Officers crack down on parking in canyons after cars block emergency vehicles
SALT LAKE CITY — Driving the winding road through Big Cottonwood Canyon is a regular route for Unified Police Officer Shane Franchow.
“In the winter, we primarily control the Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons with the resorts,” Franchow said.
He said it is often he comes across travelers not parked where they are supposed to be parked.
“They block emergency access. They block community access,” Franchow said.
In a season of snowpack, he said the canyons are a big draw for the outdoors. As a result, he said people tend to park where they think is off the road enough to get a jump start on their day.
Being certain you are off the road instead of thinking you are off the road can make all the difference.
For snowplows, parking in the right spot means carving out a path to do their jobs.
For travelers, it can mean a safe drive into their own adventure.
“Fire stations been blocked before. We’ve had to tow cars out of the intersections. They’ve completely blocked off Guardsman Pass,” Franchow said.
He said usually, they do not give out warnings in the canyons and parking illegally means receiving a fine.
@UPDSL says if you’re parked illegally in the roadway – even if you didn’t mean to – you could face fines.
$150-$600 for the ticket.
If you’re towed: Stack on $600-$800
or more. 😳
Plows gotta do their job and ppl@gotta get to where they’re going safely! @KSL5TV pic.twitter.com/gjxs7xI8Ai
— Karah Brackin (@KB_ON_TV) March 14, 2023
Fines will cost anywhere from $150 to $ 600 for tickets. He said a tow will be more expensive because it falls under a specialty tow happening in the mountains.
“Anywhere from six to $800 dollars or more,” Franchow said.
He said the best thing you can do to avoid the situation altogether is arrive early and snag a parking spot in a marked lot.
If that does not happen, make sure to bring a shovel.
“You should have a shovel if you’re coming up here during the wintertime. And you can just do a quick swipe across the road and find the line and make sure you’re on the right side of it,” Franchow said.
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