Illegal parking at Starved Rock prompts ISP campaign

Visitors to the parks should be aware of areas marked “No Parking Tow-Away” zones. Parking regulations in those areas will be strictly enforced.
IL Rt. 71 eastbound, adjacent to Starved Rock State Park.
IL Rt. 71 eastbound, adjacent to Starved Rock State Park.(ISP)
Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 10:44 AM CDT
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LASALLE, Ill. (WIFR) - The Illinois State Police with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Department of Transportation, announced an enforcement campaign focused on Starved Rock State Park and Matthiessen State Park parking issues.

Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks, situated between Utica, Oglesby, and La Salle, receive approximately 2 million visitors annually. The large volume of visitors has resulted in vehicles being parked in “No Parking Tow-Away” zones located along IL Rt. 178 and IL Rt. 71, adjacent to the parks. The problem is so pervasive it has become a safety issue to pedestrians and motorists. The illegal parking has also made it difficult for first responders to access the area in emergency situations.

“Officials with IDNR, IDOT and ISP have discussed this issue and have agreed education and enforcement are both necessary to resolve this problem,” according to the announcement.

Visitors to the parks should be aware of areas marked as “No Parking Tow-Away” zones and are advised parking regulations in those areas will be strictly enforced. While “No Parking Tow-Away” zones are clearly marked, IDOT will be providing additional signage to further denote the zones. In addition to the “No Parking Tow-Away” zones, parking is prohibited upon any bridge or other elevated structure, or within 30 feet upon the approach to any stop sign, yield sign, or traffic control signal located at the side of the roadway, according to the ISP.

The goal of this educational program is voluntary compliance, and the hope no vehicles will have to be towed. However, ISP troopers will be dedicated to patrol duties along IL Rt. 178 and IL Rt. 71 in the zones, and tow trucks will be on site. Vehicles found in violation of the “No Parking Tow-Away” zones will be immediately towed. Citations may also be issued to the owners of vehicles who are found illegally parked.

A citation for parking where prohibited is $164 and is considered a moving violation. The estimated fee for towing a vehicle from the area to an area tow yard is approximately $300, according to the ISP.

For those planning a trip to Starved Rock State Park, they are encouraged to follow and regularly check the Facebook pages for Starved Rock State Park, IDNR, and Starved Rock Lodge, which provide parking capacity updates and notification when the parks are closed to additional visitors. Links to those Facebook pages can be found here.

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