Table Rock, a popular hiking and mountain biking destination for recreationalists of all ages, rises about 900 feet above Downtown Boise. It is known for its caves, ledges, and stunning overlooks. It boasts just under four miles of recreational trails, and at the top—an illuminated 60 foot cross.
With breathtaking views of the Treasure Valley, Owyhee Mountains, and the Boise Foothills, it didn’t take long before people decided that was a view they wanted to wake up to every day. The Wildhorse Ranch Subdivision, a development along Table Rock Road, was platted in 1997. Two additional phases were built in 2007 and 2011.
Recreation aside, the top of Table Rock Road has also been a destination for revelers looking to party and engage in various illegal activities. In just the last few weeks, the media has illuminated recent cases of vandalism of the cross at Table Rock and nearby signs, but this problem is not new.
Multiple residents who live in the area have complained for years of the speeding, vandalism, drunk driving, littering and other damage to property that is frequently the result of the visits of these trespassers.
A group of residents approached the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) about installing a set of automated gates that would provide better protection for the residents of this neighborhood, deter much of the trespassing and damage to property that is occurring, and be less of a burden on local police who have to frequently patrol the area.
While the Ada County Highway District remains sympathetic to the plight of the neighborhood along Table Rock Road, a current law prohibits ACHD to unilaterally install a gate that obstructs the use of the public right-of-way for pedestrians and motorists. However, the City of Boise has the authority to close a road in the event it determines that it is necessary to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the community. Currently, Boise City staff have been working to install a set of automated gates near the intersection of Table Rock Road and Alto Via Court.
Boise City has also been working with adjacent property owners to get a needed permanent easement to accommodate a vehicle turnaround which would be constructed in conjunction with the installation to the gates. ACHD will continue to work with the City of Boise on the overall design, gate functionality, and a License Agreement authorizing the gates to be located within the public right-of-way. ACHD has also been approached about vacating a portion of upper Table Rock Road, but ACHD has not received any formal application to date. This plan has been in the works for the last year and has involved ACHD staff, Boise City staff, neighbors, and attorneys. Plans are moving ahead, and the City of Boise will begin accepting bids on the construction project in the coming weeks.