What if you had to pay to park at Hawksnest or Trunk Bay?
The money raised could go to fund a shuttle system of taxis and vans and ease the crowding and illegal parking along the North Shore roads.
Charging for parking is one of the ideas offered for consideration during a six-month study of transportation issues on the island. Beth Isler was funded by the National Park Foundation to study the island's transportation issues and develop a plan to "alleviate parking demand and improve mobility and access."
Isler is a member of the Vermont Institute of Transportation Engineers. Her study ended at the end of the year, leaving her to prepare a report for the Park Service.
Other ideas heard at advisory committee meetings which included taxi drivers and representatives of the VI Taxi Cab Association were widening curves on the North Shore roads, preventing people from picnicking at the Park overlooks (to allow more people to use them), and eliminating taxi parking at Trunk Bay.
"A successful plan will benefit the economy of St. John by improving visitor experience," a National Park statement said, "preserving Park resources, reducing transportation impacts on the island, and creating business opportunities for the local community."
- Read the minutes of the Transportation Plan committee meetings at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=412&projectId=27446&documentID=29409
18 thoughts on “Pay to park at Trunk?”
A shuttle system of taxis already exists to bring people to Hawksnest and Trunk. Why would they need funding? Would taxis to Hawksnest and Trunk then be free to the public?
Why not close the parking lots altogether and force people to pay taxi fare rather than a parking fee? Problem solved, right?
The above comment about closing parking altogether is definitely a bad idea. People go there for vacation and rent jeeps. They do that so they can go to the beaches at and leave the beaches at whatever times they choose. They also may want to leave from the beach, and then head over to Skinny’s or some other destination. A reasonable fee to park should not offend anyone, it is a National Park. We just got back from Key West, and had to pay $5 each to get into the state park there, and believe me, it’s not Trunk Bay!
#1- I don’t do Trunk
#2- If Hawksnest lot is full, that’s a sure sign that you should move on to another, more remote beach :-).
And yes, I would pay to park at Hawksnest.
I’ve been visiting STJ for 20 years and seen many island changes. Maybe it’s time for me to find another island to visit. Here’s an idea..how about less land development and people coming to the island.
I would not pay to park at Trunk. Ah… for the good ole days before mega cruise ships, Kenny Chesney, Peter Bay development, and giant concrete condos. The ruination of STJ.. one step at a time.
Interesting comments. I read the October committee minutes and the recommendation was for the Taxi companys to operate the “shuttle service” at the prevailing taxi rates. What is the difference between taxi and shuttle service? I have a problem paying for parking at a National Park when the money goes to a “shuttle service”. That’s not a solution, what are you going to do, drive to Cruz bay from your villa and park then take the “shuttle” to the beach? Park in Cruz Bay? LOL.
So the government (Natl Park Service) run, taxi shuttle service is picking up beachgoers at a predetermined location where they have all gathered and parked, probably in downtown Cruz Bay. And what lot in Cruz Bay did the transportation expert suggest they gather to ‘alleviate the parking problem’ at the beaches?
As in all government programs, they all loose $. Financial resources will be taken from other needs of the National Park Service to support the shuttle service. Doesnt the current privately run network of cab drivers do what the transportation expert from Vermont suggests?
Imagine what it will do to parking at the other beaches. Francis Bay,Maho, and all the small beaches along the North Shore would become a nightmare because everyone would go there to avoid the parking fee. He we go again with “unintended circumstances”.
There has to be a better way.
You already have to pay to get into Trunk Bay. How does adding a parking fee help with anything?
Definitely a bad idea that will certainly have unintended consequences.
I, too, would pay for guaranteed safe parking. I would sooner see some better policing of the area at Trunk and Hawksnest to stop people from stealing others belongings. I had my gear stolen from hanging in a tree right net to me while napping in the shade. I was threatened to mind my own business when I saw this happen to another beach goer….yes, the were local youths….
Pay? Absolutely NOT. Go to Cruz Bay (pay to park there if you can find a place)….wait..wait….wait…then on the return: wait for shuttle, back to Cruz Bay, pick up rental jeep, then on to next destination.
Too much wasted time on vacation. UNWISE idea!
(one of those “sounds good on paper ideas” but in reality…not so good!)
Yes! More affordable shuttle, taxi access is a great idea! For people
who don’t want to rent the jeeps!
And yes, paying to park is a good
way of funding.
No!! Don’t touch the roads,
we’ll lose the wonderful ambience
of riding that north shore road:(
What a shame – everything that made St John so wonderful is going or gone. The terrible buildings – the ships and now this rediculous idea. I agree with a previous writer – I will look for another island. I loved it so for the last 22 years but it is no longer the place I want to be.
Whoa Frank! Charging for parking at NPS beaches was one recommendation out of a 168 page report and actually came from a suggestion during the public scoping.
Anyway to set the record straight, the NPS is NOT planning to charge for parking at Trunk, Hawksnest or any other Park venue. In fact, parks throughout the national park system are currently prohibited from introducing any new fees.
What is needed is a shuttle service running from Cruz Bay to Annenberg so that visitors to the park would be able to get on and off as they wish at park venues along the north shore for a set fee per trip — similar to the “dollar taxis” on St. Thomas (although it would likely be more than a dollar).
However, one of the current stumbling blocks is the lack of parking in Cruz Bay.
Thanks for the opportunity to clear this up.
Joe Kessler, President of Friends of VI National Park
Let’s look at the BIG picture: What is $ 5.00 to park when your speding $ 5,000.00 for a vacation? TRUNK is one of the most beautiful spots in the world. To pay $ 5.00 is a small price for this idyllic beach. In NY, we pay for EVERYTHING, so $ 5.00 is cheap.
This I find extremely difficult to take. I’ve read many good points above. The people that are thinking about these decisions ought to stop and think more. St John does not need more people. You do not want to figure out how to bring in or accomadate more people. Can’t they see what it has done to Trunk Bay. The snorkle trail is a joke. They are ruining the very things that they are trying to capitalize on (natural beauty). One day they will stand back and ask what happened? Everyone will be busy pointing fingers at someone else.
no no and no, i will not pay to park anywhere!! Hello the island is TOO expensive already. We already pay to get IN and I have no problem with that but I would never pay to park at any beach on the island. Lets keep the island an ISLAND. Not NYC.
do not charge for parking
People complain about not enough tourist business to sustain restaruants and shops. People complain about too much traffic, too many changes, too many tourists(let’s return it to the way it was at the time of the original inhabitants). This contradiction of views is a common theme in the modern world regardless of where you are. The only resolution is to have Obama appoint a Czar of St. John and let them F it up like everything else the government trys to run. Then we’ll have a common enemy to blame.