This year marks the National Parks Centennial, an event years in the planning. Celebrations started in 2015 with “Find Your Park,” which is partly responsible for the increase in visitation to national parks everywhere.
So why have UDOT and Springdale decided that 2016 is the time to gut Utah State Route 9 from Rockville to Zion’s south entrance, rendering Springdale’s only road into the park virtually impassable in the middle of a tourist season that will break visitation records?
Springdale’s mayor has called the project “a nightmare,” but the mayor and town council have not asked UDOT to delay the project for one year. Apparently, neither has Zion National Park. What are these people thinking?
I live in Springdale, and I saw on a daily basis the congestion created by 3.5 million visitors in 2015. I can’t imagine what 2016 will look like.
This is a disaster in the making. The poor, unsuspecting visitors who come to Zion to “find their park” will have a nightmarish experience, as the mayor predicts, and the damage to Springdale’s tourism industry could last for decades.
Is it too late for UDOT to reschedule?