Is It Really Illegal to Do This On the Boise River?
Boise River float season is upon us! With the return of tubes, kayaks and anything that floats making the six mile trip from Barber to Ann Morrison comes the return of another sight you’ll frequently see along the float.
Bridge jumpers. They’ll hang out on the bridges above the stretch of the river that floaters are having fun on. The biggest group of them are usually gathered near the Baybrook Court Bridge, near the Warm Springs Golf Course, waiting for the perfect opportunity to plunge into the river. It’s a fun and free way to cool off during our scorching Treasure Valley summers and that’s primarily why people do it. However, we know there’s a handful of folks who like to bridge jump to splash people as they pass by on their rafts and tubes. 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.
If you’re someone that looks forward to bridge jumping in the summer, remember that you can also be cited for obstructing the Greenbelt and the bridges that cross it. City code defines obstructing a path as “standing more than two people deep along the railing or side of any bridge or along the side of any bridge accessway. Alternatively, "obstruct" means to occupy all or such portion of the path, lane, sidewalk, or road, as to block or delay more than momentarily safe passage of another person or vehicle using the path, lane, sidewalk or road lawfully and carefully.”
Just a few helpful reminders to get you ready for a fun summer! For more information on everything that has to do with actually floating the river instead of jumping in it click HERE!