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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