After Extended Fight With Boise, ACHD Clears Way For Smart Meters

Feb 26, 2015

Two-hundred "smart" parking meters have already been installed in downtown Boise. The ACHD decision clears the path for the rest to be put in.
Credit Joe Jaszewski / Idaho Statesman

After a fight that lasted a year-and-a-half, the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) and the City of Boise have come to an agreement regarding parking meters in the city’s downtown.

With a 3-to-2 vote, ACHD commissioners reversed a previous decision and will now allow Boise to install high-tech sensors in the streets. The sensors will connect wirelessly to “smart” parking meters, which accept credit cards.

The agency controls downtown streets while the city owns the sidewalks. The unusual arrangement has led to arguments - and even legal threats - over jurisdiction.  

ACHD Commissioner Kent Goldthorpe voted in favor of allowing the city to install the sensors.

“Every city in this valley deserves a little more consideration to their own self-determination in a lot of ways," says Goldthrope. "This is just a small one. It’s safe, it’s legal, they haven’t rigged a bid. They’re not doing anything wrong here and they’ve taken all the liability on themselves.”

Goldthorpe is a new member of the commission, along with Paul Woods of Boise's North End neighborhood. Woods also voted in favor of the agreement. Both of the new commissioners have signaled their desire to work with the city on issues that were contentious under previous ACHD leadership. Commission President Jim Hansen joined them to clear the way for Boise's new parking meters.

Commissioners Sara Baker and Rebecca Arnold voted against the agreement last night, both voted the same way when the issue came up in 2013.

Follow Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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