The city has authorized signage improvements delineating parking and access restrictions in the Cucamonga Canyon area. The city is also exploring the possibility of adding additional parking restrictions, that include the feasibility of a metered parking system and expansion of permit parking districts in the area.
"What we're suggesting, frankly, is to make it harder for people to get up there," said Rancho Cucamonga Fire Chief Mike Bell. With no immediate funding from the United States National Forest service for infrastructure improvements to handle larger numbers of people in the canyon, city officials say the area cannot support visitation by large numbers of people.
"Cucamonga Canyon as a destination cannot, over the long-term, support the large numbers of people that were witnessed accessing the area this summer," according to a city report from Bell. "Limited parking, neighborhood impacts and the lack of public improvements (bathrooms, trails, trash receptacles, etc.) preclude the area from being the type of attraction as seen in the Claremont Wilderness Park or the Icehouse Canyon area of Mt. Baldy."
This past year, the city implemented an educational outreach effort to inform people of the legal route into the Canyon through Skyline Drive, as well as the installation of no trespassing signs on the nearby residential street of Crestview Place to the west, where visitors had been accessing the canyon through private property.
The city also reduced parking spaces, and increased enforcement during the summer. Recent policy direction from the last City Council meeting may lead to even more parking restrictions, as officials are investigating the possibility of creating more parking permit districts in the surrounding residential streets.
Residents south of Almond Street on Henry Street and Bella Vista Drive in recent months requested and implemented a parking permit district in their neighborhood. The permits improved a situation that saw increased visitor parking on their streets this past year, officials said. Longtime Henry Street resident Dennis Cisneros said increased traffic has brought with it graffitti, drugs and crime to the area. He welcomes the additional changes, and calls for a sustained enforcement effort.
"We welcome all of those improvements for public safety property protection and the enforcement of existing ordinances and laws because that's the only way residents, and even the visiting public, is going to feel protected is with enforcement," Cisneros said.
Reach Neil via email, call him at 909-483-9356, or find him on Twitter @RanchoNow.