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ACHD board delays parking sensor decision

Parking meters in downtown Boise outside of City Hall.
Parking meters in downtown Boise outside of City Hall. jjaszewski@idahostatesman.com

Ada County Highway District's board of commissioners adjourned a closed-door meeting Monday without a response to the city of Boise's latest salvo in the yearlong battle over parking sensors. 

The board will meet again Wednesday to decide how to respond, commission President John Franden said. 

Meanwhile, the district won't remove 68 sensors that Boise installed last year.

Franden admitted the parking sensor battle has, to some degree, devolved into a personality clash. 

"In my mind, it's really fairly simple, and it really doesn't make a lot of sense," he said.

Last week, the city refused the district's latest offer to sign an agreement that would allow Boise to keep in the existing 68 sensors and add more sensors in Downtown metered parking spots. Instead, Boise asked for permits to install more than 800 sensors in virtually all of its metered spaces Downtown.

The city asked a judge to stop ACHD from taking out the installed sensors. The judge denied the request. 

Franden said the highway district wants the city to sign a license agreement that would require Boise to replace the sensors at its own cost if they're damaged or if they lead to other damage of the roadway, which ACHD controls. Boise just wants permits similar to what utility companies receive to lay pipes and cables beneath the road.

"The permit does not protect the taxpayer if something goes wrong," Franden said.

Boise believes it doesn't need a license agreement and doesn't like some of the terms the highway district is offering. City spokesman Adam Park said the city has agreed all along to pay for any damage the sensors cause.