You may have heard that federal highway officials recently told Valley County and McCall City officials that building shoulders up to 4 feet wide for bikes and pedestrians as part of paving improvements to Warren Wagon Road in 2018 are cost-prohibitive and will be scratched.
We support efforts by the greater McCall community to challenge this decision and respectfully urge federal highway officials to do the right thing for the future of the community.
We need to do this for the following reasons:
- Payette Lake is a prominent tourist attraction and Warren Wagon Road, being the primary access point between McCall and North Beach, is a strategic transportation and recreation corridor. Many cyclists ride around Payette Lake for recreation. We need to encourage people to bike to North Beach as well. A pedestrian pathway for walkers and bikers around the lake could be a destination for many visitors. (2012 McCall Area Pathways Master Plan).
- Bikes lanes on this project would be a logical extension of the current bike paths on Warren Wagon Road that now terminate at the project’s southern end. (2012 McCall Area Pathways Master Plan).
- The McCall area is designated as a Silver-Level Ride Center by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA). Warren Wagon Road provides access to a number of trails that earned this designation.
- Mountain biking is a strong component in the recreation economy, providing 6.1 million American jobs, $646 billion in outdoor recreation spending each year, $39.9 billion in federal tax revenue, and $39.7 billion in state/local tax revenue. (Outdoor Industry Association).
- Valley County and Adams county communities currently are working on a final application for America’s Best Communities, with $3 million at stake. Building more pathways and connecting existing pathways in our communities are among the top 5 priorities for economic revitalization.
- There are six businesses in the McCall, Idaho, area that rely on bicycle sales and rentals. These businesses employ about 50 people.
Please write the regional director of federal highways, Ms. Sandra Otto, Division Director, Western Federal Lands Highway Division, and urge her to support an appropriate budget for the Warren Wagon Road improvements. (See sample letter) Be sure to copy U.S. Senator Mike Crapo, and any other congressional representatives that you’d like to contact as well.
I would love to see McCall locals, second-home owners and full-time homeowners in Valley County get involved. We need the support of Idaho CEO’s who have second homes in Valley County. We need help from everyone who can see the vibrant future of McCall and Payette Lake. Please get involved and support this effort. Thank you!
Valley County Pathways