Lots of Green on Black Friday

Many shoppers heading to the Boise Town Square Mall on Black Friday will end up in the red on their finances, but the Ada County Highway District is offering the green light coming and going.
Thanks to their video control center in Garden City, traffic signal timing will be altered by “congestion management staff” to keep the cars–and the money they bring–flowing into the mall. The Big Brother cameras monitor the flow and the congestion experts change the signal timing trying to stuff cars into the parking lot and get them back home in the afternoon.

Motorists who ignore fire and and blue handicap access spots could find themselves just a little deeper in the red with fines as high as $100. Boise City parking Czar John Eichmann has assigned two parking officers for three days to assist fire and police enforcing city and state parking laws which apply to the private facility.


After we got stuck in a Capitol Blvd. traffic jam Tuesday caused by big buses and a fleet of trucks blocking two lanes, the GUARDIAN contacted the ACHD and the Boise PD. Seems that for the bargain rate of $900 per year the Grove Hotel/Quest arena has a permit that allows them to rent our public street and deny motorists use of a traffic lane. ACHD tells us any traffic obstruction is supervised by a rep of the agency.

The curb lane parking is regulated by Boise City (on the same roadway) and they are researching the fees, if any, that are charged for the parking.

In the same vicinity on Front Street a construction project has caused a diversion of four or five lanes and they pay $614 per month for our public sidewalk closure, but the lane closure and diversion is under a permit of the Idaho Transportation Department because Front street is a state highway!

In the North End a reader complains of “POD” storage boxes blocking part of the street near his home. He has caused a stir with the ACHD, Boise code enforcement, and the Boise PD with his complaint. Turns out that once again the public street has been rented for $15 a week–for nearly two months–to accommodate a house remodel.

In the case of the GROVE situation we think ACHD needs to restrict the scope of the permit to the curb lane only and mandate that loading and delivery activities requiring more street space be done after midnight.

POD storage units simply should not be parked on residential streets. Owners and builders should either keep them on site or rent storage at a private location.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Mike Murphy, Bull Moose Tenor
    Nov 21, 2007, 11:46 am

    As inconvenient and corrupt as that situation was / is, I present a far more frightening one.

    8th Street, Between Main and Bannock (A “Private” Street, ahem, “Owned” by the CCDC).

    A Fire Lane in the Heart of Downtown, and on any given day you couldn’t get a greased needle through with a jackhammer!

    The primary culprits being beer trucks, and narcissists for whom the rules don’t apply.

    This is a dangerous situation that will certainly result in the eventual delay of emergency services that will at a minimum cause someone to suffer unnecessarily, or worse, result in death and / or unnecessary destruction (i.e. Fire).

    And in-so-much-as the CCDC, DBA the Mayor’s Office, the City Council, Parking Control and the BPD are well aware of the situation, this inevitable and wholly avoidable tragedy should permit even the most mediocre litigator to sue the city into the Stone Age!

    I empathize with the working man (being one myself); But the problem is EASILY solved by parking delivery rigs on Main, Idaho or Bannock (or the Alleys, where they can park free for up to 30 minutes) and walking a few extra feet.

    I DON’T empathize with Krick, Inc., et al, or the Beer Distributors who create the problem in the name of cost effectiveness.

  2. I understand the concerns about the cheapest real estate in downtown being the street. But the concerns about Northend street storage should be approached with caution.

    I mainly ride my bike for commute and pleasure, thus my vehicle sits on the street for up to 3 weeks at a time. I admit to storing my vehicle on the street because my garage is too small and my offstreet parking is used for a trailer.

    EDITOR NOTE–Duly noted. I am told the POD is in the bike lane as well. The POD is the big one which is nearly the size of a semi trailer.

  3. You mean that ACHD is finally staffing the control center? Cool. Too bad it’s just for the mall area on Black Friday and not for the rest of the county the rest of the year.

  4. The BIKE LANE!, now that should be addressed promptly. It is a thoroughfare just like the middle of the road and should remain unobstructed.

    And those going to Black Friday shopping, have fun stay safe and relax.

  5. Grumpy ole guy
    Nov 21, 2007, 8:58 pm

    Several years ago I inquired about the loading/unloading at the Convention Center and was told that there had been a “permanent variance” issued which exepmpted the Convention Center from the “normal” regulation of providing off-street, non-obstructive, loading / unloading. I inquired and was met with the polite bureaucratic stone wall at each turn, told basically that I wasn’t able to understand the issue(s) and so just go away and not bother the nice people. I had no idea that variances came with rental conditions – I thought that it was on the property.

    So, let’s see – – – is the case that the “rental fee” is paid by the CCDC out of the tax monies it gathers? So, if I want to use the street in front of my house for a pay for use parking lot, say from 10 – 3 daily, I can do that provided I pay the ACHD a rental fee first? Or, would I have to ask other tax payers to pay the fee to ACHD, naturally, I wouldn’t want to share the revenue, but I could promise to use the money to improve my property, thereby keeping the valuation high, for the sake of my neighbors – the entire community, in fact.

    More disgusted than grumpy.

  6. I wonder who at P&Z okayed a plan for the Grove Hotel to have no loading area on their own property for their own use.

    I also wonder, no matter how European cool it is, that businesses get to use up the sidewalks as part of their business, and the bike parkers use up the rest.

    We don’t go to the mall so there will be one less car trying to go there.

    It is hard for me to understand this herd mentality about shopping on black Friday.

  7. I don’t go to the mall and I don’t shop on Black Friday. Shopping is not one of main activities, so I leave that to those folks. As an American, I think that we already stuff our homes, cars, yards, storage units and land fills with too much junk.

    However, I do have enough in savings to live for a year or two should something happen to my job. . . provided I don’t have to rent part of a road from achd.
    This world has become far too insane for me.

  8. Mike Murphy, Bull Moose Tenor
    Nov 23, 2007, 7:12 am

    What happened with the Grove Hotel Complex is that the City Sold-its-Soul (Literally!) to get a “Five Star Hotel” (Subsequently DOWN Graded).

    Remember how…

    * The Grove Hotel was threatened with litigation for dubbing THEMSELVES a “Five Star Hotel” before they even opened for business.

    * The “Sports Zone” (overlooking the Grove Fountain) built an enclosure despite it’s permit having been denied (and the city shrugging its shoulders)?

    And so on, Ad Infinitum…

    I’ve seen Inner-City Prison Buildings with more Curb Appeal than that tomb, and everyone associated with its planning, construction and operation should be ashamed of themselves.

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