We’ve Got a Parking ‘Situation’ at Barber Park
Every time Boise makes a "Top 10" list, you hear people who've called Idaho home for as long as they can remember grumble about how it's causing more growth.
The most common complaints? Growth is negatively affecting the ability to find affordable housing, our roads can't handle the increased traffic volume and to many, it seems like the amount of violent crimes has increased in our area.
This weekend, a post by the Ada County Parks & Waterways maintained "Float the Boise River" Facebook page was a good example of the way growth has affected the Treasure Valley's most popular places to recreate. When I went on my long run toward Barber Park early Sunday morning, I was experiencing the "calm before the storm." Coming off the dirt path into the park, I did notice that the grass in the overflow parking area looked like it's seen a lot of action during the first two weeks of float season.
Turns out that was something that was addressed while I was out on my run. In the Facebook post, they noted that there's been a tremendous increase in visitation over the past two years and that available parking, including that grass overflow lot that I ran past, fills up every weekend during float season. When that happens, the staff at the park has no choice but to close the entry gate and reopen it as cars leave.
For that reason, they're recommending that floaters find alternative methods of getting to the river drop in beach. Personally, I think grabbing the shuttle at Ann Morrison Park is the easiest way. For $3 a person, the shuttle will take you from the take-out point to Barber Park. It runs every 20 minutes from 12-9 p.m. during the weekends.
If you're renting a raft and don't have anything to transport, riding a bike or electric scooter to the park are great options too.
Those who feel like they must have a car at Barber Park are encouraged to carpool when possible.