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Re: Arches NP Traffic Congestion Mgt. comment period

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Arches NP Traffic Congestion Mgt. comment period
November 09, 2017 07:34PM
For those that go to Arches the comment period for the Traffic Congestion Management Plan is in the public comment period.
https://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?parkID=25&projectID=59437

I read the plan and they want to go to a reservation system. They are not going to do a shuttle system like Zion and please note why they decided against that. If it won't work in Arches for the reasons they stated, having a Zion type shuttle system for Yosemite would be even harder.
avatar Re: Arches NP Traffic Congestion Mgt. comment period
November 10, 2017 02:21PM
Having been to Arches on three separate occasions and having returned this past September, I wonder what a reservation system means? We knew well in advance of the road construction within the park and the daily 7 PM closure. Nonetheless, we still chose to return to Moab and enjoy other locations we'd been to previously. Though I've not read the plan, I would have thought a shuttle system would have worked. Having visited Zion multiple times, I can only imagine what it was like prior to 2000 without the shuttle. For the past 17 years, the Southwest has been a constant draw for us. Sadly, winter is quickly becoming the best time to visit the parks. We're seeing the same crush occurring at Acadia National Park. Acadia is 4-1/2 hours from where we live. We're there sometimes 4 times a year for the past 30+ years. Yes, we're part of the problem. This coming June we're accompanying our oldest daughter and her family to introduce them to the parks out West. She'd love to see Yosemite. But I've told her that June is out of the question. We've always arrived in late September; New Englanders running West chasing the end of summer.



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Re: Arches NP Traffic Congestion Mgt. comment period
November 10, 2017 07:06PM
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Acadia
Having been to Arches on three separate occasions and having returned this past September, I wonder what a reservation system means? We knew well in advance of the road construction within the park and the daily 7 PM closure. Nonetheless, we still chose to return to Moab and enjoy other locations we'd been to previously. Though I've not read the plan, I would have thought a shuttle system would have worked. Having visited Zion multiple times, I can only imagine what it was like prior to 2000 without the shuttle. For the past 17 years, the Southwest has been a constant draw for us. Sadly, winter is quickly becoming the best time to visit the parks. We're seeing the same crush occurring at Acadia National Park. Acadia is 4-1/2 hours from where we live. We're there sometimes 4 times a year for the past 30+ years. Yes, we're part of the problem. This coming June we're accompanying our oldest daughter and her family to introduce them to the parks out West. She'd love to see Yosemite. But I've told her that June is out of the question. We've always arrived in late September; New Englanders running West chasing the end of summer.
We have been to Arches three time, always in July and the most recent was in 2016. The first time it was not as crowded as the last two times. We already knew how crowded it would be so we made sure we either went to the park really early - before 8 am or in the evening. We have been going to Zion pretty regularly since 1989 but most of our trips have been in November . It has only been for the past several November trips that they used the shuttle during Thanksgiving weekend. We always stay at the lodge in the park so we can drive our car as far as the lodge and then we use the shuttle or walk. We when first started going to Zion, even in the summer it was not too bad and hardly anyone would be there in November. The past several years, especially last year with the Centennial and the program where the 4th grades get in free, we have notice a massive increase of visitors in all the parks we have visited last year and this year and it is noticeable even during the shoulder seasons.

I tried to copy the section in the Arches plan that described the reservations system but could not get it to copy. If you are interested, it starts on page 22 of the document that you can find using the link I posted. Reservations most likely would be through recreation.gov and you could try to get one 6 months in advance but there would be a few that one could try to get on the day you would want to go. For me, a reservations system most likely means that for people who plan their vacations in advance or ones like us who go to several parks in one trip, there would be a possibility that you could get lodging but not a reservation for the park and vice versa when you want to go. It would also be hard for people that have kids and can only go in the summer since part of the hope of the plan is that the reservations system would push visitation to months when it is not as popular to go.

As for why Arches is not offering a shuttle system, they based their decision on a study they did in 2011 and based on that study, they found a shuttle to be - quote - "technically and financially infeasible. The length of the park's road system ( a total of 26 miles of paved roads) and the distance between several key areas in the park require one-way shuttle travel times up to one hour and 20 minutes." They also mentioned that the annual cost would be $1.7 million and to get a shuttle system started would be $10.2 million and they don't have that kind of money. It was also mentioned the substantial environmental impacts on the park with them having to build transit stations and a large staging parking lot. The shuttle system they were thinking of would be a non-compulsory and not mandatory like in Zion. I found this point interesting which also has been one of my concerns with any mandatory shuttle system which is after they reviewed shuttle operations in Zion, Bryce and Rocky Mountain it was noted that the " large pulses of 40-100 visitors dropped off on a trail at one time were causing resource damage and more crowding on the trails." I have noticed this while using the shuttles in both Zion and Rocky Mountain NP. And this is also noticeable in Yosemite with not just the shuttles but when tour buses discharge large amounts of people in one spot.

I am not sure why you are writing off going to Yosemite in June. If you can go in early June before most California schools are out of session and during the week it is not as bad. Just avoid going during the Memorial Day weekend which we avoid like the plague. Also, if you stay in the valley, then you don't have to deal with trying to get though the entrances and then finding a parking space. It would be a shame to not go to Yosemite just because of the crowds if that is the only chance your daughter would have to see Yosemite. As you have seen from reading this site, there are always ways to get away from the crowds, even during the busiest days.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/10/2017 07:08PM by parklover.
Re: Arches NP Traffic Congestion Mgt. comment period
November 11, 2017 09:45AM
Quote
parklover
Quote
Acadia
Having been to Arches on three separate occasions and having returned this past September, I wonder what a reservation system means? .... there would be a possibility that you could get lodging but not a reservation for the park and vice versa when you want to go.

If you look on numbered page 17 of the report (page 23 of the pdf file), it says that vehicles associated with campground reservations would be exempt from the vehicle entrance reservation system.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/11/2017 09:46AM by Not quite The Geezer, but getting there.
Re: Arches NP Traffic Congestion Mgt. comment period
November 12, 2017 06:11PM
Quote
Not quite The Geezer, but getting there
Quote
parklover
Quote
Acadia
Having been to Arches on three separate occasions and having returned this past September, I wonder what a reservation system means? .... there would be a possibility that you could get lodging but not a reservation for the park and vice versa when you want to go.

If you look on numbered page 17 of the report (page 23 of the pdf file), it says that vehicles associated with campground reservations would be exempt from the vehicle entrance reservation system.
Yes I am aware of that. If you notice, I said LODGING not camping. Since there is only camping in the park ( no lodges or cabins) and camping is limited, most people have to stay in lodging in Moab. People that have children in school and/or are doing multiple parks in one trip, coordinating a trip to a park that requires reservations could be a challenge. Unfortunately, not all people can travel during non peak season.
Re: Arches NP Traffic Congestion Mgt. comment period
November 13, 2017 09:12AM
Quote
Acadia
Having been to Arches on three separate occasions and having returned this past September, I wonder what a reservation system means? We knew well in advance of the road construction within the park and the daily 7 PM closure. Nonetheless, we still chose to return to Moab and enjoy other locations we'd been to previously. Though I've not read the plan, I would have thought a shuttle system would have worked. Having visited Zion multiple times, I can only imagine what it was like prior to 2000 without the shuttle. For the past 17 years, the Southwest has been a constant draw for us. Sadly, winter is quickly becoming the best time to visit the parks. We're seeing the same crush occurring at Acadia National Park. Acadia is 4-1/2 hours from where we live. We're there sometimes 4 times a year for the past 30+ years. Yes, we're part of the problem. This coming June we're accompanying our oldest daughter and her family to introduce them to the parks out West. She'd love to see Yosemite. But I've told her that June is out of the question. We've always arrived in late September; New Englanders running West chasing the end of summer.

The problem is the shuttle system isn't working in Zion. There is still way too many people in the park at any one time during the summer months. Funny, I was in Zion last January and had to look far and hard to see another visitor.
Re: Arches NP Traffic Congestion Mgt. comment period
November 14, 2017 08:47PM
Quote
ERICG
Quote
Acadia
Having been to Arches on three separate occasions and having returned this past September, I wonder what a reservation system means? We knew well in advance of the road construction within the park and the daily 7 PM closure. Nonetheless, we still chose to return to Moab and enjoy other locations we'd been to previously. Though I've not read the plan, I would have thought a shuttle system would have worked. Having visited Zion multiple times, I can only imagine what it was like prior to 2000 without the shuttle. For the past 17 years, the Southwest has been a constant draw for us. Sadly, winter is quickly becoming the best time to visit the parks. We're seeing the same crush occurring at Acadia National Park. Acadia is 4-1/2 hours from where we live. We're there sometimes 4 times a year for the past 30+ years. Yes, we're part of the problem. This coming June we're accompanying our oldest daughter and her family to introduce them to the parks out West. She'd love to see Yosemite. But I've told her that June is out of the question. We've always arrived in late September; New Englanders running West chasing the end of summer.

The problem is the shuttle system isn't working in Zion. There is still way too many people in the park at any one time during the summer months. Funny, I was in Zion last January and had to look far and hard to see another visitor.
You are so correct. The first few years of the Zion shuttle it worked well but then visitation increased so much that there are not enough shuttles to handle the volume of people. When we were there last year in the summer we stayed at the Lodge so we drove that far in but then when we tried to use the shuttle, to go to the end of the canyon, the wait was really long unless you used it when they first started running for the day or later in the afternoon when people not staying in the park left. The last several times we went at Thanksgiving, the shuttle were running and they were always full then too.
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