The dirty little secret of downtown parking is this: Around 5 p.m. on weekdays, most meter attendants are off the clock, and you can hog a parking space with impunity.
No more. The City of Boise now says it's going to shuffle its staff schedules around to allow for parking enforcement right up until 6 p.m. which is the time stated on most meters.
The "new" enforcement is set to take effect this week, but John Eichmann, director of parking and the central services division, said there will be a grace period.
"We do have hearts around here," Eichmann said. For a short period (read: a week or less), parking enforcement officers will hand out no-fee tickets to parking meter abusers. Then, it's back to ticketing. "It's just a friendly reminder," he said.
The new rotation comes on the heels of the city's intent to tow so-called "scofflaws" who continue to park downtown while they have outstanding tickets.
Time will tell how effective it all is. Eichmann said that the city's first tow, on January 4, was a car whose owner owed $315 in outstanding fines. The driver, Eichmann reported, got another ticket the next Monday.