Park transportation plan release Friday



ACADIA NAT’L PARK — The park’s long-awaited, long-range transportation plan is to be unveiled this Friday. The public will then have 60 days to comment on it.

Work on the plan, which is intended to alleviate summertime parking and traffic congestion, began in January 2015. A team of about 20 park employees and outside experts developed it with considerable public input. They finished the plan several months ago, but it has taken time for it to go up the National Park Service chain of command and to the office of the secretary of the Department of the Interior for approval.

Acadia officials have said public meetings will be scheduled both on Mount Desert Island and the Schoodic Peninsula in the coming weeks to discuss the plan with area residents and listen to their comments.

Deputy Superintendent Mike Madell said soliciting public input at this stage is not just pro-forma, and that changes to the plan as result of public comments are not only possible, but “pretty likely.” But he said he would not anticipate a “wholesale revision” at this point.

The need for a comprehensive transportation plan has been highlighted over the past few summers as record numbers of visitors have strained Acadia’s ability to accommodate them.

In October 2016, the park service released a set of “preliminary concepts” for consideration in formulating a transportation plan.

“The quality of the visitor experience is diminished as a result of congestion on roadways and crowding at specific attraction sites and during peak-use times and seasons,” park officials said in a report accompanying the release of the preliminary concepts.

A public comment period and two public forums on the concepts yielded feedback that helped shape the transportation plan that is now being released.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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