Traffic Congestion Management Plan for Arches National Park
Visitation to Arches National Park doubled in the past 11 years, reaching approximately 1.6 million visitors in 2016. During peak season - March through October - visitors routinely wait in long lines to enter the park, and all major parking areas are at or over capacity for much of the day. When this occurs, visitors park their cars along roadsides for long distances and walk in traffic to their destination. In parking lots, stopped cars waiting for spaces impede traffic flow. As a result, visitor safety is compromised, conflicts arise between visitors, roadside vegetation is damaged, and the visitor experience is diminished.
The National Park Service (NPS) initiated the planning process for the Traffic Congestion Management Plan in 2015 for Arches National Park to consider ways to reduce parking congestion and related crowding problems in the park. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, National Historic Preservation Act and other applicable laws, the NPS has prepared a Traffic Congestion Management Plan/Environmental Assessment for Arches National Park to provide a thorough evaluation to determine the potential benefits and consequences of management strategies prior to making a decision.
A public scoping period was open from October 14 through November 12, 2015. Public scoping is an important step in an Environmental Assessment planning process and informs the development of a plan.
The goal of the Traffic Congestion Management Plan is to improve visitor enjoyment, visitor access, visitor safety, and resource protection. Specifically the plan will aim to:
• reduce wait times for visitors entering the park and searching for parking spots, by spreading vehicle entries out over more hours of the day and over more months of the year,
• reduce overflow parking and social pull-offs on road shoulders near popular parking areas and associated roadside walking or social trailing to trailheads, and
• reduce vehicle congestion at the intersection of the entrance road and the highway.
The preferred method to submit public comments is on this website. To comment on the proposal, please submit comments through this website by clicking on the tab to the left "open for comment" under project links and clicking on the EA document.
Please provide all comments by December 4, 2017. If you are unable to submit comments electronically through this website, then you may also submit written comments to the National Park Service, Attention: Planning and Compliance 2282 S. West Resource Blvd., Moab, UT 84532.
National Park Service
2282 SW Resource Blvd
Moab, UT 84532