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Popularity of Pismo Preserve leads to temporary sidewalk and overflow parking

pismo preserve pic.PNG
Posted at 6:33 PM, Feb 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-10 21:33:36-05

The newly opened Pismo Preserve is drawing crowds, but more people means less parking.

Some hikers are using a nearby dirt lot for overflow and then walking along a busy street, Highway 1, to get to the entrance.

"It's a hike to the hike," said Russ Cracknell, who visited the Pismo Preserve for the first time Monday.

A few drivers parked on the shoulder of Highway 1, but some found they stopped in the wrong place.

"I found a parking ticket on my car which is very upsetting and disheartening," said Nicole De Leon, who got a parking ticket will hiking. "I'm not really sure I am the one who got it over others who are parked just like me."

There are some signs telling drivers to park off the pavement, but De Leon wants parking and pedestrian signs to be more clear.

"There's no way to signal when people would walk and when the cars should go. You are putting yourself at risk when you are walking because cars are coming off the freeway and they are not paying attention," De Leon said. "I think it definitely deserves a clear marked walkway or a stoplight or something."

For the time being, bright orange cones are creating a barrier between cars and pedestrians. By next month, the city said construction of a permanent sidewalk will begin.

"That would be awesome, just so it keeps it a little safe because you've got kids running around as well," said Beatris Moreno. "There's a ton of families that have been up there and I know I have small kids I plan to bring here, but I have to make sure it's safe for them."

The Pismo Preserve offers nearly 11 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. It opened last month after nearly six years since it was purchased by the Land Conservancy in 2014.