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Eye On Boise

Boise looks to ratchet up parking rates, enforcement hours at downtown meters

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The city of Boise is getting about 200 new parking meters designed to prevent people from parking on someone else's dime. The Idaho Statesman ( reports the city is installing about 200 new meters designed to prevent people from refilling meters or using up paid time left by a previous parker. The meters have sensors that can tell when a car enters or exits the space, and zero out the time when a car pulls away. City officials say the change isn't about increasing revenue, but rather about increasing the turnover of prime downtown parking spaces and encouraging long-term parkers to use garages.

Boise installed its first downtown parking meters in 1940, which pulled in more than $22,000 by the end of the year. Today, more than 1,200 meters collecting $1 an hour bring in about $620,000 annually. IPS Group Materials, the manufacturer of the new meters, says that resetting the meter when a car leaves general results in increased revenue of 20 to 40 percent. The first batch of new meters will be installed around the State Capitol, City Hall and other popular downtown spots. The city plans to replace 811 meters over the next four years. A fee increase may also be in the works: The City Council will hold a public hearing this week on whether the parking fee should increase to $1.50 for the first hour and $3 for the second hour, with a two-hour maximum.

Meanwhile, KBOI2 News reports that the city also is looking at enforcing metered parking downtown on Saturdays, which is now free, and extending hours for meter enforcement from the current 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., both weekdays and Saturdays. You can read their report here.

Read the City Council memo here on the proposals; it calls for a pilot project for the new evening and weekend enforcement hours to run for six months or a year in the area bounded by Myrtle, Jefferson, 10th and 5th streets, basically the heart of downtown Boise. 

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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