As the Downtown parking wars escalate, don’t expect approval of installing a hockey puck-shaped sensor device linked to hi-tech parking meters to be a slam-dunk at Wednesday’s Ada County Highway District meeting.
Boise’s City Council will hold a public hearing at noon Tuesday to consider a 50% rate hike at meters and Saturday enforcement. Ironically, the City brings in more money off $15 overtime parking tickets than from the $620,000 in change they collect annually off 1200 meters.
It’s all part of a City plan to install new parking meters which require a chip in a puck buried in the asphalt to erase any paid time left by motorists exiting a spot–effectively “zeroing” the meter. New customers can still get 20 free minutes (once) and even use credit cards, but when they leave, its back to zero with no change given for unused minutes. City officials claim none of this is about the money–its all aimed at making Downtown Boise user friendly and turning over on street spaces more often and encouraging use of parking garages.
ACHD is “the house” in this card game and as everyone knows, the house controls the chips.
ACHD crews found the “hockey puck” sensors buried in THEIR pavement during the repair of a water main at 8th and Bannock this Spring. Boise officials immediately fessed up to embedding the sensors when test meters were installed. ACHD came back with a note saying “not so fast, you need our permission.”
An agreement has been proposed by Boise City which acknowledges the state law which gives ACHD authority and control of the street, but allows the city to install parking meters.
At a 6 p.m. Wednesday public hearing, the ACHD Commission is scheduled to consider the agreement. However, given the acrimony between the two agencies, exacerbated by a Team Dave staffer’s “Valentine Day Massacre” letter to legislators dissing the District, it could be time for paybacks. That highly paid staffer has been shuffled off to the CCDC with a $20,000 pay cut, but that may not be enough to salve the wounded ACHD players.
Don’t forget when you’re talking hockey pucks–its a rough game with bloody fights at times.
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