industry news National Parks Tioga Pass Route 120 Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park Announces Public Meeting to Provide Updates on the Big Oak Flat Welcome Center and the Tuolumne Meadows Parking Relocation Projects

Tuolumne River Yosemite National Park
Written by Charlie Pankey

Sierra Rec Magazine – Yosemite National Park New Release – May, 8 2019 – Yosemite National Park is hosting a public meeting on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at the Groveland Community Hall (18720 Highway 120, Groveland, CA) to provide an update on two upcoming projects: the Big Oak Flat Welcome Center and the Tuolumne Meadows Parking Relocation Projects. Park staff will discuss implementation and operations for both projects, which will begin construction in 2020.

The meeting will take place from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm. Park staff will give presentations from 3:00–3:45 pm followed by an Open House from 3:45 to 4:30 pm.

The Big Oak Flat Welcome Center project will improve the visitor experience, address deferred maintenance and improve public safety. This project will also increase efficiency through construction of a new welcome center, comfort station, and information plaza. Additionally, the project will improve visitor parking through the construction of a new parking lot and extend the sewer line that connects to the Hodgdon Meadow septic system.

The park approved a Finding of No Significant Impact for the Big Oak Flat Welcome Center project in February 2019 after release of an environmental assessment for public comment in November 2018.

Park staff will also provide information on the Tuolumne Meadows Parking Relocation Project, which is intended to move shoulder parking along the Tioga Road at Tuolumne Meadows (near the Visitor Center and Cathedral Lake trailhead) into expanded parking areas within nearby upland areas. The current roadside parking negatively impacts the visitor experience by blocking views of Tuolumne Meadows. Additionally, vehicles encroach into meadow and riparian areas, negatively impacting critical meadow habitat.

The new expanded parking areas will accommodate the same number of parking spaces removed from the roadside along with regional transit buses and other oversized vehicles. The Tuolumne Meadows Parking Relocation Project was approved as part of the Tuolumne Wild and Scenic River Comprehensive Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement / Record of Decision (2014).

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Charlie Pankey

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