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Parking Warning at Beltzville

Many people are expected to visit state parks this holiday weekend.

A few years ago a lack of parking was a problem at Beltzville State Park in Carbon County. Many visitors who illegally parked had their vehicles towed.

Steps are being taken to fix the problem.

Newswatch 16 found state workers busy at the state park near Lehighton. People were trimming trees, loading the limbs and even cutting the grass, all in preparation for the big Memorial Day weekend. Some of these workers will be there during the holiday making sure visitors have a good and clean time.

“Probably cleaning the bathrooms. It sounds like a bad job, but for the money I am getting it’s decent,” said state worker Paul Zelonis.

Park officials will be keeping a close eye on the parking situation. All along the road leading to the park you will find plenty of no parking signs.

On Memorial Day weekend two years ago, officials said the no parking signs were up but so many people came, they had no place to park. Many illegally parked. Most of the illegally parked vehicles were towed away.

“It creates a dangerous mix of vehicular and pedestrian traffic and because of people parking on the road, then emergency vehicles can’t get through so it creates quite a problem,” said park manager Kevin Koflanovich.

State officials said if the normal parking areas, which will hold 900 vehicles, fill up they have opened up this area which will hold 400 more.

Ethel Schuler is beating the crowds by getting to the park early.

“Unfortunately people don’t pay attention to signs like that. I wouldn’t park there personally but other people might, and with it saying no parking maybe they should be towed, maybe they deserve it,” said Schuler.

Park officials said anyone ignoring the no parking signs this year will be towed. If Beltzville reaches its parking capacity the entrance will close and visitors will directed to other state parks.