Cars parked in no parking zone at exit of trail to town from ski hill. (Grant Harris photo)

Cars parked in no parking zone at exit of trail to town from ski hill. (Grant Harris photo)

Zobnick Rd. residents fed up with ski trail parking problem

RDBN, Hudson Bay Mountain, RCMP vow to work toward solution

Residents on Zobnick Rd. are fed up with people parking at the exit from the trail to town from the ski hill.

Sheldon Armitage said there have been times he couldn’t even get home because of cars blocking the road as it curves just past the railroad tracks.

Unfortunately, for residents, the only simple solution is for users of the trail to have the courtesy not to park there, something that has not happened since the trail opened 12 years ago, Armitage said.

“You can go up to that corner any day between three and five and there’ll be ten cars parked at the corner blocking traffic,” he said.

“They stop in the middle of the road and open their doors and change their clothes, it’s just crazy.”

That hasn’t stopped him from pursuing other angles, including the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN), RCMP, Town of Smithers, Hudson Bay Mountain Ski Corp. (HBM), CN Rail, even Ziggy’s Towing, so far without much satisfaction.

He said, it has been kind of a game of jurisdictional pass-the-buck.

While the regional district has put up “No Parking” signs, some people ignore them and there is no bylaw to back them up, which means the RCMP cannot ticket motorists except under the province’s Motor Vehicle Act (MVA).

Smithers Staff Sgt. Terry Gillespie said the only offence that applies in that specific location is blocking the right of way of a public road, something Armitage says happens all the time.

The MVA does present challenges to the RCMP because unlike with a parking bylaw, they cannot simply leave a ticket on the windshield, but must serve the registered owner of the vehicle in person.

He said that is something they would do, however, if they catch people in the act.

“Certainly, if they’re blocking the road, people should definitely call us,” Gillespie said.

Mark Fisher, RDBN director for Electoral Area A (Smithers rural), said the regional district is eager to help and are in discussions to come up with a viable solution.

HBM is also sympathetic to the residents’ plight, but have not done anything yet other than urging their guests to respect the no parking zone.

Lex Rei-Jones, who was recently hired as the manager for the ski hill, said there was a time they had an agreement with the owner of a vacant field adjacent to the corner and would plow that out for parking. Then ownership changed hands.

“We looked at purchasing a piece of land down there, but some of the land was on somebody’s private property and we couldn’t be guaranteed we would always be able to access it,” Rei-Jones said.

They are amenable to revisiting the issue, however.

“We haven’t gotten anywhere with that yet, but it’s definitely on my radar, it’s something not just to alleviate the concerns of the people who live there, but also something else we would be able to offer our guests.”

For Heather Trigiani, it is also a safety issue. She says many times she has seen skiers fly out onto the road from the trail. With cars parked there, visibility is disrupted and she worries someone is going to get hit by oncoming traffic.

“It’s a safety thing, for me, more so than a pain-in-the-butt,” she said. “They block the view when I’m going up my driveway.”

The other safety issue, said Armitage, is often trains stop there blocking the road.

“Probably a dozen times, eight-year-old kids are crawling under the train as the train is sitting on Zobnick Rd. idling,” he said. “CN finally put a camera up there so they could monitor it, but somebody is going to get killed before anything’s done.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fentanyl was among the drugs seized by New Hazelton RCMP in a big bust in early January. (File photo)
New Hazelton RCMP arrest five, seize drugs and large amount of cash

Police find suspected heroin, fentanyl and crystal meth during early January drug bust

Smithers Local Health area reported 32 new cases of COVID-19 for the second week of January. (BC CDC graphic)
Weekly new cases of COVID-19 rise to 32 in Smithers LHA Jan. 10 – 16

Northern Health reports 35 new cases for 501 active, 44 hospitalized, 17 in critical care Wednesday

Brett Alexander Jones is wanted on several warrants province-wide, in connection with multiple charges. Jan. 21, 2021. Kitimat RCMP photo
Kitimat RCMP searching for man wanted on several warrants province-wide

Jones is described as a five-foot 10-inches Caucasian man, with blond hair and blue eyes.

Smithers Secondary School students participate in a high performance workout in advance of the school becoming a campus of the Canadian Sport School. (Thom Barker photo)
Smithers Secondary chosen for campus of elite sport school

The Canadian Sport School provides supports and resources for high performance athletes

Robin Price in action with Thompson Rivers University women’s soccer team. (TRU photo)
Former Smithers athlete helps Kamloops homeless people

Robin Price, now a fourth year nursing student and soccer player at TRU, spearheads fundraiser

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

Most Read