Parks board reaffirms Spruce Street ODT route

The proposed Spruce Street route for the Olympic Discovery Trail's "missing link" was reaffirmed by the Sequim Citizens Advisory Board at its Nov. 11 meeting.

"So we stand by our decision that Spruce Street should be the route," said parks board chairwoman June Robinson following a short discussion by the board.

Now that recommendation will go to the city council. Public works office manager Jeff Edwards told the parks board that construction was at least two years away because grant funding must be pursued.

The proposed route would connect the Olympic Discovery Trail through Sequim from the intersection of Hendrickson Road and Sequim Avenue to the Water Reuse Demonstration Park using East Spruce Street and North Sunnyside Avenue.

It would begin where the Bell Creek Trail meets Blake Avenue and follow the north side of Spruce. Then it would extend up the west side of Sunnyside Avenue for two blocks and along the north side of Fir Street for one block.

At North Sequim Avenue, the trail would turn north and extend to Hendrickson Road, connecting with the already-built segment that extends west toward Railroad Bridge Park.

After an Oct. 14 parks board meeting that drew about 35 people, many opposed to the proposed Spruce Street route, the parks board scheduled the Nov. 11 meeting to discuss the subject again.

But the seven board members didn't change their minds from their original recommendation sent to the city council in June. They also noted that the route was recommended by the The Blue Ribbon Task Force, a group of city officials and others charged with envisioning parks and trails around the city.

Robinson said comments at the Oct. 14 meeting were evenly divided between Spruce and Fir streets, depending upon where the person lived.

Public works office manager Jeff Edwards said the proposal made at the Oct. 14 meeting to run the trail along alleys won't work because many of them don't go all the way through.

Board member Liisa Fagerlund said the board's subcommittee examined all the options, including the costs and the pros and cons and declared Spruce Street to be the best route.

So unless someone donates money to the city for the necessary property purchases along the Fir Street route, there's no reason to change the recommendation, she said.

Edwards said when city officials walked the Spruce Street route to talk with residents, they received positive as well as negative feedback and a couple of people changed their minds.

Board member John Cox said he hadn't heard any good reason against the Spruce Street route.

Board member Allan Goff said, "I have tremendous respect for (Liisa Fagerlund and Chuck Preble), so let's go with their recommendation."

Parks board members and interim public works director Bill Bullock walked East Spruce Street prior to the Oct. 14 parks board meeting to hand out fliers and talk to residents about the proposed Olympic Discovery Trail route.

According to the city's flier, the proposed trail route will use existing sidewalk and curb along East Spruce Street from Brown Road to Blake Avenue. It will be entirely within the current Spruce and Sunnyside rights of way with no encroachment on private property.

Bullock said the trail will be a 10-foot-wide concrete sidewalk, wider than the 6-foot sidewalks usually found in residential areas. It will have conventional driveway crossings and allow mailboxes and street signs along the street edge, he said.

Bullock said the trail would require making Spruce Street one foot narrower, with concrete replacing the rockery that now borders the sidewalk.

The city's flier also states that building a sidewalk along Spruce Street has many advantages for residents including that no sidewalks currently exist between Sunnyside Avenue and Brown Road.

The estimated $350,000 cost could be funded through either federal grants funneled through the state Department of Transportation or state grants through the Recreation and Conservation Office.

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