[CT Birds] Response from Deputy Commissioner Whalen on Boat Launch Issue

Kathy Van Der Aue kathyvda at gmail.com
Thu Jan 28 18:52:02 EST 2016

I have just received an email from Deputy Commisioner Whalen.  It may be
that the sign is being misinterpreted.  See below (I didn't attach the
picture she sent me.  It was an aerial view of the area.  If anyone wants
that, let me know and I'll forward it):

"My staff from boating and wildlife are planning an onsite meeting at the
boat launch to review concerns.   Please see the attached picture of the
launch to get a feel for the area.

A few important points to consider:

This is a gravel lot (mostly used as car top launch) which can accommodate
roughly 20 cars.  My staff report there is a sign in the parking lot
designating one space for boat trailers; it is this sign that is apparently
being misinterpreted by some as limiting parking for anyone in the lot
unless they have a boat trailer.  Since the surface of the lot is gravel,
striping the area is not an option.  So I’m curious why there is concern
about parking on the road when the lot is available – maybe we need to look
at where the sign is for the trailer spot….. but I’m guessing that spot was
chosen in view of the logistics of pulling, backing and turning a vehicle
and trailer.  Anyway, the staff will look at it.

The signs along the access road are placed in regard to the fact that the
road is narrow, and bounded by marsh, as you can see.  We do not want
people parking on the road itself under any circumstances, as it forces
other cars to go around the parked car on a narrow road, potentially
landing them in the marsh on the side of the road, or hitting a person
exiting or entering a  parked car.  That also causes damage to the road
shoulder, which is another safety concern, not to mention an expensive fix
when we have thousands of miles of road to maintain in the park system.

We'll continue to work with the birding community and will do our very best
to accommodate interests in this particular case, and hopefully clarify our
intention with respect to the way the launch is managed."

Kathy Van Der Aue
Southport, Connecticut
Visit my Blog at http://naturaliststable.wordpress.com

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