Lava parking (correction) 07-19-10

Hawai’i Police Department
Puna District
Captain Samuel Jelsma
Phone: 966-5835
July 19, 2010

Media Release (corrects 5th paragraph)

Big Island police are alerting the public that starting immediately, officers will issue citations for vehicles parked illegally near the lava viewing area in Kalapana.

With the recent shift of the lava flow, the end of Route 130 has become a popular area to view volcanic activity. The increased vehicular congestion on the narrow road near the viewing area, however, has created complaints and cause for concern.

Police are reminding the public that vehicles are permitted to drive into the roadway from where Route 130 is covered by lava up to the area with a green guard shack that leads to a makeshift parking lot and has blue portable toilets. The next half-mile or so is clearly marked with a sign stating that the area from the sign to the end of the road is closed to all except residents.

Visitors to the area have been driving beyond this sign to get closer to the volcanic activity at the end of the road and have been parking along the sides of the narrow bulldozed gravel road or on the road itself. The end of the road has no suitable turnaround area, and this congestion will prevent an ambulance from reaching a victim in need of medical attention.

At the direction of Hawai’i County Civil Defense, additional signs are being erected today to notify the public that there is no parking on the sides of the roadway beyond the green guard shack. For safety reasons, there will be no grace period [corrected from previous release].

The only persons allowed to park along the road in the area beyond the sign are those who work with Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and have designated passes.

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