Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 56

Thread: The Cog is in the news again for potenitally unpermitted building

  1. #16
    Senior Member kltilton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    North Conway, NH Avatar: Skiing on Ethan Pond Trail
    Posts
    389
    Thanks for the update.

  2. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    6,765
    An update to the expansion of the cog at the summit. Here is link to the Cog's presentation to the Mt Washington Commission (MWC) . https://www.nhstateparks.org/getmedi...way-8-6-19.pdf Note that this was supplied by the cog so should not be considered unbiased. The Berlin Daily Sun has far more details on the site review that the was done with the commission Tuesday morning. Unfortunately the BDS is behind a paywall these days although on occasion the articles are recycled in the Conway Daily Sun.

    Some items from the article

    The cog is representing this as a "restoration" the MWC calls it and "extension". (note a smaller track structure was abandoned for many years and finally torn down several years ago so the Coos County planning regulations consider this new construction)

    The rendering in the attachment is in error. The person under the trestle (which is typical included for a scale reference is out of scale which makes the overall structure look smaller with lower impact that it would have. The elevation of the base of the steel beam is 11' while the figure represents 5'6". The cog agreed to resubmit. The actual platform is 2' above the tracks

    One of the commission members asked if rumors were true that a bar car or gift shop could be placed on the tracks at the summit. The owner of the Cog that there is no actual plan but that would not preclude those possibilities in the future.

    Even with the new structure, the Cog will not be able to handle all the cog cars at the summit and will have to continue their current practices.

    The owner of the autoroad was quoted that the project is a "land grab" at the summit and is "quite a change" to the access to the summit that the autoroad had enjoyed since 1975.

    The cog would like to have the project in place by next season.

    The MWC ultimately has to recommend to the state that the proposed project is "not unreasonable". They are strictly advisory. The various state departments responsible for the summit need to review and approve before it heads to the Coos County Planning and Zoning board of appeals.

    IMHO, given the recent planning board meeting where the auto road was ready with their lawyer to raise objections, the ongoing litigation with the Observatory over non payment of admission fees, withdrawing access to AMC from the base station for helicopter resupply access and encouraging denial of AMCs permission to land elsewhere on WMNF land, the cog does not appear to have a lot friends on the MWC. Not sure how the radio communications company feels. Walter Graf from the AMC appears to be encouraging a update to the summit master plan and given the recent Yankee building replacement recommendation I expect that any changes to the summit may end up being delayed by an overall revision to the master plan. There are also multiple points where the auto road or others could attempt to slow down the process. Add them all up and I do not see a swift and quick resolution to the cog's liking. The cog owner is generally not opposed to using the bully pulpit to express his displeasure but expect for now he has to play nice and keep quiet. He could try to get his "minions" to support his side as a "grass roots" effort and maybe use the anniversary year publicity to try to frame the project in good light but not sure how much that will forward the project.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 08-11-2019 at 09:01 AM.

  3. #18
    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    AHH....SKYLINE
    Posts
    596
    Sounds good stuff for the summit by presby. good points he's made. He's doing a first class job for the cog now. I'm one of his "minions" I guess. Love the Cog and what if offers NH and Mt Washington.

  4. #19
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    2,883
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCaper View Post
    Sounds good stuff for the summit by presby. good points he's made. He's doing a first class job for the cog now. I'm one of his "minions" I guess. Love the Cog and what if offers NH and Mt Washington.
    Thank you for your positive comment without political posturing.
    Last edited by skiguy; 08-11-2019 at 01:44 PM.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  5. #20
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Middle o Nowhere
    Posts
    1,164
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCaper View Post
    Sounds good stuff for the summit by presby. good points he's made. He's doing a first class job for the cog now. I'm one of his "minions" I guess. Love the Cog and what if offers NH and Mt Washington.
    Thanks for that link to the PDF Peakbagger. Very informative.

    In looking at the photo of the planned extension, I was struck by the scale of the Auto road's parking lots. The occupy a huge amount of summit real estate. Much more than the railway for sure. Why has no one complained about that?

    Question: Can you park overnight in one of those lots and hike to a hut or a campsite?

    I believe the Cog limits passenger time on the summit (2 hr?) . Not sure about auto road.
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
    .

  6. #21
    Senior Member jniehof's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Dover,NH
    Posts
    1,130
    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Walter Graf from the AMC appears to be encouraging a update to the summit master plan
    That would sounds like a reasonable path forward given that disagreements among parties seem to be growing and it might make sense to get it all out there and sort things out. Of course part of the tension seems to be coming down to differences of interpretation on previous agreements and where they might contradict each other, so throwing another negotiated document on the pile might not do it.

    Given that the first recorded winter ascent of Washington was to serve legal papers, this is hardly new. High demand for limited space in a fragile environment.

  7. #22
    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    876
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCaper View Post
    No reporters bias or false information and facts.
    Please keep your political views off of the forum.

  8. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Ipswich, MA
    Posts
    694
    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Thanks for that link to the PDF Peakbagger. Very informative.

    In looking at the photo of the planned extension, I was struck by the scale of the Auto road's parking lots. The occupy a huge amount of summit real estate. Much more than the railway for sure. Why has no one complained about that?

    Question: Can you park overnight in one of those lots and hike to a hut or a campsite?

    I believe the Cog limits passenger time on the summit (2 hr?) . Not sure about auto road.
    From the Auto Road website: "ALL vehicles must leave the summit no later than 45 minutes after closing time and continue directly to the base. "

  9. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    6,765
    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Thanks for that link to the PDF Peakbagger. Very informative.

    In looking at the photo of the planned extension, I was struck by the scale of the Auto road's parking lots. The occupy a huge amount of summit real estate. Much more than the railway for sure. Why has no one complained about that?

    Question: Can you park overnight in one of those lots and hike to a hut or a campsite?

    I believe the Cog limits passenger time on the summit (2 hr?) . Not sure about auto road.
    I have heard complaints at one point with respect to the autoroad parking lots and their expansion. I don't know the history of when and how they were built or the underlying agreements that are in place. They are cut in somewhat into the terrain and below the summit development so they are arguably less visually intrusive at the level where a typical ground based person would be able to observe them. The photo is taken well above ground level with the lots in the foreground so their presence is definitely more visible. I think Ball Crag shields them from view on Adams and Madison and I do not remember them begin very obvious from Wildcat since they are below the summit profile.

    I wasn't living in the area when the new state park building was planned but individuals I have talked to who did have some involvement have stated that during the process the concept of an overall planning approach to the summit as a whole was put in place. IMHO, if the auto road was coming forward with a proposal to expand their parking to what it is today they would get the same pushback as the Cog appears to be on the track extension. I believe the approach has been to minimize future impacts using a master plan while allowing the existing impacts to remain. This was used recently for the Yankee building replacement study which arguably has far more impact to the summit then the Cog extension. My understanding is that management of the autoroad parking lots are delegated by the state to the autoroad. I do not believe overnight parking is allowed. I expect the question comes up frequently given the popularity of people going to stay the night at Lake of the Clouds via the summit. Given the auto road's capacity is limited to available parking at the summit I expect they would not allow overnight or multiday parking as that one space could be turned over multiple times on a busy day. On many nice weekends the autoroad has to manage each space and limits new traffic from going up the road until traffic leaves. It causes quite a backup.

    Stated in the BDS article is that the cog currently has to manage guests due to lack of space at the summit and will continue to do so even with the extension. Given the substantial increase in ridership of the Cog from the introduction of the "biodiesel blend"electric Cogs, the Cog is setting record ridership every year and the owner has stated publicly that his goal is to further increase ridership by strategic track upgrades and possibly putting in additional parallel track. I am not aware of any daily limits on parking at the summit for personal cars by the autoroad, I am unsure if the van service has any limits but expect they need to do something to get folks down at the end of the day. Autoroad guests do dayhikes while parked along autoroad property, in particular its used by many to access the Alpine Garden.

    The Cog and Autoroad are both in the same situation that despite owning the land at the base of the mountain and the land heading up to the summit they do not own the summit and are both constrained by capacity constraints at the summit. Both are profit making corporations and the profit motive is expand the ridership to maximize profits. One party is trying to expand their ridership substantially and the other party feels that their access to the summit is being degraded by this. The state ultimately is the arbitrator on how to use what is a limited resource with Coos County having some regional control over new private development on the summit. The state is planning to replace the Yankee building so they can do what they please with respect to Coos county so the only regulated entities left are the Cog, the Autoroad and possibly some area assigned to the communication entity outside of the proposed Yankee footprint.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 08-12-2019 at 10:40 AM.

  10. #25
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Somerville, MA
    Posts
    5,013
    Moderator Note:
    If you have a problem with a post, please report it rather than comment in this way.

    Quote Originally Posted by TEO View Post
    Please keep your political views off of the forum.
    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. -- Dr. Seuss

  11. #26
    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    876
    Quote Originally Posted by David Metsky View Post
    Moderator Note:
    If you have a problem with a post, please report it rather than comment in this way.
    Will do. Thanks, David.

  12. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Worcester, MA
    Posts
    456
    Is there a possible compromise?

    Could the railroad switch be moved down a bit, the platform built lower on the summit cone, and the "extra length" of track in front of the Adams building demo'd? The platform wouldn't need to be elevated, would it?

    This solution would keep ALL of the stated benefits of the project for the COG Railways visitors (Eliminate congestion in front of Sherman Adams building, easier entrance/exit for passengers, Ability to fasten train to trestle/platform in the event of emergency or weather event, Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act, and Improved safety of loading and unloading of passengers) while also not requiring the Auto Road visitors from having to pass under the platform. I am assuming that forcing the Auto Road visitors to go under the platform is a bug, not a feature.

    What am I missing?
    Last edited by Tom_Murphy; 08-12-2019 at 11:20 AM.

  13. #28
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Middle o Nowhere
    Posts
    1,164
    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    ...The Cog and Autoroad are both in the same situation...
    In the PDF Presby refers to ADA (Americans with Disability Act) compliance for the construction of the new platform.

    Does the Autoroad have any ADA mandates that require it to deliver van passengers directly to the summit rather than to a drop off in the upper parking lot?

    All self-driving road customers must use the stairs to access the true summit.

    Seems like separating these two competing interests might be wise.
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
    .

  14. #29
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    6,765
    I believe autoroad vans and other vehicles with handicapped authorization are allowed to pickup and discharge passengers at the summit. I think I have a photo of my 96 year old dad with folks from his assisted living facility with their van to the side taken from the summit entrance. They did not get rolled up from the parking lot as the grade is too steep for ADA even if mixing wheelchairs and summit traffic is not considered a bad idea.

    I thought of a solution similar to Toms suggestion but it causes as many problems as it solves. The 5' accessway under the trestle was reportedly not in the original concept, at the planning board meeting the lawyer for the cog mentioned that this was added to retain access for the autoroad. A five foot wide tunnel is not real wide given two way hiker and autoroad pedestrian traffic. I would expect more like 8 to 10 feet is far more acceptable. The problem with dropping the platform is that the autoroad loses the tunnel and the pedestrian traffic needs to go south into the roadway adjacent to the stage office. One major failing of the rendering on page 7 of the cog presentation is the lack of rolling stock shown which substantially increases the overall visual impact. The situation shown of people outdoors on the platform will rarely exist during the day as the cog is planning to have cars there all day . The best way to visualize the impact may be the 360 degree view on google earth https://www.360cities.net/ge_image/m...ium=all_images If you scroll to the east and imagine a row of cog cars and engines roughly the same height as the stage office all the way to the end of the abandoned track, the impact is considerably degraded views east from the summit. Given the limited access to the outer platform, its effectively become a private viewing deck for cog customers waiting to board while degrading the views of people exiting the state park building.

    When I look at the summit I see that the state park building was effectively built to service the cog with the autoroad getting the short end of the stick due the right of way arrangement in place at the time. Cog customers have a relatively sheltered short walk to the cars compared to the long exposed walk to the parking lots. There are many stories of articles of clothing heading towards Alpine Garden on windy days from autoroad customers and in general the summit experience for some on bad days is far worse for auto road customers. Hikers are unfortunately an annoying afterthought. IMHO the track extension and the addition of more rolling stock wrapping around the summit further degrades the public views from the summit.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 08-12-2019 at 02:15 PM.

  15. #30
    Senior Member Quietman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Peterborough, NH
    Posts
    1,344
    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Question: Can you park overnight in one of those lots and hike to a hut or a campsite?
    From the auto road site:

    CAN I PARK ON THE SUMMIT OVERNIGHT AND HIKE TO THE LAKES OF THE CLOUDS HUT?
    Yes. You are required to alert the attendant at the Toll House that you are going to park overnight.

Similar Threads

  1. Good news and bad news for Catskill Eagles
    By Tom Rankin in forum Q&A - New York
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-25-2008, 03:41 PM
  2. Good News and Bad News - RE Black Flies
    By peakbagger in forum Q&A - New England
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-26-2008, 06:28 AM
  3. Sad News For Everest (Chinese building a road to base camp)
    By KMartman in forum General Backcountry
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: 06-22-2007, 12:42 PM
  4. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-21-2006, 07:29 PM
  5. WOW: Building bridges
    By Pete_Hickey in forum Trip Reports
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-01-2006, 08:18 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •