Transportation Scholars

How We Help

The Transportation Scholars program matches emerging professionals with substantial knowledge and expertise in transportation planning with parks with corresponding transportation-related issues like pollution or congestion that can be major detractors of the overall park visitor experience. The selected scholars build partnerships, work across jurisdictional boundaries, gain an appreciation for the need of alternative transportation projects in the national parks, and gain first-hand knowledge of NPS efforts to preserve our national treasures while working to solve the current transportation issue within the park. To learn more about the program and its impact on public lands, check out this video

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Success Story

  • A 2011 Transportation Scholar helped develop a pilot public shuttle system to enhance the visitor experience at Arches National Park by providing visitors more information to make destination choices,...

Transportation Scholars Photos

Transportation Scholars Grantees

Bandelier National Monument
Presently Wayfinding signage for Bandelier National Monument is inconsistent in appearance, both inside and outside of the Monument, and is not always sited in a visible or appropriate location. Many road signs lack the NPS Arrowhead to help draw attention to the Monument and there is a lack of Wayfinding signage directing visitors to the Monument any further away than 15 miles. The Transportation Scholar will assist the Monument in developing a thoughtful, well-developed Wayfinding and sign plan that addresses design, verbiage, and location. Additionally, the Scholar will establish partnerships with local agencies and finalize the concept for a Bandelier Bike Loop to provide alternative transportation into the Monument, connect to communities, and help to make Los Alamos a family recreation area. The Transportation will provide Bandelier National Monument the additional necessary to increase visitor satisfaction and visitation.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 most visited national parks in the National Park System. However, this urban park, which lies between Cleveland and Akron (an hour's drive of 3-4 million people), is under-utilized by local residents, particularly those who have to rely on public transportation to access the park. The park, in partnership with the National Park Foundation, has an opportunity in 2013-2014 to change the way our urban national park connects to the city of Cleveland and the surrounding communities within Cuyahoga County. The Transportation Scholar will research and develop public transportation options that connect the public bus service to Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, the already existing Alternative Transportation System in the park, to engage underserved communities.
National Mall
National Mall and Memorial Parks is an urban park that not only hosts visitors from around the country and around the globe, but also local bike commuters and other recreationalists. Balancing the needs of each user group in a way that mazimizes safety and visitor experience is of utmost importance. The Transporatino SChoalr will detail and formulate strategic solutions for the access and circulation opportunities highlighted in the National Mall Plan including examining bicycle infrastructure gaps within the park’s jurisdiction which include several multi-use trail connections as well as the connections to Washington, D.C. and Maryland bike lanes and trails. An important part of the study will be to examine the potential conflicts at "pinch points" resulting from the large volume of multi-modal users such as pedestrians, Segways©, automobiles, tour buses, pedicabs, and assistive devices for people with disabilities to formulate a range of solutions for these locations.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park, the nation's first National Park, has set visitation records four out of the last five years, peaking in 2010 at approximately 3.6 million visitors. Consequently, the percentage of visitors entering through the parks northern entrance (the park’s only year around entrance) has increased significantly. The result has been entrance traffic backing up through the Roosevelt Arch and into the gateway community of Gardiner, Montana, causing significant traffic congestion, gridlock and frustration. In June 2012, an inter-agency steering committee was created to work cooperatively on ensuing traffic and pedestrian safety issues associated with the “Gardiner Gateway Project.” The Transportation Scholar will continue for a second year working with the gateway community to complete an engineering study, work with and coordinate the newly formed inter-agency steering committee, and provide technical assistance when necessary.
Lowell National Historical Park
Lowell National Historical Park is working in cooperation with several local partners to pursue expansion of the Park's 1.5-mile visitor trolley system into a larger 7-mile public transit system, creating a heritage transit system in downtown Lowell, Massachusetts. As is typical of older cities, roadways within Lowell are narrow with limited opportunities for expansion due to existing development, much of which is historic and are considered critical resources within the Lowell National Historical Park. The proposed trolley extension will enhance the city's existing transit services for trips within the downtown historic district and reduce the need for short automobile trips within the downtown. It will also address travel demand for trips between the downtown area and outside locations allowing the park to attract additional visitors. The Transportation Scholar will assist the park and its project partners in managing the development of this critical project.

FEATURED PARTNER

"Transportation Scholars" is made possible through the generous support of The Motorola Solutions Foundation and done in partnership with the National Park Service, Eno Transportation Foundation, Federal Highway Administration, and the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Technical Assistance Center.