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  • Route 73 Parking Update


    Posted today.

    https://content.govdelivery.com/acco...letins/247c46d

    http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/administr...parkingmap.pdf

  • #2
    I fully understand the safety concerns here, as well as the concerns of local residents and property owners, but the state created this problem with their tourism campaign and are failing to adequately fund the resources they've advertised (rangers, trail maintenance, appropriate parking facilities). Yet they can drop several million on a Northway rest stop that also promotes the region?? Com'on...

    How many additional rangers and miles of trail work could we have funded with that?

    It's like leading a horse to water and not allowing it to drink.

    Comment


    • Learning The Trails
      Editing a comment
      It's hilarious and sad at the same time when they throw words like "sustainable tourism" in these updates... Sustainable!?! Closing down parking doesn't sound welcoming. It sounds more like Go Somewhere Else!

  • #3
    From bulletin: "DEC Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation Police Officers, State Police, and Essex County Sheriff's Office Deputies will increase patrols in the area and enforce the parking prohibition."

    Rangers and Environmental Conservation officers have better things to do than enforce parking regulations, for pity's sake. To put it mildly.

    Comment


    • #4
      So it continues. From my post the other day on VFTT:

      "Extensive State tourism promotion has driven crowds to record levels. But the State is not willing to spend the money to MANAGE the situation. So instead they are mindlessly implementing ham handed reactionary measures that do far more harm than good.

      Some of the root problems:

      > Money that goes to the capitol (Albany in our case) stays there. We have the highest taxes in the country and all sorts of fees and hundreds of millions in "Environmental" funding, but somehow they can't hire any Rangers or Educators, or put in any real bathrooms, or repair trails.

      > There is large tension in our State agencies between the "recreation" faction who believe that the people should use the resource and the "green" faction who believe in chasing everyone away. The State is in a "mission conflict" and so they do most things wrong. For example, promoting the area as a "tourist destination," but then trying to manage it as "wilderness."

      > There is a fundamental lack of understanding of human nature. Many things that are believed by land "managers" are wild fantasies:
      >> People read and obey signs.
      >> People will go to a different destination than they originally planned if you ask them to.
      >> Additional hiking in other places will reduce the crowds in popular places.
      >> People will walk straight through the mud or the blowdown, instead of widening the trail and creating side paths.
      Anyone who has spent more than a couple days on the trail knows that all this is wildly wrong, and yet "management" plans are predicated on these nonsensical false beliefs."

      Additionally, today there's a lot of data on the ADKHighPeaks forum this morning. The thread which provides photos showing that the trail has not "deteriorated" despite a decade of heavy use, is juxtaposed with the Cascade report that shows the damage done by a few uneducated hikers.. This supports the position that it is not solely the number of hikers, but rather the uneducated hikers that causes resource damage.

      And yet with all this data, the State refuses to put in place a full time Trailhead Steward program.

      Instead they press on with these parking reductions, apparently the only thing they know how to do. As more and more people continue to come, and walk longer and longer distances on Route 73 to get to their trailheads, sooner or later someone (probably a kid or a dog) is going to get killed by a car. That's going to be a much higher level of cost than some trail damage.

      Comment


      • ndru
        ndru commented
        Editing a comment
        Very well-stated and 100% spot-on good sir. It's remarkable how easily common sense continues to elude our state government. I've always said New York likes to make things as complicated and convoluted as possible, while still not addressing the actual problem.

    • #5
      Not trying to justify these new restrictions, but there are PAs at each trailhead along this part of 73 (I think). If people are walking from a PA for one trailhead to another trailhead, then that's a problem parking restrictions won't fix. Either reduce the speed limit or establish a shuttle bus, from Underwood to Marcy field?
      Mike

      ADK 46r #8003; 6W
      2nd round: 16
      SL6r #596
      Catskill 3500 21/39; 11W

      Comment


      • #6
        That's exactly what the result of these restrictions has been. These restrictions display an absurd ignorance of human behavior.

        1. People come with a destination planned.
        2. They park as close to that trailhead as they can.
        3. If you make them park further away, that's what they do, and they simply walk further on the highway to get to the trailhead.

        This is exactly what happened last year when these restrictions were first introduced. And it's exactly what's happening now. The parking restrictions have done great damage:

        >No reduction in trail use
        >Annoyance to our guests
        >Great increase in traffic hazards.

        But apparently that wasn't enough damage, so the State is going to press on with more of the same.

        Comment


        • #7
          New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) crews have begun installing "No Parking" signs along the additional sections of the road. Crews are expected to complete installing the signs by June 14

          "This is out of control! There's simply too many cars parked along 73 and its becoming a public safety risk. We need a plan."

          "We we just spent a few million on a rest stop and more airtime for TV ads to promote the area."

          "Wait, you did what? That's the exact opposite of - "

          "Just hold on. That wasn't all. We're also going to help keep this area wild by installing some signs."

          "Signs...? How is that going to help protect our wilderness and all of the things it contains?"

          "We're turning Rt. 73 into a Burma Shave ad. Its brilliant; you'll love it."
          My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

          Comment


          • FlyFishingandBeer
            FlyFishingandBeer commented
            Editing a comment
            stone611 What's a pre-dawn start?

          • stone611
            stone611 commented
            Editing a comment
            Pre-dawn start: the golden rule of the timid solo-hiker

          • Makwa
            Makwa commented
            Editing a comment
            AKA an alpine start.

            And you're far from timid if you're out there walking before sunrise when it's colder and you can't see as well. Give yourself some credit.

        • #8
          Any ideas for civil disobedience that we could do...
          Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
          ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

          Comment


          • #9
            I've said it before in other threads and I'll say it again. Parking restrictions will not decrease demand for the most popular trails/mountains. If the demand for a particular mountain is 10,000 people for the summer then 10,000 people will visit there. It's just that those 10K people's visits won't be crammed into the weekends anymore. More people will visit mid-week. More people will get creative on how to get to the trailhead (bike, walk a longer distance from the closest legal parking, meet up at legal parking miles away then cram 8 people in one car to get to the limited parking at the trailhead). More people will start taking alternative routes to popular summits. Giant has numerous approaches. Those will be used more. And some people who use those approaches will then bum rides back to those trailheads from the Ridge Trail rather than walking the long way back from the summit. People will start hikes late afternoon to get parking when most day hikers are leaving the lots and do sunset hikes. Will walk out by headlamp. Would not be surprised to see more rescues as a result. So in the end, 10,000 people will still be using the resource. I believe the restrictions will divert a huge number of people at first but then on their next visit those diverted people will be fully aware of the restrictions, be more savvy, and plan their trip to the mountain they intended to hike on their first visit a little better so as to secure a parking spot. Demand will not decrease... it'll just be shifted to different times/days or a next visit.

            And it's been touched on above by others but people will park at trailheads meant/designed for other destinations and just road walk further to their chosen destination. Besides being dangerous this will have the effect of essentially closing off access to trails and mountains that are good choices for families or new/inexperienced hikers, or those people who are looking for a small or medium distance hike rather than a 15-mile round-trip trek to a High Peak. The demand for the High Peaks will have overflow and that overflow will grab up all the available parking in the region by 8 or 9 a.m. every day. Then those folks who arrive late to hike Hopkins or Rooster Comb, or Noonmark won't have anywhere to park. The whole thing stinks.

            And related to all of this is why are we diverting people from one parking problem to another parking problem? A lot of the lesser-used/ smaller trailheads work just fine right now. They won't work so great when hundreds of people are diverted from other trailheads to spread out into these locations. There will be overflow parking on the highways at those spots now. The parking problem is a parking problem no matter where you park the people. I just don't understand how this is not understood.

            Comment


            • FlyFishingandBeer
              FlyFishingandBeer commented
              Editing a comment
              Exactly.

              When I was in kindergarten our teacher had two lumps of clay in identical sizes. One was stretched thin and stood up so it was taller, while the other was rolled into a short, round sphere. Almost everyone in the class knew right away that the two lumps of clay were the exact same size, just different shapes. The ones who couldn't wrap their minds around this are now the types of people who are supporting these parking bans.

              We've got 40 years worth of land management proposals that specifically state that the number of cars present at any given location on any given day has virtually zero correlation of how much usage any given section of trail will see. Apparently the people who are behind these parking bans A: are under the impression that they can rewrite history, and B: have no stake in the local economy should they get their way and people simply stop showing up.

          • #10
            I'm curious what the unintended consequences of this move combined with the Garden parking issues will be? I don't get out to the Adirondacks too often (maybe 2-3 times a year) so I'm wondering where hiker traffic may get diverted based on these events, and potentially, clogging up those areas. Has anyone noticed increased cars and/or hiking volume in the lesser used trail heads? Had some hikes planned out there this year but I'm second guessing whether the aggravation will be worth it with so much going on. Much like the problems in NH with hiker volume and road safety, it sounds like NY is only addressing the safety of parking, not hiker foot traffic on the trails. And they are choosing solutions that do not match up to the problems they are trying to fix. Frustrating to see the exact same problems become bigger and bigger in multiple states. Doesn't seem like any real solutions are in the pipeline...

            Comment


            • #11
              Originally posted by Makwa View Post
              Giant has numerous approaches. Those will be used more. And some people who use those approaches will then bum rides back to those trailheads from the Ridge Trail rather than walking the long way back from the summit.
              I feel called out... but you're exactly right! =D

              Honestly, parking was pretty sparse on Monday, everybody was on their way home as I was heading up. I probably could have started at Roaring Brook, but I felt like that would have been "too short" for me and I like exploring lesser used trails.

              Still, you make very valid points in your post. I do question what percentage of people are savvy enough to find all these workarounds though. Some will, but I feel like many others will just flounder around like a fish out of water trying to figure out what to do. We're talking about people who don't even prepare for hiking these peaks properly from the normal trailheads. It's hard for me to see them actually planning ahead enough to hike them from an alternate location.

              Comment


              • Makwa
                Makwa commented
                Editing a comment
                Ha! No... just a coincidence. Your's was a planned through-hike. I'm thinking that hikers will become more resourceful in finding parking, take those longer routes in then realize it'd be easier to take the short way out and bum a ride back to their car.

                I'll agree with you. It won't be a high percentage doing any of this pre-planning on their first time into the area with the restrictions. But once they are shut out the first time they'll figure out a way for it not to happen the next time. The most logical solution is to come mid-week next time but for those who cannot visit on weekdays they will get more creative on weekends so they aren't shut out again. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that two carloads of 4 people each can meet up at Frontier Town, park one car, and cram everybody in the other car to go park at a trailhead. In the past you wouldn't give a second thought to driving both cars to the trailhead. Now people will start to think ahead.

                Then there is the small percentage of diehards who are figuring out their most logical bushwhack route should they not get parking. Forgot to mention that above. There will be herdpaths that develop from legal pull-offs to the main trail systems at the most popular trailheads.

              • gebby
                gebby commented
                Editing a comment
                Makwa so what we're likely to see is more herd paths develop from new bushwhack spots to deal with getting shut out of parking and then more rescues as people go to other hikes that they are not prepared to do and have no familiarity with. Coupled with the rangers now being reduced to traffic cops, it's a recipe for disaster! :(

              • ndru
                ndru commented
                Editing a comment
                I don't think carpooling to trailheads is such a bad thing, but you're right, it does nothing to decrease the number of feet on the trails, just cars in the lot.

                Then again, the problem isn't really feet on the trails either, so much as feet slightly OFF the trails.

                Seriously though, how hard would it be to build some real shuttle lots already? Even for a fee. I'm sure people would be willing to shell out $10 for a shuttle if access to a trailhead was essentially guaranteed.

            • #12
              Maybe we'll see overcrowding in the Hoffman Notch Wilderness. Herd path up Blue Ridge West? Too bad the PA on the Blue Ridge Road only holds 3 cars.

              Comment


              • Kyler
                Kyler commented
                Editing a comment
                You haven't been there recently? There's a new parking area across the road that holds more cars. They even moved the sign across the road too!

              • Neil
                Neil commented
                Editing a comment
                Was just there a few weeks ago. I thought that lot was posted. It's public? I guess the DEC has been reading my trip reports and is getting ready....

              • Kyler
                Kyler commented
                Editing a comment
                I think that land was part of the Boreas acquisition. There is a road from that lot which is open to horses and foot travel. The map shows it ending near the Elk Lake property line. The map doesn't indicate if there is anything to see along the way.

            • #13
              Originally posted by DayTrip View Post
              Much like the problems in NH with hiker volume and road safety, it sounds like NY is only addressing the safety of parking, not hiker foot traffic on the trails. And they are choosing solutions that do not match up to the problems they are trying to fix. Frustrating to see the exact same problems become bigger and bigger in multiple states. Doesn't seem like any real solutions are in the pipeline...
              Of course, this begs the question of hiker foot traffic on trails being a problem, which I suspect many here are skeptical of. And I hope you meant "attempting to address the safety of parking," because likewise, I suspect most here would be skeptical that the state is effectively addressing much at all WRT parking.

              I would also state my opinion that the situation and remedial actions in NH do not mirror very well what we are seeing in the Adk High Peaks.

              Comment


              • DayTrip
                DayTrip commented
                Editing a comment
                Why do you say that? What do you find different in NY versus NH? You're also saying that hiker foot traffic is not a problem in NY? There are literally hundreds of threads on that topic here and elsewhere. I am not saying either state has been effective at addressing the traffic or the parking problems. Just that their focus is on "fixing" the parking safety issue versus reducing hiker volume on the trails. Not sure if you're just being intentionally argumentative or if you completely misunderstood my statement. I don't understand your reply at all.

            • #14
              If this whole situation devolves into “shuttle” only access, might there be a “ride share” opportunity here for enterprising locals? (No CDL liscence needed ; )
              46/46, 13/46w "I only went out for a walk, and concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in." John Muir

              Comment


              • #15
                If this whole situation devolves into “shuttle” only access, might there be a “ride share” opportunity here for enterprising locals? (No CDL license needed ; )
                46/46, 13/46w "I only went out for a walk, and concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in." John Muir

                Comment

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