ACHD and Idaho State Attorney General discussing snow removal

ACHD plowed to streetcorners accidentally
Posted at 6:39 PM, Jan 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-26 20:45:19-05

Idaho state representative John Gannon says he's not saying ACHD has to pick up all the snow from sidewalks.  "I really don't care who does it. But that's why I asked the attorney general," said Gannon. "I said, "Well, who's responsible here?"

The Idaho State Attorney General responded with a letter which is attached to this article. 

Gannon's main concerns are the occasional blocks of ice on street corners that form after snow plows push piles from the street off to the side.

ACHD's response to those concerns in an email to Six on Your Side:

"ACHD asked our drivers and contract plow operators to avoid, whenever possible, putting snow onto sidewalks, which has created a number of edge-of-pavement berms in neighborhoods. Some of this plowed snow and ice ended up on sidewalks, and for that we apologize."

"We’re asking for the public’s help in clearing paths on at least a portion of the sidewalk, which is part of being a good neighbor and helping the community cope with this unusually harsh winter." 

"We’re also having our crews help the school districts clear sidewalks around schools, and want to give special thanks to the City of Meridian, which greatly helped the West Ada School District accomplish this chore."

Wasden's letter cites many areas of Idaho state law supporting that highway districts are charged with maintaining city right-of-ways. A description of that maintenance includes the terms "without limitation" and "snow removal".

But there are various areas of law that address snow on streets and they occasionally mutually conflict.  Boise city code says homeowners are responsible for clearing the streets.  

There are sections of code that relate to all highway districts throughout the state, and then a separate area for Ada County Highway District, which is the only county in the state that operates as a single highway district.  

"So the legal question is whether it's appropriate to take certain sections from A and mix them with certain sections from B," said Quintana.

He said ACHD is discussing the matter with Idaho Attorney General Wasden's Office in hopes of a resolution. 

Representative Gannon says he's looking forward to the first opportunity he can get to fund efforts to clear the sidewalks and does not regard this as a partisan issue.