We Are Snowbound! Boise Assists ACHD

Despite near record low temps, we awoke to mostly cleared streets that are at least passable now. Kudos to all those who made it happen.

We can certainly sympathize with the officials and snow removal workers at the Ada County Highway District.

Not only are the streets clogged with snow to the point most passenger cars simply cannot negotiate the unplowed residential streets, forecasts of above freezing temps and even rain are setting the stage for a slushy disaster.

We did a limited tour of the Boise Bench and saw lots of folks shoveling driveways, but once they get on the street, it is impossible to move.

Some sort of “NEIGHBORHOOD FOUR-WHEEL UBER” service is probably in order. With their expertise in the ride share program, perhaps ACHD would be a logical clearing house for volunteers willing to offer their traction services to those in need.

This residential street on the Boise Bench has a nice rut created by the trash truck with views coming and going.

A common adversity has a way of uniting people and we were pleased to see Boise officials lending a hand to ACHD clearing some streets–especially in the downtown area.

“The city of Boise is marshaling equipment and resources to clear snow from key streets, sidewalks and drainage infrastructure in downtown Boise, essential transit routes and residential areas across the city,” said a statement, issued by Boise officials Thursday afternoon.

“ACHD’s efforts are unable to keep up with such a significant weather event, so the city of Boise is doing all it can to assist,” said Boise Mayor Dave Bieter in the statement. “It is essential that we get our roads and sidewalks clear as soon as possible so that people can get to and from work, school and the grocery store.”

As a result, the city is partnering with the Capital City Development Corporation to provide free parking Thursday and Friday at the six downtown parking garages, in an effort to keep parked vehicles from snow-clogged city streets, giving snowplows a clearer shot.

Additionally, city officials are redirecting vehicles from a number of city departments –mostly public works and parks– to help remove snow from sidewalks along major arterials. Boise’s snow removal equipment at the airport has been working non-stop to maintain runways and corridors at and around the airport.

The impact of next week’s warmer and rainy weather may pose drainage challenges that could only be alleviated with this week’s ongoing joint snow removal effort.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. “and residential areas across the city.” Yeah. Right. Let’s see how they do in west or southwest Boise.

  2. Boise will focus on North End and downtown first!

  3. “It’s colder than a mother-in-law’s kiss!” as my grandpa was fond of saying.

    I will not scorn the ACHD – I believe they are doing a bang-up job, all things considered. (Consider: do the taxpayers want to pay for a 10-lanes-in-each-direction freeway because we have congestion for an hour in the morning, and an hour in the afternoon? And likewise, do we want to buy a huge fleet of snow-removal equipment that will be used for our once-in-a-generation snowstorm but sit idle otherwise?)

    As a life-long Boise resident, I can confidently say we’ve become wussified over a couple generations. Quick to point the finger of blame while wringing the other nine fingers! ha!

    This morning downtown, I saw (manual) shovel operators in dayglo vests, and with “Parks and Recreation” trucks nearby. They were clearing the storm drains. Pretty smart! I’d much rather try to clear those drains on a clear, sunny (cold) day, than on a gray rainy (cold) day standing knee-deep in ice-cold floodwater!

  4. Boise Glacier
    Jan 6, 2017, 1:32 pm

    It could be a lot worse. Around 10,000 years ago, the snow was a mile deep in the Boise area, and at some point, it will be again.

  5. Clancy Anderson
    Jan 6, 2017, 1:57 pm

    I agree with Bikeboy about ACHD. They were a little late in publishing a schedule, but that helps the general public see the priorities. I have heard reports of neighborhood plowing in NW Boise, Vista, west of Glenwood and yes in the Northend.

    And the shovel crews are great to see. I saw 4 crews this morning on my ride to work. Some of these crews are also Parking Services.

  6. If we only had a trolly to ride to work all problems of plowing snow would be solved…… Just kidding

  7. You flunk, do over until you get it right.
    Jan 9, 2017, 3:14 pm

    Leadership was too busy promoting global warming to be prepared for a series of winter storms. A national problem to some extent.

    We got lucky it warmed up or this leadership vacuum would still be very apparent. Local leaders would all freeze to death in North Dakota.

    People in river bottoms might still have a problem coming.

    Local media was highly irresponsible to allow ball scratching handymen to become experts on nearly everything winter. They caused a mass hysteria about things that are not an issue for 99.9% of the population. Old claw hammer, poorly tuned truck with $4000 tires, and a vape pipe is not what an expert looks like unless you’re talking about cheap beer.

    ACHD needs to be incorporated into Ada County as a tightly controlled department. ACHD has repeatedly demonstrated they are out of sync with the community. The employees of ACHD can actually swing an ACHD commissioner’s election due to low voter turnout.

    All the local leaders need to kiss and make up during times when unusual events stress the community. No doubt it was an event which stressed resources, but it was made so much worse by lack of preparedness and lack of cooperation between the divisions of local government. Fortunately we have only pretend weather events here.

    Has anyone noticed the enormous amount of money the local emergency management preparedness people have been smoking? Holy crap! And a snowstorm catches them off guard? You Flunk!

  8. Plowed under
    Jan 9, 2017, 6:58 pm

    Can’t even get to the street because ACHD has plowed so much snow to the roadside that it it impossible to get through. I cannot do anymore because the runoff is ice and it has nowhere to go because of the mounds of snow that have been plowed up on to the gutters. You would think that they could pile snow where there are no driveways. They are now just causing difficulty. Oh I do appreciate them clearing the streets, but they need to improve the methods used. Big snow towns could teach them some lessons.

  9. I differ from Bikerboy that we are wussified, some of us just expect to get what we pay for… go look at their budget Bikerboy. What we are doing is accepting bad behavior and lack of ownership. If I look down the street today I see all the sidewalks dry and clean. I see the storm drains cleared and little irrigation like cannels leading to them- all happily managed by the citizens. I also see when I walk a few paces further toward the roadway one slick road of ice and parking spaces loaded with snow and now trash pick-up disabled. ACHD is a government agency that has failed to manage their responsibilities (a competent snow emergency plan for one). They own ALL the roads. They own the parking space areas of ALL these roads. They own effective communication so they can plow ALL surfaces of these roads. They own the alleys. They have prioritized roads, all fine and good, but they own the entire poodle, not just the front end. And when “shit happens” they are expected to have a bag (an effective plan) that allows them to pick up the entire poop, not just a piece of the poop here and there. Sadly we have all had to struggle through their lack of planning, ineffective communication and just poor management once again. I am stepping in their poop everyday and I am disgusted with their incompetency.

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