The Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT) now has an official route through Sequim.
The trail, which runs east to Port Townsend, and west to Port Angeles and beyond, currently has a number of interruptions. Until the Monday, Aug. 12, meeting of the Sequim City Council, that included a break in the middle of Sequim. The council linked the loose ends by adopting a resolution that formally establishes the ODT path from city limit to city limit.
Most importantly, East Fir Street between Blake Avenue and North Sequim Avenue is now an official part of the trail.
In 2008, the city 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 plan was met by strong resistance from those in the neighborhood.
More recently City Engineer David Garlington recommended a new option, using both sides of East Fir as a “sharrow” — a shared passage for both autos and bicycles. The sidewalk on the northern side of the street will serve as the walking path.
On-street parking will remain.
Garlington said street parking tends to slow traffic, an important safety consideration.
He said utilizing a sharrow also will save money. A few small way-finding signs and some paint applied to the pavement will do the trick. He anticipates the work will begin within a few weeks.
The city will seek grants to upgrade the sidewalk on the northern side of the street.
That doesn’t mean widening it, Garlington said. It means bringing it up to today’s Americans with Disability Act standards.