As perhaps the most famous national park in the United States, the Grand Canyon occupies an equally vast space in our national psyche as in our national landscape. Unfortunately, it is also our national bottleneck. Each year, 5 million people flock to the park, leaving 6,000 cars to battle for 2,400 parking spaces every day during the summer. Park officials have recognized the problem for decades, and for a while, a proposed solution — a Grand Canyon light rail system — was steaming ahead. But that was before the White House changed hands and a coterie of Republicans froze the $180-$200 million mass transit plan until all other transportation options could be studied. The result? A bureaucratic bottleneck as well, and the usual traffic snarl at the once-pristine canyon.
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