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10/18/17, 07:52 AM

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Author Topic: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed  (Read 28265 times)
z-bo
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Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« on: 01/09/17, 04:13 PM »

Heard through the grapevine that a handful of cars got towed right by the dot (or whatever that big pullout is) station.  If you were one of the people towed I'd love to hear your story.  Private message is fine if you don't want this to be public.

I was personally told by the dot boss for hwy 2 about 5-6 years ago that parking on the shoulder to the west of the big pullout was totally fine.  I think it's super fucked that anyone would come out of the wilderness in below freezing temperatures and not have a vehicle there.  Especially in a place with no cell service.

Uncle dash has your back.  Fight the power
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andyski
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #1 on: 01/10/17, 07:44 AM »

Bumping this as it's important info.
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Pete A
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #2 on: 01/10/17, 08:24 AM »

thats awful.... bad enough that the huge pullout has been a no parking zone for years and that west of the pullout is only big enough for a couple cars.  I've largely given up on Arrowhead and Jim Hill cause the parking situation is so bad. 
If law enforcement wants to start towing folks there, especially in the dead of winter, they need to get some signage up. 
« Last Edit: 01/10/17, 08:29 AM by Pete A » Logged
aaron_wright
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #3 on: 01/10/17, 09:15 AM »

Aren't they plowing that lot/pullout to the west around the corner above the tunnel vents anymore? That's where I've always parked. It's a quarter mile walk to the FS road on the shoulder or you can skin on the berm.
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snoholic
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #4 on: 01/10/17, 01:04 PM »

Thanks for the heads up Z-bo.  Hopefully this ongoing issues will see some resolution.  Dot has been poorly behaved on this matter.
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kamtron
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #5 on: 01/10/17, 01:14 PM »

It's not bad to park at the nordic center and skin the powerline and shoulder, although you pass underneath some avy terrain
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aaron_wright
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #6 on: 01/10/17, 01:34 PM »

Is the pullout on the north side between the nordic center and the ventilators not plowed? It's just west of that steep bouldered hill side and east of where the highway divides. The pullout at the ventilators across from Henry Creek has been signed no parking for quite a while.

I think the issue with parking at the ventilators is more a BNSF issue than WSDOT. I might be wrong.
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Pete A
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #7 on: 01/10/17, 01:49 PM »

maybe i've just had bad luck with the pullout on the north side of the highway, but the couple times I've checked it out it hadn't been plowed all that recently-  once we were in a friend's truck with enough clearance to park there no problemo, but I've avoided it in my Subie- woulda gotten stuck the last time I was there.

I had forgotten that this towing issue popped up last season as well.  Sounds like DOT/State Patrol isn't keen on people parking west of the tunnel vent building on days they are running plows on the highway-  Jan 18th last year, four cars got towed and it cost them $500 in fees.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/148764008559430/permalink/675207712581721/

« Last Edit: 01/11/17, 08:20 AM by Pete A » Logged
z-bo
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #8 on: 01/11/17, 08:14 PM »

  Total bullshit.  You can't leave someone in the middle of nowhere coming out of the woods without their vehicle.  Theres no signage saying you can't park on the shoulder.  How do we even know what days they will plow?  Took them 2 weeks to clear both lanes of the connector to the xc area.  Apparently any day is a plow day. 
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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #9 on: 01/12/17, 10:43 AM »

Could someone explain exactly where the cars were towed from?

My understanding is that it is okay to park just west (left) of the road that accesses the Berne tunnel maintenance building. This is on the north (westbound) side of the highway, near the edge of the big pullout.

This Google Earth picture illustrates that location:



Were the towed cars parked here or somewhere else?

----

To be clear, the location that I pointed to is small. Parking a car or two there may be okay, but parking a whole chain of cars could cause a problem.

I got this information a year ago from someone with good connections to WSDOT, but things do change.
« Last Edit: 01/12/17, 11:13 AM by Lowell_Skoog » Logged
Bruce A
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #10 on: 01/12/17, 11:42 AM »

The number one hassle of ski touring in western Washington increasingly is parking close to the tour.  WSDOT practice is increasingly to post any and all turnouts as no parking or 30 minute parking.  This is true even at locations along US2 such as the Scenic hot springs and old cascade highway turnouts that are amply sized.

With the growth of backcountry travel, maybe there are now enough numbers for users to organize and bring pressure to have plowed turnouts expressly for parking.  This would probably have to be fee based, like the snowparks are, but I for one would happily buy a sticker to have increased touring options.

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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #11 on: 01/12/17, 02:17 PM »

The Sno-park system's mandate is ideally suited to the task (look at the name!).

In addition, there's support in the snowmobile community for enabling backcountry skiers to have better winter access to existing wilderness.

It's occasionally possible for everyone to win!
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flowing alpy
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #12 on: 01/12/17, 07:32 PM »

  Total bullshit.  You can't leave someone in the middle of nowhere coming out of the woods without their vehicle.  Theres no signage saying you can't park on the shoulder.  How do we even know what days they will plow?  Took them 2 weeks to clear both lanes of the connector to the xc area.  Apparently any day is a plow day. 

Let's not miss the real point here, gentlemen.
 Random tow times, at an unmarked location,
without sufficient notice, in winter, is horrible.

Kudos to uncle-dash for looking out for us!
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alecapone
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #13 on: 01/12/17, 07:51 PM »

Yup, totally unacceptable.differant location, but highway 2. Not only have I had my vehicle towed while out touring, but I returned at night with my dog. The trooper even knew that I was touring from what I learned later. He followed as far as he could, before he had me towed. t wasn't his fault, but the dot guys. When they decide to plow, if your in the way, they have you moved.

I Think the beef is with the dot.

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scott
Lowell_Skoog
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #14 on: 01/12/17, 08:47 PM »

I'm as eager as anyone to have winter parking available along US-2.

But honestly, do you think the highway department cares why you left your car alongside the highway?

If somebody parks their car along the road of their free will and wanders off into the hills, it's not the highway department's business to worry about where they went and when they'll be back. It's the highway department's job to keep the road safe for motorists.

Doing that job is not unacceptable. It's their job!
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juan
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #15 on: 01/12/17, 10:05 PM »

Is the pullout on the north side between the nordic center and the ventilators not plowed? It's just west of that steep bouldered hill side and east of where the highway divides. The pullout at the ventilators across from Henry Creek has been signed no parking for quite a while.

I think the issue with parking at the ventilators is more a BNSF issue than WSDOT. I might be wrong.

This is where I always park never had a problem
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alecapone
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #16 on: 01/13/17, 04:48 AM »

Well, that's the point Mr. Skoog. They should care if their actions create a hazard to humans, "unexpectedly". If the signs says, and you do it anyways, you are at fault.



I could see if their was a sign where I parked, but there wasn't. I wasn't on the highway, nor alongside it. Cars park there all the time. Nothing ever gave me a clue I might get towed. Totally random and unexpected. I took photos of the location, lack of signage. I did fight it, and I did get everything waved.

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scott
Pete_H
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #17 on: 01/13/17, 07:51 AM »

I'm as eager as anyone to have winter parking available along US-2.

But honestly, do you think the highway department cares why you left your car alongside the highway?

If somebody parks their car along the road of their free will and wanders off into the hills, it's not the highway department's business to worry about where they went and when they'll be back. It's the highway department's job to keep the road safe for motorists.

Doing that job is not unacceptable. It's their job!


I agree with Lowell to some extent but if you are parked in  safe place, in a pullout or wide shoulder, after a storm and the roads been plowed; then the argument that the dot is just doing their job and keeping the road safe doesn't hold water.
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z-bo
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #18 on: 01/13/17, 11:57 AM »

^^^^^
Exactly.  I was told the same as Lowell that the spot is good to park at.  If you're parked on the shoulder and there are no signs saying you can't park there, then how are you justifiably towed. Gonna go have a talk with the dot in the near future.  I'm fine with not parking there but it needs to be clear that we can't park there.   
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Scottk
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #19 on: 01/13/17, 05:16 PM »

I would guess that the lack of signs is because parking is allowed when there's no danger of plowing, i.e., 8 months out of the year.  However, I did find this general statement that parking on Hwy 2 is illegal:  https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Regions/NorthCentral/Newsletter/

"Shoulder parking on US 2 over Stevens Pass is both illegal and unsafe. The State Patrol says motorists who park illegally are subject to a $136 parking ticket and the impound of their vehicle so park in designated lots only.  Vehicles parked on the shoulder prevent our crews from effectively plowing the highway. Shoulder parking also creates congestion and backups that can cause vehicles to have to stop in avalanche zones."
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Richard_Korry
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #20 on: 01/14/17, 10:26 AM »

Creating more designated parking places under the SnoPark system would seem to help the access problem.
Access issues will continue to get worse as more people discover back country - witness Mt Baker wanting to charge bc skiers to use their lot. I'm surprised Stevens doesn't have people patrolling the lots to catch people heading up to Skyline Ridge considering the problem Stevens has with insufficient parking.

I know in the past SnoPark has had funding issues where the cost of the pass wasn't covering costs of equipment, operating costs (labor/fuel), etc. It's been $40/year for as long as I can remember. Maybe it's time to bump the pass to $50 to get more access. Anybody here on the citizen committee?

I know it's hard to take when you've been parking somewhere forever without issues and suddenly you get towed or have to pay for parking. But the reality the population in Puget Sound is only getting larger and no one is making more places to go back country.
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Pete_H
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #21 on: 01/15/17, 10:47 AM »

Quite a few cars were parked on the shoulder west of the DOT facility yesterday. They were there when I came up in the morning and still there on my way back in the afternoon. So that's good.
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T. Eastman
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #22 on: 01/16/17, 10:28 PM »

Track down and read the DOT Ops manual for this section of roadway, then figure out the solution.
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aaron_wright
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #23 on: 01/17/17, 01:28 PM »

Find the right person to talk to and I bet they will start plowing that lot west of the ventilators on the north side of the highway. As far as I know it's not legal to park on the shoulder of any highway unless there is a turnout and designated parking area or it's an emergency. I'm not saying it's right to tow someone's car in the middle of winter, miles from town, but it is currently the law and I would assume it's common knowledge. I wouldn't want to take the risk of parking on the shoulder there.
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Jsper
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Re: Jim hill henry creek cars getting towed
« Reply #24 on: 02/09/17, 11:22 AM »

Darn it, I saw multiple cars
Getting towed last night.
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