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  1. #1
    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Are they going to close the Blue Ridge Parkway to Cyclists???

    From The Blue Ridge Outdoors: << link

    The Blue Ridge Parkway is the single most popular road for bicyclists in the Blue Ridge. Cyclists cherish the Parkway’s 469 scenic miles from Shenandoah to the Smokies. Even Lance Armstrong pedaled the high-elevation road during his Tour de France championship training.

    Unfortunately, the Blue Ridge Parkway’s newly released draft management plan could limit cycling on the Parkway. The draft plan focuses exclusively on the Parkway being “actively managed as a traditional, self-contained, scenic recreational driving experience.”


    We can't let this happen.

    Please read the article and write to:

    Superintendent Philip A. Francis, Jr.
    Blue Ridge Parkway
    199 Hemphill Knob Road
    Asheville, NC 28803

    By 16 December.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    I'll send a letter.

    But there's a typo in your quote, where they identify the Blue Ridge Parkway as a "high-elevation road."
    Don't believe everything you think.

  3. #3
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    That would totally suck. We love to go to Asheville and ride on the Parkway.

    Already responded on the website.

    Hospitality industry along the Parkway needs to weigh in on the business this would cost them.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  4. #4
    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    I'll send a letter.

    But there's a typo in your quote, where they identify the Blue Ridge Parkway as a "high-elevation road."
    Hey, I just copy and paste. I'm a lot more concerned this fabulous ride is gonna be taken away from us.

  5. #5
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    great...just when i was planning on doing it this upcoming year

  6. #6
    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aquateen View Post
    great...just when i was planning on doing it this upcoming year
    Write the letter.

  7. #7
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    Where is the Blue Ridge Parkway? In the United States?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fedor View Post
    Where is the Blue Ridge Parkway? In the United States?
    Superintendent Philip A. Francis, Jr.
    Blue Ridge Parkway
    199 Hemphill Knob Road
    Asheville, NC 28803

    So reading the first post or a copy past into google would have been quicker than me writing this sentence, but whatever.

  9. #9
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    Yes, the Blue Ridge Parkway is in the United States. It's a scenic road through a mountainous area with various camping and other tourist sites along the way. Popular with touring bicyclists, motorcyclists, RV and other motorists.

    Unless I'm missing something, I don't see any indication in any of the three alternatives presented in their general plan that would close the parkway to bicyclists. One of the alternatives is to basically continue operations as they are currently while the other two make various changes such as extending the season of certain facilities, adding additional facilities, and adding some multi-use paved paths.

  10. #10
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    my guess is, and i'm a skeptic, that the entity that is asking cyclists to put up a fuss is a for profit enterprise that feels they are being threatened financially and is trying to enlist a third party (us) to help them. no thanks.

  11. #11
    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
    my guess is, and i'm a skeptic, that the entity that is asking cyclists to put up a fuss is a for profit enterprise that feels they are being threatened financially and is trying to enlist a third party (us) to help them. no thanks.
    No, while I can appreciate your doubt this is a real threat to cyclists and we need to voice our concern.

    Here's the link to the online Public Comment area:

    http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentF...cumentID=43487

  12. #12
    stole your bike roadiejorge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    Yes, the Blue Ridge Parkway is in the United States. It's a scenic road through a mountainous area with various camping and other tourist sites along the way. Popular with touring bicyclists, motorcyclists, RV and other motorists.

    Unless I'm missing something, I don't see any indication in any of the three alternatives presented in their general plan that would close the parkway to bicyclists. One of the alternatives is to basically continue operations as they are currently while the other two make various changes such as extending the season of certain facilities, adding additional facilities, and adding some multi-use paved paths.

    I haven't read the proposed plans in detail but from the link provided on this thread the problem is that it promotes the parkway as a "driving experience" which implies it's not considering the non motorized users of the parkway.
    I like pie

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    Quote Originally Posted by roadiejorge View Post
    I haven't read the proposed plans in detail but from the link provided on this thread the problem is that it promotes the parkway as a "driving experience" which implies it's not considering the non motorized users of the parkway.
    The detailed plans do mention bicyclists as intended users of the parkway. Both alternative B and C (A is to continue with current policies) state:
    "The parkway and other park roads would
    continue to be available to bicyclists and
    provide an outstanding cycling experience. In
    general, the parkway’s limited access, lower
    traffic levels, and scenic setting provide for a
    quality cycling experience. This would
    continue to be a long-term beneficial impact
    on the quality of visitor’s bicycling experience."

    I read the description of the parkway as being a "driving experience" to emphasize that traveling the road is the purpose of most visitors in contrast to normal roadways which are "transportation facilities" with the goal being to get over them as quickly as possible to reach the real destinations. Nothing there suggests that the driving must be of a motor vehicle as opposed to a bicycle or other conveyance.
    Last edited by prathmann; 12-10-11 at 10:17 PM.

  14. #14
    Je pose, donc je suis.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    No, while I can appreciate your doubt this is a real threat to cyclists and we need to voice our concern.

    Here's the link to the online Public Comment area:

    http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentF...cumentID=43487
    Incorrect. BRO's and your sensationalism do nothing to help further a rational discussion.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    The detailed plans do mention bicyclists as intended users of the parkway. Both alternative B and C (A is to continue with current policies) state:
    "The parkway and other park roads would
    continue to be available to bicyclists and
    provide an outstanding cycling experience. In
    general, the parkway’s limited access, lower
    traffic levels, and scenic setting provide for a
    quality cycling experience. This would
    continue to be a long-term beneficial impact
    on the quality of visitor’s bicycling experience."

    I read the description of the parkway as being a "driving experience" to emphasize that traveling the road is the purpose of most visitors in contrast to normal roadways which are "transportation facilities" with the goal being to get over them as quickly as possible to reach the real destinations. Nothing there suggests that the driving must be of a motor vehicle as opposed to a bicycle or other conveyance.
    Both alternatives B and C would add multipurpose trails (ie. bike trails) alongside the highway in some areas. The NPS preferred approach would only do this in the "Boone/Blowing Rock area", where alternative C would do this in the "Waynesboro,
    Roanoke, and Asheville urban areas".

    The cynic in me suspects that the folks claiming that the NPS plans would close the road to cyclists are really trying to boost that trail construction.

  16. #16
    RidingLikeCrazy! rangerdavid's Avatar
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    Here is a link to email the National Park Service Superintendent, Blue Ridge Parkway, Phil Francis. Please just clink on it and send him an email.

    http://capwiz.com/lab/issues/alert/?...57536&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]

    Please do this!! All are appreciated, and it will make a difference.

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  17. #17
    Gluteus Enormus mmmdonuts's Avatar
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    READ the proposal. None of the plan options propose banning cyclists from the BRP. Then DO send a positive note to the NPS to let them know how much you as a cyclist value the BRP. No need to follow the flaming downward spiral of the BRO.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member blacksquid's Avatar
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    Here is a succinct description of the problem (brought to you by BRO but nicely put none the less):

    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.
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  19. #19
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    Bicycles mean less dependence on cars, no huge debt burden for many, fewer mortgages and foreclosures, healthier people, less justification for endless wars for oil.

    Bicyclists are okay as long as they are out of sight, or visibly poor..or ...

    People driving past in cars seeing happy bicyclists enjoying the experience without being in peril of their lives bothers those people.

    They don't like that, its really like a religious war for them.
    Last edited by christ0ph; 12-13-11 at 10:54 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member abstractform20's Avatar
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    dont know what it is. dont care.

    in other local news, can you believe that the local water council is banning rain dancing in public?

  21. #21
    Senior Member JimF22003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_wmn View Post
    Both alternatives B and C would add multipurpose trails (ie. bike trails) alongside the highway in some areas. The NPS preferred approach would only do this in the "Boone/Blowing Rock area", where alternative C would do this in the "Waynesboro,
    Roanoke, and Asheville urban areas".
    Why on earth would they need a separated path in Waynesboro? Riding the parkway is as safe there as anywhere I've ridden. I've only seen moderate local traffic in the Roanoke area, and even there the roadway is perfectly safe.
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  22. #22
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    Everyone,

    I hope you would have read Anne Whisnant's articles linked to from our site. No one but the editor of the article linked to above suggested the Parkway would be closed to cyclists, but Parkway management are definitely playing dirty pool with the options presented in their Draft Plan.

    The essence of the issue is, they're trying to wall themselves off from having to engage with local communities and user groups, then preserve their fifedom with the red tape of NHL status.

    As the Parkway's greatest threat by far is encroaching development, this is not the way forward. Second is dwindling funding. Addressing both these issues requires engagement with surrounding communities and user groups, so citizens can work through their local governments to prevent encroachment, and lobby their congressmen and senators for funding. This is also what's in line with the National Park Service's own directives, and the Parkway's original mission of economic development for the region (nowadays, as a local recreation asset, as well as a tourism draw).

    The Draft Plan was carefully worded by Parkway managemnt to push people toward their preferred Option B -- "circle the wagons."

    The Bikeleague alert came out of a conference call that included every national bike organization, where we decided that we could only support Option C, and then only with some changes. This view is shared by municipalities and agencies from around the region.

    Thanks to everyone who wrote in. From our president, Champe Burnley, this morning:

    A big thanks to everyone for getting the word out last week to respond to the Blue Ridge Parkway draft management plan. The deadline for comments was Friday.


    Though we don't have final numbers back from the Parkway staff, as of the middle of last week, they had received 500 comments in total according to Superintendent Phil Francis.


    The League of American Bicyclists, who kindly sent out the automated blast, tells us they had a total of 600 comments submitted from 27 states. 275 of those notes were submitted by Virginia residents.


    Hopefully your efforts will influence the final management report and we will see changes to make the Parkway more bike friendly and accommodating in the future.


    Thank you!
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  23. #23
    VFL For Life Velo Vol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abstractform20 View Post
    dont know what it is. dont care.
    Who asked?

  24. #24
    VFL For Life Velo Vol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattotoole View Post
    Addressing both these issues requires engagement with surrounding communities and user groups, so citizens can work through their local governments to prevent encroachment, and lobby their congressmen and senators for funding.
    I don't follow how placing an emphasis on community feedback is necessarily the best way to promote cycling. Some communities aren't very bicycle friendly and are more interested in commercial development.

  25. #25
    Randomhead
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Vol View Post
    I don't follow how placing an emphasis on community feedback is necessarily the best way to promote cycling. Some communities aren't very bicycle friendly and are more interested in commercial development.
    I would say that the Parkway is probably surrounded by some of the most reflexively anti-cycling populations I've ever had the misfortune of living among. Riding on the Parkway itself was never a problem though.

    My understanding is this threat is over-blown.

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