Visitation Counters – New Installation Locations
The National Park Service, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National historical Park, plans to install additional visitation counters at twenty-one (21) locations through out the park. The intended goal is to more accurately record park visitation at access points not previously monitored. Visitation counters will be one of two types; either a traffic or trail counter.
Through previous compliance (2008), PEPC #20767 and PEPC #21934, impacts to park resources were evaluated for the installation of traffic and trail counters. The results of the previous compliance review yielded no adverse impacts to park resources and was approved to move forward with installation. Additional funding became available after the purchase of the initial units, and the park will now install additional units. The new units will meet the approved criteria of the previous compliance and a memo to the file will be issued to govern the additional locations. Units purchased are the same units as approved under previous compliance.
The proposed trail counter (11) locations are: Georgetown Visitor Center, Chain Bridge access, Lock 6 parking lot access, Glen Echo access, Marsden Tract foot bridge, Sycamore Landing access, Warm Water access, Lock 31, McMahon's Mill access, Big Pool / Fort Frederick, Little Pool. Installation of the trail counters involves minimal impact to park resources; specifically the infra-red sensor affixed to a tree with the use of a strap and the counting unit loosely chained to the base of a tree.
Proposed traffic counter locations (6) are: Point of Rocks, Lander, Lock 44 parking lot, Dam 5, McCoys Ferry, Town Creek Aqueduct. The traffic counter can be installed in either a paved or gravel roadway and involves creating a ½ to ¾ inch groove across the roadway. The depth will be approximately 2 inches (paved roadway) and up to 18 inch depth for a gravel roadway. The depth will vary depending on the type of grading equipment used. Inserted into the groove is a wire loop and connected to the counting unit typically located along the roadway shoulder. The counting unit is contained with a secured cabinet and mounted on a four foot tall metal post. Whenever practical, the pipe post will be located immediately behind guardrails, but within the limits of disturbance of the road. The underground wire will be within the roadway footprint.
The park's Interdisciplinary Team reviewed the project for impacts to natural and cultural resources. The project does not pose any serious or long-term effects to the environmental, historical, cultural, archeological, or visual resources. A memo to the file has been issued, based on previous project compliance.
For further information about this project, please contact Chief Ranger, at 1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100, Hagerstown, MD 21740.