Yosemite National Park planning to reduce gridlock and crowding

January 9, 2013 12:42:50 AM PST
The public can now weigh in on how Yosemite National Park should manage its resources for future generations.

The $235 million plan preferred by Yosemite National Park calls for enhanced visitor experiences.

Parking spaces in Yosemite Valley would increase by 11-percent while more campsite space would be added so the park could take on 20-thousand daily visitors.

Kathleen Morse said, "We've heard a lot of people wanting more camping so we've expanded camping in Yosemite Valley by 37-percent."

Shane Krogen heads the High Sierra Volunteer Trail Crew, which helps manage mountain trails. He says Yosemite has long faced major challenges managing its resources so visitors can enjoy their stay during sometimes very crowded conditions.

Krogen said, "You've only got so many trails that will allow only so many people so they're going to have come up with a plan to limit these people."

The Curry Village skating rink would be eliminated under the plan, which also calls for an underpass leading from Yosemite Lodge to Yosemite Falls. It would be designed to ease traffic congestion.

"It'd be kind of an entry to the falls, go under the road and pass back up," Morse said. "It would completely eliminate the problem of the vehicle pedestrian conflicts."

"It's probably gonna be a tough sell but when you look at the people that want to see those falls," Krogen said. "I mean people come from all over the world just to see that. How do provide them access to where people don't die because they get too close."

Yosemite has identified pinch points and problem areas and is looking at ways to reduce gridlock and crowding.

The Merced River Management plan at Yosemite includes six alternatives.

Public meetings will be held on the proposals through April 18th.