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Map showing the South Segment A interim trail route.

The South Interim Section A path route, from King County Parks.

King County Parks is working by design for constructing and enhancing an interim path connecting the Black Diamond Open Area to SE Kent-Kangley Street in Maple Valley, and they’re in search of suggestions through a brief on-line survey. Responses are due January 20.

The Inexperienced to Cedar Rivers Path ought to ultimately hook up with the Inexperienced River to the south, together with a connection to SE Inexperienced Valley Street and Flaming Geyser State Park. It ought to then journey by Black Diamond and Maple Valley earlier than connecting to the Cedar River Path close to SR-18. Components of this route exist already to various ranges of usability, however the full construct out will not be but totally funded.

Enhancements to the northern part of the path, from Kent-Kangley Rd to the Cedar River Path, have been placed on pause in lieu of constructing an interim path on the southern part. This makes a number of sense as a result of the southern connection presently ends abruptly at a rail crossing north of Black Diamond.

The interim path will probably be 12 ft broad and paved utilizing very bikeable exhausting packed gravel. The path can even embody “protected crossings at intersections,” in accordance with King County. However maybe most significantly, they’ll construct a bridge over the rail line to attach Maple Valley and Black Diamond.

Concept image of a bridge over a railroad.

Essentially the most contentious subject within the survey appears to be whether or not King County ought to even be aiming to completely pave the path or if the aim must be to construct a whole gravel path. Particularly when funding is missing to construct a totally paved path, I do assume it is sensible to construct out an interim path first to make the connections. Arduous packed gravel with a correctly constructed base can be wheelchair accessible if constructed and maintained appropriately (although that is a vital “if”). The road crossings and the transitions from pavement to gravel are possible an important particulars to get proper. Absolutely paving the path might be left to a future Parks levy if there’s demand to fund such an improve. A protracted and related gravel path is definitely higher than a brief and completely paved one.

If all goes in accordance with schedule, design and allowing must be accomplished this 12 months or early subsequent 12 months, and development may start on the interim path in summer season 2024.

Right here’s the ultimate, unfunded imaginative and prescient:

Map of the full trail from Green River to the Cedar River through Black Diamond and Maple Valley.

About Tom Fucoloro

Founder and Editor of Seattle Bike Weblog.

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