Kootenai Co. refuses to build transit center over fear of transients

Right now, it is just a dirt parking lot. Transit leaders believe a shelter would attract homeless and increase crime.

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho -- Kootenai County's transit department officials said they will not build a lobby at the proposed CityLink transit center in Coeur d'Alene.

Right now, it is just a dirt parking lot. Transit leaders believe a shelter would attract homeless and increase crime. Coeur d'Alene city officials disagree and that is why the city council is holding off on renewing its payment to CityLink.

"We don't want it to become a hangout. It's not a place for people to come live,” said Jeannette Leckvold with the Kootenai County Grants Management Office. 

Council member Dan Gookin disagrees with the reason for not building a lobby.

"Homeless people are people too. They do use the bus system. Winter is going to be upon us, it's going to be cold. It would be nice if people going to the transit center waiting for a bus could go inside where and wait in there as opposed to waiting outside. That's my concern," he said. 

Leckvold told the city council the transit center will have employee offices and shelters for waiting passengers. She said the design of the shelters would be up to the engineers.

Robert Reed uses the CityLink bus system every day and says he would like to see a lobby built, especially for when the weather gets colder.

"Just for mere comfort. People have to wait sometimes. A lot of us walk when we come here and we might need 15 or 20 minutes," he said. 

The city council was meant to renew its payment to CityLink, which surrounding Idaho cities contribute to as well. The council then decided to hold off after discussion about the transit center.

KREM 2 reached out to the county transit department for comment about the transit center, but as of 4:00 p.m., have not received a response. City leaders said it hopes to hold a work session with county commissioners in early December to further discuss the transit center. 

© 2017 KREM-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment
TRENDING VIDEOS