Jefferson County Open Space Golden, Colorado
Over the years, the Jefferson County Open Space (JCOS) system in Colorado experienced rapid growth in visitation numbers. Certain park access areas no longer supported visitor demand during peak season and/or during peak hours as a result, generating congested and sometimes unsafe experiences for visitors. Plans to address a variety of these issues would be put in place with steps in visitor use management.
Solving Park Issues with a Tailored Visitor Use Management Approach
Because some parks have finite space and infrastructure to support current visitor and vehicle use levels, they struggle with a variety of congestion-related issues, all of which include safety concerns. In order to address various issues from trailhead congestion, multimodal access and impacts to natural resources, JCOS worked with Otak and CDR Associates to develop an access management strategy for popular sites across the system by applying visitor use management principles. The resulting access management report evaluated all relevant considerations within a National Park Service tested process to design an approach specific to JCOS for planning and implementation.