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Proposed parking permits could be "phased in" for Logan Pass

Posted at 7:33 PM, Sep 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-10 16:26:21-04

WEST GLACIER — If Glacier National Park decides to go with a permitting system to control congestion at Logan Pass, Park Superintendent Jeff Mow expects changes would be "phased in", to make sure they're working.

The idea of using parking permits is just one of several ideas included in the new draft Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor Management Plan, which is just being released.

The plan has been in development since 2012, with an eye toward configuring guidelines for managing roads, trails, campgrounds and other facilities along the iconic route through the heart of Glacier.

But since the ideas first started to flow, the Sun Road has seen a dramatic increase in traffic, with a 40% jump. So proposals like parking permits, improving shuttles and parking and limiting visitors at points like Logan Pass are on the table.

Even so, Mow expects the various "tools" will be phased in over time, allowing the opportunity to adjust, making sure the Glacier "visitor experience" is preserved.

"Still allowed for those destination visitors to have some certainty when they come to visit the park, but also having, still, half the campground first come, first serve. Certainly that was something that the locals are more used to having, our local visitors," Mow told MTN News.

"So I think we're trying to find the right balance. You know, so when we look at piloting, time restrictions things like that, I don't we'll take a whole parking lot and implement that right away. We'll probably do it in phases."

Written comments on the plan are being accepted until Oct. 6 with a public hearing at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell next Tuesday evening.