National Park Service Gets $1.1 Million in Funding from the IIJA

Sept. 27, 2022
The funding will go to transportation needs in national parks

The National Park Service is allocating $1.1 million from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) to improve transportation in national parks, while partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to provide visitors with innovative, real-time travel information.

“How people travel to and in national parks is an important part of their visit and we want it to be as seamless as possible," said Park Service Director Chuck Sams. "President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is not only funding construction projects that improve road conditions, it is enabling us to research and develop techniques and methods that will result in safer and easier access to parks throughout the country."

The Park Service plans on using the funds to explore methods of delivering more accurate "what to expect" information for road and parking conditions within the parks. These travel forecasts could be used on a variety of platforms, including park and travel planning websites and the Park Service app. The agency anticipates piloting a travel forecast tool at several parks and will share research results with other public lands management agencies.

This funding will also let the agency research ways to help provide underserved communities with increased access to national parks. For this pilot project, researchers will develop and implement new wayfinding tools for two yet-to-be-named national parks, including maps, printed materials, trip planning information, and signs. Community outreach and input will be a critical part of this project. 

The funding from the IIJA will also help the Park Service research methods to prevent vehicle crashes and reduce injuries and deaths on national park roads, in coordination with the National Roadway Safety Strategy. The National Park Service will look at the effectiveness of speed-management strategies already in place at selected entrances to parks throughout the country, where drivers transition from higher-speed roads outside parks to slower-speed, multi-use roads within parks. The findings and safety strategies shown to be effective in this project will be used to improve safety in national parks and public lands.

The Park Service also received $100,000 in April for a study in Michigan that includes research into innovative mobility projects, sustainability, visitor access, traffic congestion relief, electric-vehicle charging infrastructure and safety. 

The IIJA increases funding for the Park Service portion of the Federal Lands Transportation Program by more than 20 percent to more than $1.7 billion over five years (2022 – 2026). These funds will enable the agency to invest in transportation innovation and improvements including electrifying transit systems and expanding the electric vehicle charging network, implementing projects to reduce damage to transit infrastructure from climate change, reinvesting in buses, ferries and transit facilities, and improving existing front country trails and constructing new trails and links to trail networks.


Source: USDOT

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