Joshua Tree National Park proposes new entrance, more parking spaces – San Bernardino Sun

Overwhelming participation in Joshua Tree National Park Coronavirus pandemic For visitors enjoying hiking, camping and rock climbing in desert parks, it poses a mile-long vehicle backup and parking crisis at the entrance.

The park proposes two major projects as possible solutions to the long entrance line and lack of parking space in the park. However, the project is large and early stage and requires environmental reviews and public comments before moving forward.

In the photo of this file from May 9, 2015, cars are lined up at the west exit of Joshua Tree National Park. The long lines of cars are getting worse year by year. The National Parks Authority has proposed a new West Entrance toll station with longer roads and more toll kiosks to better handle increasing visitor traffic. (Photo courtesy of Joshua Tree National Park)

First, the National Parks Authority will knock down the existing West Entrance Toll Station just inside Park Boulevard’s park boundaries and build a new station 0.5 miles further away from the park to extend the entrance road. I will propose.

The project will also increase the number of toll collection kiosks from one to four and add three inbound driving lanes. Two of the four new kiosks will be placed on each island, connecting to walkways and sunshades that cover paid kiosks. The project will also add a comfort station for staff and a parking lot for nine staff.

The new entrance station will be powered by a solar array with batteries and will include satellites for data communications. Architecturally, it is compatible with mid-century buildings, according to the National Parks Authority. Project website..

“We have a long-standing problem of serious traffic backup that literally blocks driveways and homes,” said park spokesman Jenny Alblink. “The new entrance station will improve staffing so that people can pass through faster and eliminate traffic jams that can occur a few miles away.”

Construction may begin next summer, she said. It takes 8 months to 1 year to complete the project.NS comment For an environmental assessment under development, please visit https://parkplanning.nps.gov/West_Entrance. The comment period begins on August 18th and lasts until midnight on September 17th.

In the photo of this file, a US park ranger returns to the car after opening a side street in Joshua Tree National Park on Thursday, January 10, 2019 (Photo courtesy of Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin / SCNG).

The second project will remodel two land islands of approximately 11,000 square feet inside the Barker Dam parking lot. This project will add 40 parking spaces. This includes vegetation removal, including removal of 13 Joshua trees (Yucca Brevifolia), Will be replanted somewhere in the park, Albrink said.

“They will receive the highest level of treatment,” she said, taking care of the biologist.

Currently, the park has an average of about 4,000 vehicles per day and 1,500 parking spaces. Recently, she said, drivers parked their cars on the shoulders of the road, sometimes running over sensitive desert habitats. Additional parking spaces can help, but not always, solve the overall parking shortage.

Barker Dam is a popular area of ​​use with multiple trail heads. “The idea is to increase parking in frequently used areas,” she explained. To leave details and comments, please visit the following URL: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/barker_dam_parking_expansion.. The deadline for comments is September 17th.

The cost of the project has not yet been determined, Alblink said. There was no timeline for parking expansion at Barker Dam.

According to Alblink, the funding for both projects comes from the Federal Land Recreation Enhancement Act, which is partially funded by visitor fees.

She said the park has about 3 million visitors annually. The vehicle costs $ 30 and is valid for up to 7 days. The fare is $ 15 on foot or by bike. The annual pass for Joshua Tree National Park is $ 55. The park is open, but you will need a face cover when entering the building, including the visitor center.

Joshua Tree National Park straddles the Mojave and Colorado deserts, about 130 miles east of Los Angeles, and is known for its rock formations, pristine desert landscape, and doctor-soothing-like trees that gave the park its name. Has been done.

Joshua Tree National Park proposes new entrance, more parking spaces – San Bernardino Sun Source link Joshua Tree National Park proposes new entrance, more parking spaces – San Bernardino Sun

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