Sequim’s Fir Street may link Olympic Discovery Trail

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The City of Sequim is trying once again to fill in the “missing link” in the Olympic Discovery Trail.


The trail, which runs from Sequim east to Port Townsend, and west to Port Angeles and beyond, has a number of interruptions, including a confusing break in the middle of Sequim.


To fix that, City Engineer David Garlington is proposing officially designating East Fir Street between Blake Avenue and North Sequim Avenue as part of the trail.


The city ruffled some feathers in 2008 when it floated a plan to extend the trail through town by widening to 10 feet the sidewalks on either Spruce or Fir to accommodate biking and walking. That’s not in the cards this time, said Garlington.


While it is possible the city could designate the right side of East Fir heading west as a bike lane, that’s not likely to happen. Garlington said that would interfere with on-street parking.


He said instead he’s recommending using both sides of the street as a “sharrow” — a shared passage for both autos and bicycles. The sidewalk on the northern side of the street would serve as the walking path.

Garlington said that arrangement provides several advantages, including saving money. A few small signs and some markers applied to the pavement would do the trick.


He added that street parking also tends to slow traffic, an important safety consideration.


After designating Fir as officially part of the Olympic Trail, the city would seek grants to upgrade the sidewalk on the northern side of the street. That would primarily mean bringing it up to today’s Americans with Disability Act standards, Garlington said.


Among attendees, only Paul Gruver spoke in favor of a designated bike lane.


He expressed support for ensuring the sidewalks are brought up to standard.


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