Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tailgating, Parking Meter Rates Move to Front Burner for Boise Council

Posted By on Sun, Jul 21, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Boise Weekly readers are well familiar with two hot topics at Boise City Hall—boosting parking rates and extended tailgating at Boise State football games—and both are on the fast track.

Both will be on the docket when the Boise City Council meets this Tuesday, July 23.

The concept of expanding tailgating zones around Bronco Stadium has been floating around since last spring, but it was July 9 that BW first reported that Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson told City Council members that he wants to dub the idea "10-to-10."

Simply put, the city's open container law would be waived from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on game days in a designated area from Myrtle Street south along Broadway Avenue to Beacon Street. The line would then run west from Broadway to Lincoln Avenue. In Julia Davis Park, the proposed tailgating area would be east of Zoo Boise, stretching to Broadway.

"The purpose of the [new] proposal is to make the law fair to citizens, and to allow [police officers] to focus on enforcement of more pressing issues," said Masterson, who is anxious to change the city code with only about a month-and-a-half until the first home game.

But things should get very interesting later in the same July 23 meeting, when the Boise City Council holds a public hearing on the controversial proposal to bump up on-street parking meter rates to $1.50 for the first hour and $3 for the second hour. Additionally, officials in Boise's Department of Finance and Administration are looking to stretch the meter's enforcement until 8 p.m. and to include Saturdays.

In an internal memo to the City Council, Finance and Administration officials say that the goal of the higher rates and requirement for motorists to feed meters on Saturdays was "to maximize parking availability downtown to enhance economic development."

More importantly, the memo says that the higher on-street rates will "push long-term parking vehicles to garages and flat lots, while maintaining the viability of short-term on-street parking."

If approved, the higher on-street rates and Saturday enforcement would be a "pilot project" for an undefined length of time.

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