Why the Parkway Plan Is Bad for Bicyclists

12 Dec 11
Why the Parkway Plan Is Bad for Bicyclists

Click here for more information on the topic.

The Parkway management plan proposes two important changes:

1) Focus parkway management and funding primarily on DRIVING

2) Place the Parkway on Historic Register

Neither of these changes is inherently bad, but both could result in closures or limitations for cyclists. By placing their management focus exclusively on driving, they can make management decisions such as restricting cyclists during summer months or certain times of day. They can also close certain sections of the Parkway to cyclists (and runners, hikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts).

By placing the Parkway on the Historic Register, they cannot make any future modifications to the road for bicycle safety without undergoing an arduous bureaucratic process.

Unless cyclists voice their concerns about the management plan now, managers can justify these future closures by saying, “The public had an opportunity to comment on the management plan, and we received no concerns from the cycling community about these proposed changes.”

Having worked with the National Park Service on other management plans, I can assure you that this is neither alarmist nor conspiratorial. It’s simple math. If the Park Service does not hear from cyclists and other supporters of a bike-safe, bike-friendly Parkway, they won’t act on their behalf. If the Park hears an outcry of support for cycling on the Parkway, they will listen.

We’ve received hundreds of responses from readers on this issue; make sure the Park Service also receives your responses before the public comment period closes on Friday.

 

17 Comments

  • [...] right hereRelated External LinksIF SW VIRGINIA GETS SNOW COME CROSS COUNTRY SKI WITH …Why the Parkway Plan Is Bad for Bicyclists — Blue Ridge Outdoors …Skiing Blue Ridge Mountains | Downhill Skiing MagicBlue Ridge Parkway Needs Your CommentsNew Blue [...]

    Bicycling the Blue Ridge: A Guide to the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway › Fitness Equipment Uk   07 Jun 12, 12:16 am

  • In a country with a constantly expanding waist line why are we trying to limit physical activities. Especially physical activities that motivate and drive individuals to maintain the highest levels of human fitness. It would probably be better to only allow cyclists and hikers, then maybe we could start cutting down on the number of Americans wearing XXXXXL shirts and pants.

    William Krebs   15 Jan 12, 2:52 pm

  • How about turning over the BRP to the states involved and get the Feds completely out of there. They screw up anything they touch, just open your eyes folks! The localaties along the way would make darn sure BRP is taken care of because of the tourist interest. 20 million annual visitors? Only the Fed and politicians can come up with a plan to loose money on that much potential. Local governments working closely with free enterprise is the only way to go.

    Old Dave   04 Jan 12, 7:34 pm

  • I wish the Parkway had a bike path beside it. I frequent the pkwy a lot and have had some close calls with cyclist who do not pay attention to traffic and think they own the road. I’m sorry, but if you are going 5mph around a blind curve get out of the middle of the road.

    Ingles Alexander   23 Dec 11, 11:19 pm

  • Please tell me what I can do personally to impact the decision making process regarding the Blue Ridge Parkway bicycle issue.

    Thurman McGarian   19 Dec 11, 12:51 pm

  • Why the Parkway plan is good for cyclists http://www.bicycleretailer.com/news/newsDetail/6266.html

    Dave   15 Dec 11, 4:14 pm

  • Cyclists need more safe places to ride. A bike lane would be a great addition to this wonderful place.

    Danielle   15 Dec 11, 12:44 pm

  • Terrible, Terrible idea to try to limit usage of ANY way, especially bicycles. What a way to see the sights!!!!! Limit cars fouling the air and water around us!

    Steve Cederberg   14 Dec 11, 8:20 am

  • It’s a same that the Federal Govenment has let our National Parks go down the tube over the last several decades. A cycle lane would be super except the cost would be mind blowing. I grew up 2 miles from the starting point of the Blue Ridge Ridge Parkway. I have driven the entire length dozens of times. We will be lucky if they can find the funding just to maintane this gem.

    Tim   13 Dec 11, 4:58 pm

  • I enjoy cycling on the parkway and hope you don”t make changes to limit this activity on the parkway.

    john michael east   13 Dec 11, 12:07 pm

  • I strongly feel bicyclists should have the same use of the Blue Ridge Parkway that automobile drivers and motorcyclists enjoy — without any restrictions. Bicyclists are actually better for the health of the parkway than other forms of vehiculuar traffic, and I do not understand why they are being spotlighted. I do not feel any modifications would need to be made to the parkway, such as a bicycle path. If motorists adherred to the speed limit, there would be no conflicts. Keep bicycles on the Parkway!!

    Karl F. Kunkel
    1508 Waverly St.
    High Point, NC 27265
    336/882-8711

    Karl Kunkel   13 Dec 11, 11:46 am

  • I am a resposible driver of my bicycle and do not want separate paths or greenways along the parkway. The road should remain as is and there is no way the park service can keep people from using our roads with bikes or cars. There is a scenic quality to the parkway that more pavement and paths and clutter of the sort will destroy on those mountain ridges. This is the wrong battle, the gov is trying to distract is cyclists from fighting the good fight of getting more urban and rural roads upgraded to be safer.

    michael   13 Dec 11, 11:17 am

  • Promoting DRIVING motorized vehicles is absurd. As one who had cycled through the BRP and Skyline Drive I find limiting motorhomes, cars with trailers etc. to be more a danger than cyclists. I will NOT stop riding on the Parkway! Hope other cyclists feel the same. If you are inclined comment to the BRP Foundation at blueridgeparkwayfoundation.org under about us.

    John Thomas   13 Dec 11, 10:21 am

  • As cyclist we will ride anywhere we dam please. It should be cars that are put in parking lots. If this happens. I hope those cars enjoy my nails.

    Kyle   12 Dec 11, 3:52 pm

  • Please DO NOT close the Parkway to cyclists. What a mistake that would be.

    Cathy Wills   12 Dec 11, 3:26 pm

  • Wouldn’t be awesome for the parkway to include a bikeway for cyclists to use safely? It would open up another huge segment of outdoor enthusists who would frequent the parkway 3 seasons of the year.

    art ford   12 Dec 11, 3:10 pm

  • [...] You can read more about the Parkway plan and its impact on cyclists here. Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine! // // [...]

    Will the new Blue Ridge Parkway plan limit cycling on the scenic road? — Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine   12 Dec 11, 2:59 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine

Your guide to hiking in the Southeast, biking in the Blue Ridge and Appalachian adventures from the Highlands to the Piedmont.