Federal bill introduced to add more parking near trails

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DENVER (KDVR) — U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, recently introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate designed to increase parking opportunities and public transit near federal recreation land.

Around 65% of Colorado’s forests are owned by various federal agencies. This includes national forests like the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and national parks like Rocky Mountain National Park.

The bill, named the “More Parking, More Hiking Act,” would direct the secretary of agriculture and secretary of the interior to create partnerships with local and state governments and private companies in order to find ways to increase access to federal lands.

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“Our bill is simple: get people off the road, and into nature,” Hickenlooper said in a release.

The bill was co-sponsored by Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines of Montana.

A few solutions are outlined in the bill, including leasing non-federal land for parking or providing alternative transportation systems. The bill also directs both secretaries to report how many electric vehicle charging stations at federal recreational lands are available, and then make that information available online.

The bill also encourages the use of technology to manage what parking already exists to better inform people about where parking is available, as well as to estimate the visitation volume to better plan for the future.

The Colorado Department of Natural Resources is among the supporters of the bill, according to Hickenlooper.

The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and was under consideration.

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