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Re: Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs

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Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs
July 22, 2011 03:40PM
Thank goodness that common sense has prevailed. The Park Service will not rush to put up more signs and barriers, even though some people are saying that "Something Must Be Done!"

teaser to the AP story:

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. -- Yosemite National Park officials said Thursday they have no plans to add new warning signs or other protections to the area where three young people were swept over a 317-foot waterfall this week.

Here is a link to the story on line:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/21/yosemite-hikers-missing-no-new-warning-signs_n_906125.html

Note that the story continues below some ads. The story also appeared in this morning's San Jose Mercury News, but I can't find a web link to it. It has the sub-headline: "Current safeguards adequate, Yosemite officials say".
Re: Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs
July 22, 2011 03:46PM
the current safeguards are adequate for normal human beings that are obeying the signs and normal safety procedures.
Re: Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs
July 22, 2011 06:18PM
Quote
wherever
Thank goodness that common sense has prevailed. The Park Service will not rush to put up more signs and barriers, even though some people are saying that "Something Must Be Done!"

teaser to the AP story:

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. -- Yosemite National Park officials said Thursday they have no plans to add new warning signs or other protections to the area where three young people were swept over a 317-foot waterfall this week.

Here is a link to the story on line:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/21/yosemite-hikers-missing-no-new-warning-signs_n_906125.html

Note that the story continues below some ads. The story also appeared in this morning's San Jose Mercury News, but I can't find a web link to it. It has the sub-headline: "Current safeguards adequate, Yosemite officials say".


Don't need any more signs or barriers just some volunteer spotters with some thick citation books. A $5000 dollar fine is a much better deterrent. The $5000 dollars can go towards outfitting and training the spotters. Its so simple it makes me sick.
Re: Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs
July 22, 2011 08:14PM
We don't need any more rangers or fines or enforcers. People that make poor choices live with them, its the WILDerness. There are enough permits and rules already mandated. Could you imagine John Muir being told the trails were full and he could not head out that day!!!!!!!!!
Re: Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs
July 22, 2011 09:13PM
Quote
Roadrash
We don't need any more rangers or fines or enforcers. People that make poor choices live with them, its the WILDerness. There are enough permits and rules already mandated. Could you imagine John Muir being told the trails were full and he could not head out that day!!!!!!!!!

Well, I agree that people who make poor choices must live (or die) by them but there is always the collateral damage of bystanders who were not making poor choices.
As far as the permits. there were a lot less people around when John Muir was heading out. We need the permit system, the rangers, fines and rules to keep the wilderness wild. We can't all be allowed to just do as we please.
Re: Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs
July 22, 2011 09:40PM
Quote
TerriB
Quote
Roadrash
We don't need any more rangers or fines or enforcers. People that make poor choices live with them, its the WILDerness. There are enough permits and rules already mandated. Could you imagine John Muir being told the trails were full and he could not head out that day!!!!!!!!!

Well, I agree that people who make poor choices must live (or die) by them but there is always the collateral damage of bystanders who were not making poor choices.
As far as the permits. there were a lot less people around when John Muir was heading out. We need the permit system, the rangers, fines and rules to keep the wilderness wild. We can't all be allowed to just do as we please.

Not only do a few innocent bystanders end up with some really awful memories, but the rangers are also the ones that end up risking their lives to do the recovery missions. I've met a couple that really actively patrol the Yosemite Falls Overlook and Footbridge area. "Not wanting to do any recoveries" is the obvious reason. And there always seem to be visitors in the creek near the footbridge, with some submerging themselves with water up to their chests. Maybe I'm unaware of something that apparently makes it safe, but I think it's insane to be in there.
avatar Re: Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs
July 22, 2011 09:24PM
Quote
Roadrash
There are enough permits and rules already mandated. ..

For the sake of discussion, how do you come to that conclusion? What measurement or standard makes it clear that the current conditions just enough? Could nothing more be done...or is too much done? How do you know that the current sanctions and policies are "just right"?



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
Re: Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs
July 22, 2011 09:42PM
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Frank Furter
For the sake of discussion, how do you come to that conclusion? What measurement or standard makes it clear that the current conditions just enough? Could nothing more be done...or is too much done? How do you know that the current sanctions and policies are "just right"?

Please. Those questions are far too complex to be answered in this forum. If you want them discussed ad infinitum, please move them to the debate and philosophy forums.

If you are just trolling a bunch of unanswerable questions to get people stirred up, the same advice applies. Or start your own thread.
avatar Re: Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs
July 22, 2011 10:36PM
Quote
wherever
Quote
Frank Furter
For the sake of discussion, how do you come to that conclusion? What measurement or standard makes it clear that the current conditions are just enough? Could nothing more be done...or is too much done? How do you know that the current sanctions and policies are "just right"?

Please. Those questions are far too complex to be answered in this forum. If you want them discussed ad infinitum, please move them to the debate and philosophy forums.

If you are just trolling a bunch of unanswerable questions to get people stirred up, the same advice applies. Or start your own thread.

Perhaps you are just overwhelmed by the series of three questions in rapid succession, but they are really just re-statements of the same problem. The topic is perfectly appropriate for this thread, so no need to start another.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
Re: Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs
July 22, 2011 10:44PM
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Frank Furter
Quote
wherever
If you are just trolling a bunch of unanswerable questions to get people stirred up, the same advice applies. Or start your own thread.

Perhaps you are just overwhelmed by the series of three questions in rapid succession, but they are really just re-statements of the same problem. The topic is perfectly appropriate for this thread, so no need to start another.

I'll make it simpler for you. Please start your own thread, with your name at the top, so I won't accidentally be "overwhelmed". Think of it as another safety issue. I'm very old, and my heart can't take too much overwhelming....
avatar Re: Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs
July 23, 2011 06:42AM
Human behavior and the psychology of accidents is an interesting subject that is not explained simply by lack of information or impaired judgment. On that subject one can read the book "Deep Survival" for a fascinating discussion.

In thinking about signage, infrastructure, or regulations in Yosemite, it occurs to me that there are also analogies to highway related injuries and accidents.
There is a recent book titled "Traffic" by Vanderbilt that discusses, often paradoxical, human factors in automobile traffic and maneuvers by traffic engineers to change the roadway environment in anticipation of those human factors. Of course, in the national parks, the environment is less malleable. The presence, height, and location of signs and structures and the regulations must be driven by some engineering thinking. It would be interesting to learn the thought processes behind those decisions in National Parks. I suspect that there have not been comparable studies of the human factors in outdoor recreational accidents at day use locations as most efforts appear to be directed at overnight backcountry use.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs
July 22, 2011 10:29PM
Pounding head on desk



The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
Re: Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs
July 23, 2011 08:27AM
I SOOOOO understand that feeling *LOL*
Re: Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs
July 23, 2011 08:38AM
More signs and barriers? For what, just to be ignored? How much louder could that railing "scream" to be heard? I could "hear" it above the roar of the waterfall and there wasn't near as much water going over the last time I was there.

What ever happened to that normal feeling called fear? Has it totally gone by the wayside? If so, what caused it? Could it be the additives in the processed and pre-packaged foods?

I would think the swiftness and temperature of the water would have been enough to discourage anyone from going in. If nothing else, look over the edge and tell me you'd like to jump out a window on the 31st floor of a building.

*shaking my head* Four days later and I still can't understand it.
avatar Re: Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs
July 23, 2011 09:35AM
On a previous thread it was suggested they use volunteers at such places like Vernal Fall, possibly with some sort of enforcement authority. While some argue that further efforts to twarth the ignorant are a waste of effort, one can still not ignore the constant and unnecessary exposure to danger that exists for SAR personnel. Limiting SAR personnel from excessive dangers has some merit that should not be so easily dismissed.
avatar Re: Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs
July 23, 2011 01:05PM
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tomdisco
On a previous thread it was suggested they use volunteers at such places like Vernal Fall, possibly with some sort of enforcement authority.

Even without real enforcement authority having someone visible in a uniform would stop a lot of the bad behavior.
avatar Re: Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs
July 23, 2011 09:45AM
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SierraGold
What ever happened to that normal feeling called fear? Has it totally gone by the wayside? If so, what caused it? Could it be the additives in the processed and pre-packaged foods?

A couple of thoughts on this.

First, young adults, especially those in their late teens to late twenties have historically been more fearless than the general population at large. Maybe this is a genetic makeup of human beings since that's historically the prime age for human warriors and soldiers of war.

And a newer second factor is possibly that more young people I've noticed over the years are growing up in a far more sheltered lifestyle, where their parents have studiously made a point to shelter their offspring from every type of imaginable risk. Even a simple rite of growing up, that of traveling to one's school by their one's accord (by foot or bicycle) have been deprived to many kids today whose parents insist on driving them back and forth from school because it's the safest thing to do.

These kids who grow up in a too sheltered environment I think grow up with no real sense of physical risk because everything they has experienced in the life have been made overly safe for them. Even play yard equipment has been changed so there's a far less chance of a child falling down awkwardly on a too steep slide or a too high jungle gym and hurting themselves. So if they have grown up in an environment where they themselves never had to worry about their personal safety, because anything that might have put their physical safety at risk has been eliminated from their young lives, how can they fully recognize and appreciate the magnitude of dangers that might otherwise be readily apparent to the rest of us.

Hence, the need of warning signs and guard rails.

But at times, even those aren't enough.
avatar Re: Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs
July 23, 2011 10:01AM
Quote
plawrence
And a newer second factor is possibly that more young people I've noticed over the years are growing up in a far more sheltered lifestyle, where their parents have studiously made a point to shelter their offspring from every type of imaginable risk. Even a simple rite of growing up, that of traveling to one's school by their one's accord (by foot or bicycle) have been deprived to many kids today whose parents insist on driving them back and forth from school because it's the safest thing to do.

These kids who grow up in a too sheltered environment I think grow up with no real sense of physical risk because everything they has experienced in the life have been made overly safe for them. Even play yard equipment has been changed so there's a far less chance of a child falling down awkwardly on a too steep slide or a too high jungle gym and hurting themselves. So if they have grown up in an environment where they themselves never had to worry about their personal safety, because anything that might have put their physical safety at risk has been eliminated from their young lives, how can they fully recognize and appreciate the magnitude of dangers that might otherwise be readily apparent to the rest of us.

I remember when the playground equipment I used as a kid consisted of things like metal bar domes that I'd hang from, splintery wood-frame swings/forts, and barely protective foam mats placed on to of hard surfaces. These days I see spongy protective surfaces, swing sets with more safeguards, and signage everywhere. Hanging from chinup bars wasn't an uncommon thing in my childhood. Frankly - I don't think it necessarily made me consider the consequences. I fell down, scraped my knees, and just got back on when the wounds healed. For me, that was a little thing I called childhood.

Even so, I was always terrified by sharp dropoffs. The possibility of dying by swimming over a waterfall was all to apparent to me - even when I was 10.
Re: Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs
July 23, 2011 10:31AM
There's not much more the Park can do in terms of signs. The volunteer idea from other threads is a good, plausible one. I think the victims had to be aware that going over the Falls would be fatal, but they probably misjudged the strength of the current and figured they were far enough away from the brink. Didn't they see an older man from their group go over the railing with his young daughter in his arms? From reports, he was quite close to the brink and goofing off.

What else can the Park do? Have people form a line, have each person sign a document in front of a ranger, drop it in a box? thumbs down on this for sure. Nothing is full proof. Some people choose to drive/bike/walk across a railroad when the crossing bars are down.
avatar Re: Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs
July 23, 2011 04:21PM
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SierraGold
More signs and barriers? For what, just to be ignored? ...

The issue may not be more signs. Too much information or too many signs can be an error as well as too little or too few. The other issue in any safety program is no knowing how many events are prevented. How many injuries have been prevented by the current infrastructure? We do not know.
How many can be prevented in the future with some changes?

What is known is that the springtime seems to be a particularly common time for fatal events along the Merced River. Perhaps there should be some focused program or changes that will concentrate on "at risk" visitors during this interval.

Have there been any fatalities or serious injuries since the permit system was implemented on Half Dome? I 'm not aware of any. The unfortunate reality is that with continued population pressures on the parks it is likely that there will be some changes to many park experiences available to the general public. We may see, in the future, permits to access areas of the park that are exceptionally dangerous.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/23/2011 05:21PM by Frank Furter.
Re: Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs
July 23, 2011 03:03PM
Regarding the topic of this thread: "YES!" I am glad the NPS has elected to not go the "San Francisco nonsensical" route.

It's great they went with the mentality that states:
"How about those who fail to use common sense (like not going near water above a waterfall) are held accountable? They pay with their lives or their well-being." That sounds perfectly reasonable to me.
avatar Re: Yosemite Park won’t add warning signs
July 23, 2011 04:14PM
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herosemblem
"How about those who fail to use common sense (like not going near water above a waterfall) are held accountable? They pay with their lives or their well-being." That sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

I find it doubtful that the NPS has taken a tit-for-tat attitude about the signage, rather, it was probably more out of exasperation that if THIS many signs (see above) has not done the trick, than ten more are not likely to work, either.

I do not find it reasonable to accept that part of the Yosemite experience will be to expect to witness a few or so foolish visitors "paying" by tumbling over the waterfalls. If one does not want to expend the effort for the sake of the hapless (or perhaps witless), perhaps a solution is in order, so to protect the truly unfortunate children who may witness those paying their account by going over the falls.

I like the idea of the uniformed volunteer.



The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
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