Motorists urged to follow No Parking signs

Dan Field
Motorists are urged to pay attention to the signs or face a towing bill between $200 and $300.

Several motorists ignored clearly posted No Parking signs during a recent event in Lake Ozark and their vehicles were towed.

The Shootout on the Strip Meet and Greet held Aug. 25 closed Bagnell Dam Blvd. (The Strip) from School Road to near Bagnell Dam. As a result, dozens of parking spaces were lost to the event and motorists were able to park outside the closed area on Bagnell Dam Blvd., in two large church parking lots, two parking lots at nearby School of the Osage facilities, and in a spacious area below Bagnell Dam Blvd. owned by Ameren Missouri. Shuttles were available throughout the day.

Despite those alternative parking areas, 13 motorists opted to ignore No Parking signs along Valley Road which is a service road parallel to Bagnell Dam Blvd. It’s often used as an alternative route when The Strip is closed to thru traffic. Ultimate towing cost could be between $200 and $300. Lake Ozark Police Department officers did not issue any tickets so there was no revenue for the city.

“Valley Road has been posted No Parking for many years,” Police Chief Gary Launderville said after the vehicles were towed. “It’s obvious our visitors didn’t take our ordinances seriously and thought our officers would turn a blind eye. We don’t operate our department that way.”

In addition to permanent, year-round No Parking signs, the city adds temporary signs during special events to warn motorists.

Valley Road is narrow and winding. Parking in the No Parking areas reduces the width of the road to one-way and creates a safety hazard for other motorists. It’s especially serious for emergency vehicles, Chief Launderville said.

“We always welcome visitors to our community and encourage our residents to shop and eat locally,” Launderville said. “But we have to maintain a semblance of order for the safety of everyone. We simply can’t and won’t tolerate such an obvious violation of the law.”

The next big event for Lake Ozark and the lake area is BikeFest Sept. 15-19. While there is no official closing of streets, there will be thousands of recreational motorcycle enthusiasts and visitors and parking is expected to be a premium.

Launderville said the same enforcement will apply at all future events as well.