New rules take aim at illegal parking at Huntington Gorge and other hot spots

Published: Jul. 7, 2023 at 5:29 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Vt. (WCAX) - Richmond officials are making parking policy changes to discourage what they call unsafe practices at popular summer destinations like the Huntington Gorge.

The changes impact areas including Dugway Road near the Huntington Gorge as well as along the Winooski River near the Jonesville Bridge.

The town in 2019 began cracking down on illegal parking on Dugway Road. The new rules clarify that there is no parking on the north side of the road. Officials say its about pedestrian safety and giving emergency vehicles access on the narrow road.

“I think we can kind of refer to the process that was followed to institute this and continue to talk about safety and pedestrian safety on the roads and the need for first responders to have a clear path to respond,” said Richmond Town Manager Josh Arneson.

There will also be no parking on the eastern end of Cochran Road from the Duxbury Road intersection to the Edmunds Bridge because of traffic and safety concerns.

Residents we spoke to say they support the changes. “When it’s really hot, people who can or can’t find a spot -- they don’t care. They don’t respect the signs, the no parking signs and they park right in front of them and they park in the middle of the road where they’re not supposed to,” said Patrick Smith of Richmond.

But some visitors say they are confused about the new rules. “Me and my friends, we’ve been going to swim there and hang out and we’ve talked to the police and the emergency people before, and they’ve told us one of the spots that they’ve put the sign in is where we should park. And now there’s a sign there saying I can’t park at all,” said Collin Mills of Essex Junction.

“Our parking Advisory Committee for the last couple of years has really done a lot of work to open up more parking in town. So, they created the Overockers Parking Area on Cochran Road,” said Richmond Town Manager Josh Arneson.

Officials say they created more than 50 additional recreational parking spaces and have a new website delineating legal and illegal parking.

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