Transit System Designed to Reduce Pollution, Congestion at Gettysburg National Military Park

A computerized system is being turned to with hopes it can reduce both pollution and congestion at Gettysburg National Military Park by more smoothly directing visitors to parking areas.

According to park officials, on the busiest days of the summer at Gettysburg the spacious parking lots at the museum and visitor center can sometimes fill completely – and the 150th anniversary year hasn’t even arrived yet.


Fortunately, thanks to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the York Adams Transportation Authority, the Gettysburg Foundation, and other community partners, a solution is on the way, they say. “Smart Parking” will be installed and field tested this summer to reduce traffic congestion, reduce CO2 emissions, and improve the visitor experience.


The computerized system will be activated when parking lots at the museum and visitor center fill up – including overflow lots along Taneytown Road near the national cemetery. Once the smart parking system is activated, new electronic message signs that will be installed along Route 15 will direct visitors to park at The Outlet Shoppes at Gettysburg, located at Routes 15 and 97 (Baltimore Pike).

Freedom Transit shuttle buses will provide free transportation from the outlet mall to the museum and to additional sites in the town of Gettysburg. Using Freedom Transit has the added advantage of increasing public awareness of this fairly new system that links the museum with the national cemetery, businesses along Steinwehr Avenue, and the heart of historic downtown Gettysburg.

Increased visitor awareness and ridership has tremendous potential for positive economic impacts for all of the attractions and businesses along the entire route of the Lincoln Line, from Steinwehr Avenue, to Baltimore Street and the downtown, according to park officials. Installation of the signs is expected to begin soon, with completion before summer so that the park will have a full year to test it out before the big 150th anniversary year. Thanks to support from the Gettysburg Foundation, all rides on Freedom Transit are free through 2013.

Enhancements to the system have already been funded by the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program and will include conversion to alternative fuels for the shuttle busses, and real-time intelligent mapping that uses GPS to let visitors know where the next bus is, and how soon it will arrive to pick them up.

Comments

They're going to spend over $750K for a system to tell motorists when the parking lot if full even though it only fills to capacity a few days out of the year. Seems like a few temporary employees would be more cost effective.

Yep, I am not buying it. This whole things sounds like a way for the locals to usher traffic to their chosen locations. I looked at the website and I looked at the routes, and I am not seeing the way that these things are going to take very many cars off the road. Yes, Gettysburg needs help getting cars off the road. However they are thier own worst enemy, the main thing to do at gettysburg is the driving tour!
What would be great is if the busses ran the driving tour route. You could hop off of one, and then once you explored the location for as long as you wanted, you hopped onto the next one. However since that does not necessarily drop ou infront of the knick knack store on the square in down town gettysburg, it would never be allowed... even though it would be the best way to truly reduce automobile traffic.
This entire thing is just another way that the environment is used as a cheap excuse to waste money. Spend the money on REAL environmental solutions, and use a a-frame sign that tells people the lot is full.

We just left visiting the park today. If the lack of people in the local campgrounds is any indication, then tourism is way down. However the parking area at the VC is limited. Just park in the first one you come to. The second one is dedicated to only "green" vehicles and the other is handicap. We rode the bus from parking to VC but that was all we walked back eachtime. The lot at the Cemetary was never close to full. We never saw any evidence of the above mentioned signs.