Option route for part of Olympic Discovery Path bundled in ideas

PORT ANGELES — The City Council has authorised a 6-12 months infrastructure system that has a renamed alternate route for the Olympic Discovery Trail east of Port Angeles. The Port Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to undertake the approach after renaming the controversial Upland Route among Ennis and Morse […]

PORT ANGELES — The City Council has authorised a 6-12 months infrastructure system that has a renamed alternate route for the Olympic Discovery Trail east of Port Angeles.

The Port Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to undertake the approach after renaming the controversial Upland Route among Ennis and Morse Creek as the Gales Addition Connector.

Setting up a 3-mile bypass by the unincorporated City Development Region continues to be an unfunded line product — task TR0721 — in the transportation area of the 2022-2027 Capital Services Program and Transportation Advancement System.

“One issue that I would appreciate the general public to recognize is that this Funds Facilities System is a lot greater than any a single job, and there’s likely to be a lot of discussion in the future, with any luck , in the up coming number of council meetings, about the Discovery Trail,” council member Mike French reported.

Afterwards in the meeting, the council voted 6- — with Brendan Meyer excused — to insert to its July 6 agenda a resolution in assist of the Olympic Discovery Trail, detailing its coverage positions and directives with regards to trail servicing.

Thirty of 31 speakers who testified Tuesday mentioned they opposed the alternate route. Quite a few stated the city need to do extra to keep the present waterfront trail.

“I actually enjoy the general public enter,” Mayor Kate Dexter mentioned.

“It doesn’t transpire quite usually that you get pretty so a great deal input, and I think the quantity on your own helped converse to the great importance of the path for the local community.”

Some expressed fears that the town would abandon the current path, an iconic segment of the 135-mile ODT, which will
sooner or later connect Port Townsend to La Force.

“We have striven to generate a route that assures a peaceful, bucolic exposure to the bordering environments, and the waterfront path constitutes 1 of the exceptional, signature stretches of the whole duration of the ODT,” mentioned Jeff Selby, Jefferson County vice president of Peninsula Trails Coalition and 15-calendar year board member.

“It appears to be puzzling to me that the metropolis would propose an pricey substitute route when it has struggled to fund typical maintenance of the existing trail.”

No council member has instructed closing the path east of Ennis Creek.

The connector would be an alternate to applying U.S. Freeway 101 in the course of storm-connected trail closures that have happened concerning Ennis and Morse creeks as not long ago as past calendar year.

The city’s 6-yr Funds Facilitates System contains $593,000 in riprap repairs for the waterfront trail, which was undercut by wave action and superior tides in December 2019.

Path advocates say more servicing is required to address bluff erosion and inadequate drainage together the trail amongst mileposts 3 and 4. The town owns and maintains the full 4.5-mile extend of trail between Town Pier and Morse Creek in unincorporated Clallam County.

“This path is exclusive to our city and region,” reported Lucy Copass, a person of 24 who still left voice messages for the general public comment period of time.

“We are unable to manage to let it go.”

Copass and many others explained an upland bypass would require tough terrain — Lees Creek operates nevertheless the UGA — and proper-of-way acquisition from extended-founded landowners.

“An upland option could take many years to total and could show much much more highly-priced than protecting the present trail,” Copass stated.

“Furthermore, it would not give what the recent trail provides, a degree and stunning route for environmentally pleasant styles of transportation that is obtainable to all.”

Twenty-7 public speakers expressed unanimous aid for keeping the waterfront trail in the initial general public hearing on the Money Amenities Approach on June 1.

At that assembly, French’s motion to take away the upland route from the city’s infrastructure prepare unsuccessful in 4-2 vote.

Ian Miller, coastal hazards specialist with Washington Sea Grant application, was the only speaker to aid setting up an alternate trail route in the second community listening to Tuesday.

Miller commenced by stating he was an ardent supporter of the ODT.

“I consider, nonetheless, that examining possibilities for alternate routes for the segment of trail east of Morse Creek is the correct point to do,” Miller mentioned.

“Over the previous 50 a long time, sea amount has pretty much definitely risen adequate in Port Angeles to a lot more than double the frequency of flooding situations, and there is each individual explanation to hope that sea level increase will accelerate the a long time forward.

“Simply put, it indicates much more times exactly where the ocean is discovering its way over the riprap on to the trail, and a lot more hours that waves are battering the riprap holding the path in spot,” Miller extra.

“To be very clear, I’m not in any way supportive of the decommissioning of the path. But what I’m supporting is an evaluation of alternate routes and their fees and added benefits.”

As element of an prolonged discussion on infrastructure, the council voted Tuesday to create a “cost-gain approach” to the Capital Services Prepare.

Dexter experienced prompt organizing for ODT upland route in a May perhaps 25 function session in an work to get council consensus following colleagues Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin and LaTrisha Suggs expressed concerns about the lengthy-term upkeep of the waterfront path.

Peninsula Trails Coalition, which supports 14 governing administration jurisdictions that own different path segments, made available a draft resolution to assuage people issues and “leave no ambiguity about the council and staff’s perpetual dedication to the current waterfront path,” PTC Board President Jeff Bohman stated Tuesday.

French recommended a name improve for the upland route “so that there is no confusion on the public’s facet.”

Schromen-Wawrin suggested the Gales Addition Connector moniker.

“I do sense like this change in title, to me, helps make it really obvious,” Dexter reported.

“It’s quite very clear what it is, and I consider it is not unwise to make a relationship, and continue to, of system, manage the trail.”

Council member Charlie McCaughan, who skipped the June 1 council assembly since his property was nearly ruined in a fireplace, said he obtained a new standpoint on the waterfront trail though staying in a north-facing room at the Port Angeles Purple Lion Resort.

“I’ve observed how several people today actually use that (path) working day-to-day, which includes my wife and I, and a significant part of it is westbound traffic coming to the metropolis,” McCaughan reported.

“I just want to go on report as declaring I concur with the public. I do not want to see that element of the trail deserted, or even regarded as getting abandoned.”

Deputy Mayor Navarra Carr mentioned an alternate route by means of Gales Addition would increase transportation options for city and county people.

Schromen-Wawrin suggested an straightforward conversation about the long-term routine maintenance expenses for the waterfront path.

“The situations less than which we designed the infrastructure in Port Angeles are not the very same circumstances that we’re likely to be working with in the long run, whether or not which is difficulties all-around sea amount rise, or issues all around wildfire risk or troubles all over flooding in our creeks or difficulties on water availability,” Schromen-Wawrin reported.

“We crafted infrastructure with sure assumptions. Individuals assumptions cannot be taken for granted in the future.”

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


Edie Villetas

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