Residents also complained that "poorly behaved tourists" have been responsible for "damaged roads" and "verbally assaulted residents"
A Vermont town is taking serious steps to prevent social media influencers and visitors from visiting amid the arrival of the fall foliage season.
In a memo dated Aug. 16 by its select board, the town of Pomfret, located in Windsor County, Vermont, said they are temporarily closing a number of roads to motor vehicle traffic from Sept. 23 to Oct. 15, including Cloudland Road in Pomfret south of Barber Hill Road and the entirety of Cloudland Road in Woodstock.
The town has also instituted temporary parking bans, signage and barriers.
“Foliage season traffic in this area has steadily increased during the last several years, causing significant safety, environmental, aesthetic, and quality of life issues,” read the memo. “The steps summarized in this memo are part of a comprehensive effort, in coordination with area residents, to address these issues on the ground, through dialogue with local government partners, and on social and other information media.”
The traffic mitigation measures will affect tourists’ access to the popular Sleepy Hollow Farm, a private residence, which has been a popular destination for outsiders looking to take and post footage and selfies on TikTok and Instagram of the gorgeous and rustic scenery.
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Residents aren’t happy with the influx of visitors, with one neighbor telling Today: “People showing up, walking over private property and being on the side of the road on private property.”
“We see people in dressing rooms,” another resident added. “They bring dressing rooms to change in different outfits to take pictures.”
Eric Duffy, a municipal manager for Woodstock, Pomfret’s neighboring town that shares Cloudland Road, told USA Today that the large number of visitors may make it difficult for emergency vehicles to drive through the road, creating a safety concern.
The situation has prompted a GoFundMe to raise money to finance authorities' efforts’ to enforce the new traffic measures and ramp up new signage.
“Cloudland and surrounding roads become impassable during the Fall, and roads and poorly behaved tourists have damaged roads, had accidents, required towing out of ditches, trampled gardens, defecated on private property, parked in fields and driveways, and verbally assaulted residents,” read the GoFundMe description.
“OUR PLEA is simple: As a community, the residents surrounding Cloudland Road have come together to work with the towns of Pomfret and Woodstock to bring peace, safety, and civility back to the families who live here,” the message read.
As of Wednesday morning, the campaign has generated nearly $15,000.
In its memo, the Pomfret select board acknowledged the new traffic mitigation efforts won’t completely solve the problems and could inconvenience residents and guests. But they added: “We believe these actions will significantly improve safety and quality of life for residents most severely affected by increased foliage season traffic."
"We thank the Pomfret and Woodstock communities for their patience and careful adherence to these temporary changes so that they may have their intended effect," read the memo.
PEOPLE reached out to the Pomfret select board for additional comment.
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