The Online Voice of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington

Monday, October 17, 2011

National Park Service Makes Bad Design Proposal for the Spruce Rail Road Trail- Olympic Discovery Trail: Make Comment by October 21

The Bicycle Alliance of Washington and the Peninsula Trails Coalition are announcing that the National Park Service (NPS) has released the Environmental Assessment and preferred alternative for the Spruce Railroad Trail (SRRT) segment of the Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT)

The NPS will be accepting public comment on phase two of the project until October 21, 2011. Phase two is for the last four mile section of the ODT that will complete the shared use path through the Olympic National Park.

At issue is the fact that the NPS is proposing to use a 6 foot minimum width in the design criteria for the last four mile section. The NPS proposal contradicts the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board’s (Access Board) 2011 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for creation of shared use paths which cites the AASHTO bicycle facilities guide 8-10 ft MINIMUM as a MUST to ensure Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance. If this proposal were implemented, the final section of the ODT would be considerably inferior to the 40 miles of AASHTO compliant shared use path that has already been built and would not be ADA compliant.

The Peninsula Trails Coalition and the Bicycle Alliance of Washington ask that you offer comment to the NPS on the width issue. Specifically, make it clear to the NPS that for a shared use path, the 8-10 foot minimum guidelines established in the AASHTO bicycle facilities guide is a minimum that must be adhered to and as experienced cyclists, we know, based upon our own personal experiences, that a 6 foot path is unsafe for all users.

For your review copies of the EA can be downloaded from the NPS at

Comments should be made online at

The Peninsula Trails Coalition, and the Bicycle Alliance of Washington thank you for your support. We hope that by sharing your personal experiences as cyclists on shared use paths we can demonstrate to the NPS the complete unanimity of the cycling community, and convince them to change their plans.


  1. The link to the comments on the NFS page is broken.

  2. The URL to the comment page is and is now corrected in the text above.