Hikers head down toward Jordan Pond from the summit of South Bubble in Acadia National Park on April 22, 2018. Credit: Bill Trotter

Acadia National Park officials have released a draft plan aimed at easing congestion and improving visitors’ safety and experience.

The proposals include a car reservation system for the park’s most popular spots. The number of visitors to the park has increased by about 60 percent over the past decade.

[Car reservation system among dramatic proposals to control Acadia traffic]

“Encouraging people to think about their visit to the park without being wedded to their automobile is a key leap we all have to make,” said Friends of Acadia President David MacDonald.

Under a draft transportation plan released Friday, Acadia is also looking at expanding bus service to better manage the increasing number of visitors.

Nina St. Germain, who owns a restaurant in Bar Harbor, said she thinks the park needs to be more regulated. “I think they’re on the right track, and I think it is important that they are conserving and protecting that area.”

MacDonald said the goal is not to limit park visitation. “The goal is to better manage it,” he said.

There’s a 60-day public comment period on the plan.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.