Utah’s Arches National Park is launching a new study to examine in detail the overcrowding problem that is dampening the experience for many visitors, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
“Nobody wants to be excited to come to the park and then be faced with that line,” says Kate Cannon, Arches’ superintendent.
During an open house Tuesday (Oct. 15), Cannon told The Salt Lake Tribune that the National Park Service is trying to “flesh out” concepts for traffic and transportation solutions.
The open house in Moab’s Grand Center outlined four transportation studies for 2019 and 2020, including a revived 2012 study for shuttle service previously scrapped by Cannon.
“Through this [study project],” Cannon said, “we hope we can find better ways to bring people in.”
This time around, the park service is looking at the operational costs for a mandatory shuttle service. An exception would be made for cars entering the park with campground reservations.
The 2012 study assessed a voluntary shuttle service in the park, a problematic scenario if the park’s goal is to reduce traffic congestion, Erica Cole, transportation planner for the parks service’s regional office, told The Tribune.
“A voluntary shuttle system doesn’t really solve the congestion issues because you’re still having the same amount of cars that are coming in,” Cole said, “and then you’re providing another option for people to come in [shuttles], so parking lots will still be full.”
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