Proposed System Aims to Relieve Traffic Gridlock at Yosemite

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WASHINGTON -- The National Tour Association said it is working with the National Park Service to develop a day-use reservation system for Yosemite National Park.

The system will be designed to alleviate overcrowding on park roads during popular summer weekends and is scheduled to be in place between 1998 and 2000.

Yosemite, one of the largest national parks in the U.S., gets 4.1 million visitors each year and more than 26,000 visitors a day on popular weekends, causing traffic gridlock on park roads and in parking areas.

For several years, the park has been delaying visitors through a computerized "restricted access plan" run by an outside contractor.

In November, B.J. Griffith, superintendent of Yosemite, told the National Park Service Advisory Board, which is chaired by NTA executive vice president Jim Host, that he wants to begin work on a day-use reservation system this spring.

Options will be released soon by the park service, and the public will be able to comment on them, according to the NTA.

"We recognize the extraordinary congestion problems confronting Yosemite in peak visitation periods, and we want to work with them to resolve the problem in reasonable and realistic means," said NTA Washington representative Jim Santini.

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