City of Boise
10:57 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Boise, Ada County Parking Spat Highlights Hole In State Law

Parking meters in downtown Boise outside of City Hall.
Credit JOE JASZEWSKI / Idaho Statesman

The City of Boise and the Ada County Highway District have been going back and forth recently over new high-tech parking meters. 

The city wants to install about 800 special sensors in downtown streets that will ultimately help Boise collect more parking revenue. But those streets are controlled by the county highway district.

Idaho Statesman reporter Cynthia Sewell has been covering the story. She says the controversy started in March when the city installed 10 of the hockey-puck sized sensors in downtown pavement as part of a pilot program.  Five months later, the disagreement could end up in court.

Click play to hear our conversation with Cynthia Sewell.

“I think this is one of those situations were state law has not kept up with technology,” Sewell says. “When lawmakers passed these laws we didn’t have wireless technology."

The issue is who controls what. The City of Boise is in charge of downtown parking meters. But the ACHD is in charge of the streets. And to install the sensors that go with the new parking meters, the city wants to cut into those streets. 

Sewell says the city is considering its options, one of which is a lawsuit.

“If anything, I think the city may be looking for clarification on the law.”

ACHD has given Boise until the first week of October to remove the sensors. Sewell says it’s not clear yet what course of action the county might take after that.

Copyright 2013 Boise State Public Radio