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Author Topic: New Access Policy for Paradise  (Read 2049 times)
Andrew Carey
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New Access Policy for Paradise
« on: 02/16/18, 07:56 AM »

"High visitation is expected on the sunny day forecast for Monday of this holiday weekend. Vehicles may be metered at Longmire if the Paradise parking lots fill. “Metering” means one vehicle will be allowed up the rd to Paradise for each vehicle that comes down –pw"

Probably a good idea given the massive crowds on sunny days.  But just stopping people at Longmire might not be enough.  Posting wait times at the Nisqually Entrance would be advisable.  For example:  Paradise Parking Lot Full.  Only one car will be allowed to go up from Longmire for each car coming down.  Expected wait time xx minutes.

I suspect quite a few might turn around; this would help major congestion & conflict at Longmire.
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... want your own private skintrack? Better move to the yukon dude. (B'ham Allen, 2011).
...USA: government of the people by corporate proxies for business.

Andy Carey, Nisqually Park, 3500 feet below Paradise
Jim Oker
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Re: New Access Policy for Paradise
« Reply #1 on: 02/16/18, 08:48 PM »

Thanks for the heads up. Sign of the times. And good suggestion.
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Andrew Carey
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Re: New Access Policy for Paradise
« Reply #2 on: 02/17/18, 09:00 AM »

Are there any special interest groups that this policy does not apply to? In other words if I hire a guide can I shoot to the front of the line?

Yes.  the major guide services here take clients up in vans and drop them off at the visitor center and do not park in the parking lot.  So there is no need for them to wait.  In any case, most are up there before the lot fills up.
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... want your own private skintrack? Better move to the yukon dude. (B'ham Allen, 2011).
...USA: government of the people by corporate proxies for business.

Andy Carey, Nisqually Park, 3500 feet below Paradise
Jim Oker
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Re: New Access Policy for Paradise
« Reply #3 on: 02/17/18, 06:47 PM »

I am guessing that could open an opportunity for someone to run a shuttle service too, assuming one doesn't already exist
« Last Edit: 02/18/18, 12:55 PM by Jim Oker » Logged
Randy
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Re: New Access Policy for Paradise
« Reply #4 on: 02/18/18, 07:58 AM »

A big parking garage on West side of the Nisqually bridge and a tram up to Paradise would eliminate the need to plow the road past the bridge where it crosses avalanche prone slopes and where the majority of winter accidents occur.

It will never happen.
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Lowell_Skoog
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WWW
Re: New Access Policy for Paradise
« Reply #5 on: 02/18/18, 05:50 PM »

I am guessing that could open an opportunity for someone to run a shuttle service too, assuming one doesn't already exist

Considering winter visitation trends, I think this is the wave of the future.

Paradise should consider this. Hurricane Ridge too.
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sastrugi slicer
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Re: New Access Policy for Paradise
« Reply #6 on: 02/18/18, 07:25 PM »

There is a shuttle at Hurricane.

hurricaneridge.com/transportation/

At least, I think it's still happening.
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Cold cuts anyone?
Andrew Carey
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Re: New Access Policy for Paradise
« Reply #7 on: 02/18/18, 08:23 PM »

Considering winter visitation trends, I think this is the wave of the future.

Paradise should consider this. Hurricane Ridge too.

As you probably know, a shuttle service was a major plan of Supt. Uberuaga and he actually instituted for a year ... that is one reason for the big plaza and drop off zones in front of the visitor center and, IIRC, for reducing the number of parking spaces.
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... want your own private skintrack? Better move to the yukon dude. (B'ham Allen, 2011).
...USA: government of the people by corporate proxies for business.

Andy Carey, Nisqually Park, 3500 feet below Paradise
vogtski
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Re: New Access Policy for Paradise
« Reply #8 on: 03/02/18, 09:00 AM »

The new ‘metered’ Paradise access would seem to have serious limitations as a long-term solution to lack of winter parking.

One problem is that Longmire itself has parking for only a couple hundred vehicles.  I have witnessed backups as long as three miles (Kautz Ck), just when drivers were physically required to show their chains.   All the folks milling around on the remaining lane can be a real safety hazard for outbound vehicles, let alone plows and emergency response.  The ‘new’ Visitor Center substantially reduced the amount of parking at Paradise because of the building’s footprint and the enhanced perimeter clearances for tour buses and emergency vehicles.  Failure to use the old VC water & sewer lines to build a replacement winterized restroom at the lower lot have resulted in extra vehicle cruising & congestion.

I see basically three types of management approaches until prolonged economic collapse occurs  ;o)

My preference would be First-come, first-served, until capacity reached, then hold vehicles at Nisqually Entrance, with programmable road signs at Elbe.  I’m guessing the number of winter parking spaces at Paradise, Longmire and all park turnouts is less than 3000.  This could be paired with optional shuttles and a small slice of capacity available for advance reservation.
 
Reservation Only Entry  Several popular parks are reportedly considering this change. It’s hard to see how this could work for a sport as snow & avalanche-condition dependent as backcountry skiing.  It would no doubt increase visiting costs and favor those who could afford multiple reservations.  They should be required of tour buses in any system, though.

Mandatory Mass Transit would have the most associated problems for skiers, IMO.  The primary potential for problems is simple logistics.  The only places with enough parking for potentially thousands of visitors to transfer to mass transit would be either Ashford, or possibly plowing Cougar Rock Campground.    Many foggy, rainy winter weekdays probably see less than a hundred vehicles reach Paradise, so more than a couple buses would not be needed.  At the other end of the spectrum, it’s not hard to imagine many hundreds of people wanting to leave at closing time on a Holiday weekend.  Ten empty buses might not be enough to prevent people waiting an hour for a bus to make the round trip.  What happens to those folks waiting at Narada or if a late avalanche blocks the road?

‘MMT’ would also entail considerable additional expenses for the NPS.  Paradise VC is currently open just weekends & holidays, so additional staff time would be required.  I suspect bus stations require quite a bit more maintenance than museums.  Rangers would need rigorous sign-out protocols to know when visitors had not returned, since there would be no vehicle to signal someone overdue.  If Cougar Rock was plowed, the comfort stations there would probably need to be winterized and maintained.

From a personal perspective, MMT would degrade the Paradise skiing experience even more than the later average openings and relatively recent fixed closing time have.   I like to bring optional gear for unexpected conditions or changed objectives.  I like to start or finish tours at unconventional locations (and unlikely bus stops) like Frog Heaven, Ricksecker, or Glacier Bridge.   I like rotating shuttle drivers to make the run to Narada down Devil’s Dip a dozen times when deep snow makes trailbreaking hard.  I like to have a dry change of clothes & shoes and a good vehicle heater close at the end of a powder day.  I like to tailgate in the parking lot in good weather sometimes.  It’s hard to imagine any of that with mandatory mass-transit. 
« Last Edit: 03/02/18, 07:07 PM by vogtski » Logged

I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
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