Troll Under the Bridge: Feds Determined to Disable Communities
Alicé Leuchte | October 8, 2013
While the Blue Ridge Parkway that spans multiple states is reportedly open to traffic during the shutdown (with some unrelated exceptions), the federal government has forced private businesses along the parkway to close during peak tourist season.
USA Today highlighted the Pisgah Inn in North Carolina, who has been ordered to shut down by the National Park Service. Rangers have blocked the entrances to this historic inn which has been in operation since 1919:
The parkway’s chief ranger, Steve Stinnett, said Park Service managers in Washington directed him to block access to the inn at milepost 408.6 and ensure “people don’t utilize a business that, according to the federal government, is closed.”
Not only have the feds shut down businesses on this parkway, but they have shut down another parkway in the region – the Foothills Parkway. This parkway is an essential thoroughfare in Blount County, Tennessee:
The closure came without warning and left the local school district scrambling to get children back to their homes…. The children live in the eastern Tennessee community of Top of the World – serviced by School Bus 49. Normally, the bus travels along the Foothills Parkway. Other roads leading to the isolated mountain community are impassible by bus.
Mayor Ed Mitchell had presented a plan to the federal government to have local authorities run the park during the shutdown in order to avoid this paralyzing scenario (among other complications), but received no reply from any federal authorities – including his Congressional delegation:
“I’m not so sure any of them care anymore… Before you start hearing from the federal government, something has to happen to make them care.”
The mayor went on to express that lawmakers in DC are ‘more interested in slander than serving the people.’