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Thread: Lafayette Place Parking and Shuttle

  1. #31
    Senior Member jrbren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    While I don’t disagree with the recent opinions, I do think there is a fundamental point being missed and that is the assumption that visitors will gleefully change their destination to something else. Franconia Ridge is the destination of choice for most of the casual, one or twice per year visitors. This is the problem that the AMC sought to fix by creating the list in the first place.

    Tim
    I agree. Franconia Ridge is a truly unique hike for the east. Nothing else like it factoring in the open walking on the ridge and all the water cascades. It used to be my favorite hikes anywhere about 20 years ago, when it was busy but not overwhelmingly crowded like it is today. Would there be the political will to build a more substantial trail system on the mountain like what exists off of Appalachia (add Appalachia to my previous question about ticketing for cars parked along side the road) ? I am fine with a permit system as long as I am the one with the permit.

  2. #32
    Senior Member jrbren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    The state's argument for doing this is that it's illegal (which is true) and that it's unsafe (debatable, rising to contentious). They won't provide evidence for it being unsafe, so it's argument-by-conclusion (aka begging the question). So, until the deciders change their minds (or get different jobs), this appears to be the new normal, so let's embrace it.
    Although I do not like the crowds, and the situation of cars parked along side of the road can be unsafe, IMHO the fault for any safety issues lies with the drivers that insist I-93 is still an interstate as it passes through the notch and refuse to slow down & drive defensively. To me, as a driver, treat those areas as if if your driving through a town, where cars parked along side the street are the norm. It *should* be fine as long as the car is well out of the travel lane. To expand the parking lot might work for a while, but we may need a Boston Government Center sized parking garage. A lot to accommodate today's crowds may be inadequate 5-10 years from now.

  3. #33
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    I looked it up (not local, so I was not sure) and I see that the speed limit there is 45mph. So are the police enforcing the speed limit and ticketing the speeding drivers? Or are they spending all their resources writing parking tickets to hikers?

    Many (almost all) of the issues here parallel what is going on over here in the Adirondacks. Extensive State tourism promotion has driven crowds to record levels. But the State is not willing to spend the money to MANAGE the situation. So instead they are mindlessly implementing ham handed reactionary measures that do far more harm than good.

    Some of the root problems:

    >Money that goes to the capitol (Albany in our case) stays there. We have the highest taxes in the country and all sorts of fees and hundreds of millions in "Environmental" funding, but somehow they can't hire any Rangers or Educators, or put in any real bathrooms, or repair trails.

    >There is large tension in our State agencies between the "recreation" faction who believe that the people should use the resource and the "green" faction who believe in chasing everyone away. The State is in a "mission conflict" and so they do most things wrong. For example, promoting the area as a "tourist destination," but then trying to manage it as "wilderness."

    > There is a fundamental lack of understanding of human nature. Many things that are believed by land "managers" are wild fantasies:
    >>People read and obey signs.
    >>People will go to a different destination than they originally planned if you ask them to.
    >>Additional hiking in other places will reduce the crowds in popular places.
    >>People will walk straight through the mud or the blowdown, instead of widening the trail and creating side paths.

    Anyone who has spent more than a couple days on the trail knows that all this is wildly wrong, and yet "management" plans are predicated on these nonsensical false beliefs.

  4. #34
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrbren View Post
    Although I do not like the crowds, and the situation of cars parked along side of the road can be unsafe, IMHO the fault for any safety issues lies with the drivers that insist I-93 is still an interstate as it passes through the notch and refuse to slow down & drive defensively. To me, as a driver, treat those areas as if if your driving through a town, where cars parked along side the street are the norm. It *should* be fine as long as the car is well out of the travel lane. To expand the parking lot might work for a while, but we may need a Boston Government Center sized parking garage. A lot to accommodate today's crowds may be inadequate 5-10 years from now.
    While I generally agree that drivers need to not drive like idiots that isn't always enough. I drove through the notch two years ago on a Columbus Day Sunday afternoon and it was a total nut house. I was driving extremely defensive, under the speed limit and still had several close calls as people stepped right out from behind parked cars into the road aiming their cameras at mountains and foliage and what not. There were people on the median trampling the flowers, walking on the traffic side of cars in the road, families with kids in strollers, etc. It was wildly dangerous. Endless blind spots for drivers with people just stepping out into the road. Zero police on hand. You'd think people were walking on a windy country back road where a car goes by every half hour. I still find it shocking that nothing has happened in that area given the negligence on the part of drivers AND pedestrians.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCD View Post
    So are the police enforcing the speed limit and ticketing the speeding drivers? Or are they spending all their resources writing parking tickets to hikers?
    Neither. There is no real safe space to pull drivers over until they are either north or south of the notch and writing parking tickets would require them to abandon the speed traps to the south and their Border Patrol assistance. When you have no taxes you need whatever revenue you can get and speeding tickets bring in a lot more money.

  6. #36
    Senior Member jrbren's Avatar
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    Daytrip - I agree, I should have included pedestrians as well. But if everyone is cautious, there is no reason for any safety concerns that should make road side parking in itself illegal. Probably too big of an "if" on my part.

  7. #37
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    There is one spot that troopers run traps every so often in the south bound lane just south of the Basin on top of the long hill that ends at the transition to 4 lane (and the turn off to reverse direction). The office parks on the side of the road with radar pointing backwards. Anyone speeding up in anticipation of the four lane will get clocked and then the cop will have that long hill to flash the blues and a safe pull over on the turn off or the four lane. I have also seen one laser patrol there once where the officer was pointing up hill and there was line up of pursuit cars at the 4 lane.

    I have rarely if ever seen an officer pulled over anywhere along the parkway stretch for what appears to be speeding enforcement as the potential risk to the officer and the general public is too high. I have seen some cops flashing their blues at speeders on rare occasions while heading through the notch.

    The road design speed is generally tied to standard road planning handbooks which are tied to scientific studies. One of the many reasons the parkway took so long to build was the interstate system was designed to one common design standard and the government would not fund a road built to a lower standard. There was reportedly a 4 lane design on paper but the impact to the notch would have been significant which eventually ended up with Franconia parkway compromise which had to be handled . There was a similar scenic canyon in Colorado that was a notorious bottleneck for years of similar scenic value. I think it took the crown for most expensive cost for a stretch of interstate. They basically put it up on elevated pylons the length of the canyon.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 05-28-2019 at 02:14 PM.

  8. #38
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    While I donít disagree with the recent opinions, I do think there is a fundamental point being missed and that is the assumption that visitors will gleefully change their destination to something else. Franconia Ridge is the destination of choice for most of the casual, one or twice per year visitors. This is the problem that the AMC sought to fix by creating the list in the first place.

    Tim
    I'm not missing that point, I just think we have got to the point where that is not the end all here. There are many beautiful places in the Sierra Range and Yosemite. People travel there from all over the world. I have spent extensive time there and the permit system works, it has not only saved many areas from destruction, it provides an enjoyable Wilderness experience. You cant have it both ways, its simply not realistic to have no limitations on users and live with the consequences. We all can see that it is simply not working. Building new lots, shuttles, ok some of this may help, but I do not think it will be a solution that solves the problems. Until they limit use, none of this is going away. Daytrip made a valid point, the word will not reach enough people, there are way to many people out of the loop. They need a permanent guardrail lining the whole Notch, end of problem.

  9. #39
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    It's really two separate issues I feel that we are merging into the same "problem". We have the issue of safely accommodating the volume of drivers and hikers that visit the Franconia Ridge and we have the issue of the damage being caused by the volume of hikers using the ridge. We could completely eliminate the parking safety concerns and have no impact on trail damage from the hiker volume if we had bigger lots, more shuttles, more scenic pull outs for people to snap pictures without standing in traffic, more guard rails, etc. and the same volume of hikers, or even more hikers, continues to impact the trail conditions on the ridge. We could also reduce the hiker volume on the ridge with permits, steep parking fees, shrinking lots, etc and reduce trail damage which would probably have a subsequent favorable impact on the volume of cars and therefore the safety would improve too. All of the "solutions" to date seem to only be focused on safety on the parkway which I guess implies NH does not want to see a decline in tourism $$$ by less tourists or dead tourists so trail conditions are not a priority in any of these initiatives.

    As far as the issue of the Franconia Ridge being "the" destination for hiking in NH so are many other destinations all over the country and the world. That still doesn't mean you can just show up whenever you want and do it at your convenience. It's like anything else in life. If it's your only trip of the year or the only day you have so not doing it will be a real spolier you should research it, figure out what is involved and prepare accordingly so you get to do what you intended. Yes it sucks to show up at a restaurant for their 5 star filet mignon and have the waiter suggest you get a hot dog and some tofu sprouts instead because too many people have already ordered the filet but that's life. If it is an important trip treat it as such.
    Last edited by DayTrip; 05-28-2019 at 02:25 PM. Reason: Grammar
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  10. #40
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    I'm not missing that point, I just think we have got to the point where that is not the end all here. There are many beautiful places in the Sierra Range and Yosemite. People travel there from all over the world. I have spent extensive time there and the permit system works, it has not only saved many areas from destruction, it provides an enjoyable Wilderness experience. You cant have it both ways, its simply not realistic to have no limitations on users and live with the consequences. We all can see that it is simply not working. Building new lots, shuttles, ok some of this may help, but I do not think it will be a solution that solves the problems. Until they limit use, none of this is going away. Daytrip made a valid point, the word will not reach enough people, there are way to many people out of the loop. They need a permanent guardrail lining the whole Notch, end of problem.
    I agree on the permitting. I have traveled to many of the same places you mentioned. If people can plan accordingly and buy their camping ticket or trail permit online ahead of time then a day permit for Franconia Ridge cannot be that difficult to plan for and obtain. Although I think the logistics of instituting that system would be the stumbling block. There are so many different entities involved that a legal and administrative battle would ensue. Building more lots is not the solution.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  11. #41
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Walking from the parking lot at Cannon (Peabody Lot) around the loop and back adds about 7.2 miles From the Tram lot it adds about 5 miles. We are talking about hiking, right? And we do the extra mileage in winter when roads are closed... Using the bike path and/or Pemi Trail...

    Tim
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  12. #42
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    Walking from the parking lot at Cannon (Peabody Lot) around the loop and back adds about 7.2 miles From the Tram lot it adds about 5 miles. We are talking about hiking, right? And we do the extra mileage in winter when roads are closed... Using the bike path and/or Pemi Trail...

    Tim
    I did an up-Greenleaf down-Skook loop in winter from the tram lot. The bike path walk at the end is definitely a top 5 death march for me.
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  13. #43
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    I did an up-Greenleaf down-Skook loop in winter from the tram lot. The bike path walk at the end is definitely a top 5 death march for me.
    I did a Basin -> Liberty -> Flume -> Liberty -> Little Haystack -> Lincoln -> Lafayette -> OBP -> Bike Path -> Basin once in winter (with Gryffin) and it was a grind... a few snowmobiles to wake me up

    Tim
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  14. #44
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    I did a Basin -> Liberty -> Flume -> Liberty -> Little Haystack -> Lincoln -> Lafayette -> OBP -> Bike Path -> Basin once in winter (with Gryffin) and it was a grind... a few snowmobiles to wake me up

    Tim
    Impressive! Were you tempted to thumb for a ride?
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  15. #45
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    Impressive! Were you tempted to thumb for a ride?
    Yes. In fact, I went car-to-car at the end asking if anyone was willing to give me and Gryffin a ride. Maybe nobody wanted a wet dog in their car, and I don't blame them, but my backup plan was always to walk. Nobody on the snowmobiles was going my way either . . .

    https://www.strava.com/activities/874061891

    Assuming there is parking at The Basin, this is actually ~1 mile shorter than just Lincoln-Lafayette from Peabody Lot.


    Tim
    Last edited by bikehikeskifish; 05-28-2019 at 07:05 PM.
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