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Thien and I came to a resolution last night... no more hiking!
Seems like a pretty odd resolution for a couple of active people to make, right? I suppose the resolution is actually no more hiking in Temescal Canyon. We've been hiking in Temescal Canyon fairly regularly for the past year, ever since we moved up to Santa Monica and for the most part have been happy with our experience. The one thing that always irked us a bit was the lack of parking on the street, coupled with the $5 parking within the actual park.
Although we typically park on the street, every once in a while when we've either wanted to avoid the hassle or couldn't find a close enough spot, I've been ambivilant about the $5. After all, it's not a huge expense and I felt like it was going to the improvement of a public space that I was actually using.
A couple of weeks ago, during one of the worst recessions we've ever seen, we pulled into the parking lot and were shocked to see that parking had gone up from $5 to $7. Now again, i can't say that I would have missed an extra $2, but a line of principle has to be drawn somewhere, and for us it was squarely across the $5 line. After making a quick decision, we drove to the other side of the lot, and pulled back out onto the street where we easily found alternate parking.
I thought that was the end of it, until yesterday. It seems that as I pulled out of the parking lot, I rolled through a stop sign which was in the actual parking lot. Does anyone stop for stop signs in a parking lot? I don't think I'm in the minority here. To my dismay, I received a citation from the "Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority Stop Sign Photo Enforcement Program" in the amount of $100.
To add insult to injury, I was told that I could go to a slick site to watch of video of my violation in action. This site (http://www.photonotice.com/) gave me some sort of backend ASPX error when I tried to login yesterday and when I tried to login today, the video never displayed. I was able to get the sweet black and white photo, which obviously proves absolutely nothing.
In short, I'm boycotting Temescal for two reasons. First, I'm moving and will no longer have the opportunity to go hiking here... ;) And second, I think it's pretty backhanded to try to sucker money out of people that you're trying to provide a service like this to. I can understand paying for parking - at least with a reasonable amount. I can understand paying to access the trails, wether on a daily or annual basis. But it's tough for me to swallow trying to "trap" the very customers you're trying to attract. Hopefully they'll figure out a better revenue model for themselves in the near future.
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