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National Park Service - Congestion Management Support

Record-setting visitation contributes to growing congestion in national parks, degrading visitor experience and park resources. Causes of congestion vary, from bottlenecks to visitors congregating at an attraction, or from normal traffic fluctuations and commuter traffic.

Parks sometimes require assistance in understanding, analyzing, diagnosing, and addressing congestion issues. The Washington Support Office (WASO) Transportation Branch, with support from the Volpe Center and the Federal Highway Administration, operates a Congestion Management Program that provides technical resources and assistance to parks. Volpe’s support includes independent research and analysis, program monitoring, and performance management.

Currently, the Volpe Center is updating the 2014 Congestion Management Toolkit to include new technology options and recent park examples. The effort includes capacity building to introduce NPS staff to the updated toolkit.

Volpe continues to support congestion assessments, which engage individual park units to define their congestion problems and identify congestion management tools that can help mitigate those issues.

Dozens of cars wait in line to enter a park.
Park congestion. (National Park Service photo)