Petition – May 2021 – To CalTrans DIrector Benipal

This petition, signed by the Divide community, was our follow-up to a letter sent to the Caltrans Director urging Caltrans to acknowledge and fix the dangerous traffic safety problem in the passing lane now being used for parking at the American River Confluence. The original petition verbiage and the result of our petition is shown below.

Thank you to the 960 signers of our petition…you helped make this happen!!


Petition to Caltrans Director Benipal:

Highway 49 between Auburn and Cool is a STATE HIGHWAY, not a PARKING LOT !!

This is our only northbound Fire Evacuation Route. The mess Caltrans created makes it a DEATH TRAP.

Caltrans built a passing lane on Hwy 49 above the confluence, then abandoned it to allow parking for river visitors. Today, hikers, families, children, dogs, and stopped cars block the highway or wander through traffic.

Parking belongs only in the Auburn State Recreation Area designated spots.


We insist you close Hwy 49 confluence parking FIRST, while you develop a safe, long term plan.



On May 21, 2021, Sen Dahle and Assemblypersons Bigelow and Dahle sent a letter to the Director of Caltrans insisting they address the Confluence traffic issue now.

Click HERE to read their letter.

In July, 2021 there was progress! Caltrans closed the slow vehicle pull over lane parking between last Wednesday through Friday, then marked the parking to parallel. It remains to be seen if this will truly help the traffic congestion here. Some people seemed to understand the new change and some like the old way of parking! A ranger was seen ticketing cars in the ASRA parking area, so hopefully the parallel parking will be enforced.

To be clear – El Dorado County and Caltrans are now working on a long term solution to the traffic/parking issue. However, that result is 2-3 years away.