TCMP Dismissed Alternatives

We considered and dismissed several alternatives during the creation of the Traffic Congestion Managment Plan (TCMP). You can learn more about a few of them here, or view the entire environmental assessment (EA).
a drawing of a person waiting for a red shuttle bus

Shuttle System

This alternative would implement a voluntary shuttle system to transport visitors to major sites and trailheads in the park.

  1. It won't do much to reduce vehicle congestion.
    • Low ridership: At most, an estimated 19 percent of visitors would choose the shuttle instead of driving into the park.
    • High annual visitation growth rates: Even with a shuttle, vehicle congestion would exceed current levels after a couple years.
  2. There's a long distance between sites and trailheads.
    • The roundtrip shuttle ride would take 2.5 hours with stops.
  3. A shuttle system requires a large parking hub near the park entrance.
    • There is not enough space (4-6 acres) within the park, and no workable options exist outside the park.
  4. Annual operating costs start at $2.8 million.
    • This means diverting $2.8 million in revenues that we would use to address the park's deferred maintenance backlog.

a drawing of orange and red cars in a parking lot

Build for Demand

This alternative would build larger parking lots, trails, and infrastructure to accommodate increased traffic as visitation grows.

  1. It can harm the visitor's experience.
    • It would contribute to more crowding on trails and increased visitor conflicts.
    • Forty percent of visitors in the 2016 Visitor Use Survey described primary sites as "very" or "extremely" crowded.
    • We strive to maintain a variety of visitor experiences. This alternative would mean fewer opportunities for primitive and remote visitor experiences.
  2. It can harm fundamental park resources.
    • Increased construction would lead to more social trails, wider developed trails, trampling of soil crusts, loss of vegetation and habitat, and visual impacts on park scenery.
a drawing showing a map of Arches with a red arrow in the northwest

Secondary Entrance Road

This alternative would build a second formal entrance into Arches National Park on either the Willow Springs Road or Salt Valley Road.

  1. A new entrance road would be ineffective.
    • It wouldn't reduce congestion within the park. It would only provide limited relief at the entrance station.
  2. A new entrance road is infeasible.
    • Miles of these roads lie outside the park boundary on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and state School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) lands.
    • There would be considerable construction costs and more recurring maintenance needs when the park is already facing a substantial deferred maintenance backlog.


Last updated: September 28, 2018

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