A pay phone at Spring Shores Marina at Lucky Peak Reservoir has been removed due to lack of use, and some are concerned about the loss of a public phone that could be used for emergencies after hours.
“It wasn’t a moneymaker for the small business that had it there, so they opted to remove it,” said Jennifer Okerlund, a spokeswoman for Idaho Parks & Recreation.
Spring Shores Marina, about 18 miles southeast of Boise, is a state-owned marina, though the state has a concession agreement for inside operations. The marina has moorage, fuel and supplies.
Boise County Sheriff Ben Roeber said those who are in that area can access an emergency phone outside Macks Creek Park campgrounds, which is a few miles northeast of the marina.
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“It’s right off the side of Arrowrock Road,” the sheriff said. “The phone will only call 911. You pick it up, and it instantly dials us.”
Arrowrock Road — which is only paved for its first 5 miles — is known as a site of many wrecks, though some officials argue it’s no more dangerous than any other mountain road. A Statesman review of crash data over several years found a laundry list of driver mistakes that lead to crashes: driving while impaired by alcohol or drug intoxication, traveling too fast, driving while drowsy or distracted by something inside the vehicle, following too closely, and not paying close enough attention.
Roeber said it’s not uncommon for people to head into Boise to call 911. Some are able to make calls once they get on the south side of Hilltop.
Okerlund said there is cellphone service at Spring Shores Marina, and the parks department has already been working to improve it.
“Cellular service there is less than ideal. It’s stronger for certain providers. The best signal is for those who have Verizon,” Okerlund said. She said the parks department welcomes proposals by providers to improve service in the area.