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Thread: US Forest Service reminder about Winter Parking

  1. #1
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    US Forest Service reminder about Winter Parking

    Friendly reminder......I guess it is still to be seen wether Hiker numbers will be above average this Winter and put pressure on Parking. But be aware and don’t get towed!

    https://www.conwaydailysun.com/news/...W0olPyMObiL9QA

    Actually it was the NH DOT not the Forest Service. Sorry for the misleading Thread Title.
    Last edited by skiguy; 12-09-2020 at 02:24 PM. Reason: Wrong Title
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    As I normally point out there are the rules and then there is real world application.

    Parking in the roadway (paved area including paved breakdown lane) immediately prior and during a storm will get someone towed. If it was a big long duration storm the plow crews keep the road open and then are sent home for a break and then remobilize the next day for clean up and knocking back the bankings, towing is still a good possibility. The crews are particularly sensitive to parking in their turnaround spaces. Locals know where they are but visitors do not. The crews frequently go above and beyond to open up wide spots for parking spaces at trailheads during cleanup if there are no cars in the way.

    Typically post storm cleanup the state police are far less likely to tow. This is not a guarantee but its very low priority on their list of things to do. As evidenced by Crawford Notch any good weekend there are long lines of cars parked on both sides of the road that technically are in violation. Fine for dayhiking but if snow is predicted that night or early the next day, those cars may get towed overnight.

    If your car gets towed it may get towed quite a long distance and there is no uber or other ride share services to get you to your car once you find out where it was towed to by calling the state police non emergency line. Some towns may also tow so make sure you have their numbers. In general its an expensive major hassle and potentially dangerous if you come out of the woods at the end of the day looking forward to warming up in your car and its not there. Thus there is risk decision everyone parking along the side of the road must make, they can wait a day or two after a storm and have low risk or be a powder hound during or immediately after the storm and weigh the risk versus the reward.

    DOT does not typically plow hiker USFS lots but there are exceptions. 19 Mile brook, and Rocky Branch North come to mind. Appalachia on RT 2 is a state lot and plowed by the DOT during the clean up phase which may occur a day after a major storm.

    The national forest depending on budget and manpower will plow some but not all of their lots accessible from plowed roads. They may take a couple of days if its a weekend storm. They did start plowing the Ammo lot once the cog started charging again. For the last two years since the controversy on Little River Road to access North Twin they have plowed the gated end of the forest service road that is used for summer access. They did cover over the no parking sign with a bag one year. They also have been plowing the Garfield winter lot just in off RT 3 but on occasion the state will not reopen it if there is storm so there could be banking of snow when exiting into the highway The Franconia parkway lots are always plowed

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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    So there's an urban legend, (don't know how else to phrase it) that if you are completely off the pavement and it's not on private property, it's legal. Excluded interstate highways. Is there any truth to that? I'm talking the Kanc, 302, 16 etc.,etc. Now I would never even do that if there were any, I mean even snow showers, in the forecast. But here's an example of how I parked at the Tremont trail-head one winter. Completely OK or could legally be towed? I'm guessing only a DOT employee would know for sure.

    Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    So there's an urban legend, (don't know how else to phrase it) that if you are completely off the pavement and it's not on private property, it's legal. Excluded interstate highways. Is there any truth to that? I'm talking the Kanc, 302, 16 etc.,etc. Now I would never even do that if there were any, I mean even snow showers, in the forecast. But here's an example of how I parked at the Tremont trail-head one winter. Completely OK or could legally be towed? I'm guessing only a DOT employee would know for sure.

    The article references that.

    "Some areas along the highway may provide ample room to park several feet away and off the asphalt. But NHDOT reminds vehicle owners that they run the risk of being trapped with snow pushed by the plow."

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    I cannot see the photo but I would keep in the Urban Legend category as technically the state right of ways are much wider than the developed travel way. That being said, that was what State Troopers seemed to enforce at Pinkham during Tucks season. Maybe Lefty one of our members could comment.

    Note if snowplow drivers want to they can plow a car into snow tomb quite easily. They are in it to make the roads safe and lets us get to our favorite activities so I try to stay out of their way so they can do their jobs. I know more than a few folks over the years that get pulled out of a situation by a plow truck driver that probably was not supposed to be helping.

    BTW a major issue with many small cars these days is there is literally nothing to tie a tow rope to. I think Euro cars have to have a tow hook in the trunk that screws into something solid behind a pop out flap in thefront and rear end but on my Fiesta, there is nothing solid until I hit the suspension.

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    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    The article references that.

    "Some areas along the highway may provide ample room to park several feet away and off the asphalt. But NHDOT reminds vehicle owners that they run the risk of being trapped with snow pushed by the plow."
    Yeah, like I said, I personally would not park along but off the road anywhere if the chance of snow was even .001%. Because with my luck, that means 100%.
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    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    Yeah, like I said, I personally would not park along but off the road anywhere if the chance of snow was even .001%. Because with my luck, that means 100%.
    In my town (rural) you can't even park along the street in front of your house even if you are totally on your property. This is from Nov till April. Turns out, there is an easement of something like 6-8 feet away from the edge of the road that must remain clear of any vehicles. This is a town rule, but it may be backed up by state law.

    Maybe there is some rule like this for NH highways.

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    Senior Member Salty's Avatar
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    265:68 Stopping, Standing or Parking Outside Business or Residence Districts. –
    I. Upon any way outside of a business or residence district no person shall stop, park or leave standing any vehicle, whether attended or unattended, upon the paved or main-traveled part of the way when it is practicable to stop, park or so leave such vehicle off such part of said way, but in every event an unobstructed width of the way opposite a standing vehicle shall be left for the free passage of other vehicles and clear view of such stopped vehicles shall be available from a distance of 200 feet in each direction upon such way.

    236:20 Snow Obstruction. – Any person who shall put or place or cause to be put or placed any snow or ice upon the surface of the traveled portion of any class I, class III, or class III-a highway or state maintained portion of any class II highway for any purpose, except to provide a place necessary for crossing, recrossing and traveling upon said highways by sleds, logging or farm equipment, shall be guilty of a violation if a natural person, or guilty of a misdemeanor if any other person. The provisions of this section shall not apply where snow or ice is pushed across the traveled surface of said highways for the purpose of snow removal from land adjoining said highways.

    I suppose one could argue the latter covers parking along the road during cleanup

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    Yeah, like I said, I personally would not park along but off the road anywhere if the chance of snow was even .001%. Because with my luck, that means 100%.
    I work for the DOT, only not the highway crew. It is my understanding that if your on the pavement at all, you can be towed. If your off the pavement your ok, BUT they will make no effort to keep from plowing you in. Personally, if there is any chance of snow removal happening, I don't park in spots right off the road, like Pine Bend, Tremont, I use lots. They have a hard enough job without people getting in their way, there are storms that they work 20 hours straight in.

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