Washington Bikes and the Peninsula Trails Coalition are announcing that the National Park Service (NPS) has released the Environmental Assessment and preferred alternative for the Spruce Railroad Trail (SRRT) segment of the Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT) www.olympicdiscoverytrail.com.
At issue is the fact that the NPS is proposing to use a 6 foot minimum width in the design criteria for the last four mile section. The NPS proposal contradicts the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board’s (Access Board) 2011 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for creation of shared use paths which cites the AASHTO bicycle facilities guide 8-10 ft MINIMUM as a MUST to ensure Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance. If this proposal were implemented, the final section of the ODT would be considerably inferior to the 40 miles of AASHTO compliant shared use path that has already been built and would not be ADA compliant.
The Peninsula Trails Coalition and Washington Bikes ask that you offer comment to the NPS on the width issue. Specifically, make it clear to the NPS that for a shared use path, the 8-10 foot minimum guidelines established in the AASHTO bicycle facilities guide is a minimum that must be adhered to and as experienced cyclists, we know, based upon our own personal experiences, that a 6 foot path is unsafe for all users.
For your review copies of the EA can be downloaded from the NPS at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/documentsList.cfm?projectID=29848
Comments should be made online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?documentID=43392
The Peninsula Trails Coalition, and Washington Bikes thank you for your support. We hope that by sharing your personal experiences as cyclists on shared use paths we can demonstrate to the NPS the complete unanimity of the cycling community, and convince them to change their plans.