Page images

map. Using guide reference markers on selected signs and placing north arrows on the road or under location reference signs allows visitors to coordinate the sign and map locations.


If possible, a telephone should be provided within walking distance of a developed day use area or campground. One telephone per developed recreation area should be a minimum for emergency call purposes. As stated previously, reluctance of telephone companies to extend lines to a distant recreation area could be overcome by the Corps subsidizing the marginal costs required to meet phone company expenses. The telephone system should be contained in a vandal resistant box, and not require a coin deposit to call the operator or the standard 911 emergency number if it has been implemented. The design of an esthetically pleasing telephone booth system to coordinate with th outdoor landscape would be desirable. However, the telephone booths should be located adjacent to roads, in clear view, rather than within a closely landscaped situation.


Brochures can provide a useful reference guide to the Corps recreation area. Review of many Corps brochures revealed the need to improve orientation between map and ground locations. Reference points throughout a project area should be established and graphically coordinated with the map brochure. Locations of telephones and other sources of emergency assistance should be clearly represented on the maps. Rules and regulations of recreation area use should be included in the brochure. A distilled version of Title 36, including substitution of symbols where possible, should be developed for brochure use.

Automobile Radio Broadcasts

The transmitting of recorded information over a localized automobile radio frequency within recreation areas is another communication technique that was used successfully, such as at Yellowstone National

Park. Emergency assistance information could be interspersed with dialogues on project history, natural environment and recreation activities. Explanation of recreation area values and rules could also be tactfully interjected.

Interpretative Talks

Interpretative talks by rangers are considered a very useful means of educating visitors on the values of outdoor resources and their prudent use. Some interpretative talks occur at Corps recreation areas, but for the most part, there is little time provided in the ranger's duty hours to develop good interpretative programs . The establishment of more visitor oriented programs, particularly those with increased visitor involvement (as distinguished from resource management-oriented programs) could have a significant impact on reducing visitor disturbances and nuisance of project resources.

From the law enforcement and visitor protection standpoint, communication must be effective, accurate, and swift. The use of up-todate communications techniques and technologies can both add to the enjoyment of the recreation visitor as well as increase the level of security. The state of the art in graphic design, electronic communication technology, and understanding the behavioral responses to perceived information is quite far advanced over that presently implemented at Corps lakes. Further inquiry into the behavioral responses to improved information, education and communication at Corps recreation areas would likely reveal many areas where the quality of recreation experience could be easily enhanced.

[blocks in formation]

The study found the incidence of crime or disturbances was lower in campgrounds where fees were collected. Litter and vandlism was also lower in fee areas. Corps rangers and managers stated the reasons for this was the fact that a uniformed attendant was usually present at the access, or came around to the campsite in the evening to collect the


This provided a sense of security, for which people are willing to pay. This finding also agreed with a previous study mentioned earlier.


While the question arises regarding double-taxing, that is, whether public funds should pay for O&M as well as for the cost of the land, water development and special recreation facilities, it has been calculated that the fee charges required to support an effective visitor protection program would involve a very low per-capita visitor fee. Moreover, while fees are still a controversial issue, nevertheless, it appears that the public is accepting the notion of paying direct costs of special facilities and services used.

Visitors could also have a hypothetical choice of selecting a kind of recreation program supported with a use fee, or opt for the level of development and service (visitor protection) they now receive through the federal budget process.

The fee program at Corps lakes has been inconsistent over the past few years due to changes in federal legislation. It seems clear that in spite of the adverse reaction of people in certain areas of the country, the approach of fees to support the quantity and quality of recreation facilities and programs will need to be very carefully considered.


Access and Circulation

The following guidelines may be used to design access and circulation within a recreation area to improve visitor protection and law enforcement. These guidelines may be applied in conjunction with the normal planning and design objectives of providing safe, convenient, efficient and environmentally integrated roadways at recreation areas.

Single Access Points

Single access or entrance points to a recreation area offers the most effective control. Management functions such as attendance

counting, fee collection, distribution of information and rules literature, surveillance and establishing personal contact with visitors may be easily accomplished, as shown in Sketch 3. Attendants at an entry gate provide good public relations and establish a sense of security. It also renders a deterrent influence to antisocial intentions.

At areas where multiple access points exist, entrance could be restricted to one point with other accesses limited to exit traffic. This could be accomplished by using one-way traffic barriers such as drive-over fork gates, as shown in Sketch 4.

Traffic Control

Traffic control is one area of ranger duty that can utilize automatic control systems, and thereby enable the ranger to concentrate more on other activities. Speed control can be accomplished by automatic light or sound warning and photographing devioes that activate upon sensing excessive speed. Other control and warning methods include speed bumps and pavement texture, as shown in Sketch 5.

Painting lines or placing roadside markers at predetermined intervals to measure speed has been used successfully by some Corps rangers. Painting speed limit numbers on road pavement can eliminate ano her sign from the roadside environment.

Road Shoulders, Pullovers, and Turn-arounds

Roadside space can be provided at planned intervals to allow visitors to pullover to read information signs and to enable ranger patrol to pause for surveillance views. Many of the roads in Corps recreation areas do not have adequate shoulders for such use. Important information signs should have paved pullovers, as previously shown in Sketch 2.

No parking should be allowed in these off-road areas. Painted lines along road pavement denoting no parking is preferable to adding more signs to the roadside environment.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »