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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
ACHD tells the City of Boise to remove illegally installed parking meter sensors or sign deal to regulate them

The Ada County Highway District gave the city 10 days to respond to the July 22, 2014 letter or face action by the District to dig up the sensors.

Without permission, Boise installed 67 sensors in public streets controlled by the Ada County Highway District last year and planned to put more in before being stopped by an ACHD inspector.

For the past 10 months, the city has refused to enter an agreement to regulate the placement of the sensors, saying ACHD does not have full control over the streets in downtown Boise. While state law reserves the regulation of parking meters to the city, Idaho Code specifically invests "exclusive general supervision and jurisdiction" over county roads to ACHD, which means the city must receive ACHD’s permission for the sensors.

ACHD’s control over local roads in Ada County has been upheld on numerous occasions by the courts and in late December in a legal opinion from the Office of Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.

"Should a city want to place a parking meter device into the traveled way, a court would likely find that the city needs a permit from ACHD to do so," wrote Chris Kronberg, a deputy attorney general, in response to a request from state Rep. Mike Moyle, who asked about the legality of Boise’s actions.

In his Tuesday letter, ACHD President John Franden urged the city to remove the sensors or accept the terms of the District’s latest proposal. In June, ACHD proposed to allow the city to:

•    Install the additional 133 sensors it had purchased

•    Approve the sensor installation for a period of five years, with automatic, one-year renewals of the agreement starting in year six, unless cancelled by the city or ACHD

•    Ask to install additional sensors within one-years’ time

The sensors – small, hockey puck-sized devices – detect the metal of a vehicle parked in a stall and communicate wirelessly with a meter regulating that location. When a motorist drives away, the meter can be configured to erase any remaining time.

The city says putting meters with sensors into downtown will create a better parking environment for users, but critics told ACHD Commissioners last year that the technology is an attempt to increase revenue and urged that permission be denied.

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