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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, June 6, 2014
Kerry Hibdon, Parks Operations Manager, 360-867-2181 or hibdonk@co.thurston.wa.us

Safety Issues and Federal Regulations Mean Changes for Trail Intersections
Revisions mean no parking at six trail and roadway intersections

OLYMPIA - Concern for public safety will result in an elimination of parking spots at intersections along a 5.3 mile long stretch of the Chehalis Western Trail in Thurston County. This section of the trail was originally designed and constructed by the State Department of Natural Resources. The design was implemented before the county assumed operations of this part of the popular trail system.

Thurston County Parks Operations Manager Kerry Hibdon says the primary reason for the change is the safety of trail users and motorists. "The current intersections do not allow for an appropriate 'line-of-sight', which means that trail users don't have a clear view of vehicular traffic, and the motoring public does not have a clear view of trail users approaching the right of way." The county has received calls from local citizens, both trail users and motorists, who say they cannot adequately see with cars parked at the intersections.

A secondary reason for the trail intersection changes is a mandate received from the Federal Highways Administration regarding construction standards. Their regulations require that all intersections be the same and not include parking. The new design will mirror the existing intersections on the remaining 31 miles of the trail system.

Finally, the elimination of parking at the 6 intersections will save county taxpayers a bit of money. Maintenance crews were called out to the intersections more than 80 times last year to repair or replace infrastructure such as signage, which was damaged when hit by vehicles.

Meanwhile, the county will continue to explore more parking for trail use and establishment of more trailheads. One such location is at 41st Avenue where parking will eventually be located. However, final approval for that project has not been received.

More information on the county trail system can be found on the internet at http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/parks/trails.htm



County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3