Vehicle-Free Hours on Five Mile Drive Continue, With a Slight Modification

If you're a regular user of Point Defiance Park, you know that the outer loop of Five Mile Drive has been closed to vehicular traffic in the mornings seven days a week. The closure was a part of a pilot program to gather public input on improving access for non-motorized users.

The pilot program has come to an end, and Metro Parks has assessed public input. According to the Metro Parks press release, a whopping 78% of survey residents approved of the additional vehicle-free hours. 

So the decision has been made to continue the closures - sort of. The pilot program had the outer loop (about half of Five Mile Drive) closed until 11 a.m. Monday through Friday. The decision announced by Metro Parks is that going forward, the loop will remain closed until 10 a.m. on weekdays.

No change will be made to the weekend hours, when the loop is closed to motor vehicles until 1 p.m., and the closures will continue to be a part of future Metro Parks planning conversations for Point Defiance.

So, if you want to get out and run/bike/walk/roll/whatever on Five Mile Drive, free from motor vehicles, you have until 10 a.m. to do it. If you prefer to enjoy the park from the comfort of your vehicle, you'll have to wait until mid-morning.

Does that sound fair?

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Yes.  More than fair.

November 3, 2014 at 2:02 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

5 | 1

Disabled Vet

Sure would like to see the ADA exception which permits the closure of distinct viewing areas, picnic facilities, and trails to those needing vehicle access.

November 3, 2014 at 3:35 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

3 | 5


ADA is very vauge, I would shift the burden of proof to show where an ADA provision was actually being violated because several court cases have clarified that as long as part of parks are ADA accessible closing certain parts off is fine.  Additionally,  the use of electric wheelchairs, segways, ect would still be acommodated under the Parks rules so those facilities would theorhetically still be accessible for people picnicing & BBQing at 9:00am in the morning. *snark*  The trails in the park are already grandfathered in and not ADA friendly, so there is really no case there.

November 3, 2014 at 4:50 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

3 | 1


They shouldn’t have backtracked from 11:00 on weekdays.

It would be nice to see the closed gates make it easier for wheelchairs to access the closed gates—the able bodied aren’t the only ones who enjoy a car-free stroll or roll.

November 3, 2014 at 4:10 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

9 | 1

78% and they roll it back an hour?

It seem the park should be looking into ways to further reduce vehicle traffic perhaps in other areas of the park.  Perhaps devoting an entire lane to bike and pedestrian traffic like in Central Park NYC.  On the ADA issue…. disability access should be encouraged just not with cars… It would be great so see more wheelchair athletes using the park…as in NYC

November 3, 2014 at 5:36 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

8 | 1


Agreed - MetroParks was clearly cowed by a small but loud minority.  If the outer loop is to remain open at all it should open at 1:00 every day.  Permanent closure would be best as long as provisions are made to improve disabled access throughout the park. 

Also, the rollback to 10:00 has been in place for months—I was startled to see cars in there at 10:00 over the summer, but then saw that the signs had been changed on the gates with the new rules.

November 3, 2014 at 7:20 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

4 | 0


With that level of support, they should be looking at closing Five Mile Drive on a few weekday evenings in the summer. It would be nice to have car-free hours when the sun is out until 9pm.

November 4, 2014 at 10:00 am / Reply / Quote and reply

7 | 2


Elderly and disabled are often confined to a bus. Nearly every Retirement Home takes residents out for a Joy Ride in a ADA bus. Most never get off the bus until the trip o\is over. Point Defiance needs to recognize the older generation built the place and deserves convenient access to enjoy the park. Physical restrictions are difficult enough for those folks. Please eliminate the selfish political restrictions to full friendly access.

November 4, 2014 at 2:17 am / Reply / Quote and reply

1 | 12


This is good news. Sure I would love for it to stay at 11am but 10am accomplishes most of the benefits. I love biking through there on weekends, would definitely support moving it later until 2. And car drivers, please never feed the disgusting raccoons!

Altering gate to make it easily wheelchair accessible seems like a great idea if it is a problem, which I can imagine it is.

November 9, 2014 at 6:49 am / Reply / Quote and reply

3 | 1

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