Summary: More feedback after numerous vehicles were towed from Old Catawba Mountain Road after visitors intending to hike to McAfee Knob parked there last weekend when the trailhead lot was full – not unusual with the Fall leaves changing. Roanoke County Police say parking in a manner that restricts traffic in any way is prohibited – even when there isn’t a No Parking Sign. Motorists may park OFF the roadway if there is not a No Parking Sign. VDOT will place portable message boards in the area near McAfee Knob over the next several weekends to remind drivers on parking rules. Jen Ward is with VDOT:
Roanoke County also says they cannot regulate how much a towing company may charge – one listener told us she paid 350 dollars to get her car back. (see Roanoke County Police release below)
(Roanoke County, VA—October 30, 2020) Interest in McAfee Knob in recent years has grown significantly, attracting a high-volume of visitors on any given pleasant weekend. There are limited parking areas available in the area which has increasingly become a problem, resulting in cars being ticketed or towed for improper parking along the roadways.Roanoke County Police offers reminders to visitors about parking:•Parking in a manner that restricts or blocks traffic is prohibited on all roads, regardless of whether there is a “No Parking” sign. •If there is not a “No Parking” sign, motorists may park off the roadway. •If there is a “No Parking” sign, it is prohibited to park there and motorists may be ticketed.•Vehicles parked improperly may be subject to towing. Be aware that towing companies set their own rates. Roanoke County presently is unable to regulate the amount tow companies charge.
Roanoke County Police also recommend: Plan ahead!•Consider carpooling with others to limit the number of cars.•Utilize the park and ride lots located at: Intersection of Route 311 and Route 630o Intersection of Route 419 and Route 11o Interstate 81, Exit 140 •Parking is also available at the Catawba Center.•Consider using a ride share program such as Uber or Lyft.•Consider hiking on a day that may be less crowded. VDOT will place portable message boards in the area over the next several weekends to remind drivers to keep vehicles off the roadway, and to expect strict enforcement.