DANVILLE (KPIX) — On Mount Diablo Scenic Boulevard, there’s a large electric sign and a barricade telling non-residents to turn around because the state park is closed to vehicles due to the stay-at-home public health order.
“People drive (past the signs) — they don’t read it,” said Steve Moore, who has lived on the scenic road for close to two decades.
He and other neighbors decided to make a stand Saturday morning with signs provided by the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department telling drivers to turn around at the corner of Mount Diablo Scenic Boulevard and Diablo Ranch Drive.
“We thought it would be helpful to have them turn around here where it is safe and not have to go all the way to the end of the road,” Moore explained.
Nicola Place said the access road to Mount Diablo State Park is already dangerous. A car hit and killed a cyclist last year near her home. She said all the tight U-turns and illegal parking make it worse.
“I care. I really don’t want anybody else killed. (The death of that cyclist) was a profound event for me. I’ve lived on this road since 1998,” Place said.
The volunteers said some cars still ignored the barricade even with the volunteers standing there. They drove past the signs and up a winding, narrow road. And, once they got to the entrance and saw the gate closed, they had to inch back and forth to turn around.
There’s no parking near the closed gate so some drivers just squeezed in where they could, even blocking driveways.
“Some (parts of the road) are no wider than 16 feet, which is less than a normal lane. We’ve seen a lot of parking in the road, fire trucks having trouble getting by. Pedestrians and bikes and people all trying to maneuver in the same space,” said Place.
While most neighbors support the volunteers, some question why residents are trying to police others. One neighbor even called the CHP on the volunteers.
“We do not feel like there’s enough support from the state park to recognize their obligation to the road,” explained Moore.
“I’m pretty darn frustrated that I can’t get a partnership started with the park,” said Place.
Neighbors said they want a park ranger to staff the barricade but park officials said they don’t own the scenic road where the barricade is located and they will continue to work with other agencies to monitor traffic conditions.