Police and local residents report that a number of disputes have arisen over parking at Wallum Lake during holidays. Some of this is just the usual laundry list of local tempests in a teapot combined with a dash of disaster porn around the fistfights that result, but there is also a legitimate problem to be resolved, and it's a lesson in why even some rural locations can't expect their entire mode-share to be met by cars.
DOUGLAS - Long-simmering tensions between local officials and the state Department of Conservation and Recreation are nearing the boiling point after the past two weekends brought disturbances to town from Douglas State Forest visitors. At issue are unruly crowds who cause trouble while waiting for the parking lot at Wallum Lake Recreation Area to reopen after it reaches capacity.
"Somebody is going to get hurt," Police Chief Patrick T. Foley said in an interview Tuesday. "To me, we've pretty much been held hostage by DCR on this."
The solution to the parking disputes is higher parking prices, added bus service, and improved biking facilities. But it's amazing to the see the back-flips people do to avoid doing what would work.
In the Netherlands, rural areas frequently have high mode-shares of biking, though not as high as in urban areas. The rural village of Assen reports 40% of trips being taken by bike. Transit would also clearly provide not only a way to resolve the parking issues, but also to provide better access to people who cannot or choose not to own cars, and people with disabilities.
Read more here about the Wallum Lake parking issues, as reported from the Worcester Telegraph.