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Comment on Five Mile Drive Closure to Vehicles

Last year we wrote about a proposal to close the outer loop of Five Mile Drive at Point Defiance to vehicle traffic on weekday mornings to make it more friendly to cyclists and pedestrians.

A pilot project implementing the closure until 11 a.m. on weekday mornings began last November. That pilot period wraps up in another month, and Metro Parks is looking for feedback on how the closures worked (or didn't) for you. 

When the pilot closure ends on April 15, Metro Paks needs to decide whether to make it permanent as is or with slight adjustments, or to end it, and go back to being open to vehicles all day. They're taking input from the public on that decision via an online survey.

If you have strong feelings on the closure, now's your chance: what do you think?


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Comments

fred davie

more friendly to pedestrians and cyclists….means less friendly to people who have to use vehicles, like the severely disabled. Let’s treat our disabled population with respect.

March 10, 2014 at 10:49 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Talus

Make the gates closing the road more wheelchair friendly so wheelchairs can better access the road when it’s closed to cars.

March 10, 2014 at 7:27 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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fred davie

Unfortunately, some people are so disabled they can only travel by vehicle. They have the same right, IMO to view the entire park that people who are more ambulatory do. Their rights are not trumped by Tacoma’s Young Utopians.

March 11, 2014 at 2:27 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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James

I’d go take a read of the ADA. There’s nothing in there about maintaining vehicular access of roads, when closed to all vehicles. Nothing in the ICC/ANSI Accessible and Usable Building and Facility Standards. When roads are not open to motor vehicles, but open to pedestrians and bicyclists, they are likely considered “trails” during those hours.

March 12, 2014 at 10:10 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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J

Is it me or does fred davie complain all the time?  Exit 133 is a good source of info for citizens.  Its too bad that one guy uses it as a pulpit to complain about every thing under the sun.  Move to Summit Waller for Christ’s sake….

March 10, 2014 at 12:19 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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fred davie

I commented on the exit 133 story. Your comment is a personal attack. If you want to launch personal attacks why don’t you find a website that encourages that? Move to Summit Waller for Christ’s sake.

March 10, 2014 at 1:36 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Xeno

I don’t really think that is a personal attack when it is more of an oberservation of an individual’s behaviour on the site.  It too perplexes me where someone with his value structure would choose to live in this city when there are areas that fit that social-economic and political agenda in the area.

March 10, 2014 at 4:08 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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fred davie

If you don’t enjoy reading my postings then stop reading. What are you, like 12 years old?

Exit133 exists, not merely to provide a “good source of information,” but also as a place where Tacomans can express their opinions. Your attempt to silence me just because you don’t like my postings is contrary to the spirit of the website. FYI, I regularly identify government waste, fraud, and abuse. My comments are beneficial to the common citizenry. The proposal here is abusive of disabled people.

March 11, 2014 at 2:33 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Xeno

This is a community site and expressing criticism of your postings when people have issue with the information is still within the spirit of the site. Expect people to express their opinions and how out of sync you are with theirs when you express supposed waste, fraud, and abuse accusations.  Please learn to accept this criticism and not call people 12 year olds or liberals.  Thank you.

March 11, 2014 at 9:45 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Jenny JRegistered

It seems like people who need wheelchairs and other assistive devices might find the roads more accessible without cars whipping through there at high speeds or not paying attention. I’ve had to jump out of the way of careless and speeding drivers more than once on the road there, so I can imagine for people less able to jump, it might feel a bit safer without cars. And if you’re in a chair or need a walker or cane, the trails aren’t an option for a nice peaceful walk.

March 10, 2014 at 1:19 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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fred davie

Not every disabled person can get around with just a “chair or a walker or a cane.” Some people are REALLY SEVERLY DISABLED. Let’s accommodate those who are least able to fend for themselves.

March 10, 2014 at 1:41 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Xeno

The rest of the park accomodates them nicely.  They are able to enjoy the fruits of the park without any unique experience to be had in the outer loop area.  But if it is an important issue to you I reccomend bringing it up to the Tacoma Area Commission on Disabilities.

March 10, 2014 at 4:13 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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fred davie

Those areas on the outer loop ARE UNIQUE, xeno. Stop marginalizing the disabled. They enjoy the same rights as you do.

March 11, 2014 at 2:36 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Xeno

Please tell me how they are unique and please brightline why we don’t have to provide the same experience to the walking trails within the park?

March 11, 2014 at 9:40 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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nwcolorist

For many years the 5 mile drive has long been a favorite drive for many people, but is especially valued by people who are house bound, the older, and the disabled. The scenic views from Dalco passage and the Narrows Bridge lookout are beautiful.

Why should the young and healthy have priority over senior citizens and the disabled? If anything, it should be the other way around. Let’s not discriminate against a class of citizens. The current weekend morning closure seems a reasonable trade off.

March 10, 2014 at 4:07 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Jim F.

The closure is wonderful!  Safer for dogs, kids and bikers for a short period of time. I love it! J

March 10, 2014 at 4:39 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Christine

Goodness sakes people! They aren’t talking about permanently closing 5 mile drive to all cars every day, all day, forever. It is just a few hours. Get a handle on yourself.

March 10, 2014 at 8:19 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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tacoma1Registered

Exactly, and its not even the whole 5 mile drive.  It’s just the outer loop.  Plenty of scenic vistas are still car accessible: the overlook at Fort Nisqually, by the Pagoda, Owens Beach, just to name a few.

March 10, 2014 at 8:25 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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NoArmsVet

I would get a handle on myself but I can’t hold anything. Access has always been a big issue for folks and we passed a law in this country (the ADA) to mandate such access. But now you are denying access. The park is only open for certain hours and only a certain type of American with a dog (probably off-leash) and spandex gets to enjoy the area for “just a few hours”.

March 11, 2014 at 5:25 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Xeno

People are confusing parking access and ADA compliance, which the roads are ADA compliant and technically more compliant when closed to vehicle traffic.

March 11, 2014 at 10:00 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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nwcolorist

Keep in mind that the boomer generation, the largest generation of Americans born in U.S. history, sixty million is now entering senior status.

March 11, 2014 at 11:50 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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tacoma1Registered

I’m a boomer and an an AARP member.  I ride my bike through Pt Defiance all the time.  I have no particular desire to get run over by a teenager driving their car too fast.

March 11, 2014 at 8:36 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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talus

Last I checked wilderness areas, not to mention large parts of Seward Park and Discovery Park in Seattle were legal under the ADA.  And what about those dirt trails to the actual best views in Point Defiance?  Pave and grade?

March 11, 2014 at 8:14 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Dan

I don’t agree with him often, but Fred Davie has a point and personal attacks do nothing to invalidate that point.

Closing 5 Mile Drive does limit access to some unique features of the park during specific times.  The counter point is that cars detract from the experiences that people want to have in a park.  That is why most parks don’t let them in at all. 

Point Defiance is a special kind of park and a regional attraction.  The decision was made long ago that cars would be allowed in to access many parts of the park.  Until the decision is made to rip out the roadway and reforest the entire area, all that is left is too strike the right balance; a balance between access (to five scenic overlooks, a picnic area and a large Douglas Fir Tree), and the silence of the forest, or a care free bike ride/jog/stroll in the middle of a tree lined road. 

There may be opportunities someone with a severe mobility issue would miss entirely if they had to wait until noon to get to those places.  Maybe a photographer needs the right lighting.  Maybe a certain type of animal is only active in the morning.  I don’t know, but if it is closed all 7 days a week, that opportunity would go away completely. 

Conversely, what about a car free afternoon sometime?  I’d personally love to go for a quiet sunset trail run on the western side of the peninsula where the road is very close to the natural paths.  I’d find it a lot easier to go there after work than I would before work.  We just need to find a proper balance.

March 11, 2014 at 10:12 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Dan

The balance I’d like to see is closure of the “Outer Loop” for the full day two to three days a week.  I’d pick either Tue. and Thu., or Tue. through Thu. for the two, or three day option respectively.  Those days in the middle of the week are least likely to fall on holidays, so there wouldn’t need to be as many special schedules.  Some of us could experience all parts of the park at all times of day the way that we would like to most.  That is what I would like to see happen.

March 11, 2014 at 10:34 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Morgan Blackmore

Wow, the curmudgeon trolls came out for this one. 

So judging by the coments above,  the idea of closing the outer loop to cars until 11am on weekdays is a civil rights issue because there MAY be some individual out there who is so physically incapacitated that he’s unable to get out of a car and into a wheelchair yet wants to see some scenic vistas before brunch on a weekday.

1. This person doesn’t exist. If you’re able to sit in a car you’re able to sit in a wheelchair. Even quadraplegics have wheelchairs. There is no person who will be denied access because the road is closed to cars.

2. If the only way you can enjoy the scenery is from an air conditioned bucket seat, cool. Show up at 11:01am. The vistas are still scenic at that time.

March 12, 2014 at 10:33 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Xeno

lol I bet if Exit133 pulls NoArmsVet’s IP address they might find a duplicate profile associated with it.

March 12, 2014 at 1:58 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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JDHasty

My mother drove to various points along five-mile drive every day for decades and then went for a walk. As she entered into her eighties her walks became shorter, but entering at various locations allowed her a varied experience.  Those who want to close the park to people who are disabled to the extent that they can no longer walk a few miles at a time are people who discriminate against others who are less fortunate then they are.

March 18, 2014 at 2:53 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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fred davie

Precisely Dan. The disabled community, like your mother, is really tethered to their cars, just like the Bubble Boy was tethered to his bubble. To see how wrong this proposal is to the disabled community just read the proposal and substitute the word negro for the word vehicle. It’s really nothing more than a separate…but equal argument.

March 18, 2014 at 3:51 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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JDHasty

Precisely Dan. The disabled community, like your mother, is really tethered to their cars, just like the Bubble Boy was tethered to his bubble. To see how wrong this proposal is to the disabled community just read the proposal and substitute the word negro for the word vehicle. It’s really nothing more than a separate…but equal argument.

If the City decides to knowingly discriminate, that constitutes a CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATION and as such none of those are immune from PERSONAL LIABILITY. 
That means that if you are one of those who are discriminated against that you can go after INDIVIDUALS, and what is more we taxpayers have NO DUTY to defend those who violate the CIVIL RIGHTS of others.

To shut out a whole segment of the population from enjoying what this area has in the early mornings, an experience that cannot be replicated anywhere in Tacoma is outrageous.  Not only is it a scandal and a disgrace it is also actionable and I, for one, would take great solace in seeing anyone involved personally ruined financially.

 

March 20, 2014 at 12:47 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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JesseRegistered

Conspiracy!!!

March 20, 2014 at 2:54 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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James

Dan got called a curmudgeon. That’s both a personal attack and really funny.

I frequent the outer loop during the no-car-AM’s. I have to say, I’ve seen more people in wheel chairs during those hours than any other time in the park. I think the myth that a closed road translates to less use by the disabled, or wildlife photog’s, can be easily debunked. Not a whole lot of wildlife around when the cars are out in full force.

Got another question for you peeps, anyone ever seen a “Mick Dodge”-like character grunting in the woods at PD? He freaked out my wife on a morning run. I tried to find him, but no luck.

March 13, 2014 at 10:29 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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