Debate over new parking sensors starts from scratch...a second time

The City of Boise and Ada County Highway District commissioners will start from square one for a second time in considering new parking sensors set to be installed on city streets.

ACHD and the city have already voted to install the sensors once last month. Last week, one of the commissioners who voted in favor of the proposal asked for the commission to consider looking over the details again becasue she uncovered new information about how the technology can be used.

Today, commissioners granted her request, and voted to take another look at the proposal with the city on August 28.

Although the debate has been put in park, the discussion is still rolling on the street.

The new sensors can sense when your call pulls in and out of a spot, and will reset the meter timer when you leave the spot. They are designed to make sure you don't overstay your welcome in a parking space, or take advantage of time left over from someone else's space.

"I think that would be a great idea because there are some people using the street as long-term parking and that blocks me from being able to use it for short-term," Boise resident Becky Paslay said.

"It will rotate more spaces people in people out," Eagle resident Deborah Mitchell said. "I thought about if you're out shopping to have to go back to your car...but what is exercise? It's not going to hurt you! I think it's a good idea."

Others say it creates a headache for downtown businesses.

"Its frustrating with us because like obviously most of our appointments go over an hour," said Darryl Soulis, a stylist at Lunatic Fringe salon. "Even like a simple blowout, it always goes over an hour so it is hard for us because everyone's like 'can you go pay my meter?'"

Soulis said that often means customers at the salon get parking tickets, and aren't happy about it.

"It's hard for us as well as stylists because we want to like take their ticket for them because we don't want them to have to pay it, but at the same time it is their fault for parking on the street," Soulis said.

When talks continue later this month, ACHD and the city will also discuss where the sensors will be installed: underground, or somewhere where people can see them.

Although the delay will postpone the installation of the sensors into this fall, the City of Boise says the technology has already been paid for through a general fund. If the sensors are approved the second time around, the city says they will begin installing them this fall.