Olympic Discovery Path notion attracts opposition

PORT ANGELES — A controversial program to examine an alternate route for the Olympic Discovery Trail east of Port Angeles survived a flood of opposition this week. The City Council voted 4-2 Tuesday to preserve an upland ODT approach as an unfunded line product in the city’s 2022-2027 capital amenities […]

PORT ANGELES — A controversial program to examine an alternate route for the Olympic Discovery Trail east of Port Angeles survived a flood of opposition this week.

The City Council voted 4-2 Tuesday to preserve an upland ODT approach as an unfunded line product in the city’s 2022-2027 capital amenities system inspite of phone calls from far more that two dozen path users to remove it from the 318-web page doc.

The council then voted unanimously — with Charlie McCaughan excused — to direct employees to move the upland ODT system and practically $600,000 well worth of riprap repairs to the current waterfront trail from parks to transportation tasks in the 5-yr infrastructure plan.

Twenty-seven public speakers expressed unanimous assist for retaining the waterfront path as it exists between Ennis Creek and Morse Creek.

The upland route would depart the waterfront at those two ravines and travel even though the eastern Port Angeles City Growth Location, bypassing 2½ miles of waterfront path that is susceptible to mudslides, floods and storm-linked closures.

“I hope that the vast majority of the council will reject this unrealistic proposal,” mentioned Rich James, a Peninsula Trails Coalition board member and retired Clallam County transportation planner who used 28 several years organizing, funding and developing the ODT.

The Metropolis Council has no strategies to close the existing waterfront path, which is element of a two-county trail program that will eventually join Port Townsend to La Press. The upland path would be an different to the town-owned segment of the ODT.

“I want to be distinct that there is no proposal on the table to abandon the waterfront path,” Council member Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin claimed in the virtual meeting Tuesday.

“Those (trails) are different projects, and I believe two trails are superior than one.”

The city’s proposed five-calendar year cash amenities prepare contains $593,000 for riprap repairs along the present waterfront trail, which was designed atop a historic railroad grade.

Jeff Bohman, Peninsula Trails Coalition board president, explained the upland route was a “premature concept” that was distracting from the city’s servicing duties.

“I feel you’ve listened to crystal clear and unanimous expression so far about the value of the trail,” Bohman explained to the council.

“This is a topic that these comments illustrate has 101 different dimensions to it, and we with the Trails Coalition stand completely ready to work intently with the council and personnel to address the maintenance that is genuinely known as for.”

Peninsula Trails Coalition supports 14 federal, state, county, city and tribal jurisdictions that are accountable for numerous segments of the Olympic Discovery Path.

“This is a multi-jurisdictional trail program that is even bigger than the city of Port Angeles,” Metropolis Council member Mike French explained before creating a motion to delete the upland route from the infrastructure strategy.

“If we want to talk about more dedicated bike lanes, maximizing our transportation technique, offering spokes on and off of the ODT, I’m 100 p.c all for that,” French extra.

“We really don’t want to have an alternate route task in the funds facilities strategy to do that. We just require to consider our very own entire streets ethos significantly, and I consider we are on that route.”

Troy Treaccar, operator of Seem Bikes & Kayaks in downtown Port Angeles, claimed the 4½-mile portion of waterfront path involving Purple Lion Resort and Morse Creek is the only family-friendly bicycle route in the city since it is isolated from automobile targeted visitors and flat.

“Anyone can ride this path, from grandparents to grandkids, and it’s crucial to our enterprise,” Treaccar stated.

James stated the waterfront trail had a lot more than 200,000 end users past 12 months. Sensors have been positioned on the trail in 2017, furnishing the consumer information.

“The locale of the waterfront path on a flat railroad grade provides bicycle customers a time-productive option to car use, giving bicycle riders with a wonderful incentive to minimize their carbon footprint,” James claimed.

A lengthier and steeper upland route would be a deterrent for commuters, families, the elderly and wheelchair customers, James mentioned.

Far more than 2,000 persons, a lot of from out of the state, will use the waterfront path this weekend in the 19th operating of the North Olympic Discovery Marathon and it’s satellite situations.

Most of the new storm injury alongside the waterfront trail has happened amongst mileposts 3 and 4.

Kolesnikoff, who was drawn to Port Angeles from trail-helpful Boulder, Colo., about 5 many years ago, reported the slumping bluff could be stabilized by topping sure trees to reduce them from uprooting throughout windstorms.

“The next concern is that there is a good deal of h2o coming from above the bluff,” Kolesnikoff claimed.

“This is a drainage issue with impermeable stuff up there and very poor routing of the drainage, and we must be on the lookout into how to finest tackle stormwater above the bluff.”

Later on in the conference, French produced a motion to delete the upland ODT approach — product PK-0121 — from the money services strategy.

The motion unsuccessful in a 4-2 vote with French and Mayor Kate Dexter voting sure and Schromen-Wawrin, Brendan Meyer, LaTrisha Suggs and Deputy Mayor Navarra Carr voting no.

The Town Council will take into account approving the revised funds facilitates program after a second looking at and community hearing June 15. The upland route was included to the proposal in a May well 25 council work session.

Schromen-Wawrin stated an upland route concerning Ennis Creek and Morse Creek, very likely working with back again streets even though the urban expansion place, would offer an choice to driving on U.S. Freeway 101 all through the inevitable path closures.

“For me, the ecological restoration possible of the waterfront trail is definitely important and is currently being under-viewed as below,” Schromen-Wawrin additional.

Carr claimed local climate modify would exacerbate winter storm problems on the waterfront, indicating the metropolis should start out planning for a “new ordinary.”

Suggs, a restoration planner for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, said the waterfront path was developed on identified village web pages of the Decrease Elwha Klallam Tribe.

“Any infrastructure that we go on to preserve also impacts culturally-sensitive places, which includes cemeteries, which includes villages,” Suggs explained.

“So this is one thing, far too, that we need to also look at as a town when we’re wanting at infrastructure alongside the nearshore.”

Dexter, who proposed the plan of extended-term setting up for an ODT upland route in an try to access a consensus of the council previous 7 days, stated she experienced talked herself out of the idea.

“I have each individual desire in continuing to maintain the trail, while I figure out that it presents some exciting problems,” Dexter said.

“I assume we have a good deal of group companions who may perhaps be equipped to assistance us with that.”


Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be attained at [email protected].

Edie Villetas

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