Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

Thread: Comment on Great Falls Park's new fees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Columbia Pike
    Posts
    1,334
    Post Thanks / Like

    Exclamation Comment on Great Falls Park's new fees

    NPS is accepting comments on increased fees at Great Falls Park (both MD and VA). They are proposing to raise the vehicle pass (which includes all passengers) price from $10 to $15 and the person (on foot, bike or horse) price from $5 to $7.

    I thought folks might feel inclined to comment. Here's what I submitted if anyone wants to crib.

    The fees as structured, provide an economic incentive to drive to Great Falls and fail to properly account for the increased costs that the Park incurs to build & maintain a parking lot for those cars.

    Under the proposed fees, a family of three who drives to Great Falls all in car would pay $15. That same family of three if they arrived on foot or by bicycle would pay $21 despite not putting any significant wear and tear on the roads and despite not taking up a parking space.

    A better fee structure would assess a per-person fee, no matter what means of transportation your arrive via + an additional per-car surcharge to compensate the Park for the capital costs, maintenance costs and environmental damage created by the parking lot.

    An example might be:
    $6 per person + $5 per car

    So that family of three who arrives in a single car would pay $23 (3 x $6 for people plus $5 for the car), if they arrived by foot or by bike they would pay $18 (just the 3 x $6 for the people). This incentivises environmentally-sustainable transportation methods and better aligns the fee structure with the park's costs.

  2. Likes huskerdont, Judd, Rod Smith liked this post
  3. #2
    hozn's Avatar
    hozn is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    3,257
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I wonder what percentage of cyclists pay the admission vs just entering the park via C&O (MD) or CCT/Difficult Run trail (VA).

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    1,858
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I don't think I've ever driven to Great Falls. Is there someone collecting payment for cars when you pull in there? At most of the battlefields, you're supposed to stop in the visitor center and pay the fee. Since there's nothing preventing parking and walking the battlefield without going into the visitor center, it's easy to become a free rider (or not even know that there's a fee).

  5. #4
    TwoWheelsDC's Avatar
    TwoWheelsDC is online now I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Capitol Hill
    Posts
    3,477
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    I don't think I've ever driven to Great Falls. Is there someone collecting payment for cars when you pull in there?
    Yes, there is a ticket booth at the road entrance...similar to Skyline Drive, you can't avoid it if you're in a car.

  6. Likes Judd liked this post
  7. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    MoCo
    Posts
    877
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    On the Maryland side, it's pretty easy to arrive by the towpath from Swain's Lock or the Old Angler's Inn lots. Very few cyclists will end up being tagged for this payment.

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    1,858
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    Yes, there is a ticket booth at the road entrance...similar to Skyline Drive, you can't avoid it if you're in a car.
    Well, I guess have not paid the entrance fee to Great Falls on at least 3 occasions. Just another scofflaw cyclist. I didn't know that there was a fee and don't recall seeing any signage indicating a fee for someone accessing from the C&O.

  9. #7
    TwoWheelsDC's Avatar
    TwoWheelsDC is online now I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Capitol Hill
    Posts
    3,477
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    Well, I guess have not paid the entrance fee to Great Falls on at least 3 occasions. Just another scofflaw cyclist. I didn't know that there was a fee and don't recall seeing any signage indicating a fee for someone accessing from the C&O.
    There’s no fee on the MD side regardless of how you enter.

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    109
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    There’s no fee on the MD side regardless of how you enter.
    There is! A friend got dinged when entering on his bike via MacArthur Blvd. I watched and laughed.

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Columbia Pike
    Posts
    1,334
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    There’s no fee on the MD side regardless of how you enter.
    https://www.nps.gov/choh/planyourvisit/fees.htm
    The ONLY location in the park that collects entrance fees are at Great Falls Entrance Station. The entrance station is located at 11710 MacArthur Boulevard, Potomac, MD 20854. Over 80% of the fees collected are returned to the park for specific projects. All other access to the park is free.

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    1,025
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Because of going there often enough for kayaking, and trips to SNP, I get the $80 yearly pass, which is worth it if you go often enough and can afford it. Otherwise, yeah, if money is tight, just park at Difficult Run (or Angler's Inn, etc.) and walk/run/ride in.

    I don't mind supporting the park service, but I would prefer that it were properly funded so that everyone can enjoy the parks. This is why we pay taxes--so we can have nice things. It shouldn't be so expensive that only the middle and upper class can visit them. /cranky rant

  13. Likes KWL liked this post

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •