ODOT proposes fees for Gorge waterfall corridor

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
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romann
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Re: ODOT proposes fees for Gorge waterfall corridor

Post by romann » December 31st, 2018, 1:57 am

Bug wrote:
December 30th, 2018, 5:58 pm
I ain't paying no extra fee for the privilege of hiking on public lands that I already pay taxes to have administered. Not going to happen. I am well-off enough that I can afford a decent lawyer, and I'll fight it. Screw them.
Thanks Bug - let us know if you make any progress.

The whole situation just makes me mad :evil: . If it was about the crowds, there wouldn't be a shuttle from Rooster Rock to Multnomah Falls. And in the end, fees won't solve anything - the demand is too great - will only change who will go to the Gorge more often. It's all about the money as I see (specific $$ figure even is stated in the plan), and about making overly complicated system that requires a lot of gov't management, all the time (transit buses, parking fees, financial and HR side of it, etc).

And thinking about parking meters as a way to increase turnout - it will increase the number of visitors on the trail, not the opposite (i.e. I'd go down Angels Rest right away vs chilling half an hour at the summit, and free that parking spot). Which may be good for the next hiker who arrived late in the day, but if we're speaking of trails being overused it will only make the "problem" worse..

Us being regular hikers, my family already use 3 hiking passes, and will soon have to choose which areas we like more and get that one pass, vs getting a $#!^load of parking passes to be able to visit all the places we like.

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retired jerry
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Re: ODOT proposes fees for Gorge waterfall corridor

Post by retired jerry » December 31st, 2018, 5:58 am

what makes me angry is that people that can afford it can make unlimited, anonymous, sometimes tax free "contributions" (bribes?) to our political leaders.

if this was fixed, maybe they'd do better at funding of the USFS so they could do a bit more trail and parking construction

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romann
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Re: ODOT proposes fees for Gorge waterfall corridor

Post by romann » December 31st, 2018, 9:19 am

Yes, I "like" how they say say no money for USPS or national parks, then give a trillion dollars to the military. Priorities first ;). And so few people who decide what priorities are.

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arlohike
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Re: ODOT proposes fees for Gorge waterfall corridor

Post by arlohike » January 1st, 2019, 1:57 pm

xrp wrote:
December 25th, 2018, 1:40 pm
How would you let people know when it is over crowded? People go somewhere else when they get there and find the parking lots full.
When the reservation system was added for the Dog Mountain trailhead last year, I proposed a crowdsourced app to track and predict parking usage:

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=26450

I didn't get to that over the summer as I had hoped, but I built an alpha version last month and have been testing it on my recent hikes. I'm planning to get some graphics on it soon and release a public beta this month. I'll update that previous thread when it's ready.

(Besides parking, it can also track weather and trail conditions at the trailhead or specific points on a trail.)

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arlohike
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Re: ODOT proposes fees for Gorge waterfall corridor

Post by arlohike » January 1st, 2019, 2:21 pm

A few thoughts after skimming the ODOT documents:

1) This didn't seem like a money grab. The stated goals are focused on reducing congestion, with photos highlighting the long lines of cars waiting to park at Multnomah Falls. Charging for parking was a small section of the overall plan, and that section included comments about variable pricing for different times of the week and year, and concerns about equitable access. It seemed clear they would be using parking fees as an incentive to use the shuttle buses or to visit at off-peak times. Personally, I think that providing accurate and timely info about parking usage would provide enough incentive. Nobody wants to drive into a traffic jam if it can be avoided.

2) Their proposed solutions include an app, fed either with data from traffic or parking cams, or from user submissions. The app I'm building collects data from users who check in when they arrive and when they leave, and then presents a combination of historical and real-time data. I'll contact ODOT and maybe we can work together on app development or promotion.

3) Many tourists drive down the historic highway and stop at each waterfall site. So paid parking would introduce a lot of hassle and lengthen the turnover time for parking spaces, unless they provided some kind of system where a parking tag purchased in any parking area would be honored at all the areas.

4) Another proposed solution was to add more of the programmable signs like "parking lot full; use shuttle." Some of that is already in use on both sides of the Gorge, and I often find it to be inaccurate, like they put up a message the week before and forgot to change it. So I hope they either deemphasize that idea, or do a better job keeping the messages up to date and accurate.
Last edited by arlohike on January 1st, 2019, 8:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Waffle Stomper
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Re: ODOT proposes fees for Gorge waterfall corridor

Post by Waffle Stomper » January 1st, 2019, 5:58 pm

I haven't visited this Oregon Hikers for a bit and am stunned to find this new development. While I intend to read through much of the ODOT website (which doesn't seem all that information friendly to me). Have any of you seen where with potential fees, is there mention of security to vehicles parked at THs? It seems that might be worthy trade off if there is some sort of service provided in exchange for potential fees.
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." - John Muir

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Charley
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Re: ODOT proposes fees for Gorge waterfall corridor

Post by Charley » January 7th, 2019, 8:01 pm

WTF???? I went out of town and haven't checked ORhikers in a few weeks and I come back to THIS???????

Didn't I suggest something like this back in the fall, when we all found out we'd have to pay through the nose just to visit the Wildernesses outside of Bend? And now, a different agency is proposed a similar thing.

We are not made of money, and these plans will reduce the constituency for conservation. Sure, there is overcrowding. These plans just ensure that the crowd will be wealthier, whiter, and more digitally connected. Good grief.

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