NO PARKING at Swann Covered Bridge

Dear Editor,

“NO PARKING” signs are posted at Swann Covered Bridge! This seems to be the result of abusing the privilege of using the adjacent land for swimming, fishing, picnicking, etc., but not following unwritten rules like taking your trash with you, no loitering, and parking inappropriately. We are going to lose the privilege of recreating on the adjacent property if irresponsibility continues. The National Historic Register-listed Swann Covered Bridge will also pay a price.

Various officials are getting calls from neighbors reporting Swann Bridge Road is so congested with vehicles (local and out of county) it is not passable. I am not sure if the road has been blocked, but it is obvious there is a problem that needs fixing. If a vehicle obstructs traffic, it is subject to removal at the owner’s expense.

How irresponsible can a person be? Authorities are addressing the problem as they deem necessary. There is a statute in the Alabama Code of Law that prohibits parking of any kind on road pavement. I didn’t know that. Did you know that?

Recently, vehicles have been towed for parking just a small amount on the pavement to three feet on the pavement. It is law enforcement’s discretion to tow or not to tow.

Can you imagine going back to your car after a day of swimming and picnicking to find it gone! No doubt… stolen! Then your child says something like “Mama, how are we going to get home?” A bigger surprise would be learning from the police or sheriff’s department the car has been towed and will cost $175 (I am told) to get it back once you figure out how you are going to get to the impoundment lot.

Scenarios similar to that have happened recently. The congestion problem at Swann Bridge needs to be addressed, but unaware visitors barely parking on the pavement are paying a hefty price, especially since there haven’t been any “DO NOT PARK ON PAVEMENT” signs posted anywhere.

Is that really fair? I am sure the visitors to our covered bridges do not know there is a statute forbidding parking on the edge of road pavement.

As I said, there are now “NO PARKING” signs at Swann Covered Bridge. Those signs are temporary until the “DO NOT PARK ON PAVEMENT” signs are received and posted. I trust actually posting a warning will stop irresponsible parking. If not, the violator deserves a citation and/or vehicle towed. Good riddance!

Blount County: Awesome by Nature. All together now, ya’ll come back… ya hear.

Sam Howell, Cleveland