Frijoles Canyon Visitor Access Plan
More than three decades of studies and workshops have documented transportation and congestion management challenges in Bandelier National Monument, including traffic congestion at the park entrance and a lack of adequate parking in Frijoles Canyon. Recent fires and flooding events have contributed to a reduction in available parking in Frijoles Canyon further challenging the park's transportation system.
To offset reduced parking in Frijoles Canyon, the park is currently partnering with Los Alamos County and Atomic City Transit to provide emergency shuttle service from the White Rock Visitor Center to Frijoles Canyon. However, the shuttle service is temporary and long-term strategies to address the park's transportation issues have not yet been developed and implemented. The NPS is preparing a plan/EA that will analyze the environmental effects of a range of alternatives (including both transit and non-transit options) designed to address the existing transportation challenges at Bandelier National Monument.
A non-transit approach to transportation management would include a focus on strategies to encourage people to visit Bandelier National Monument during less congested periods and/or to use less congested areas of the Monument. For example, website notifications, mobile phone apps, roadway signs, and park staff could provide visitors with information about the best times and locations to visit Bandelier National Monument without experiencing congestion. A non-transit approach might also include on-the-ground traffic management staff to direct parking and traffic in a manner that minimizes congestion; employee carpools/vanpools to reduce the amount of demand for parking in Frijoles Canyon; and parking lot, road, and trail infrastructure improvements to improve efficiency and/or promote visitor use in less congested areas of the park, while relieving congestion in Frijoles Canyon. Further, a non-transit approach could include a reservation system and/or limits on visitor use to address parking and traffic congestion.
NPS is currently in the scoping phase of the project and is seeking public input. Comments received during the public scoping comment period will be used to help define the issues and concerns to be addressed in the plan/EA. The public also will have an opportunity to comment on the plan/EA when it is released. The plan/EA is expected to be available for public review in the fall of 2013.
While all public comments are valuable to the planning process, the NPS is particularly interested in input related to the following questions:
1. What are your observations about the park's transportation conditions?
2. How do these conditions affect your use and experience of the park?
3. What ideas do you have for improving transportation conditions at Bandelier?
4. What park resources (natural, cultural, or social) are of particular concern to you?
Bandelier National Monument
15 Entrance Road
Los Alamos, NM 87544
The National Park Service (NPS) has initiated a process to complete a Transportation Plan/Environmental Assessment (plan/EA) to improve transportation management in Bandelier National Monument.