State Parks officials say traffic and pedestrian safety is an emerging issue at one of the last free parking areas at the American River confluence in the Auburn State Recreation area.
But Caltrans has looked into concerns and is citing a lack of crashes or pedestrian injuries along Highway 49, just past the American Riverbridge on the El Dorado County side, as reason enough not to change current parking conditions.
The right-hand shoulder leading out of the canyon toward Cool fills with vehicles on weekends and holidays, if the weather is good, for outdoor recreation.
Even on a coolish, winter day like Tuesday, about a dozen were parked there while areas on thePlacer County side, where parking costs $10, were nearly empty. There are no signs directing parking or pedestrians and some vehicles were backed in while others were parallel parked.
Supervising Ranger Scott Liske said that more and more autos are parking along Highway 49 up from the bridge heading south for about 250 yards. On busy days, it’s not unusual to see 70 cars parked there, he said.
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