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Tuesday, June 09, 2015
ACHD Releases Draft Roadside Memorial Policy for Comment

Garden City – The proposal would allow memorials but the displays would be regulated to ensure public safety and that the monuments are well maintained.

The policy will be discussed at an ACHD Commission work session on July 8th and, depending on the public feedback and the Commissioners’ preference, may be up for adoption at the ACHD night meeting on July 22nd.

To remain in the public right-of-way – the areas around the local roads, intersections and bridges – all memorials will be required to be registered with ACHD. Such notice will allow for inspections and any needed modifications to prevent the display from becoming a hazard to drivers, pedestrians or cyclists.

Unregistered memorials are subject to removal, although ACHD will make a good faith effort to contact the sponsor to register the display or remedy any issues that prevent approval. The fixes could include relocating or amending the entire display or some of its elements.

A temporary memorial can remain for up to one year, under the draft policy. Afterward, the display must be removed or converted to a permanent memorial, which would require a license agreement for use of the public right-of-way.

Ghost bikes, which have appeared across Ada County in the last several years at sites where cyclists have died, would be treated as temporary memorials.

As an alternative to a memorial, sponsors can ask for an ACHD-supplied sign that would carry a safety message as well as the deceased’s name. The signs would comply will all of the same safety and upkeep requirements.

The proposal would replace an informal ACHD policy that largely allowed memorials as long as they did not create a hazard or block public access to the right-of-way. Memorial sponsors and critics have complained that the lack of written guidance has left too much uncertainty over what may be acceptable, which prompted the Commission to ask for a policy.

The draft policy follows existing ACHD ordinances and state laws that require the right-of-way to be free from distractions, sight obstructions and impediments for users to access roadway features. If a memorial meets those requirements, then it will likely be approved, under the proposal.

The proposal can be viewed at www.achdidaho.org, under "Draft Policy for Roadside Memorials". Comments can be sent to tellus@achdidaho.org or to the ACHD Commission, 3775 Adams St., Garden City, ID 83714.

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