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caverpilot

Unplowed Sno-Parks - Report them!

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Report Unplowed Sno-Parks! Contractors are responsible and need to be held accountable. In Washington, email photos of unplowed parks to: winter@parks.wa.gov

 

The last three times I've visited Marble Mountain Sno-Park (on Mt. St. Helens) the lot was completely unplowed. I spoke with WA State Park's Winter Recreation Program staff today and she told me that "the Sno-Park fee is used to pay for contractors to do plowing and grooming...any time that snow is present during the permit period. (exceptions for grooming if snow is less than 18 inches.)

 

I told her about the unplowed lot on multiple occasions. She said they occasionally get complaints and the best course of action is to email the address above. They review all complaints and address them to the contractor. This is like a bad cop - if no one ever reports them, no one (the staff in Olympia) will ever know! Snap those photos and send 'em in!!

 

Otherwise, why the hell am I paying a fee??

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Thanks for the heads up. Twice I have tried to use the Sno-Park at the junction of HWY 410 and Crystal Mt Blvd. Both times it was unplowed.

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Writing my report now. I go over to Marble a lot for winter workouts. I have not seen it plowed at all this year. I believe they are using the same lousy contractor as last year, the year of only one lane being plowed. This contractor also left the lot unplowed as they were awaiting repairs on their equipment a couple years ago.....

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Maybe one should premptively report unplowed Sno Parks in the weeks before one plans to utilize said Sno Park to ensure it will be plowed.

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Writing my report now. I go over to Marble a lot for winter workouts. I have not seen it plowed at all this year. I believe they are using the same lousy contractor as last year, the year of only one lane being plowed. This contractor also left the lot unplowed as they were awaiting repairs on their equipment a couple years ago.....

 

Glad to hear I'm not the only one with bad luck. After spending two hours shoveling out the last unplowed spot (last March), and then having an angry RVer confront me about the "last spot" (first come, first serve buddy); I was pretty put-out for buying a $20 permit I didn't see any benefit from.

 

Maybe one should premptively report unplowed Sno Parks in the weeks before one plans to utilize said Sno Park to ensure it will be plowed.

 

DPS, you're hilarious!!

 

 

Edited by caverpilot

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Glad to hear I'm not the only one with bad luck. After spending two hours shoveling out the last unplowed spot (last March), and then having an angry RVer confront me about the "last spot" (first come, first serve buddy); I was pretty put-out for buying a $20 permit I didn't see any benefit from.
WTF was that asshat's problem? Everybody knows that SPs are 1st come/1st served. Shit, they even tell you that when you buy the damned thing. Did he think that since he had purchased a SP permit that he somehow had a reservation or sump'n?

Jeezus, some people...:crazy:

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Last time I tried to use a Sno Park it was unplowed and I got my truck stuck in the lot resulting a $240 towing bill. The previous time it was also unplowed and some dudes with a big trailer for their snomachines complained that we took up too much room in the small area in the driveway that was plowed.

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There is limited pool of plowing funds for each snopark each year, and they generally leave it to the discretion of the plow drivers to determine when to plow, with the intent that they will plow it when it needs it most (like when it's actually snowing). Plowing begins when it is determined to be required to access the snopark and pretty much always ends at the beginning of March (sometimes sooner, when allocated funds run out during big snow years), so no sense bitching about that. And I heard the plowing and grooming fund was reduced about 20% this year due to a falloff in snowmobile registrations (which include a motorized snopark fee), so better get used to shoveling.

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It sounds like there is no oversight of the commerical operators paid through Sno-Park pass sales. They have no schedule to adhere to and plow at their discretion meaning that the less they plow, the more free $$ they get. I think if I get back to it, I will not be purchasing Sno Park permits and if I get a ticket in an uplowed lot or near one I will fight it in court.

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You're totally wrong (but way to run with it). They only get paid for actually plowing, they just have some discretion over when that occurs, which is intended to benefit the greatest number of users. Good luck fighting that snopark ticket!

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You're totally wrong (but way to run with it). They only get paid for actually plowing, they just have some discretion over when that occurs, which is intended to benefit the greatest number of users. Good luck fighting that snopark ticket!

Thanks for the clarification, I misunderstood the intent of your previous post. The fact remains that I paid for a Sno Park permit to use a specific Sno Park that was never plowed all winter. I went on weekends at a Sno Park that access Mount Rainier. Obviously the plower's discretion sucks. BTW, fighting tickets is easy, you just show up to court, request the officer issuing the ticket be at the hearing (officer has to take time out of his schecule to attend, never happens for a parking ticket) and the ticket has to by law be dismissed. The odds are very much in my favor, believe me, but thanks for your well wishing.

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There is limited pool of plowing funds for each snopark each year, and they generally leave it to the discretion of the plow drivers to determine when to plow, with the intent that they will plow it when it needs it most (like when it's actually snowing). Plowing begins when it is determined to be required to access the snopark and pretty much always ends at the beginning of March (sometimes sooner, when allocated funds run out during big snow years), so no sense bitching about that. And I heard the plowing and grooming fund was reduced about 20% this year due to a falloff in snowmobile registrations (which include a motorized snopark fee), so better get used to shoveling.

 

This was not the impression I had after speaking with the Winter Recreation office staff - I asked her specifically if plowing was required through the duration of the permit, and she assured me it was. Don't get me wrong, I understand what a f'd up situation the Washington State Parks etc are in, but you're saying the permits aren't fully funding the plowing? Again, that's not the impression I got. Where did you obtain this information? (It's F'd up either way, clearly!) :)

 

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WTF was that asshat's problem? Everybody knows that SPs are 1st come/1st served. Did he think that since he had purchased a SP permit that he somehow had a reservation or sump'n?

Jeezus, some people...:crazy:

 

He was pissed that my Skiburban was a little small for the last spot left anywhere, since it was the only place anywhere his RV would fit. He sat there for a minute, got out (while we were shoveling) and said, "what would it take to get this spot?" I said, "well, find us a spot and shovel it out and I'll trade with you." He's like, "Oh, so THAT's how you're gonna be?" I was thinking, WTF dude!?! I've been shoveling for 30 minutes and I'm gonna be like, "sure, take my spot and I'll just go home?" He was clearly pissed off. I was praying my truck wouldn't be vandalized. Believe me, we drove around twice before I realized this spot was it - I would've sardined in anywhere - this is the whole problem- if the lot was plowed, folks could park closer together - and the lower lot wasn't plowed at all and a 4-foot wall prevented trying it.

 

This was us shoveling the spot:

 

marble-mtn-sno-park-3-2011.jpg

Edited by caverpilot

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Given how frequently it normally snows around here in the winter, I would suspect that the system is easily exploited by contractors unless folks speak up (contractors could bill for every storm, but only plow every other, etc.). I find it hard to believe that Dan could have visited a Snopark all winter and NEVER found it plowed if the system wasn't totally screwed up.

 

"Um, I plowed that lot at least 10 times this past winter....please pay the attached invoice"

 

It is unlikely that the state is verifying every bill that comes in for plowing. Sounds like they are relying on complaints to tell them when things aren't getting plowed.

 

I think the OP's call to report unplowed Snoparks is right on the money.

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It is unlikely that the state is verifying every bill that comes in for plowing. Sounds like they are relying on complaints to tell them when things aren't getting plowed.

 

I think the OP's call to report unplowed Snoparks is right on the money.

 

Thank you! This is exactly the point, the Winter Rec said, "We're sitting here in Olympia, and we have no idea what is going on out at all the Sno Parks. If you send me a photo with your complaint, it makes it really easy to address to the contractor."

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Response to my complaint email:

 

Daryl,

 

Thanks for bringing the status of this lot to our attention. The snow removal contractor was notified last week, and was called again this morning. According to the contractor, the full lot was plowed last week, and a road grader brought in to remove the ice. We also asked the contractor to plow some turnouts to help traffic flow up the 83 road. Please continue to report any problems that you observe at this location.

 

Winter Recreation Staff

 

Woo-hoo! Maybe they'll get the message - little brother (that's us) are watching!!!

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Hey it worked! I was getting a cup of Joe in the Cougar store on the 23rd and in walks the plow driver! He was bitching about all the complaints that Olympia received! Good work brothers and sisters of the dendrite brigade! Both lots were fully plowed when we came back down about 2 PM. To bad he did not do it earlier so the layer of ice could have melted off.

 

So check this out! A snowmobiler in WA state pays a $35 registration fee and gets a sno-park permit free! A antique snowmobile, ei insect fogger, pays $17 and gets a sno-park permit free also. Pisses me off to no end that I am subsidising snowmobilers! Keep those E-mails to Olympia coming.Try a complaint to your state representatives also.

 

"Be safe, think clearly, ski hard! Kapman

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Hey it worked! I was getting a cup of Joe in the Cougar store on the 23rd and in walks the plow driver! He was bitching about all the complaints that Olympia received!
Fabulous! Hey, caverpilot, I think you started something here that's gonna be bigger than Occupy this winter! :)

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