The upper gate access to Table Rock will be changing in reaction to vandals, says the Ada County Highway District Commission in a release. ACHD passed a resolution this week that will relocate the access of the upper gate on Table Rock Road from its existing location to the pavement's end, just past Wild Horse Lane.

Table Rock visitors won't be prevented from their usual hiking and enjoying the scenic Mesa but should help avoid ongoing parking, illegal activities, and mischief in the area.

The resolution was a reaction after ADCH received numerous communications from adjacent property owners regarding ongoing problems with motorists misusing illegally parking on unimproved portions of Table Rock Road.

Co-applicants for the resolution to relocate the gate were Doug Bates of the Table Rock Access Advisory Committee and Janet Gallimore, executive director of the Idaho State Historical Society and historic preservation officer for the State of Idaho.

Mr. Bates is a property owner in the Table Rock Mesa area, and owns the property on which the graveled right-of-way is located. The Idaho State Historical Society owns the gate that will be relocated and manages the state-owned lands on and around the Table Rock Mesa.

In addition to hearing concerns from property owners and community members urging the Commission to relocate the gate, the district also received letters from the Ada County Sheriff's Office and the Boise Police Department in support of the relocation.

Over the years, neighbors, property owners, and hikers have seen an increase in vandalism, litter, and graffiti in the graveled portion of upper Table Rock Road. In addition to the unsightly trash and destruction left behind, drug use and other illicit activities also added a layer of public safety concerns to the ongoing issues.

With the resolution and accompanying license agreement now in place, approved by a unanimous vote, the existing gate will be relocated to the public right-of-way past the graveled portion of the upper Table Rock Road. The relocated gate will operate to allow only authorized vehicles to access the privately owned properties near and around the Table Rock Mesa.

The licensee will be required to maintain the existing gravel road to ACHD standards as well as provide the opportunity for individuals with physical limitations to have vehicular access to the Table Rock area.

The goal of the relocation is to prevent unauthorized vehicles from parking illegally along the gravel portion of the road, trespassing on private property and damaging and vandalizing public or private property. The resolution should also help to limit the creation of ruts and aid in preventing erosion and other damage to natural features and habitat.

"In order for the Boise Foothills to remain a sanctuary for everyone to enjoy for years to come, we had to take necessary action," said ACHD Commission President Kent Goldthorpe. "We hope that this change will allow Table Rock Mesa residents to more peacefully enjoy their properties and alleviate undue burden on our law enforcement agencies."

This action follows efforts made by the City of Boise earlier this year to solve the various problems in the area. The City worked with ACHD to adopt a resolution allowing the installation of a gate on the road that has helped with nighttime vehicular access but has not put an end to the ongoing vandalism. The City of Boise also declared the area around Table Rock Road a designated wildfire hazard zone.

Additionally, "no parking" signs were placed along the road to prevent visitors from parking illegally and causing hazardous conditions for vendors, emergency responders, and other drivers. However, in their letter of support, the Ada County Sheriff's office noted that even with the signs in place "regular enforcement is required to dissuade people from parking along the dirt road" which is causing the Sheriff's Office to conduct sometimes twice daily patrols in the area to keep the parking situation under control.

The ACHD Commission is hopeful that the additional steps will help to preserve the historic area that so many have come to enjoy as one of the areas natural gems.

"We can only do so much as an elected body," said Goldthorpe, "We've done our part, now it's time for the community to do theirs. At the end of the day, it's on each of us that have the privilege of calling Idaho home to preserve and protect areas like the Table Rock Mesa."

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