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  #11  
Old 01-29-2008, 09:30 PM
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Byron, I always appreciate your insight and respect your opinion and knowledge. I actually support restricting private automobile traffic in Cades Cove to either "Alternative 4" or "Alternative 5", which would impose a reservation system + tram or tram only, respectively, during peak season. To be honest, I never take my car into the loop any more because the traffic is so bad (Look! A squirrel! Let's all stop right in the middle of the road and take pictures/chase it!). It is just too frustrating. I also limit my walks/bike trips to the times when auto traffic is prohibited. The difference in the Cove with and without cars is unbelievable. I think the trams would be great; providing access to all (including fisherman and hikers) while maintaining some peace and quiet.

Any thoughts on any of the 5 proposed "Alternatives"? Any ideas on which contenders are likely to be implemented?

Thanks as always,
Nick
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  #12  
Old 01-29-2008, 10:49 PM
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I have struggled with the topic of the cove and personally come to the opposite conclusion. While the idea of cutting crowds (theoretically) and pollution (the one reason I would support the idea of trams) is nice, in my opinion it really limits your flexibility. No cars (at least at certain times of the day) in the cove would be frustrating to me. When I'm in the area fishing and feel like running over to Abrams, I want to be able to do so flexibly which means having my own transportation. Riding a bus/tram would be annoying because you will be stopping every little ways for people to get on/off. It would still take a long time to get around the cove and you can forget getting around at your own pace if you want to go slow. Even more annoying would be the requirement to make a reservation if you want to drive your own car. That would definitely put an end to any spur of the moment Abrams trips, at least during the peak hours each day that the system was in place. I think the cove is what it is and by having the mobs descending on it, other parts of the park go largely unnoticed leaving us a lot of places to enjoy without the crowds...

I personally would like to see an entrance fee for the park (with a season pass option of course). All other major parks have one so its long overdue. With the extra $$$, get more rangers patrolling the cove (and elsewhere) and write tickets for blocking traffic...seriously, people wouldn't be rude if it started costing them a fortune. I think the traffic flow would be much better if people were forced to pull off or keep moving.

Unfortunately, any of the solutions (including leaving it as is) will still have pitfalls of some type...unless maybe they could just give me access privileges at all times...

Hopefully they'll figure something out...
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  #13  
Old 01-30-2008, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Plateau Angler View Post

I personally would like to see an entrance fee for the park (with a season pass option of course). All other major parks have one so its long overdue.
I've often thought the same thing...in fact, the first time I visited the park (as an adult), I made sure to go by an ATM and get some cash - I assumed there was a fee. I think a nominal fee would be great - the park would at least partially become self-sufficient. However, that will probably never happen, because of the stipulation Tennessee and North Carolina put on the formation of the park - that the over-mountain highway would be a free road. I certainly don't want to come across as a snob, and ordinarily I would be against what amounts to a tax (well, it isn't really, but you catch my drift). However, all these people are enjoying the park, all funded by our income taxes; if it takes a use fee to free the park from the shackles of the annual federal budgeting process, and, however infinitesimally, reduce my bill from Uncle Sam, I'm all for it.
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  #14  
Old 01-30-2008, 08:13 AM
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Sad to say, if you cut out the automobiles, you'll cut out funding to the park, that's the way gov't works
They say there was a time in history when folks walked or rode mules/horses, of course we're to lazy for that.
It's ashame with all the technology we have today, we still aren't smart enough to protect the ecology of the world, we just manage to destroy it..

Grumpy
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  #15  
Old 01-30-2008, 11:09 AM
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I think someone set the record straight once before but isnn't there some restriction on charging an entrance fee to the GSMNP that was established when the park was created?
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  #16  
Old 01-30-2008, 11:56 AM
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Paula Begley Paula Begley is offline
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I think someone set the record straight once before but isnn't there some restriction on charging an entrance fee to the GSMNP that was established when the park was created?
Yes.

Many people fear the restriction of vehicles to be a first step in the revocation of that entrance fee restriction, so it would create a fire storm of protest.

Paula
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  #17  
Old 01-30-2008, 01:32 PM
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Default help

I stepped into this a little late, but where can I go to read about the different Alternatives to traffic in Cades Cove? I have heard that they were considering something for a while now, I just didn't know what was proposed. Other than my 1 trip a year to run the loop while it is closed to automobiles, I personally refuse to visit the place due to the congestion. If I want to fish Abrams, I hike up from the campground, which means that I have never fished above the falls.

Grumpy, You stated that if you cut out automobiles, you cut out funding. Is the park funded by traffic count, or were you just implying that with reduced visitors, the government wouldn't see a need for more funds?
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  #18  
Old 01-30-2008, 02:34 PM
BoostBlitzen BoostBlitzen is offline
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I too stepped in late.

I just wanted to say that where I live (southeast FL) they have royally screwed up everything here when it comes to zoning and planning. I wouldnt even consider owning a house here. I'm 25 now, and I remember when I was about 14, and lived within 5 miles of the everglades. I remember thinking that they'll never build out much further that that. WRONG. All of the cool places to fish, ride dirtbikes/atv's GONE. You can't even go out in the middle of nowhere and shoot a firearm, unless you know for a fact no one will hear or see you. This state (at least the southern end of it) its just crap now.

I'm pretty much stuck here unless I can find a job that pays what mine does now, elsewhere. Its such a crummy feeling to hate where you live. I hope someone fixes the way things are being done in this country when it comes to who can live/develop in what areas. I mean, yeah we have national parks, but what good are they when the surrounding areas get so polluted and congested, that the park simply dies over time?

I know people want to live "in it" but when are people going to realize that there are limits to what nature can deal with. Eventually we'll end up like China where some rivers and lakes are so polluted that you are 90% likely to get some sort of cancer just by walking along the banks.

Pigeon forge is pretty much an abomination, and Gatlinburg is close to it. Why do people think I come to the mountains to see a haunted house, or Ripley's beleive it or not crap? If I wanted to go see sharks, I would go to Seaworld, or the Keys. Whomever is or was in charge of planning Gatlinburg, really does not care about what they are doing. Why didn't they keep it tasteful? Who comes to the mountaints and says "oh man it was beautiful hiking to Abrams falls today, I can't wait to go to Gatlinburg and go to the aquarium, and also pigeon forge to ride some go-karts!" ? Simply rediculous...

We stay in wears valley when we visit, and its OK, but when i was last in townsend, I thought it was a nice, clean town. It would be a shame to lose it to idiot planning, and turned into a tourist trap.

The government needs to start saying NO to these people, developers, etc, and protect what few last untainted wilderness (and its surrounding areas) we have before its too late. I know people need places to live, and open up buisnesses, but enough is enough.

Anway, I get worked up over this stuff, thanks for reading.

Last edited by BoostBlitzen; 01-30-2008 at 02:42 PM.. Reason: grammatical
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  #19  
Old 01-30-2008, 02:40 PM
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Default Right to visit Cades cove

I applaud Byronís efforts to preserve Townsend and the areas aesthetics. As for as Cades Cove I believe every one has the right to enjoy it but the traffic does get bad and when all you want to do is get to Abrams creek to fish it gets frustrating. Maybe there should be more places for people to stop and get out of traffic so the flow would be a little steadier.

But when it gets down to it you can not please every one and I do not wish to see much restriction on access. How to achive some balance is a difficult question.
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  #20  
Old 01-30-2008, 02:45 PM
MtnMike MtnMike is offline
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Default visited Cades Cove last Friday

I was on my way back home to the tri-cities from Chattanooga last Friday and decided to cut through Maryville instead of driving through Knoxville. In Maryville my car made a right hand turn and started toward Townsend, I hadn't been to Cades Cove in several months and I couldn't resist being this close. I entered the Cove at about 4:30 PM. I saw very little traffic, but I did count 101 deer from the entrance to the Abrams Creek parking lot. I think that Cades Cove is the most beautiful place on earth. And in answer to my own question in another thread, if I could only fish one creek it would be Abrams, above the falls. I can't imagine not being able to drive there. Yes there are certain times of the year that I can't imagine trying to drive there, but I just avoid those times. I know it will never happen, but I think they need to create a parking lane the entire length of the loop, 45 degree parking on the right hand side. And strictly enforce the no stopping in the road policy. I would rather drive past empty parking space or look over parked cars that wait in line thirty minutes for everyone in front of you to take pictures of wildlife that is no longer even there by the time you get to the spot. At the very least, create more parking in prominant spots. During the busy season there simply isn't enough parking. It seems that most of the wildlife viewing is toward the center of the cove and if you created parking primarily on the right the parked cars wouldn't block the view for those who just want to keep moving. Crowded or not I still want to drive Cades Cove and I want to have access to Abrams Creek. And just as I am about to finish with my 2 cents worth, I realize that I hope they never finish the "road to nowhere" on the North Carolina side. What's the difference? I think it is because one is already there. We just need to find a way to make it better.
My 2 cents,
Mike
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