Haleakala vehicle access limited
WAILUKU » The National Park Service at Haleakala has announced a freeze on the number of commercial vehicles that can use parking lots near the summit.
That is because of increased congestion raising public health and safety worries, the park service said.
The interim cap is imposed from the hours before sunrise to two hours after sunrise, park officials said.
Current permit holders for sunrise tours were limited as of Aug. 20, and bicycle companies will be restricted effective Nov. 1, the park said.
Park Superintendent Marilyn Parris said Haleakala received an "unprecedented increase" this summer in visitors and congestion at the summit of the park for the sunrise.
The parking lots included in the interim plan are at Pu'u 'Ula'ula (Red Hill/Summit Observatory), Haleakala Visitor Center and Kalahaku.
"This increase in vehicles has raised significant public health and safety concerns at the three summit parking areas," Parris said.
The commercial limit will be in effect until a more permanent solution is determined through a commercial services planning process, she said.
"The purpose of a Commercial Services Plan is to provide a comprehensive process for establishing the types and levels of all commercial activities necessary," Parris said.
The development of the commercial services is expected to begin in late 2006.
Park officials said a copy of the Commercial Use at Sunrise: Interim Operations Plan can be viewed on the park Web site at www.nps.gov/hale.
Officials said any questions regarding the Interim Operations Plan can be directed to the Commercial Busin- ess Manager by e-mailing HALE_Commercial_Manager@nps.gov or calling the park at 572-4440.