Is It Really Illegal to Do This on the Boise River?
You guys suffered through my rant about manners on the Boise Greenbelt a few weeks ago. Well, I've got something new to add to that list and it all started when the river opened for float season.
Bridge jumpers. You know who these people are, right? They're the teens that hang out on the bridges above the stretch of the Boise River that floaters use to make the trip from Barber Park to Ann Morrison Park. You'll usually find the biggest group of them gathered near the Baybrook Court Bridge waiting for the perfect opportunity to plunge into river. Most of them are probably doing it because it's a fun and free way to cool off during our scorching Treasure Valley summers, but we know there's a handful of them that do it to try to splash people in the rafts and tubes floating under the bridge. Is that even legal?
Well, it kind of depends on where you land. Land far enough away from floaters and you're in the clear. Land within 50 feet of a river floater and you could be in trouble. According to the Boise City Code, you can be cited for landing too close to a river floater and receive a $100 infraction if you're caught. No one wants to cough up that kind of cash, but you have to admit an infraction is better than being charged with a misdemeanor for getting caught jumping, throwing or dropping anything off a bridge.
That's the way the code read until a 2012 proposition from the Boise Police. Their goal? Decriminalizing bridge jumping since most of the jumpers are indeed minors. It would help them cut down on time and resources used to process bridge jumpers through the juvenile justice system. After the change was accepted, more serious charges would only be brought if the bridge jumper was found to be purposely trying to cause harm or injury to a floater.
BTW, the bridge jumpers don't end up on my Greenbelt blacklist because I'm anti-summer fun. It's because they're in the way when I'm trying to run over the bridges and refuse to move for other runners, cyclists and walkers. BTW, that's also punishable by a ticket. So don't be a jerk. Get out of the way while you wait to take the plunge.