Preliminary Draft Environmental Assessment for
Crater Lake Master Plan
I. Statement of the Problem
Among the issues to be addressed in the assessment are the following:
Crater Lake National Park visitation is primarily day use and seasonal (June 1 through September 15) in nature, with the automobile serving as the primary viewing platform. The Rim Drive, with its many outstanding views of Crater Lake and the surrounding Oregon countryside, is the major viewing corridor. While park roads are generally adequate for current traffic loads, congestion does occur–particularly along the West Rim Drive. A one-way traffic pattern is now in effect during midsummer months. This pattern does not always effectively reduce congestion, most notably along the West Rim Drive; and it also necessitates many more miles of driving for visitors with limited time as well as for park maintenance and patrol vehicles. It also requires the changing of roadway signing twice during the short summer season.
As a result, the traffic patterns in the park need to be reevaluated to insure that the circulation system is upgraded where necessary to provide a safe and efficient traffic flow.
There is also a need to consider alternate means to accommodate the ever increasing numbers of bicycle riders within the park. Present two-way roads are generally inadequate to service both cars and bicycles simultaneously.