Boise & Garden City

Judge denies Boise request for restraining order against ACHD

Fourth District Judge Deborah Bail denied the motion the city filed Friday to keep the Ada County Highway District from removing parking meter sensors implanted in Downtown streets.

ACHD said the city's action came less than a day after it had said it wanted to avoid a lawsuit. But the road agency also said in a press release Friday it would leave the sensors in place for the "immediate future."

Boise spokesman Adam Park said the city acted because "it was important to ensure no action was taken" before ACHD had reviewed the city's application for a permit for the current sensors and several hundred more.

ACHD has a meeting scheduled Monday to discuss its next steps. Both sides say they hope the issue can be resolved amicably.

The city wants to install "smart" parking meters that allow drivers to use credit cards to pay for parking and to monitor their time on a smartphone app. The sensors in the pavement tell the meters when the vehicles leave the parking place.

ACHD, which owns the streets, says the city needs ACHD permission first.

Read the full statement from ACHD issued by spokesman Craig Quintana on Aug. 1:

ACHD Sued by Boise City, agrees to allow parking sensors to remain in place for now

Less than a day after Boise City said it wanted to avoid a lawsuit, the city sued the Ada County Highway District on Friday to try to legalize the parking sensors it installed without permission.

Fourth District Judge Deborah A. Bail rejected the city’s request for a restraining order against ACHD removing the sensors; after the ruling, the District said it would let the devices stay in downtown streets for the immediate future.

ACHD President John Franden said it was unfortunate the city had chosen the path of confrontation instead of cooperation.

“It never should have come to this,” Franden said. “The city received a generous offer to place the parking sensors in the streets downtown and for whatever reason does not want to play by the rules. We still hope this can be resolved amicably.”

ACHD and the city have been unable to come to terms on an agreement despite numerous meetings and a proposed agreement from the District.

The proposal would govern the placement of the devices, as well as how they will be installed and maintained in the future. The same agreement covers other items of mutual interest downtown, such as sidewalk cafes and valet parking.

Regulating what happens in the streets ensures the safety and convenience of the public, Wong said.

In mid-2013, the city asked for permission to install 200 sensors, including the 68 that were installed before an ACHD inspector discovered the installation work and shut it down. On Thursday, the City asked for permission to install another 611 sensors across downtown Boise.

Read the full statement issued by Boise City spokesman Adam Park on Aug. 1: 

After seeing the premature action yesterday by ACHD to begin removal of the sensors with no prior notice to citizens or businesses, the city felt it was important to ensure no action was taken before the permit application review was complete.  With today's announcement by ACHD that the sensors will not be removed for the immediate future, the City has achieved the result it was hoping for.   

We look forward to ACHD’s action on the permits and hope this matter can be resolved so that citizens can begin enjoying the benefits of easily finding parking spots and extending parking time using their smart phone.