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AMERICAN FORK CANYON — After publicized warnings that parking would be more strictly enforced in American Fork Canyon, Utah Highway Patrol had nine illegally-parked cars towed in and around Timpooneke Campground Saturday.
Twenty-one other drivers received citations related to parking, according to a spokesman for the department.
Still, the U.S. Forest Service posted about at least one problem that surfaced when an ambulance could not reach an injured 10-year-old due to illegally parked vehicles.
"Parking in the lane of travel of any road is prohibited," the Facebook post cautioned.
On July 14, rangers and Utah County Sheriff's deputies said they would step up enforcement efforts in light of the issues.
Longtime canyon neighbors said the increased enforcement was long overdue and that they've resorted to avoiding the area on the weekends.
"It's just become a circus," said Shannon Payne. "Don't go!"
Payne said she was concerned about the situation for the inconvenience and the potential public safety implications.
"A smaller car has a hard time getting through because cars will park on both sides of the road," Payne explained. "It makes it next to impossible to even try to get around, and it becomes a safety hazard for everyone involved."
Payne said she felt bad for the injured child and the child's family.
"It's a scary situation," she said.
Still, not everyone was convinced that the enforcement measures would improve the situation, including Dyanne Richan, who has also chosen to stay away during busy times.
"Trying to impound vehicles on a two-lane road that goes like this (weaves arm) is very dangerous — especially on the weekends," Richan said.
Payne applauded the enforcement efforts and said she hoped people would get the message and simply park legally.
"Maybe people will start to notice and realize that yeah, the rules apply to them and not just a few," Payne said.