Talk:Blue Ridge Parkway

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Changes needed.[edit]

I have been working on a project for Google Earth users that would help travelers that want to follow the Blue Ridge Parkway. Most travel programs or websites (including GE and Mapquest) do not have a way to make a road the destination. They attempt to route via quicker or shorter roads. So instead of following the parkway, the programs would take you off the route, perhaps onto nearby freeways.

My objective was a complete list of Overlooks, Visitor Centers, Peaks, Gaps, and other related areas of interest like Museums. I think my list of peaks and gaps is relatively complete. However, there where many of the others that were poorly listed. I found roads that were probably visitor centers or overlooks, but no name for the area. With many of the non-park run sites of interest, I could not find out where they where physically. They (every source I looked at, including the museum's site and Wikipedia) would quote a mile marker, but no hi-res maps where shown. (The exception was one case that only showed the grounds of the musuem -- not the location of the museum.)

I was left attempting to estimate the location by counting the miles with DeLorme Street Atlas USA Deluxe (from 2002). That allowed me to put a placemark at the lat/lon where I thought the object might be. I might have done better with that if I had some high-res imagery of the roads. However, very little of the parkway is hi-res in GE. The road was visible -- barely. Anything else might have been only a patch of bare rock.

Ways Wikipedia could have helped:

  • Quote the lat/lon and not just the mile marker -- at least in the detail page mentioned next.
  • Put detailed pages in for each area of interest -- at least the overlooks and visitor centers.
  • Link to the detail pages when the area of interest is named after a person. Have that page link to the person.

My apologies if I am having problems being understood. I only recently found Wikipedia and do not understand parts like the Village Pump or IRC. I rarely use chat systems. --Will 06:21, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Understood, and a good idea, though I don't know how practical it will be to get the latitude and longitude for use in the article. SchuminWeb (Talk) 11:24, 21 March 2006 (UTC)


If it helps, I have a KMZ file attached to the post Ridge Parkway Travel Info. If you have Google Earth installed, you will have a set of Lat/Lon values. I do not know how accurate I got. I also could not name many of the stops I saw.

What I was hoping for was that someone would take a GPS along the parkway and record each POI. The record would need to include not just the location, but the name, type, and what was found there (hiking trails, RV parking, etc). --Will 20:22, 29 March 2006 (UTC) Traveling thing is incorrect, will change.

Better maps now available but even better desired[edit]

When I first found this article, the maps were scanned copies of paper maps. The page now links to a National Park Service site that has a better map. However, I do have reservations about the new map. I had already found this map and used it in my search.

  • The map is a PDF and takes a long time to download in Firefox with a dial-up connection. During this time, if you plan to view the file inside Firefox, that window (and probably all of Firefox) is non-responsive.
  • The map omits some tunnels -- even in areas that have few tunnels with little clutter to hide the tunnel.
  • The map is imprecise in terms of accuracy. You will locate things on the parkway within 20-30 miles, but that is it. As for items off the parkway, find another map before attempting to go there.

--Will 22:03, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Parkway schematic change from PNG to JPG[edit]

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't PNG be the "more correct" form for this image? It seems that since it's a fairly simple black-and-white image that PNG would be the more proper fit, so that we don't have to deal with the "artifacts" left by JPEG files.

My gut reaction is to change it back to PNG for that reason, but I'm interested to hear what others think first. SchuminWeb (Talk) 21:48, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

PNG indeed is more appropriate for black-and-white drawings. I don't see any reason for switching to JPG, so if you want to follow your guts and revert to PNG, that's all right with me. --DrTorstenHenning 08:49, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
I reverted, but then felt it prudent to revert back, because the PNG is showing up as a narrow line, vs. a graphic. Anyone know why? SchuminWeb (Talk) 20:59, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
If you check the history, you'll see that I originally uploaded it as PNG but had the same trouble. So I switched to jpeg so at least we could all see the thumbnail. If you can figure out how to make the thumb work right, PNG would be preferable for me as well. Daderot 01:19, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Copying from the brochure (highlights section)[edit]

At the beginning of the highlights section, it says:

(Much of this information comes from the official Blue Ridge Parkway map GPO:2003-496-196/40572 Reprint 2004)

"Comes from?" It should be "is directly copied from." That section needs to be completely redone. I'd do it, but all I have to work from is the same map that the person copied from in the first place. Cooljeanius 14:55, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

this location listed as highest point[edit]

mt mitchel is considered part of the mitchel is almost 6700" ft and you said, Richland Balsam Mountain is the highest point on the parkway at,6047 ft, or the 2005 parkway map listed it as the highest point, but mt mitchel is the highest point, and it is still operated by the parkway. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:32, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Mount Mitchell is not a part of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is a North Carolina state park unit, not under parkway (National Park Service) administration. It's accessible by a spur road from the parkway, but that spur leaves the parkway right-of-way and enters state lands. Richland Balsam Mountain is the highest point on the parkway itself.Spewey 03:24, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I see your point, but I think I disagree - simply because the only access to Mount Mitchell State Park is from the Blue Ridge Parkway. There's simply no other way to get there. The BRP isn't an access road to the park, it's the access road to the park. To my mind, that makes it a de facto part of the parkway, even if it isn't technically operated and maintained by the same government entity. 'Card 04:59, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

The folks at the Parkway list Richland Balsam as the highest point, so we should go with that methinks. Mt. Mitchell is clearly owned and operated by the state of North Carolina, and should not be considered a part of the Parkway. The access road to the top of the mountain is a spur off the Parkway, but it was constructed after the state checked in with the National Park Service first. ThirstyPapist (talk) 00:41, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

external links[edit]

The article has over a dozen external links. What's up with this? Can we reduce this to three? 842U (talk) 14:42, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Looks like you did fairly well. Well played! SchuminWeb (Talk) 19:11, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Looks like you took out only ONE. If you're going to remove links of nonprofits that work along the parkway, take 'em all out or know what you're doing when you pick and choose. Pergish1 (talk) 16:31, 6 December 2009 (UTC)pergish1

Article improvements[edit]

Hi everyone. I am relatively new to Wikipedia but have an interest in improving articles on national parks and protected areas, starting with this one on Blue Ridge Parkway. I anticipate developing some edits for this page over the next few months, with special attention to history, notable controversies, specific highlights with more detail, management, and Parkway design. I would also like to further develop (with some short informational taglines) the external links list. I have the most knowledge of the history and controversies pieces, and probably the least of history and significance of Parkway design (though I know of sources). I also would like to look carefully at other starred Wikipedia articles on national park areas and try to identify other elements that would turn this into a top-quality article. Would others like to help me? Do others have ideas for sections, resources? Thanks in advance! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Amwhisnant (talkcontribs) 19:05, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

--Amwhisnant (talk) 20:03, 19 March 2014 (UTC)amwhisnant

Hello Amwhisnant. Welcome to Wikipedia. Thank you for your offer of help improving this article. If you have access to reliable sources, this article could use many more inline citations than it currently has. Verifiability is very important to a good article, and currently, there are very few citations and references to back up this article's content. I can point you to various ways to implement a cite, if you need help with this.
A good guide for developing an article is to look at the WikiProjects it is associated with. For example, all the National Parks should be part of the WikiProject Protected areas, and the goal is to move articles up the project's quality scale, which list details of what an article should strive to be.
I help this was helpful, and if you have an questions, you can drop me a message on my talk page.
Sparkgap (talk) 05:29, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

This is extremely helpful, and I appreciate it! I hope to get started with creating a plan for some edits to this page soon. I want to think it through carefully, and your comments and suggestions are useful! Amwhisnant (talk) 10:34, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

You're welcome, and I look forward to seeing your work.
Sparkgap (talk) 02:13, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Commercial vehicles allowed on tiny bit?[edit]

There is no signage banning commercial vehicles from the short stretch connecting the two sides of SR 814 near Sherando Lake. Are they actually allowed here? --NE2 09:01, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

This sign appears to show that commercial vehicles can connect from SR 799 to SR 758 north of Meadows of Dan. --NE2 11:20, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

The Blue Ridge Parkway's website says "not allowed." Travel Regulations - Blue Ridge Parkway --WashuOtaku (talk) 23:04, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
The question is whether there are exceptions for these short pieces that replaced existing roads. --NE2 01:04, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm saying their is not, but then I don't know what Virginia had in mind here... I doubt it was for tractor-trailers. --WashuOtaku (talk) 01:48, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Per 36 CFR 5.6, commercial vehicle through traffic is prohibited from all National Park Service roads without a permit from the park superintendent. I'm not able to find anything in the Superintendent's Compendium of regulations, orders and permits that would indicate there are any blanket permits. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 02:34, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Bike Routes[edit]

I have noticed that bike routes have been added in the junction list and I am not convinced that this is value added. Since the junction list features notable junctions for the driving public, listing bike routes serves no benefit. If it was a bike focused junction list, then obviously I would be cool with it. Of course, I'm open to differing opinions, which is why I am asking more as to why they are being included; maybe it should be placed in notes instead. Also, you missed USBR 76 at Rockfish Gap. --WashuOtaku (talk) 23:15, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

The BRP is not a standard motoring road, but is also well-suited and advertised for biking. Hence the few junctions with marked bike routes make sense. --NE2 01:02, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I say that bike routes should not be included in junction lists of automobile roads. Bike routes should only be included in junction lists of bike route articles should they get one. Dough4872 04:21, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
OK, I'll see you are Blue Ridge Parkway (bike route). Because that's what the BRP is - a combined car-bike route. --NE2 11:27, 22 July 2014 (UTC)


{{Infobox road}} cannot be embedded into another infobox, and this is primarily a road, so it's appropriate as the top listing. Its positioning has been restored twice, and under WP:BRD, a discussion should have been started rather than revert it back to second place. Imzadi 1979  01:47, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

There was never a road infobox in this article until this BOLD edit. I moved it down in accordance with the fact that this is a unit of the National Park System and an IUCN-categorized Protected Area. If you'd have preferred that I had reverted the edit entirely and removed the infobox entirely rather than flip the stacking order, that's a little strange.
You're right that it's a road, but it's also a national park. The fact that it's a road is secondary to the fact that it is a landscape managed and administered by the National Park Service under the National Park Service Organic Act. There is a whole lot of information in this article that wouldn't be in articles about any other random road - because it's not just a road, it's a designated national park unit.
Compare Skyline Drive or Trail Ridge Road - I have no problem with the infoboxes for those articles, because both of them are just roads through a national park. BLRI is itself a park.
I think the infobox is perfectly suitable for this article, but the lead infobox should be the standard protected area box with a picture of the parkway landscape - not a boring schematic map that scales terribly and, because it omits the surrounding areas, doesn't give perspective as to where the parkway is.
The most important thing about the Blue Ridge Parkway is the fact that it's a national park - not a list of places where it intersects with US highways. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 01:55, 19 July 2014 (UTC) NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 01:55, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Actually, it is not a National Park, it is a National Parkway, a type of road administered by the National Park Service. In a sense, it is both, but it is primarily a road. Imzadi 1979  02:10, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, no. The Blue Ridge Parkway is not just a road - BLRI is a 93,000-acre, 469-mile linear park, which manages significant off-road acreage, trails, visitor centers, etc. It's not just a strip of asphalt and right-of-way signs. BLRI is managed under the same laws as any other unit of the national park system.NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 02:13, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Adding to history section - controversy over providing right-of-way across Cherokee lands[edit]

Currently the "History" section is composed of several good sentences about history, and then a lot of sentences about the current Blue Ridge Parkway's features. I propose to split those into "History" and something like "Physical Description" (beginning with "The Blue Ridge Parkway tunnels").

Furthermore, I think the History section needs at least a mention of how there were many Shenandoah farmers who were displaced off their lands to make room for the Parkway, as well as the Cherokee protest movement (the Parkway's original plan split their reservation in two). I plan to work on that this weekend (4/18-4/19) unless I hear objections. I will strive to follow OR and NPOV policies. Thanks, Sharp-shinned.hawk (talk) 17:57, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

@Sharp-shinned.hawk: all of the various Featured and A-Class articles on American roadways use a simple formula colloquially called "The Big 3". The first two items can be flipped in order, and the third of the three is usually last before the References. The first two are a "Route description" (RD) and a "History" For the RD section, it describes the routing a highway takes from one end to the other, including details of the landscape surrounding the roadway. The History is a chronology of the actions that created the highway, and the third section is the "road junction list", which in this article is under the "Major intersections" heading. From your comments, it sounds like merging some of the content that's in the history with the "Parkway highlights", which could be renamed to avoid repeating the name/subject of the article in the heading per MOS:HEAD, would be a possible plan of attack. Something to note: the Big 3 formula doesn't exclude other content and sections, just look at Brockway Mountain Drive for proof of that. Imzadi 1979  22:12, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
@Imzadi1979: Thanks so much, this is helpful! Sharp-shinned.hawk (talk) 01:50, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

BRP Model Available[edit]

There is now an accurate and detailed Blue Ridge Parkway model, available within a smartphone app, that provides accurate milepost information for the majority of points of interest along the parkway. I have utilized that app/model to fill in some missing milepost information within this article. Since I own the rights to the app and the model there are no copyright issues - not that I think there would be anyway. I won't provide information on the app here so as to avoid issues of spam. Feel free to contact me if you would like more information, or if additional BRP location data is desired for this (or related) WP articles. KE5JK (talk) 22:35, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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