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Smokies looks to public for ideas to reduce congestion

October 13, 2020 GMT

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) — The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is turning to the public for ideas on how to reduce congestion at some of its most popular spots.

The park on the Tennessee-North Carolina border saw a record 12.5 million visitors in 2019 and has set monthly visitation records in June, July, and August of this year. The result has been congested roadways, overflowing parking lots, trampled vegetation, and long lines.

“Congestion at the most visited park in the nation is complex, but we believe by working together, we can find solutions that help us continue to protect the park and provide better experiences for millions of visitors,” Superintendent Cassius Cash said in a news release.

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The park is soliciting public input through virtual workshops, online forms, and direct mail. Those interested in helping can register for a workshop or find more information at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/grsmves-survey.