With just under 7,000 year-round residents, Sandpoint is a vibrant community on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille in the Idaho panhandle, surrounded by the Selkirk, Cabinet and Bitterroot mountain ranges. Sandpoint’s history has been defined in part by transportation, as a major junction where two highways and three rail lines converge .
A few years back, the Idaho Department of Transportation (IDT) proposed rerouting and widening Highway 2 through the city, with the aim of easing congestion and improving traffic flow. “The Curve” would have created a major thoroughfare through the heart of the city, limited access between the city’s historic downtown and its local neighborhoods, and forever diminishing the town’s walkability, character, and quality of life. The LOR Foundation helped facilitate a dialogue between the city and the state, providing resources to help the community work with IDT to find a compromise – and common ground.