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  • Rt. 73/Ausable Club parking

    This weekend (6/15-16) will be the first weekend that there will be state police enforcement of the parking on Rt. 73 between the Rooster Comb trailhead and Chapel Pond. Last weekend, rangers ticketed over 40 cars parked illegally on Ausable Rd. That effort will be continued this weekend.

    While we all wish that there were a better solution to the parking problem for High Peaks trailheads, that is the current situation in Keene. Please either plan to arrive very early, and in any event have another destination in mind in case the legal parking is full.

    Perhaps this current situation will ultimately lead to a convenient shuttle system - either public or private - but for now a bicycle or Uber are likely the only options for this summer and fall.

  • #2
    Very poor foresight on the part of the state to be ticketing the visitors, whom they aggressively encourage to come to the Adirondacks, before there is a shuttle system in place, especially when the access to the Garden is so limited this summer.

    Comment


    • #3
      gebby Exactly. Setting aside the want/need (however it may be viewed) for this enforced parking restriction, the fact still remains that the state is still running a tri-state add campaign to get people to come here to recreate outdoors. Helluva message they're sending. "Come to the ADK! Do all of the things in the High Peaks region! Oh and just in case you don't spend enough money on taxable goods and services, here's your fine."
      My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

      Comment


      • gebby
        gebby commented
        Editing a comment
        Total money grab.

      • Bunchberry
        Bunchberry commented
        Editing a comment
        Modern day William Murray situation.

      • Fat Man Hiking
        Fat Man Hiking commented
        Editing a comment
        Reminds me of the signs that used to line the Thruway coming back into NY from Pennsylvania, "Turn on your headlights when using your wipers", "Don't drive while talking on your phone", "Don't do this, don't do that", "Stop and pay toll". Now it's explore this, look at that, leave your tourism dollars here, "Stop and pay toll".

    • #4
      Who deserves to climb an Adirondack high peak?

      If we have unlimited parking then only those people that can put up with the crowds deserve to climb an Adirondack peak today.

      If we reduce the parking we are saying those people that can get to the parking space first deserve to climb an Adirondack peak today. Or maybe those people that can backpack in the night before.

      A permit system will say only those people that can plan ahead will deserve to climb an Adirondack peak today.







      Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
      ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

      Comment


      • gebby
        gebby commented
        Editing a comment
        I do think that the uptick in illegal camping the DEC is reporting is related in part to these parking restrictions. People are worried they won't get a spot and are coming up in the evening and then setting up their illegal campsites, because they think no one is watching.

      • Neil
        Neil commented
        Editing a comment
        I don't think the word "deserves" has anything to do with this.

      • Bunchberry
        Bunchberry commented
        Editing a comment
        if there is something that can not be shared it is all about deserves. Money is usually THE factor in deserving in America. That is the statement of money - who deserves it and who does not.

    • #5
      I understand that the lines of cars parked along the shoulders of various roads have led to this reaction. However, I can't help but ask myself the question (that AFAIK, no one has yet to ask): what is so bad about those cars lining the roads? A sign of overuse of the trail system? Dangerous situation? Looks bad?

      I understand the long-term solution to the perceived problem along 73 will be to construct large parking lots at Dysfunction junction, Rooster Comb and Marcy Field and to run shuttles.

      In the meanwhile it will be interesting to watch this play out.

      Comment


      • #6
        There are people on Facebook that are very happy about the tickets and they think it is a very dangerous situation.

        I don't see a problem because if I am the parked person going hiking I am careful. If I am driving by I slow down to at least 30 MPH and if there is room I drive in the middle of the road.
        Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
        ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

        Comment


        • ndru
          ndru commented
          Editing a comment
          YOU are cautious when you're parking. YOU slow down when you drive through. The problem is, many people don't follow your lead.

          I've seen countless people open their car doors into traffic. Wandering around by their cars as if the 55mph highway didn't exist. Meanwhile, I've witnessed about the same amount of people whizzing by trailheads, well over the speed limit, crossing the double yellow just to get ahead (where are all these people in such a hurry to get to up there anyway?)

          So, while you're conducting yourself safely and responsibly, the same can't be said for countless others. It's a real wonder we haven't seen more accidents along 73.

          And again, the overarching theme here is that the STATE created a problem, and are now grasping at straws finding even stupider solutions. Given the hard advertising push, it's really hard for me to blame the public for wanting to visit all these beautiful places, and being upset and dismayed when they can't park once they get there. Doesn't really help NYS look good in the eyes of outsiders, let alone its own citizens.

        • jsedlock
          jsedlock commented
          Editing a comment
          One avenue of approach to the parking problem is taking the Trailways bus. I came up from NYC and stayed in Keene Valley at a lovely B&B. Got up early Sat morning and walked over to Rooster Comb Trail and from there attempted to get to Mt Marcy, but bailed after heading to JBL and descending what seemed like a bottomless steep drop via Wolfjaw/Woodsfall Trails. Feet/toes were shot when I finally made it to Garden TH around 3pm. Ah well. So, yeah, I suppose driving requires getting to parking lot super early, but honestly, save yourself the hassle and take the bus.

        • Makwa
          Makwa commented
          Editing a comment
          Personally I'd rather drive my car to the B&B but I get what you're driving at... there's more than one way to get to the trailhead. Walking while your car is parked legally nearby is certainly one.

      • #7
        Knowing the perfect solution may not exist, was there ever consideration of the reduced and enforced speed limit? Same here.....I reduce to 30-35 especially around Giant and Chapel Pond.

        Comment


        • Learning The Trails
          Editing a comment
          This was the most logical solution that I was pulling for last year when the "parking controversy" came to the forefront . Reduce speeds along 73 at Giant/Chapel and near Cascade.

      • #8
        https://www.adirondackdailyenterpris...g-ticket-duty/

        Comment


        • #9
          if I was set on doing on a particular hike and had driven 3 hours to get there, and knowing the parking isn't necessarily easy at any of the alternatives, I might take a risk of getting a ticket - but Ithat was before knowing the fine was so steep ($250)

          Comment


          • #10
            Thanks for the update, Tony.

            I read the article - of course it's nothing new.

            I agree with the posts above that it's foolish to start all these parking reductions and enforcements while still promoting the area, and when there are no alternatives.

            Knowing how long it takes DEC/APA to get anything done, I don't expect any improvement soon. From the article, some translations of "government speak":

            "DEC is exploring a transit system"
            >"Implementing" means "2 years out"
            >"Designing" means "5-10 years out"
            >"Exploring" means "never."

            “DEC is working with municipalities, residents, and other stakeholders"
            >"Stakeholders" means "this is somebody else's problem."

            "Funding will be determined" means "somebody else is going to pay for this."

            So, sadly, I think we are on our own here in Keene. I don't think we are going to be able to do anything to improve the situation on the ground. As I have promoted many times, I think the most valuable thing we can do is to try to be as helpful and welcoming as possible, and try to solve problems and provide alternatives for our visitors. I hope that this disaster that Albany is creating does not give all our visitors a bad taste about the whole region, and kill our tourist based economy.


            Comment


            • jsedlock
              jsedlock commented
              Editing a comment
              I don't think the town of Keene could do much more than what it's doing - I honestly think it's doing a good job with the shuttle situation, having taken it. I myself did not drive, I took the Greyhound/Trailways bus from NYC to Keene Valley and walked to everywhere I needed. Rooster Comb Trail was my only option ascent-wise at super early morning hour (5:30am was my start time). Ended my hike at Garden approx. 3pm, shuttle drove by the closed bridge on Johns Brook Lane, and they're making decent progress from what I could tell, being a structural engineer (although not involved on that job). I understand the convenience of driving, being a non-camping day hiker (transitioning to full camper haha) and having driven to many a trailhead parking lot. You have to get there early to get a spot or just backpack it to nearest campsite or lodge then start again in morning, dunno what to say being a novice backpacker (but experienced high-peak day-hiker).

          • #11
            This whole situation is just absurd and benefits no one actually in the region. Not residents, not rangers, not hikers or tourists. Which make sense if you think about it, because the problem was created (and is being "solved") by people who have no real stake in the area and rarely, if ever, visit.

            Comment


            • jsedlock
              jsedlock commented
              Editing a comment
              Having thought about solutions to the closed Johns Brook bridge problem, I was wondering if maybe hikers could walk along the north bank of the Johns Brook from the Rte. 73 bridge embankment, then hike up the embankment just after the construction site and continue on Johns Brook Lane to the Garden Trail Head. Then I walked along Rte 73 to the bridge, and saw the private property on the south bank, and thought, is it worth the potential fine/arrest from State/Town cops or getting shot at from property owners? That was my NYC gut instinct anyway. The whole "GET OFF MY DAMN LAWN!" fear of locals. We come in peace, dude, we're just hikers, nothing more. I walked along Adirondack Street to see if I could get a glimpse of the construction site, but the town of Keene placed signs just past the Market Street intersection notifying further access was blocked, even the pedestrian kind. Seemed a bit harsh, but that's just my big city bias, where walking streets I just take for granted and don't fear people looking at me funny.

          • #12
            The not-so-funny part of these parking restrictions implemented in the name of safety is that hikers walking the shoulders isn't even close to the most dangerous situations created on the north country highways by non-motorists. Last weekend I drove all over the Adirondacks looking at waterfalls. Town to town, trailhead to trailhead, covered several hundred miles. The most dangerous situations I saw were created by inexperienced (or just plain unskilled) bicyclists. If you're unable to hold your line and weave all over going uphill then you're either in the wrong gear, too stubborn or scared to get up out of the saddle, or taking a route that's too difficult for you. I barely saw a hiker walking in the road near any trailhead but bikes made plenty of motorists swerve out of their lanes on the day. Every encounter was an accident waiting to happen. And you never know where those bikers will be. Hikers you have a pretty good idea that they'll be near trailheads and there's signage for that and solutions such as reduced speed limits as mentioned above. But bikers are totally random. I don't want to start a culture war between bikers/hikers but in the name of safety we should probably ban bikes in the Adirondacks. Should we start a petition? Write our congressman? How shall we proceed?

            Comment


            • ndru
              ndru commented
              Editing a comment
              People showing up to hike stupid early in low light and little sleep aren't just a danger on the roads either, they're also more likely to end up lost or fatigued on the trails, and thus ending up as a SAR. I know my attempts at super early hikes on little sleep are always a drag. If I have to start early, I much prefer doing it from a campsite than from my house, but not everyone is going to (or is able to) take that approach.

            • FlyFishingandBeer
              FlyFishingandBeer commented
              Editing a comment
              Glad you pointed this out. As an avid cyclist, I tend to strongly dislike cyclists.

            • ndru
              ndru commented
              Editing a comment
              ^ lol! I like to say that "I am the pedestrian I hate when I'm driving." >_<

          • #13
            Originally posted by ndru View Post
            This whole situation is just absurd and benefits no one actually in the region.
            It benefits the Ausable club.
            Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
            ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

            Comment


            • #14
              I just solved the problem. Arrive after they give out tickets and take one of the tickets off of the ticketed cars and put it on your car!
              Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
              ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

              Comment


              • ndru
                ndru commented
                Editing a comment
                Ok, now that's funny!! =D

            • #15
              The tickets have already started... https://poststar.com/outdoors/hikers...cbd5362b5.html

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