City Government

Boise To Offer Free Scooter Parking

Hillary Haymond’s May 2 suggestion to create scooter and cycle parking spots downtown drew a rapid response by government standards. After only two months of study, planning and action they have adopted her idea.

Wednesday July 5 Team Dave and the Councilors have scheduled a photo op to unveil new signs and FREE parking for scooters and motorcycles downtown.

In a letter to Mayor Dave Bieter and the Council, Hillary pointed out the waste of parking space and a silly policy that mandated only once scooter could park in a space which would easily hold 4 or more.

The GUARDIAN gave it coverage and readers chimed in on the blog with stories of biking and scootering to save gas. Team Dave got phone calls and now a “pilot program” is being tested until Labor Day.

Bieter and Council Prez Maryanne Jordan told Hillary, “City staff has researched the idea and presented its findings to us, and we have decided to proceed with your recommendation on a pilot basis.”

Boise Parking Services Division is currently marking and installing signage for free time-zone parking for two-wheel motor vehicles in selected downtown Boise areas. The test period is expected to conclude on or around Aug. 31, 2006. City staff will seek your input, evaluate the pilot project, and make recommendations to the City of Boise’s Growth Management Policy Team.

Show time is 1 p.m. Wednesday July 5 outside 509 Main St. Reporters will certainly be looking for sound bites from any of you scooter/cyclers.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Guardian, you better have your back covered. Team Dave must hate you. You back them into a corner all the time. You shouldn’t gloat because it doesn’t take much skill to checkmate a checker player.

  2. Guardian, did you back them into a corner….or just an itty bitty parking spot?

  3. One reason why property taxes are so high: the Boise City staff has to “research” the idea and “present findings” in order to have the City Council agree to proceed with a “pilot project” on whether to provide more economical parking spaces for two-wheeled vehicles. Is there anyone out there who reads the GUARDIAN who actually thinks it’s a BAD idea?!

  4. I’d like to think that this is a moment for Boise to stand out as rather progressive by setting a new standard for parking scooters. This kind of parking is a great way for Boise to look good and they can end it as summer comes to an end. Great PR – take a rather non-important issue, get some good press on it and offend no one.

    It’s not as if he’s been “forced” into signing onto the US Mayors Cimate Protection Agreement – which actually would be so great that Democrats in Boise could hold their heads up with pride at having Team Dave at the helm of the city. No Idaho Mayors have signed on yet as of June 23 250 Mayors have signed on.

  5. Well Sharon, it does sound less expensive than researching where to build a new parking garage!
    Perhaps with more scooters there would be fewer cars on the road. With fewer cars more people would feel safer to bike around town resulting in even fewer cars. Fewer cars means less wear and tear on the roads. Gosh, just how could this be a BAD idea?

    Slim Jim, I checked out the Seattle website of the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. Very interesting. I hope that Team Dave considers looking into it.

  6. Hey, for all of the Guardian readers and non-readers who phoned and or emailed the Mayor’s office on this issue – well it could never have come to pass without each one of your actions. I’m pleased with the support this idea has had. I hope that every scooter and cycle rider in town can take a late lunch and motor on down for the photo op. Hey, all the bike riders should come along for the ride. Bikes are traffic, too. Two wheels are great!

  7. Woo hoo! Way to go Hilary. Sharon, I have no problem with city government having a reasoned and deliberate response to proposals rather than a knee jerk reaction. A healthy dose of skepticism leads to better government and I don’t pretend to know all there is to know about managing parking in downtown Boise.

  8. Ms. Ullmann’s derisive tone towards public service employees is a reminder why voters drove her from that county commission job a few years back.

  9. Sis – I agree that government should have a reasoned and deliberate response to proposals. But again, can anyone provide any reason whatsoever why City leaders should not have immediately adopted a parking strategy that encourages people to use two-wheeled vehicles that place less demand on our roadways, take up less space, use less gas, and cause less pollution? If so, then go ahead and study away. Otherwise, sometimes the idea itself is so simple and so good, that a delayed response is simply unnecessary.

    Osprey – I think you misunderstood my comment and the point I was trying to make. I have no ill-will toward public service employees. Anyone who followed my time as an Ada County Commissioner would know that I am the person who has championed their rights and causes.

    Boise City staff members did not direct themselves to study the two-wheeled vehicles parking proposal. That directive would have come from above. My problem is with elected leaders who unnecessarily waste staff time and, therefore, public funds. Every decision does not require a study to be done first. Sometimes it just takes a little common sense. Besides, if this idea does turn out to be a failure for some now unapparent reason, how hard would it be to switch back anyway?

  10. I think Team Dave was aware of a scooter critical mass which has been brewing in the underground scooter culture in Boise of late. Imagine, hundreds of scooters taking up one parking space each, downtown hours before Saturday Market. Kudos though, to Team Dave for being willing to try something. I think it would be really cool if all the scooterists presented the mayor with a light bulb at the July,5th 1pm photo op. Spread the word.

    HH, you are my new Boise Hero. Move over Guardian.
    Also HH, The Rev Puppets Scooter Club (Boise Chapter) present you with honorary charter membership with all rights and priveleges thereof.

  11. Having staff do “research” (on whatever subject) is like having foxes research how to eat chickens.

    It is like having staff evaluate skinny row houses or massive condos – we know what staff will recommend even before they start. They have a clear and declared agenda and their research is always the same. It also gives the Council the “cover” of having staff recommend the action.

    The pilot singles out a certain user group and discriminates against hybrid cars and other motorcycles and other modes of transportation.

    Next we will see surcharges on SUV parking if you follow this same flawed logic – but remember those in City Hall are NEVER bounded by logic.

    EDITOR NOTE–It looks like this really is a good move. The problem was a law that mandated a single scooter or cycle in a parking spot instead of multiple two-wheelers, hence the waste of parking spaces. There is no way to “rent” the same space to 4 scooters…YET.

  12. Osprey: “Ms. Ullmann’s derisive tone towards public service employees is a reminder why voters drove her from that county commission job a few years back.”

    At the risk of digressing from the topic (and I’m delighted that the Council has decided to give free 2-wheeler parking a trial run)…

    IMO, Ms. Ullman’s no-nonsense style is both a blessing and a curse. It’s GREAT to know where she stands on the issues. I believe we can all agree most “career politicians” are experts at using a lot of words without saying much. (Need some examples? I didn’t think so.) But “no-nonsense” is also going to rustle some feathers, particularly when we’re so accustomed to the smooooooth politician-types. (Even gruff ol’ tattooed Vern has gotten a little smoother over the years. And frankly, I’d be upset with anybody who always agreed with Roger Simmons… look up “bureaucrat” in your Webster’s and there oughtta be a little picture-illustration of Roger in there.)

    There needs to be a balance between “analysis and fact-finding” and economizing those taxpayer dollars? Did we need a lot of “research and presentation” before doing a trial run free-motorbike-parking experiment for a couple months? Nah – I don’t think so. I’d be grateful to have an advocate like Sharon… I’d vote for her, even if she refused to take the “Politician’s Oath.”

  13. Just 2 wheel motor vehicles? How about us 1 wheelers and 3 wheelers? Sharon for governor!

  14. Hmmm. If I was an elected official faced with this seemingly innocuous proposal I’d certainly talk to the planning professionals I have employed to determine if the plan was feasible or to at least subject the plan to informed critical thought. I assume this is what they meant by: “City staff has researched the idea and presented its findings to us…” I must also assume that these planning professionals might be able to respond much more specifically to your question Sharon since they deal with parking downtown everyday. It doesn’t make much sense to me to enact the proposal based on the lack of dissent from people who may or may not know about the repercussions. I would go to those whose job it is to know the answer. I would not be so proud as to believe I know all the answers.

  15. Right on Sisyphus.

  16. Jon Q Publique
    Jun 27, 2006, 11:58 pm

    Congrats HH!

    bikeboy – Is it a promotional ladder or something else when one goes from (police beat?) reporter to politician to bureaucrat? At least he should be able to write his own press releases.

    507 Main St? Isn’t that like next to the Cactus Bar or at least really, really close to it? Also, if I remember correctly there’s a Moxie on the north side of the street.

    Are you buying Guardian? After the photo op of course.


  17. Okaaaaay…

    I agree that this is really cool.

    However, wasn’t there a recent dust-up about UNPAID parking tickets?? Yeah, I am stretching things a bit, but I could not resist.

    Way to go Guardian!

  18. I think it is interesting to observe people like “sisyphus” and “osprey” (both presuming to know when someone is motivated by pride) as they both spew instant condemnations. Maybe it is simply that they are both failing to clearly see someone, like Sharon, who is motivated by her desire that our tax dollars be spent wisely. I think it is best when we do not assume that we know what is inside of other people. Asking questions might be a better way to gain understanding, versus berating.

  19. curious george
    Jun 29, 2006, 5:25 pm

    “Underground Scooter Culture”

    Sound’s like the name of a cool Indie rock band – can I join?! I don’t have a scooter, but I promise to make “vroom, vroom” noises when I ride my bicycle. Maybe I’ll clip a playing card to my fork and let it click against the spokes. I’ll just have to learn to, “play solitaire ’til dawn, with a deck of 51” – thank you Brenda Lee.

    Now if only Boise could place road signage in the downtown area that faces both directions, regardless of the traffic direction on the numerious one-way streets. Wouldn’t this make it much easier for pedestrians to navigate?

    Of course, this would make too much sense.

    But again, there might be a requirement to conduct a federally overseen Environmental Impact Study, since no local entity would cough up the money for the signs and everyone would turn to the Federal Transit Administration for financial support. Do you realize that the fed’s refer to a positive ruling in such an environmental analysis as a Fonzy? “Eeeehhhh, Mr. C!” – actually refers to a Finding Of No Significant Impact. God, my brain is packed with useless trivia!

    This of course would lead to multiple feasibility studies and a long-range implementation plan. All of which would have to include in-depth interviews of the potentially affected populace. But, urban walkers might be hard to find in Boise – since transportation planning engineers would be conducting the interviews and they would confuse “urban walkers” with “street walkers”.

  20. Love your humor curious george. Underground Scooter Culture sounds like a great club name…… I dibs it if it’s not taken.

    Sure, join in – bikes have two wheels!! join in even if you ride a unicycle, a tricycle or roller skates/blades. Join in if you ride a wheel chair or walk on one foot or two – or even no feet at all. Scooter folks aren’t snobs we just like to have fun and not take up too much parking space.

    Thanks jqp but it could not have happened if folks hadn’t backed the idea with emails and phone calls. Now we have to use the spaces. They are there, waiting to be parked in (saw a car using the space last night…..hmmmm took up the entire area). So now it’s up to two wheelers to show the city that we want them badly enough to use them all year around. Let’s use them members of The Rev Puppets Scooter Club (Boise Chapter)!!!

    John, I thank you for the honorary membership as well as your kindness. So let’s scoot around!

  21. To The Rev Puppets Scooter Club (Boise Chapter)
    So do I get a club jacket? When do you meet? Do you go on the annual ride to Sturgis or Kuna?

  22. Pierre Mouchas
    Sep 28, 2007, 2:10 pm

    I support 100 % riding scooters around to save on gas all year long, and I support parking four scooters in one parking car space at 100% too. I am from the island of Tahiti and we in Tahiti French Polynesia we have done this since the first four two weels got there . We even park our two weels on the side walk in degsignated areas.Because it is an island the best way to get around is on a scooter or moped or bicycle or motorcycle. Like I said not only it saves you on gas but also on parking and the government ancourage the people of the island to not only go aroud on two weels but it also encourage people to cut down on pollution because some of our scooters are electric powered only. So as an Islander who has spent most of its life on riding a scooter I strongly support scooters stand for getting around and park four scooters in one car parking space.

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