Moose-ing in Common Sense: The privilege of paying for parking – ParkNews.biz Sep 28th- Oct 4th, 2021
Moose-ing in Common Sense: The privilege of paying for parking – ParkNews.biz Sep 28th– Oct 4th, 2021
So due to the constant rules changes in urban settings, you might had decided to take a drive to one of our National Parks and perhaps see an elk, a deer or a moose or a rock formation. Take a drive even across several states, because last I checked, there is no train that can take you to West Yellowstone, Montana for one. You hope to get away from the madness and social media, even when the latter goes down for hours, as FB and Instagram went down this Monday. To truly experience nature. To be in the great outdoors where you don’t have to wear a mask or worry about being disdained by your neighbor for any behavior, that might not be acceptable these odd days. To simply breath. And hopefully not bother with parking. Yet, parking you ought to plan to have ahead. Via reservations and a payment. Because, there are crowds of people floating to our national parks, to get away from it all. And this creates traffic jams and parking challenges.
Thus, lately, due to these crowds heading to the parks, the parks are striving to mitigate the volume of the visitors by imposing parking fees and requiring parking reservations. And therefore, another discussion of privilege arises. Since supposedly, these fees and the reservations system, might prevent low income folks to visit our free for all beautiful nature. Read it here, in the headline article on ParkNews.biz: Oct 4, 2021 – Ticket to paradise? Crowded national parks try reservations, fees.
“At national parks from Maine to California, Americans are adjusting to a myriad of new rules sparked by a year of record crowds. The throngs of tourists have spurred a season of experimentation for the National Park Service, mainly with new reservation systems and parking fees aimed at taming traffic at Acadia and a dozen or so other large parks. For some, though, the new tactics are raising questions about who can access the natural wonders of the nation’s parks, with critics saying tickets and fees threaten to cut off low-income families or less-savvy travelers.”
Further: “While some critics fear the fees will make it harder for poorer Americans to visit public parks, Schneider defended the additional cost, saying a situation that before was “just a complete chaotic mess” has now been fixed. And he said the change has been accompanied with few complaints, even drawing praise from visitors who feel anxious about whether they’ll find a place to park when they get to the top of Cadillac.“Six bucks is the coffee we’re drinking here this morning, right?” Schneider said during an interview at the park’s headquarters. “Most of the people who come here, you know, they’re spending $300 a night on a hotel, and the transportation, everything else. It’s a small price in the context of their vacation.””
Exactly, as Mr. Schnider said, parking fees and parking reservations solve the problem of traffic jams and long waits. And in the scheme of things, the price to park is low. Lower or similar, as going to a local park in the city where you live, by car, where you also most likely have to pay for parking, be it on street off street.
Apropos of the low income, when in my early twenties I have travelled for a couple months camping through Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. To have our tent set up, we had to pay fees. To get to certain parks we had to start bright an early. And extra $10 with certainty we can get in and have a place to park, wouldn’t had made as much difference. I would had rather paid that $10 paying for this assurance of space, than spend $10 on an overpriced not so tasty sandwich. And the convenience of parking was more important than spending money on expensive, non camping accommodations. It was a choice based on what worked for us on our limited budget.
So perhaps, “better” argument that having parking fees in our national parks, is another blame game on the evil that usage of cars causes us. “The problem isn’t people, it’s cars,” said King, who has also suggested the possibility of creating more parks to deal with overcrowding. “You know, the parks can absorb a fair number of people, but when you add 3,000 pounds of steel, that’s where a lot of the problems are.” He recalled his visit to Zermatt to see the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps, where no automobiles were allowed.”
Perhaps as JVH would say, it is all a rule of the law of unintended consequences. You lock up people for so long and get them confused what is what, they are eager to taste freedom, drive to get it far and away, even risking getting ran over by a moose but hopefully, not another incident of judgment or rage of a frustrated driver. Since those, with a fee, in orderly fashion, can have a guaranteed space to park. And the funds from parking, can go back to our parks, to clean up the mess we leave behind. Regardless how privileged or not we are.
Have a blessed new week.
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