Wednesday, July 23, 2014

ACHD to City of Boise: Agree to Terms on Smart Meter Sensors Or Else

Posted By on Wed, Jul 23, 2014 at 12:24 PM

That chilly relationship between the city of Boise and Ada County Highway District just got a whole lot frostier.

The latest chill came in a demand letter, dated July 22, and hand delivered to Boise Mayor Dave Bieter. The subject? Those controversial so-called smart meters.

It was December 2011 when Boise Weekly readers first heard about meters that would be able to detect the presence of a vehicle. The meters also would offer features, such as ability to pay via app and sending data to your smartphone that lets you know where there's an available space on downtown streets.

But to detect the presence of the vehicle, the smart meter requires a sensor to be embedded in the pavement, and if you recall, the city of Boise doesn't control it's streets; ACHD has that oversight.

And ACHD and the city of Boise have been at an impasse over the sensors. City officials insisted that they didn't need permission for the sensors. ACHD said otherwise. And an opinion from the Idaho Attorney General's Office sided with ACHD, saying "the jurisdiction of ACHD does extend to the placement of vehicle detection sensors in the traveled way of streets. Installation of the sensors would therefore require an encroachment permit from ACHD."

And now, ACHD has sent its demand letter to Mayor Bieter:

"The Commission is providing the City with ten days from the date of this letter to remove the sensors or accept ACHD's most recent proposal for the Master License agreement. ... If the City is unwilling to accept ACHD's latest proposal, then ACHD will have no choice but to require removal of the existing sensors, which were placed within the right-of-way without permission or notification."

The bottom line: ACHD wants ultimate authority over anything that goes into the pavement.

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