People headed to the mountains for some weekend recreation caused a traffic and parking hazard near the Grotto Mountain recreation area last weekend as they parked illegally, walked on the road and performed sudden U-turns, Canmore RCMP say.
This week, some may be waking up to parking tickets in the mail.
RCMP are reminding motorists that it is illegal to park on the roadway, parking lane or shoulder of a provincial highway, except where a vehicle is is incapable of moving under its own power, an emergency arises or it is otherwise permitted by law. The fine for this type of illegal parking is $162.
On Saturday, police issued a raft of violation tickets to registered vehicle owners who had parked illegally and were “blatantly disregarding no parking signage” in the area.
The RCMP said one vehicle was even parked right beside a no stopping sign.
“Parking on the shoulder of the highway is just one part of the problem. People are standing around their vehicles with doors and trunks open, walking on the highway in order to access the recreation areas, many appearing to forget or disregard that they are on a primary highway,” said Sgt. Stan Andronyk of the Canmore RCMP in a release.
Last Saturday, Canmore RCMP again responded to complaints that too many vehicles were parked on the shoulder of Highway 1A.
In a problem that police say is escalating, many were parking illegally despite a large sign at the parking lot entrance that reminds drivers there is no parking on the highway or in the ditch adjacent to the popular hiking area. There is also permanent signage in the area.
Many drivers parked “well within one metre of the driving lanes,” the release said.
“There has also been a collision,” Andronyk said. “And a number of near misses caused by drivers slowing quickly and performing U-turns in the middle of the highway in order to park.”
Canmore RCMP say the problem has been happening for the past few months on Highway 1A near Gap Lake and the Grotto Mountain Day Use Area. Police have issued tickets and have even towed some cars.