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Adirondack Explorer

4 Responses

  1. Eric Avery says:

    Build. More. Parking. That is the only solution and all these advisory committees and such are just a waste of time that will never solve anything. The Northway exists now. No parking or trailheads were added since it’s opening (aside from slightly expanding the privately owned ADK Loj lot). The AllTrails app exists now. And still not a single parking space has been added. Unless you’re going to close the Northway or ask AllTrails to remove all the high peaks trails (and suffer a loss of paying customers) then the only thing you can do is add more parking. When most of us started hiking we had to buy and study guidebooks and maybe start out hiking with a group such and the ADK mountain club. We had to learn from others and learn slowly and work out way up to the big peaks. Now all you have to do is download an app and watch a couple YouTube videos and you’re off bagging high peaks. This is not going to change. Build. More. Parking.

    • Billy says:

      Some of the things in the article don’t make sense.

      First – why would the no parking area be put in a spot like the first photo? Those cars aren’t in anyone’s way as they are quite a bit off the road itself – one could even walk past them without having to be in the actual travel lane?

      Second – the people walking father isn’t such an issue if they are like the second photo, since they are still off the road (which wasn’t the case in some of the areas that were posted for no parking – the cars in some spots were beyond the white line, meaning walkers would be in the actual road and even sometimes part of the vehicles which makes it hard for two vehicles going past each other to do so safely).

      Third – if people were attempting to park in private driveways, perhaps those residents should take the hint from fellow residents in areas where parking is needed at specific times (think Saratoga during racing season) and charge people to park on their driveway/lawn etc. – that way they get something for the inconvenience and the public doesn’t have to pay for constructing parking areas.

      Also – for the shuttle issues, now that you have some data from this year as to when they were more and less used, use that and adjust accordingly. For instance, if they were very full early in the morning and late in the evening and not so much the rest of the day, vary the schedule (for example say every 30 minutes from 7-10am and 5-8pm and only a couple times in between like 11:30, 1:30, 3 or similar). If people know that (even a sign in the parking are for the shuttle) they would be able to adjust plans to fit the available times (or in regular years be able to walk back to parking if they didn’t want to wait for a ride).

  2. Joe Pete Wilson says:

    I appreciate the interest and support this issue has received. It’s extremely important to the Town of Keene. I plan to follow the comments on this article. If you hiked in Keene over the past few years, what was your experience? Did you interact with a Front Country Steward? Did you ride the shuttle? Please share your experience and ideas.

  3. Boreas says:

    A medical analogy here is managing a very sick patient with serious systemic disease by treating each symptom individually. It doesn’t work. You have to treat the systemic disease to fix a problem. The systemic disease here is increasing numbers of people wanting to visit our finite, fragile resources with the current infrastructure.

    “Managing” parking, trail routing and hardening, backcountry education, climate changes, etc., should not be done piecemeal without an overall goal based on realistic expectations of what the resource and infrastructure can actually handle without significant damage. DEC has been aware of this illness for a long time, but Albany politicians have chosen to ignore it for decades, letting it fester. Now we are at the point of considering amputation or organ transplant.

    DEC has always been tasked with preserving the resource, but their ability to do so is controlled by Albany politics and cash. For decades, the only emphasis has been to increase tourism and all will be well. We are seeing the result of this maligned policy and it is past the breaking point in the EHPW.

    The only way to proceed logically is to define the underlying disease and determine if and how it can be managed. The primary task of the Department of Environmental Conservation needs to be conserving the environment. PERIOD. DEC has also been given the daunting task of public safety with increasing usage of the backcountry. That makes sense if they have the manpower required.

    The problem we have is that DEC is now forced to manage this sick patient without any data or diagnostic tests. The first thing that needs to be done is acquiring the necessary data and testing. It is CRITICAL that determination be made on maximum backcountry “holding capacity” on EVERY trail, in its current state. This is the hard part because who decides? I say an independent commission comprised of trail and erosion experts would be tasked to come up with this holding capacity. Then this recommendation is sent to DEC to take to the recently formed stakeholder commission. In other words, remove politics from data collecting.

    Once the data is collected, only then decide the infrastructure changes that can be done WHILE STILL maintaining conservation of the resource. Only after these decisions and plans have been made should we be considering enlarging parking areas and introducing more shuttles. It will likely be counterproductive in the long run to attempt to stick fingers in the dike while encouraging unlimited tourism.

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