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PHOENIX -- Police will soon start cracking down on hikers who park their car illegally near Camelback Mountain.

The Echo Canyon and Cholla trails are popular for hikers, especially on weekends and in the early morning. That can cause traffic jams in the area. Signs were erected this week warning police will ticket or tow vehicles along nearby McDonald Drive, where police have received reports of jams.

"Stopping in the middle of the road and blocking traffic has always been not allowed," said David Urbinato with the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department. "Now with the signage, and with the fact that cars are blocking traffic, (police) going to be out there more consistently to make sure that traffic keeps moving and neighbors can get in and out of their house. It's just not safe to have traffic backed up to where it wasn't meant to be."

They'll also ticket drivers who stop in parking lots near the entrance while they wait for parking spots to open up. Urbinato said that if a parking lot is full, motorists must move on and completely leave the parking lot, then return to look for a spot later.

Urbinato offered a suggestion.

"Throw a bike in the car, park your car a few miles away, then bike up to the trailhead," he said. "We've got dozens of bike racks for you to park your bike. You can also have someone drop you off. That way you don't have to worry about parking. You can just ask them to pick you up in a few hours."

Bob McClay, Reporter

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