13 Circulation – Roads

The Rustic Landscape of Rim Village, 1927-1941




NPS Access Road to the Rim The new road was aligned along a gradual 3.17-mile grade up the mountain with a maximum slope of 6.5 percent, and a minimum curve radius of 100 feet. The road ended at a spot on the rim that offered “spectacular views” to the lake and caldera. As Vint was to explain, this approach to Rim Village was one of the most powerful factors having an influence on the general layout of the rim development. In 1928, the road had a graded width of 20 feet and a surfaced width of 16 feet. In 1944, the road was still considered too steep in places, and improvements were planned and undertaken for several sections.
Rim Village Road In August 1928, a road through Rim Village was graded and completed, from the junction of the main Rim Road, east to the lodge. The road was 1/2-mile long and 56 feet wide with a 20-foot driving lane for two-way traffic. Two 18-foot wide parking strips were provided on either side of this boulevard. The road was carefully sited at the base of a small slope leading up to the campground so that it would appear recessed in the landscape and subordinate to the natural setting. Plantings were established on either side of the road to enhance the sense of a continuous sweep of vegetation. First surfaced with gravel and then oiled, the road distributed traffic to the cafeteria and cabin group, to the campground and finally to the hotel. A log guardrail was placed on the crater side of the road to prevent automobiles from driving close to the rim. By 1929, crews were changing the alignment of the road, repairing knolls and filling washes near the east end of the road in conjunction with the construction of a loop road in front of the lodge. The loop road was 640 feet long, 12 feet wide, with more than 5 inches of crushed rock, uniformly spread over the surface before oiling.In 1935, a traffic island was erected at the junction of Rim Village Road and the road to Diamond Lake. It was planted and graded to blend with the surrounding landscape. The island as a whole, was five to 10 feet smaller on each side than originally planned. This was necessary to comply with the turning requirements of the park’s snow-plow machinery.
Campground Roads Prior to 1928, there were no formalized roads to or through the campground, and roads within the site were random and ill-defined. In 1928, the circulation system through the area was designed and integrated into the overall plan for the area. A single entry road to the campground was created branching south, off of the main rim road just east of the Community House. At the top of a small rise, this access road branched again to the east and the west, looping through the campground. Initially, all campground roads were either dirt or pumice. In 1934, roads throughout the campground were treated with an application of oil to reduce the dust and debris.

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