SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. - The snow is here, but so is the extra enforcement for dumping and illegal parking.
The roads to Wrightwood, Big Bear and just about every San Bernardino County mountain community turned into white winter wonderlands from the latest storms, and are packed with people wanting to play with the fluffy white stuff.
We found many of them, parked on the side of main roads like State Route 2, which is fine if you are in a turnout and not blocking the road, CHP officials say.
Its also ok to park between the white plow lines and the edge of the road, unless conditions dictate the use of snowplows.
Still, we found plenty of vehicles illegally parked, not only on main roads, but in residential neighborhoods where residents complain about blocked streets and trash left in private property.
"We try to park respectfully," says one person from the San Fernando Valley.
They were parked at a spot off Wrightwood Road along with a camper and several other vehicles with dozens of people enjoying the end of cul de sac packed with feet of fresh snow.
"It doesn’t say no snow play here on any sign," says another visitor.
Plenty of angry residents drove by while we were there and what they had to say is not printable.
"It’s every weekend," says one person. "And while I get that they love the snow and it’s nice to see the children enjoying it, it can really get ugly."
With a New Year’s devoid of rain ahead, it’s a safe bet that many visitors will head up to the snow. Here are some suggestions from residents in Wrightwood – and these go for parking be it for snow play, or putting on chains.
- Remember, the white lines on the right side of the road are plow lines, used by those vehicles to guide their path when they clear the snow. Do NOT park there when storms are approaching or worse: when it’s actually snowing.
- If you don’t find a legal turnout spot when you first get towards town, be patient and keep driving. There are plenty of turnouts later on where you can park legally.
- Stay away from posted areas, and keep in mind that many mountain properties don’t have fences. If you are next to someone’s home, you are most likely on their property.
- Bring trash cans and pick up after yourself. Diapers and broken plastic sleigh seem to be an issue.
- There are no public restrooms between the 15 Freeway and Wrightwood so check traffic before you get on that stretch of road.
One important point: the rules are there for safety reasons. Standing on the side of a highway while your kids slide down a snowy hill is dangerous.
In March, a 7-year-old from Beaumont was killed in Idyllwild when his sled went onto the road, ending up under a truck driving by.
Make it a great snow-filled and safe holiday, with no expensive citations or towed away vehicles!
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