It doesn’t seem like a good idea to park along a snowy, icy highway, but that’s what people are doing for a chance at a sledding hill.
The Washington State Department of Transportation has posted several warnings to drivers on the way up to Snoqualmie Pass and along SR 542 who’ve pulled over to sled. WSDOT says that besides the potential of a sledder shooting out into oncoming traffic, the snow plows are having a hard time moving through the area. Not only that, but parking in an undesignated area poses a greater risk of getting stuck.
“Plows couldn’t make it into storage areas for additional salt and supplies recently due to vehicles parked on shoulders and blocking access. In some cases, there also wasn’t enough room to turn around a plow to do their return runs, or barely enough space for large plows to move through roadways that people decided to turn into parking lots,” WSDOT posted on its blog.
Those vehicles were ticketed, but WSDOT says Washington State Patrol isn’t staffed for such widespread parking enforcement.
Parking alongside the road can also slow road crews and emergency vehicles, which can slow response times and cause delays.
WSDOT recommends checking on recreation sites before you leave the house to make sure you know about capacity policies and areas to park. Also, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan if space is limited.
“Simply driving until you see snow isn’t always safe, especially if there is no designated parking area,” WSDOT said.
As always, prepare your vehicle for snow and pack extra supplies in case you get stuck on the pass. That means extra food, water, blankets, snow appropriate clothing, phone chargers, etc.
This story was originally posted on MyNorthwest.com.
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