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Thread: Transportation within parks

  1. #1
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Transportation within parks

    This semester I am taking a studio course which is transportation oriented. We are working on a study to assess the feasibility of using rail transit inside of Liberty State Park in New Jersey. This is a state park which is home to the Liberty Science Center and now defunct Central Railroad of New Jersey terminal which is where many of the immigrants coming through Ellis Island boarded trains to their final destinations in America. Ferry service to and from Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty which are of course administered by the National Park Service.

    The rail terminal has undergone a restoration and the Liberty Science Center just reopened after a major overhaul. The park is also undergoing natural habitat restoration and is home to several monuments. Additionally, the park is now being used as a special event venue but does not have the capacity to deal with large volumes of automobile traffic. The New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center and the United Railroad Historical Society of NJ both have acquired, restored, and maintain a number of older trains, trolleys, and buses that were formerly used in the region and are interested in putting into service some of their stock in the park.

    My small team's initial information gathering task is to find examples of non-automobile transportation within national, state, and municipal parks. What we need the most assistance with is finding examples in state and especially municipal parks because the information of park amenities at these levels is less standardized than the NPS database.

    Any leads on either municipal or state parks with intra-park transportation that you might have anywhere in the U.S. would be very appreciated.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Mackinac Island in Michigan does not allow motorized vehicles of any kind (except for emergency vehicles). Most of the transport to the park is by ferry. Once in the park you have three options: Walk, Bike, or Horse. The park is adminstered by the State of Michigan.

    You should also try Parks Canada. I know several of their parks use tram service including Point Pelee. http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/on/pelee/index_e.asp Point Pelee has a centralized parking area and shuttles people to more environmentally sensitive parts of the park.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  3. #3
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    In Albuquerque, there is a smaller gauge train that links a pond park (fishing, model boats, etc.) with the Zoo and the BioPark (botanic Gardens and Aquarium). Each of these is a separate park facility separated by non-City land. The train eases movement among them and is a big hit with the kiddoes. Its called the Rio Line.

    You can link to basic info about the train here: http://www.cabq.gov/biopark/trains.html#RIO

    Info on this train is about half way down the page. Don't confuse this with the zoo's loop train which is a different deal altogether.

    You would have to contact our parks department with specific questions about the transportation aspect of things. I really know very little about it. You should be able to find all the departments and contacts you need from the website (which is the City's site).

    Good luck!
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  4. #4
    The following example is really where transportation is the park resource, but the Texas State Railroad links Rusk State Park to Palestine State Park. It is an historic steam engine that started in 1881 carrying prisoners, but now just carries tourists. Incidentally, the railroad was the state park system's biggest money loser, and it was recently transferred to private ownership. Is there anything Texas can't privatize?

    For your application, the take-home might be that the transportation solution can also be a heritage resource for visitor interpretation. Have fun with the project!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Luckless Pedestrian may know better than I, but I beleive that Arcadia National Park in Maine has a pretty extensive internal bus system.

    Yeah, take a look at this:

    http://www.exploreacadia.com/

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    I've never seen a state or city park with its on shuttle system, but one may exist. I don't think the economics would be there.

    Zion National Park has an excellent, and highly successful shuttle system. People are prohibited from driving past a point and must take the shuttle. It works beautifully. Glacier just established a hiker shuttle, but I don't think it's widely used.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    I was just at Heart Castle, a CA state park. where a bus takes folks from the visitor center to the Castle.

    Balboa Park in San Diego has a tram.

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