data will inform the regional bicycle/pedestrian plan and help member agencies as they plan for local bicycle and pedestrian needs. The counters will provide information such as the numbers of bicyclists and pedestrians using certain routes and the days of week and times of day they are using them. COMPASS member agencies may request temporary use of the portable counters to collect data from a specific location.

Supports Communities in Motion tasks:

  • 2.1.3.b: Annually monitor transit ridership rates, pedestrian and bicycle use (i.e., counts), and develop goals and strategies to increase mode share
  • 1.4.3.d: Prioritize projects that fill in the bike/pedestrian network

For more information on the regional bicycle/pedestrian plan, contact Liisa Itkonen at or 208/475-2241.

Look! Save a Life!

In addition to planning for bicycle and pedestrian needs, COMPASS is working to increase the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians. Annually, COMPASS sponsors the Boise Police Department’s Look! Save a Life! television campaign. In addition, as part of the 2016 COMPASS education series, COMPASS hosted a workshop and public presentation on bicycle and pedestrian safety, and in 2014 COMPASS co-sponsored a workshop on urban bikeway design hosted by Boise State University. We will continue to work with our partners to increase safety and reduce bicycle and pedestrian collisions.

Supports Communities in Motion tasks:

  • 1.2.a.b: Improve safety at conflict points using complete streets strategies and context sensitive solutions
  • 1.2.2.b: Educate all users about sharing the road
  • 1.2.2.c/1.3.3.a:  Program resources to conduct public education on sharing the road

For more information on Look! Save a Life! or public outreach efforts, contact Amy Luft at or 208/475-2229.

"Don't Let the Treasure Valley Fall Through the Cracks!" Campaign

The biggest issue raised in Communities in Motion 2040 was the fact that there is not enough funding to complete transportation corridors and projects needed to be prepared for the future. To help raise the awareness of this issue, and the dire need to do something about it, COMPASS has initiated the Don’t let the Treasure Valley fall through the crackscampaign. The campaign includes web content, a strong social media presence, education series speakers, radio messages, and more.

Supports Communities in Motion tasks:

  • 1.3.2.d: Identify funding sources that can enhance the transportation system, including pedestrian, bicycle and pathway network

For more information on the campaign or public outreach efforts, contact Amy Luft at or 208/475-2229.

Informing Local Planning

COMPASS reviews development proposals and provides feedback to local agencies to ensure Communities in Motion is considered when local planning decisions are made. Proposed developments are reviewed in light of the population, household, and employment forecasts in the Communities in Motion 2040 Vision and in light of Communities in Motion 2040 goals covering all eight elements included in the plan (transportation, land use, economic development, farmland, open space, community infrastructure, housing, and health). In addition, COMPASS annually reconciles the Communities in Motion 2040 Vision and regional travel demand model with all approved developments to ensure current local conditions are reflected in regional demographics.

Supports Communities in Motion tasks:

  • 2.1.1.a. Integrate local land use plans into Communities in Motion
  • 2.1.1.b/ 2.1.2.b/2.2.1.a: Monitor implementation of planned transportation projects and continued vision of regional and local land use plans

For more information on informing local planning, contact Carl Miller at or 208/475-2239.

Performance-Based Planning

COMPASS is in the process of changing how performance measures are used – from tracking performance to using it to inform decisions (performance-based planning). To this end, a “performance measure framework” has been developed to quantify the benefits of transportation investments across all four transportation components (bicycle/pedestrian, freight, public transportation, and roadways) and all eight Communities in Motion planning elements (transportation, land use, health, open space, housing, community infrastructure, farmland preservation, and economic development). In addition, a mechanism has been established to report on how projects in the Regional Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) help the region achieve established goals and performance targets.

Supports ALL Communities in Motion tasks.

For more information on performance-based planning, contact Carl Miller at or 208/475-2239. For more information on TIP reporting, contact Toni Tisdale at or 208/475-2238.