By Tim Rowland
Someone who was apparently displeased with the state decision to cordon off parking areas on Route 73 to hiker traffic vandalized a section of “delineators,” metal pickets that were pounded into the pavement last month to prevent access to highway pull-offs.
Social media photos showed the delineators bent to the ground, and in at least one case extending into the travel lane.
It was unclear when the posts were bent, but by Friday (May 7) evening they had been either repaired or replaced. “The DEC will check them in the morning to make sure they have not been damaged again,” said Keene Supervisor Joe Pete Wilson. “The way they were bent over into the travel lane was a hazard.”
In 2019 the state posted No Parking signs along much of the route between Keene Valley and Chapel Pond, but parking was still permitted — or at least not expressly prohibited — in a handful of pull-offs and shoulders along the way. Hikers’ cars packed those areas, leading the state to close them off too, in the name of safety.
The delineators are not popular among rock climbers and hikers, who say they eliminate precious access to trails and cliffs. Nor are they popular with locals who have complained at public meetings of their junky appearance and their potential to force even more hikers to park illegally in residential neighborhoods.
Perhaps as much as anything, residents were miffed that the state would take such a controversial step without consulting the town first.
Despite a universal panning, Wilson said he had not anticipated any destruction. “I was surprised,” he said. I didn’t think of that at all.”
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I have an alibi.
Hey Explorer, I can’t see the comments on “Hikers offer insights on new AMR permit system.” Apparently there are 5 comments, but they don’t show up on the site.
I cannot see them either.
Melissa Hart says
It’s a tech issue….we’ve got our web guy looking into it. Thanks for bringing to our attention!
Not all heroes wear capes?
M.P. Heller says
This will go on for some time. In the 80s when restrictions on vehicle use in wild forests began to be enforced meaningfully many of the gates placed to block access were repeatedly destroyed or stolen. Eventually this led to the placement of boulders and more difficult obstacles which couldn’t be easily overcome.
While I think this idea of stakes along the shoulder of 73 is massively stupid and extremely ugly, I would probably be less aggravated if it was boulders rather than stakes. The destruction of the viewshed is completely unacceptable, and those stakes are ugly af.
Pond Paddler says
Suppose a traveler has a flat tire or mechanical issue and actually needs to pull off the road. What then? Not sure that putting these stakes out there is the safest way to handle this problem. Glad I paddle..