More roadside parking closures may be on the way for Route 73

The state will ban roadside parking from the Rooster Comb trailhead in Keene to the Roaring Brook Falls trailhead near Giant Mountain. (Enterprise photo — Justin A. Levine)

KEENE — The state departments of Transportation and Environmental Conservation are considering closing a large stretch of roadside parking on state Route 73 in an effort to improve safety and limit the number of hikers utilizing trailheads.

In an email, a DEC spokesman said the state is looking at closing roadside parking from the Rooster Comb trailhead in Keene Valley to the Chapel Pond area, or about 4.5 miles of the road. This would be on top of the roadside parking ban instituted last year in the vicinity of Roaring Brook Falls.

“The continued proliferation of roadside parking on Route 73 is creating an unsafe situation for recreational users and the traveling public,” DEC spokesman Benning DeLaMater wrote in an email. “This effort is aimed at alleviating associated public safety issues to both recreationists and the traveling public.

“Outside of designated parking areas, roadsides will be posted with “No Parking” signs. The parking closure will be actively enforced. DEC will work with New York State Police and Essex County Sheriff’s Department in the enforcing, ticketing and towing of violators.”

DeLaMater said there is no firm timeframe for when the ban will go into effect, but that roadsides will be posted with “No Parking” signs when it does.

In addition to unsafe road conditions caused by cars being parked on both sides of the narrow highway, DeLaMater said the ban should help redirect hikers from the more popular areas of the Adirondacks.

“DEC has been working on messaging to redirect hikers for the last few years,” he wrote. “These efforts are updated continually to address new situations such as this potential parking closure. DEC will continue its outreach efforts to encourage hikers to visit other less-traveled hiking trails in the area (www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9163.html) by providing information on kiosks, the Backcountry Information for the High Peaks Region web page, Adirondack Outdoor Recreation weekly bulletin, other DEC email lists, DEC’s Pocket Ranger App and DEC social media channels.”

Parking will still be allowed within designated parking areas once the roadside ban goes into effect.