The National Park Service (NPS) at Colonial National Historical Park (Park) is seeking public comments regarding a proposal to implement recurring, temporary closures of a seven-mile portion of the Colonial Parkway to motor vehicles. The temporary closures would take place between Route 199 Kingspoint in Williamsburg and Route 359 near the entrance to Jamestown Island. The purpose of the proposed temporary, recurring closures would be to offer recreational opportunities to experience the Parkway free from motor vehicle traffic. The proposed closure could be for various durations at various times each year, based on public input.
The NPS has implemented a short closure of an eight-mile portion of the Parkway once a year for a Special Use Permit issued to BikeWalk Williamsburg for the Pedal the Parkway event from 7 a.m.-1 p.m. on the first Saturday in May. The event was cancelled in 2020 and again this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pedal the Parkway allowed for bicyclists, runners, and walkers to recreate on a portion of the Colonial Parkway without sharing the roadway with motor vehicles. In celebration of National Park Week this month, the NPS closed a seven-mile section of the Parkway for three days to provide safe bicycling, walking and running. The same section of the Colonial Parkway was closed for approximately three months in 2020 to provide socially distanced recreational opportunities in the first few months of the pandemic.
The Park is seeking public input for consideration on the proposal in general and for specifics about timing and frequency of the closures. To learn more and to comment about the proposed Parkway closures and recreational access visit the NPS planning website. The comment period closes on May 24, 2021. Comments are being accepted online.
Proposed examples could include:
- One Saturday or Sunday a month through the spring to the fall
- One entire weekend a month through the spring to the fall
- One weekday a month to prevent impact to weekend visitors, but also facilitate use by local visitors for bicycles and pedestrians
- Entire day or half day closures
About Colonial National Historical Park
Colonial National Historical Park was established in 1930 to preserve important 17th and 18th century sites that tell the story of English colonization and the struggle for American independence. Jamestown’s legacy includes representative government, but also slavery, a brutal institution that spread throughout the colonies. At Yorktown, Virginia colonists fought in the last major battle of the American Revolutionary War. The 23-mile Colonial Parkway links the sites and is recognized as an “All-American road”. Learn more online.
More than 20,000 NPS employees care for America's 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
NPS Media Contact:
Lauren Gurniewicz, Chief of Visitor Experience and Community Engagement