Police, tow trucks respond to Mt Si Road as hikers ignore Stay Home order, closed North Bend trails

North Bend residents living along Mt. Si Road and near Rattlesnake Lake have taken to social media the past two weekends in frustration as they witnessed some hikers ignoring the statewide Stay Home order and trail closures in place to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

This is the second consecutive weekend tow trucks have responded to illegally parked vehicles along Mt. Si Road. Trailhead parking lots are closed with warning signs posted alerting hikers of closure in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Most areas along Mt Si Road near the trailheads, except for a small section, are no parking zones.

One resident said on Saturday, April 4th, there were about 25-30 cars parked on the upper road used to access upper trailheads and in the SVSD bus turnaround near the closed Mt. Teneriffe parking lot.

Cars parked in the SVSD bus turnaround near the Mt Teneriffe Trailhead, Saturday, 4/4/20

That person [who didn’t want their name used] said, “What gets residents up here upset is if there are at least 2 people in each car, that means 50+ people from out of town, bringing their germs to our trails, stopping at our gas stations, our grocery stores, potentially spreading their germs.”

On Saturday evening King County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Ryan Abott said they’ve been sending all Stay Home order complaints to the Department of Health, adding, “if they need our assistance they they will ask us.”

KCSO stated after the Stay Home order was enacted on March 23rd that their role, if deputies see banned gatherings, would be educational – reminding people of the governor’s restrictions. At that time KCSO said the governor had not requested law enforcement actively enforce the stay home order.

By Sunday morning, April 5th, more cars and hikers returned to Mt Si Road One resident witnessed a truck parking in front of a no parking sign, the driver putting on his backpack and then proceeding underneath the the yellow tape closing off the trailhead. Another resident witnessed two hikers walking past the closed gate at the Mt. Teneriffe trailhead, heading toward the trail.

By 2PM King County Sheriff Office Deputies and tow trucks were spotted on Mt Si Road. Two vehicles were being towed, one appeared to be the illegally parked pickup truck. [See video below]

Sgt. Abott commented, “KCSO Deputies spent some of the weekend educating the public and will continue as needed to remind people of the importance of the Stay Home order.”

Residents can report potential violations of the Stay Home order to the KCSO non-emergency line at 206-296-1608. If there is no answer, callers are asked to leave a message. KCSO said it will have a 24/7 number available ASAP.

Vehicle illegally parked along Mt Si Road, 4/5/20
Mt.Teneriffe closed trailhead parking lot, 4/5.20

The CDC and the Washington State Department of Health recommend people get outdoor exercise in their own neighborhoods while using social distancing. They recommend ceasing optional car trips, only going out get groceries, medications and other essentials.

Staying off trails during the Stay Home order also protects Search and Rescue volunteers and avoids the use of already-limited Personal Protective Equipment on rescues that could have been avoided. Hiking injuries, if they occur, can also increase the strain on the healthcare system and other critical services, especially in rural communities.

This week Governor Inslee extended the statewide Stay Home Stay Healthy order to May 4th.

Comments

  1. Might be a good idea to setup temporary no parking signs where parking is normally allowed and up at the bus turnaround…… not sure who would do that in this case

  2. Yes, let’s tow peoples cars so they have to stay in the area longer and make contact with probably multiple people in order to get home. Great logic by law enforcement, as usual. God knows tickets wouldn’t be sufficient in this situation.

    • They wanted to hike. They can add to their fitbit step counter.

    • Maybe that’s what they get. I’m not sure what entitles them to break the rules.

    • I think tow them out of the way where they can walk to and leave a hearty ticket for illegal parking under unusual conditions and of course a towing bill. It would be better than finding their Vehicles keyed which will eventually happen if this continues.

    • They should get towed and fined. You want to ignore the rules, pay the consequences. These selfish idiots need to learn.

      • Ray Howard says

        All the People that Ratt on others, “for not following the rules” are the ones not Thinking! The “mind control” and propaganda has you well under control and convinced. Why would you “sell out” another Hiuman? What is wrong with you!! The Sheriffs took an oath to protect the People, and educating them (yes, the Hikers) is probably better than all of the “Punishments” you would prefer. Misery truly does Love Company! Shame on You!!
        DO they not see the slow slide into taking and suppressing the rights of People? You can distance yourself Hiking, but you can’t avoid Karma. If roads to residences were blocked, I would understand the tow trucks. The rest is

        • Is this for real? OK, Mulder

        • You’re kidding right?

        • Ray ..you are kidding right?

        • Love this!!! ❤️❤️

        • Ray, a quarantine is not the ” slow slide into taking and suppressing the rights of People”, “mind control & propaganda”. Your “rights” stop when you endanger the lives of others. Quarantine is not a new thing. You some kind of anarchist?

        • Open the trails. We all need this and it is not difficult to keep a safe social distance on the trails

          • Totally agree, people know to respect others, keep distance and even possibly putting on masks when approaching others …all for respect for others who are in fear. This fear and fear mongering is so detrimental to all our physche..and plays into the “powers that be”. So to you who are Wearing masks and if you happen to see someone on the trails who isn’t…just do the physical distancing and walk aside. We all still have to live and work it out together until this shakes out. We still live in the strongest country in the world. Let’s not forget our values and love for others. Continue our love of nature, the trails
            and remembwring the God given rights we’ve always known and shared.
            Thanks …Just “speaking my mind”…

      • Kurt Schmidt says

        Maybe these people already had COVID-19 and recovered, so they are neither at risk nor risk to anyone else?

    • Scarlet Karson says

      No, tickets wouldn’t work. The people committing these violations have demonstrated that they don’t care at all about what’s happening, or the risk they pose to others in a smaller community in which they themselves do not live. If it were up to me, the violators would watch their cars be crushed.

    • Nothing worse they someone who rips something apart but offers NO other solutions.

  3. Use your brains. It will deter hundreds of others from parking there once they know their cars will get towed. Towing is the right thing to do and then publicize the heck out of the towing and towing related costs, hopefully over $5000.

    • Kent Cooper says

      It’s called America and the Land of the Free! What is wrong with you people!!! Bunch of sheep!

  4. People are selfish, entitled and stupid. Don’t call me surprised. This only works If we all do it. Otherwise this will stretch out indefinitely and the economic cost (and of course death toll) will be devastating (depression). What the heck makes you so special? These folks deserve the economic ruin that is likely coming… yet I am sure they will be first to the trough for a bailout. If you can not walk from your house, forget about it. Next time please impound the cars…

  5. Didnt know, a trail on a DNR land was included as a part of your house.

  6. If people are dumb enough to park in a tow away zone, that is the consequence of parking in a tow away zone. And yes a fine is sufficient for other violators, there is no way they could mitigate it in court.

  7. Bolshevik says

    completly unconstitutional order, the land and parks do not belong to governor Inslee, the constitution works even in state of emergency, so it’s completly uncostitutional to close parks and limit people’s communication saying “I am protecting your lives”. I myself responsible for protecting my life, not the governor. If needed i restrict my communication, i don’t need your communist unconstitutional order.
    Shame on those who sugned such a stupid order, who punish people in case where is no victim, steal their money, towed their cars. There is no land of freedom anymore here, it’s simply a Soviet Union style of ruling.

    • As a resident, people who defy the order, not only jeopardize their own health and safety, but that of others—THAT’S when it becomes personal and MY business! When they choose to mingle, they have given the virus yet another potential foothold. Roads OREGON have been closed because “entitled” residents from the Seattle area, who think for whom the orders don’t apply, have continued to violate the policy—which by passing through another area (away from their homes, as ordered), and utilizing facilities such as gas stations, restaurants or markets, potentially exposes MY parents and grandparents! IF they choose to potentially shorten their OWN lives, they have that “right,” but NOT at the expense of MY FAMILY and friends!!!!! Oh, and NOW that I am a Washington resident, I am tired of staying at home because people CHOOSE NOT to do the right thing! There’s a reason Inslee and multiple other governors have enacted a “Stay at home order!” Hopefully, you all can look through another lens…How would you feel about the person(s) who ignores the order, and as a result, compromises the health of your child, parent, grandparent or neighbor. THINK ABOUT IT!!!! STAY HOME!!! (No, the trail may not run through their property, but the contagions linger in the markets near their homes!)

    • Hey B, the STATE owns this land and our constitution does indeed give the governor a right. Get a clue…

    • Exactly! Yet so many people just willingly walk to the slaughterhouse in the hopes that giving up all their freedoms without question will somehow save them.

  8. Please tow cars from Roosevelt beach, WA. I can’t go there ( there is my property) because is the order “Stay home”, but people still attend and post pictures on Facebook, because the beach is not closed!!!! WTF?!

  9. People should follow the rules, because we are all in this together. That includes people in rural areas staying home and staying in their neighborhoods. If you adopt the attitude of “keep your city germs in the city,” it goes both ways. Keep your rural germs out in the country. Don’t come into the city for anything non-essential. That means only go to the very nearest store for groceries–no home optional home improvement supplies or anything of that nature. Better yet, use delivery services and stay home. Remember, we are in this together, folks.

    • Us “rural” folk are the ones staying at home! Some need to travel miles for groceries, as often in our small towns, the nearest grocery store may be 45-50 MILES away but we aren’t parking in tow away zones or ducking under “closed” tape barricades!

      • You seem awfully confident. If you’ve been staying home, how do you know what everyone else is doing? I can tell you this–I have watched your and my rural neighbors loading up their snow machines, dirt bikes, boats and other playtoys and heading out, and I can guarantee you they don’t use them to get groceries.

      • Peter Avolio says

        3.6 miles from Mt Si trailhead to QFC

  10. A bit confused. Yes, there’s definite risk if the hikers stop at your gas station or grocery store. And, if they don’t follow social distancing on the trail, that’s a risk too. But what if they don’t? When I hike, I fuel up before I leave, 2 mins from where i live. Then, I get back in my car and drive home. I’m not going to the trails right now because there’s a greater risk of my injuring myself than walking on paved roads (albeit pretty slight). But use that argument! Not some crap about “Don’t you endanger my life by going to a store I’m not going to go to.

    If you think people might go, put out guidance that says, “We don’t want you to go. But, we know some people don’t listen. If you are one of those, please don’t leave your community before ensuring you have enough gas, food, etc. so you aren’t tempted to stop in another community.”

    Don’t tell people they are killing others by doing something you have No Idea they are doing (getting gas, etc)

  11. mt. si road says

    looking for different ways to generate income. would it be fround apon to offer parking for a fee if i owned property near the trailhead? could use a payment box and not have any human contact with “guests”. $50 to park would be only 10% of a $500 towing fee.

  12. The people that live in this area are, in my experience, very unfriendly. I am totally against people parking in no parking areas. I am also against people using closed trails. People should also not be driving to access trails at this time. With that being said, the comments about excessive punishment are disturbing. Vandalism is vandalism, even if you feel it’s warranted. The thought of crushing someone’s car is crazy. How would they like their house demolished as punishment for crushing a car? I personally have had my tire slashed for parking along the road near Mt. Tenerife. There were not any no parking signs in sight, it seemed like an ok place to park, lots of space but some resident disliked that I parked near their property. They could have left a note, taken the high road and explained why it was not ok for me to park where I did but no, they resorted to vandalism. That is the type of resident you have out here. I think if they dislike living near a trailhead so much they should move or at least work with the authorities to find a civil solution. Let’s please all be rational adults

  13. The governor said we should take walks in our neighborhood. This is my neighborhood. We don’t have any other walking or running paths. This is it. And it’s closed because of people that feel they are entitled to go against a direct order. Now I’m stuck IN my home if I want to follow the order. DNR should bring rangers to the site and impose heavy fines for people accessing these sites if it’s not their neighborhood walking path. Local residents within walking distance could be an exception since we have no other options.

  14. Nancy Lamb says

    We should not fear doing what is allowed under the Stay at Home order. Period. Inslee has made it clear, has clarified, and has clarified again. And again. We are ALLOWED to go out for exercise, walk, hike , bike… on open trails, beaches and whatever. What we are expected to HONOR closed parks, trails, and facilities. And park legally. And if we see people in one direction, go the opposite way.
    Under Item 4 of essential activities, we are expressly allowed to go out for a walk, a hike or a ride. It does NOT say anything about where to go. It does not say anything about whether you have to only walk out your back door. Let’s stop the hatred, folks.
    https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/20-25%20Coronovirus%20Stay%20Safe-Stay%20Healthy%20%28tmp%29%20%28002%29.pdf

    • Danna McCall says

      Nancy – This was posted by the Washington State Dept. of Health on April 4th. “The statewide “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order requires us to stick very close to home – your yard and your neighborhood. Help slow the spread of #COVID19, and save lives” Both the CDC and WA DOH are asking people to get outdoor exercise close to their homes.

      • That is correct. Nancy… common sense prevails here regardless… obviously we cannot have everyone flocking to one “neighborhood”. But this kind of acknowledgment does require thinking of other… smh

  15. There is a price to pay for selfish stupidity. Hope some of these entitled minds learned something, though I doubt it.

  16. All the Flipping tree hugging hippies in this state… not shocked at all that Washington, California and New York are hit by this the worse!! If you actually thought these millennial, hippie ass, give me everything In the world without lifting a finger for free states would survive a real world problem your crazy!!

    • what does this have to do with hiking or anything else? F off until you have a defensible position you can communicate to others in a manner the average person can understand.
      Signed – a non-millennial

    • Good grief… these lones live in my community. If you can to be informed (I am guessing you don’t) you will learn that CA and WA are 2 states that are getting this under control via these measures. Have you seen the number of states that have leapfrogged us in past days? Even Pence highlighted WA as “an example for the natiion” (congrats neighbors BTW… WE GOT THIS!!). There are plenty of states with out of control ineffective and your viewpoint out there… go find one.

  17. People can get out and enjoy the great outdoors just as long as they practice social distancing. We as human beings have to be able to get out before we become depressed which is a disease in and of itself and is that which we’re trying to avoid in the first place. Let’s be reasonable just as long as we follow the rules😧

    • That is impossible on these trails… that is why they are closed. I am sure nobody will notice if u go bushwachimh somewhere up i90 though. But the most popular trails in the region… forget about it

    • Simple and to the point! Thank you
      for making perfect sense!!!
      See my remarks above.

  18. It’s bad, and I can understand why locals are angry. Having said that, law enforcement cannot stop people from hiking the actual trails. They can punish people for parking illegally by towing and ticketing. But they can’t issue citations to hikers themselves on the trails. And there’s not enough personnel to enforce it – people know that.
    WTA “recommends people hike close to home” and the Mtnrs uses the word “recommendations.” I suspect that many people are taking the “recommendations” literally – not as an order to stay off trails they must drive to. How about placing signs at trailheads: “No hiking until further notice – stay off trails! Violators will be fined.” That would make it personal, although it would piss off lots of people. Given human nature and the public’s resistance to existing guidelines, a stronger message is needed.

    • Sarah Taylor says

      This weekend will be interesting. They closed all the public parks and beaches in Seattle and I heard that many people are planning on heading to the trails. If this isnt enforced then slowly everyone else will start doing it too.

  19. Not half as packed as TIGER MT TRAIL. Drove by on Monday and the whole road was full

  20. Closing the back country trails a mistake.

  21. When Inslee attains the authority required to suspend the Constitution of the United States, he can then tell me to stay home. I still won’t listen, because he’s not my mother and I’m not a child, but at least then he would be issuing a lawful order.

    • ROFL!! If you think he’s violating the Constitution, go ahead and file a lawsuit. Maybe the ACLU will help you! See how far you get!

    • Get a clue, Bob.i do get a kick out of people vehemently defending something they evidently have no knowledge of…. but…

    • Redmond Kid says

      You cannot fix stupid. If they infuse cash into the town on their way in and out, great. Let them share their germs on the trail and risk Covid19. If you stay home, wash your hands when you do go out and keep your distance you should be fine. All this attempt to control fools is wasted energy. Tickets for all vehicles! Hit them in the wallet.

    • All these people who seem to want to go into the Inslee “mass showers”. You would think this was nazi germany and Inslee was hitler the way he is playing dictator. Best as I can tell, we are not under martial law, and we have not nullified the Constitution of the United States.

  22. Johhny 5 says

    Follow the rules like good little children while the government takes away our rights. Don’t get fresh forest air and exercise to boost the immune system, stay inside with a mask and compromise it instead. Quarantine yourself if you’re afraid, let me go hiking in peace.

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