The article by Jean Yamamura on the Hot Springs Trail parking situation misses the main point: Residents illegally closed off the public right of way that hikers have parked their vehicles at for decades.

Being unhappy with cars in front of their properties, residents placed rocks and plants to prevent people from parking. It’s not their land; they had no authority to block off the public right of way — it was an illegal act by residents. The public right of way can only be blocked off by the county; a process that has to be gone through — residents could have worked with the county instead of taking the law in their own hands.

All of a sudden these residents care about environmental review. They didn’t insist on environmental review when they displaced vehicles that ended up parking in less desirable places. One of their talking points is emergency vehicle access, but consider what happened after they usurped the public right of way — cars ended up parking on Mountain Drive in areas where they stuck out in the road. There’s no evidence that restoring parking spaces will result in more cars. But we do know that the public right of way that was blocked off allowed vehicles to not be an impediment.

Sad, this two-tiered justice system gives hikers tickets with little warning, but wealthy residents can get away with illegally closing off public right of way.


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