(National Park Service Press Release, January 6, 2023)
WASHINGTON—The National Park Service is updating its National Long Range Transportation Plan and inviting the public to provide input. The plan is the road map that guides transportation-related planning, maintenance, and operations in national parks throughout the country. Public comments can be made via the Planning, Environment & Public Comment website from January 6 through February 3, 2023.
Transportation systems play a critical role in proving visitors with safe, sustainable, appropriate, and enjoyable visitor access to more than 400 national parks. The National Park Service maintains approximately 5,500 miles of paved roads, 7,000 miles of unpaved roads, 4,600 miles of bicycle and pedestrian multi-use trails, 2,500 bridges and tunnels, and 6,100 parking areas. There are also more than 100 transit systems, including buses, ferries, trolleys, trains, streetcars, and snow coaches.
The long-range transportation plan is the strategic framework that addresses goals and objectives. It is updated every five years to align with current and anticipated future transportation challenges and opportunities. The current update aligns with the following priorities.
- Protect the Climate and Advance Resource Protection by reducing transportation carbon emissions and preparing for climate change impacts. Increasing the use of electric vehicles in national parks will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance air quality, and reduce noise. Improving the resiliency of transportation infrastructure against sea level rise and severe weather events will help protect the natural, cultural and recreational resources in national parks.
- Enhance Visitor Experience and Connect Diverse Communities by increasing equitable access that connects parks with nearby communities. Expanded partnerships and investments in transit facilities, trails, and technology will provide more opportunities for people to visit their national parks.
- Reinvest in the System and Make Sustainable Legacy Investments that maintain and improve the condition of roads and parkways, parking areas, transit infrastructure, trails, bridges, and tunnels to provide a safe, efficient, and resource sensitive transportation system for visitors. The plan provides eligibility for the National Park Service to receive federal funding through the Federal Lands Transportation Program and other sources including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to make repairs and improvements.
The plan will be refined based on feedback received during the public comment period. The plan will then be finalized and implemented starting in the Spring of 2023.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 424 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.