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Thread: Lafayette Place and Old Bridle Path Parking Fees proposed

  1. #1
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    Lafayette Place and Old Bridle Path Parking Fees proposed

    This popped up on the Salmons Falls Website.

    http://www.newhampshirelakesandmount...nia-Notch.html

    Nothing in there proposes expanding the parking at either lot, it makes sense that if folks that are taking the shuttle need to pay that those using the lot should also be paying. My guess is hut guests paying for an overnight at Greenleaf will not care much either way. It doesn't deal with the occasional overflow situation at the Basin. My guess is it will really cut down on the families who like to hike just up to the water falls on Falling Waters and the very popular family hike to Lonesome Lake.

    The down side with a shuttle is it it concentrates usage to a smaller window corresponding to the shuttle hours. I encountered folks with headlamps hiking up the breakdown lane to the tram lot and possibly the shuttle lot when the shuttle was in operation in 2019 (and parking enforcement went on full aggressive mode) . I am unsure if it was related to hikers parking at the tram lot or late hikers who missed the last shuttle, but my guess is it was a mix. No matter what the reason a very dumb thing to do given the speeds and clearances.

    Note Phil Bryce seems to have become the "pay to play" advocate of the NHPRD given his proposal on the Mt Washington Summit fees.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 08-09-2021 at 08:37 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    This popped up on the Salmons Falls Website.

    http://www.newhampshirelakesandmount...nia-Notch.html

    Nothing in there proposes expanding the parking at either lot, it makes sense that if folks that are taking the shuttle need to pay that those using the lot should also be paying.
    People riding the shuttle are arriving at/after 8:30 in the morning. The "penalty" for that is having to ride the shuttle. If they want to park in one of the trailhead parking areas they need to get to those lots a LOT earlier. If they can't, then take the shuttle. The shuttle loses money? ...raise the price. If people park in NO PARKING spots on the highway, tow them.

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    I am in favor of parking fees at the most popular trailheads. That will somewhat deter the long-standing high traffic on these trails, which are being trampled into muddy chaos. As someone who has worked on the Old Bridle Path since 1982, I have seen the erosion accelerate over a few decades. Such paths need frequent upkeep, both tending (level 1) and fixtures (level 2).
    The fees will probably go into the NH State Park general fund, with nothing for trail repair or upkeep, but at least some hikers will go park where there is no charge. Once the USFS started what they called the 'fee pilot' program in the early 2000s, people wanting to park for free clustered at NH state park lots. The State lost a gold mine of parking fees and tow charges over more than a decade. They got all the goodwill and hiker dollars in the economy, though.
    Where Parks money should be spent is a separate discussion, although USFS experience was that parking fees were paid willingly enough if people could see some benefit to themselves. To help that, the USFS published annual reports for the WMNF that included color photos and pie charts of income and outgo. Those were also posted at trailheads on kiosks, at visitor info centers etc. Much of what money was raised was actually spent on trail infrastructure, and that was emphasized in the annual reports.
    Last edited by Creag Nan Drochaid; 08-09-2021 at 06:45 PM.

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    I don't know what the rights answer is but note that increasing fees discriminates against those unable to afford them, leading to elitist hiker syndrome.

  5. #5
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    I am not sure of the right answer either. However, anyone who can afford to drive their car to a trailhead can also afford a 5$ parking fee. Pay-to-play does mean that trail users (of these optional trails ie not needed for survival any more than we 'need' liquor) can contribute towards upkeep of the trails they use. Consider why there are tolls and gas taxes. The principle is well established, and accepted by most of the public.

  6. #6
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    Keep in mind that the state has started planning for a Tram Rebuild or Replacement that is will cost tens of millions for repair and 100s for replacement and two years lost revenue. That will be a capital upgrade where the money comes from state coffers (and most likely Sunapee revenues). The shuttle costs are operating capital that has to come out of the Franconia Notch State Park budget. Two very different pockets.

    There is also a matter of parking enforcement, I am unsure if a typical state employee can write a legal ticket. Does this mean bringing in a state trooper to write tickets?. No doubt a high priority

    Would the parking pass include any Hike Safe coverage?. Logically those parking or shuttling are the ones most likely to need the service. Makes sense to me to wrap the two together like is done with F&G licenses.

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