Hot Springs Social Justice

As a hike leader for the Sierra Club, trailhead parking has become the most challenging part of leading hikes. Hot Springs was one of the few trailheads that was okay. Until local property owners decided they had a unilateral entitled right to keep people out of their neighborhood.

They did this by illegally placing boulders, plantings, yellow tape, signs, and other structures in the public right of way that had been used for parking for decades.

It was galling to read the news article by Jean Yamamura about the property owners suing the county for enforcing the public’s right to park in the public right of way. It is an utter inversion of reality for the property owners to break the law and claim they are the victims.

Tickets were issued for parking in places that had been legal for decades. Yet law enforcement did nothing to ticket the property owners for their illegal behavior. I applaud our county officials for finally applying justice.

Where else in the county would people even think of placing boulders along the road to keep people from parking in their neighborhood? Only these moneyed individuals think they are above the law.

Hiking is one of the few activities in our community that is low impact and low cost. The issue is pure social justice. The historically available parking in the public right of way must be restored. The public must prevail over the interests of the moneyed minority and their sense of special entitlement.


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