Dec 4, 2013 12:29 AM by Sean Mooney
TUCSON - Sabino Canyon has a brand new parking lot, the problem is, there are still days when there are more cars heading in to the park than spaces available. Illegal parking, congestion and parking overflow are some of the main concerns.
When the new parking lot fills up, park visitor's have to find somewhere else to park their cars. Pima County is now working with the U.S. Forest Service to try and ease the mess, and traffic stress.
Park visitor, Bill LaGrange says drivers sometimes end up hiking before they even get close to Sabino Canyon, "We've traveled a half a mile north of the entrance up towards the school, so it's a pretty much a difficult situation if the lots are full."
Just outside of the park, on Sabino Canyon Rd., both sides of the street have no parking signs. Pima County Director of Transportation, Priscilla Cornelio says with two schools in the immediate area, it's a safety issue, " We have a lot of kids walking to school, riding their bicycles to school, and when you have all of the parked cars there it limits the visibility of the drivers seeing the kids"
Cornelio says Pima County is trying to work with the forest service to alleviate the problem. Proposals include leasing nearby Canyon View Elementary's parking lot on the weekends, a Sun Tran shuttle to the park, car-pooling and possibly adding another exit road out of the canyon.
In the meantime, with a new ordinance in place, Cornelio says, the county intends to step up it's enforcement of the no parking zones outside the park, "The signs were already up there, the only thing we're changing is unfortunately we didn't have the ordinance, so the sheriffs can really write valid tickets, so we're not really changing anything."
The fines for the parking tickets are $110.