If I Ran Things at the National Park Service (Natchez Trace Parkway Edition)…

I’ll post these without editorial comment for now, and revisit them in the future. What do you think?

I would immediately:

1. Reduce the speed limit on the Trace to 35 miles/55 km per hour in the Nashville, Tupelo, Jackson, and Natchez areas, and to 40 miles/65 km per hour everywhere else.

2. Aggressively enforce lowered speed limits through use of technologies such as photo radar and through high ($300 and up) fines imposed on violators.

3. Establish a $50 permit good for 30 days of travel on the Trace from the date activated for all vehicular and bicycle users.

4. Dedicate all user fees produced by the sale of permits to maintenance of and upgrades to the Trace and do not reduce regular budget allocation based on their receipt.

5. Implement all other reasonable strategies intended to remove locally generated motor vehicle traffic from the Trace, to include high fines ($1,000 and up) for persons operating vehicles without a valid permit.

6. Regrade and repave the entire NTP to add 12 inch/30 cm paved shoulder outside the roadway edge white lines or, alternatively, reduce current 12 foot/3.6 meter lane width to 11 feet/3.3 meters by restriping to create said shoulder.

7. Begin immediate purchase of viewshed easements along the Trace with early priority given to “path of growth” and high visual quality areas.

8. Establish designated bicycle camping areas at existing waysides with restrooms no further than 30 miles/50 kilometers apart.

9. Remove all “modern” wayside and point of interest place name and informational signage and replace with “traditional” NTP signage wherever possible.

10. Rebuild, refurbish or restore as appropriate deteriorated Trace amenities such as nature trails, split rail fencing, interpretive signboards, picnic tables and the like.

David Edgren
April, 2018
Natchez, Mississippi

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