On Saturday, Dec. 30, this was where Jim Brannan parked along Fern Valley Road and got a ticket from the California Highway Patrol. Photo by JP Crumrine

While the first snow of the 2018 winter arrived this week, the California Highway Patrol has already begun vigilantly enforcing the “No Parking” and “No Stopping” rules along Fern Valley Road, and one resident is not happy about it.

Over the past year, the Idyllwild Snow Group, led by Marsha Kennedy, approached Riverside County 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington, the Board of Supervisors, law enforcement and road agencies for help to reduce the number of snow visitors and hazards they create where parking on the sides of the local roads and highways during these winter weather moments.

As a result of the Snow Group’s petition to Riverside County 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington and the county Roads Department, these signs were posted on Fern Valley Road between Encino Road and Humber Park recently putting restrictions on all vehicles, not just those occupied by snow visitors. Photo by JP Crumrine

These appeals were heard and the signs are the consensual solution.

This fall, the Riverside County Transportation Department placed signs all along Fern Valley Road, indicating “No Stopping” in many places and between Encino Road and Humber Park, “No Parking between December and April.”

On Dec. 30, local resident Jim Brannan, owner of Cottage Caretakers, was preparing a client’s house for a New Year’s Eve party. Rather than park in the driveway, in the way of other workmen and guests, he pulled off the road in front of the house. When he went to his vehicle to leave, he found a California Highway Patrol ticket for $114 on the windshield.

“I’ve worked for them for two years,” Brannan said. “I understand the problem. I’m at fault and I learned a lesson the hard way.”

Brannan recognizes the road-safety issue created by bumper-to-bumper parked cars along Fern Valley Road. But he also sees it as a two-edged sword. While the snow-play visitors cause the traffic congestion, they are hungry and eat at local restaurants, and some stay at inns.

He would like to see some kind of exemption for local workers or vendors.

However, CHP Public Information Office Darren Meyer of the San Gorgonio Pass office, said, “The Snow Group met with Supervisor Washington and the county supervisors. They requested the signs and were supported by Supervisor Washington and the board. The signs are enforceable whether there is snow or no snow or a resident or not a resident.”

Representatives from County Transportation visited residents along Fern Valley Road to discuss the signs, according to Meyer.