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altasnob
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PostThu Apr 27, 2023 9:45 am 
kiliki wrote:
If everyone wakes up early, you have the same problem. It's a problem of too many people accessing a shared resource.
In theory, you would be right. But in my experience dealing with Crystal crowds for the last 20 years is that most people just won't get up early, no matter what.

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altasnob
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PostThu Apr 27, 2023 9:47 am 
kiliki wrote:
Timed entry to me seems like the perfect solution. It's not as limited as quote type permits. People like you can get in early without a timed ticket. Average Joe Tourist can set out in his rental car and know that he has a spot to enter at a particular time.
My biggest problem with it is I will stressing to get to that gate before 7 am and if I am five minutes late I will get turned away because all the reservations spots are taken. And I am going to the Westside Road where no one goes but I still have to go through that gate. And it is ridiculous to turn me away from the Westside road at 7:05 am.

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Cyclopath
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PostThu Apr 27, 2023 9:48 am 
kiliki wrote:
They've done shuttles before, so I'm not sure why it would be far fetched.
That's code for "I don't like it and I feel entitled to get what I want."

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altasnob
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PostThu Apr 27, 2023 10:03 am 
I am not against shuttles as a long term solution. I just think people don't realize what a monumental task that will be. Purchase football field swaths of land in Ashford and Greenwater. Pave lots and maintain stormwater run off. Build ADA compliant restrooms with sewage treatment. Buy fleet of electric shuttles and buy enough of them so that shuttles can run at least every 30 minutes from 7 am to 5 pm (we're talking like 30 vehicles x 2 for both Paradise and Sunrise). Hire shuttle drivers for this. Oh, and these shuttles are only necessary July and August and really only on weekends. So lay off all these employees outside of those dates. MRNP didn't have enough money to hire a few more snowplow drivers this winter and had to close. That's why I say I have no confidence they can ever pull a shuttle system off.

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altasnob
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PostThu Apr 27, 2023 10:20 am 
I also see the line of cars at the Sunrise/Paradise as the sacrificial lamb. I shudder to think what Mowich road will be like after they implement timed reservations for Sunrise and Paradise. No possible way to have reservations for Mowich since there is no gate there.

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Kim Brown
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PostThu Apr 27, 2023 10:45 am 
altasnob wrote:
That's why I say I have no confidence they can ever pull a shuttle system off.
I don't either. But at least that discussion is on topic.

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Slugman
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PostThu Apr 27, 2023 1:06 pm 
OK, imagine this: a scanner, like at Costco checkout. You pull up to the the scanner kiosk, it scans your card and green lights you to a bypass around the entry line. No pass? Pull up to the regular booth. Less lines there with all the bypassing going on. This would support timed entry as well, you would link your AtB pass number to your reservation when you made it.

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altasnob
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PostThu Apr 27, 2023 1:12 pm 
The long lines at Paradise and Sunrise are not because the human employees can't process people fast enough. It is because the parking lots is completely full and they only allow another vehicle through when a vehicle comes down.

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zimmertr
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PostThu Apr 27, 2023 1:22 pm 
altasnob wrote:
The long lines at Paradise and Sunrise are not because the human employees can't process people fast enough. It is because the parking lots is completely full and they only allow another vehicle through when a vehicle comes down.
This might sometimes be true but it is not exclusively true. Especially if you are an early arrival. On almost every visit I'm stuck in a line of cars doing cash exchanges, waiting for credit card receipts, asking for national park maps and advice, etc. Then when I get to the booth, my America the Beautiful Pass and Driver's License are already held up to my window. They look at them for ~5 seconds to compare the signatures, and wave me through. If we lived in a society that embraced technology perhaps there might be a separate lane with an unattended gate that lifted when you scanned a barcode on your America the Beautiful pass automatically. Like driving into a gated living community.

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altasnob
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PostThu Apr 27, 2023 1:24 pm 
Ya, but it's all relative. How long did you wait? Like 20 minutes? If you come at noon on Saturday you will wait for hours. Having a more automatic system or bypass lanes will help push through the morning rush (so sure, do that if possible). But it won't solve the larger issue, that there is not enough parking for all the people who want to go there on busy summer weekends.

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Slugman
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PostThu Apr 27, 2023 2:10 pm 
Zimmer, some people will expend all their thoughts and energy explaining why nothing will ever work, even when they have to resort to nonsense. The nonsense at hand is the notion that lines only form when the parking lot is full.

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zimmertr
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PostThu Apr 27, 2023 2:14 pm 
I think both things are true. Mr Snob ( wink.gif ) has a very valid point in what they're saying. Fundamentally the metro area and love for hiking is growing at an exponential rate and overcrowding is occuring. As much as I hate permits and avoid permitted areas, it's probably an unfortunate necessity. I would love to see shuttles introduced to a parking area outside the park. I know I would never personally use it though. It's not really like Yosemite or Glacier where you could easily shuttle between trailheads and stuff. Rainier parking lots are very far apart from one another. Honestly sounds like we're all screwed lol. Rainier access is going to go the way of the Enchantments. Once permits are introduced, so is demand. And even getting to Paradise will soon become a social media driven competition with people strategizing around how to get permits. The writing was on the wall with the reduced acess this winter.

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PostThu Apr 27, 2023 3:30 pm 
Quote:
It's not really like Yosemite or Glacier where you could easily shuttle between trailheads and stuff. Rainier parking lots are very far apart from one another.
A shuttle between trailheads isn't what's needed at Rainier. They need a way to make going up to Paradise or Sunrise, which is what most people want to do, a sane experience. So much of the demand is just the average tourist who wants to drive up to Paradise and spend a relatively short amount of time. They are probably spending a couple days before or after their cruise and they want to see Rainier. Look at the Trip Advisor WA forum sometime. See how many people ask about this. Having timed entry, which is already used at other parks and so isn't a new concept to most NP visitors, will be great for them. I've avoided going to either Paradise or Sunrise, except maybe on a weekday in October, for years due to the crowds, and I've avoided going through the Nisqually or White River entrances for the same reason. If I hike at Rainier it's generally along 410. Maybe this will actually give me access to a hike at one of these areas now. If I have a timed entry, why not?
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Honestly sounds like we're all screwed lol.
I think this about having a sane uncrowded access to outdoor places in WA in general. I am pretty pessimistic about our population and tourism growth. But I think something like timed entry and permits/reservations will at least give me access to some places at sometimes. With the current free for all, with everyone competing for the same places...I don't want to be part of that and I tend to opt out.

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zimmertr
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PostThu Apr 27, 2023 3:55 pm 
I know that's not the express reason for having a shuttle. But, at other national parks I've been to, that's usually their primary, or at least secondary, feature. I did a huge 20 mile dayhike at Yosemite a couple years ago and connected the ending location to my origin location with a shuttle bus. That was awesome! I likely wouldn't use a shuttle to transport into the park though. Because it would likely add a serious amount of logistics and time on both sides of the trip. I would rather wake up at 4AM and drive in. Or go somewhere else. Or use a bike. If I couldn't drive in, I probably wouldn't go. Or at least I wouldn't go anywhere near as often. Fortunately I've been lucky enough to see most of the highlights of the park by now. I'm not saying it's a bad idea. I think it's a great idea. I think a lot of people would use it. I just know that I wouldn't use it. I'm not even claiming my opinion on the matter is a good one. Personal car culture and lack of good public transportation is one of the worst parts about America.

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altasnob
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PostThu Apr 27, 2023 5:27 pm 
kiliki wrote:
I've avoided going to either Paradise or Sunrise, except maybe on a weekday in October, for years due to the crowds, and I've avoided going through the Nisqually or White River entrances for the same reason. If I hike at Rainier it's generally along 410. Maybe this will actually give me access to a hike at one of these areas now. If I have a timed entry, why not?
You assume you will be able to get a reservation. I assume it will be like trying to reserve any outdoor activity with the federal government and you will need to reserve six months in advance and be lucky. If you wait until you know the weather will be good, all times will be booked by those cruise ship visitors. The lucky few who score a reservation will think its great. And everyone else will be screwed. I think people overestimate how crowded MRNP is. I do most of my hiking there. You can even hike from Paradise and Sunrise during peek weekend days if you go early (or late). And if you want solitude, just find a trail that doesn't have a view of Rainier (or at least requires a lot of miles and vert to get that view). Some of the most crowded hikes in the park, like Crystal Lakes or Tolmie Peak, wouldn't require a reservation and will become even more crowded.

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