Letter | Stop Ignoring Us! Mt. Si Road Residents Angry over DNR’s New Parking Lot

Dear Editor,

When you look deeper you begin to understand why the residents of Mt Si Road are not happy about the DNR’s plan to add another 70 space parking lot near the end of their road.

This community has been communicated to, but the concerns they have raised have been largely ignored. The saying “government by the people for the people” is in serious question.

Mt Si Road residents experience days when parking gets overloaded with people wanting to hike. The hikers ignore the no parking signs, park on the narrow shoulders of Mt Si Road, and block private driveways. On these days a resident may call the King County Sheriff’s Office, asking for them to be towed away and the response is “there are too many of them.”

So nothing is done. The resident may ask about ticketing the violators, again the response: “there are too many of them”.

I have asked for a King County Sheriffs Officer to come to ticket a car parked in my driveway on a moderately busy weekend. I had the driveway clearly signed with “No Parking.”Upon an officer’s arrival I asked if towing is an option. The officer explained that the geography they covered with two officers was so extensive that waiting for a tow truck would tie up too much of his time. I asked what the monetary fine was for the ticket.  It was $20. A $20 ticket is hardly a deterrent. My requests to the State legislature to have this raised to something reasonable, such as 5 times the minimum wage, have been ignored.

The current trailhead parking on Mt Si Road can handle about 170 vehicles. The plan is to add 70 to 80 more spaces. Currently the trails get over 360,000 visits annually. Increasing the parking by 70 to 80 spaces could bring the visits to almost ½ million.

King County gives the Mt Si Road its lowest maintenance classification – Class 4. So the residents have a narrow, potholed, patched road lined with litter, that has King County’s lowest priority for maintenance, yet it likely generates hundreds of thousands road maintenance dollars in gas taxes, along with tax income generated with the fast food stops after the hikes.

There are also safety issues concerning hikers walking back to their cars on the edge of the narrow road – because if cars are parked along the narrow roadside, people are forced to walk on the pavement AND in traffic.

There are also issues of the King County Sheriff’s Union not letting the DNR officers have ticket writing authority in King County. Even though the DNR officer has this authority in almost every other county, not in our county, so that officer cannot help in this situation. The DNR officer is often at the trailheads, but as soon as he leaves DNR land, he no longer has any authority.

So as you see this additional 70 space parking lot on Mt. Si Road has uncovered some deeper problems that the residents of the area have been living with for years.

Writing letters to those who can make changes and then being ignored doesn’t sit well. Even elected officials sometimes talk like they want to help when running for office, but when a situation like this comes up – well,  they can be so hard to find.

~ Mike Williams, North Bend

 

Area of proposed Mt. Teneriffe Trailhead along Mt. Si Road near 473rd in North Bend.

Area of proposed Mt. Teneriffe Trailhead along Mt. Si Road near 473rd in North Bend.

 

Comments

  1. Snoq Resident says

    Wait, so you don’t like hikers parking along the road, in your driveway, etc., yet you oppose adding parking spaces to the TH?
    Seems to me the only issues here are King County police not enforcing the law, and a public sector union putting protecting their turf in front of serving the public. Neither of which is impacted one way or another by the additional parking.

  2. The additional parking spots are actually planned at a new trailhead for Mt Teneriffe. Of course, Si hikers could park at Teneriffe, and walk the half mile or so to the Si trailhead. But, to be clear, they aren’t adding spots at the Si trailhead. They are creating a new trailhead with parking to replace the existing trailhead and lame parking situation at Teneriffe.

  3. Liberals pass laws to require outdoor passes, liberals dont think laws apply to them, dont buy passes and park on roadway. IUnbelievable Hillary and Bernie assholes

  4. Is this parking lot going in where the school bus turnaround is?

  5. Mike Williams says

    The new parking lot will be located between the school bus turnaround and the Rainbow Lodge. The current trail to Mt Teneriffe and Teneriffe Falls will be re directed to the new parking lot.

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