Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Are road turnouts part of the National Park system?

OK, I understand that the shutdown of the federal government requires the National Parks and Monuments to be closed.  But I don't understand why officials felt it necessary to block off all the road turnouts leading to Mt. Rushmore and Devil's Tower National Monument with cones.  So, not only could you not visit the parks, but they made it more difficult to safely view the sites from public roads in the vicinity of the parks. 

Unless there is some public safety reason for this, it appears to be a political ploy to make the disruption even more unpleasant.  It is already unpleasant enough (and, of course, totally unnecessary), but why would you want to aggravate people even more?


Jen said...

I think you answered your own question- to make the disruption even more unpleasant. Why would monuments that are open 24/7 suddenly be barricaded away from the public.

Paul Levy said...

Right. To be clear. The parts that are obstructed are the scenic overlooks along the roads to the monuments. (I understand why the parks themselves are locked up.)

R said...

It's punitive, my state's park system is fond of "closing" parks when their budget is cut rather than locking the restrooms and removing the trash cans. Actual operational expenses don't usually have much to do with the actions they take.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's the federal employees' only quiet way of stating their case. Doesn't compare to the stupidity of a government shutdown.


Anonymous said...

This is one place the tea party R's are miscalculating. The executive branch controls the shutdown, and you better believe they'll maximize their advantage. If this goes on very long, I won't be surprised to see the D's in complete control of congress after the next election. Surely that's not what they think the end game will look like.

massmotorist said...

OMB guidance stipulates that "[t]he determination of which services continue during an appropriations lapse is not affected by whether the costs of shutdown exceed the costs of maintaining services."


Basically, federal services have to be shuttered even if the cost of keeping them up is nil.

This is also the reason that government websites that are still online put up pages or redirects that block public access even if they are on pre-paid, contracted servers:

Also, see Washington Monument Syndrome:

Sweet Virago said...

I just read, in several sites (not sure if any are reliable) but the sites said that the employees at the parks were told to deliberately cause as much trouble as possible! It's hard to believe, since I live in Alaska and know a few park rangers, and don't see it happening here but down there? Well, those photos are not lying. Maybe it was part of the plan of disruption by the New GOP. Sad to think they control so much, and did it so easily. Maybe they will fall as quickly as they rose. Pride'll do that.

hipparchia said...

It is already unpleasant enough (and, of course, totally unnecessary), but why would you want to aggravate people even more?

there are a lot of people in this country who think that they want "less government" and who have no earthly clue what amenities their govt provides them.

i'm not sure how many people got the message - hey! this could disappear forever! - but i'm glad some agencies tried to take advantage of a teachable moment.