Deschutes County Commissioners are ready to move forward with a plan to address parking problems at Smith Rock State Park.
Neighbors living near the popular park have complained for years about clogged roads forcing pedestrians to walk in the street – and potentially blocking evacuation routes in the event of a wildfire.
Nearly a million people visit Smith Rock each year, but there are fewer than 500 parking spaces at any given time.
Monday, commissioners agreed to establish no parking zones on Wilcox and other surrounding roads.
“It’s amazingly clear that Wilcox should not have cars parked on both sides of that road,” said Commissioner Patti Adair. “It’s just – it needs to be taken care of.”
Managers of the state park agreed to work on creating additional parking; 25 spots to start, within the existing overflow lot.
Commissioners are expected to officially vote on the parking ban next week.