Forum Index > Trail Talk > Pt. Defiance Park Five-Mile-Drive permanently closed 05/21/22
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Ski
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Ski
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PostSat May 21, 2022 11:45 am 
Five Mile Drive is permanently closed to vehicular traffic as of May 21, 2022.

I heard about this at a yard sale yesterday from a young man who was bemoaning the closure of the road because people who couldn't walk wouldn't be able to see the Park. I tried to explain to him that there was still a whole lot of park that he could drive around on.

The temporary closures have been in effect for a few years. At first it was only on weekends, when they gated the road so that cyclists and walkers could use the road by themselves.

Then they started locking the gates at 2:00 pm on weekdays. That move was a major game-changer: the high-school kids that showed up with their boom-box-fart-can cars every afternoon had to find somewhere else to go.
The outer end of the peninsula became amazingly quiet in the afternoons - only the occasional buzz of a Cessna or Piper on the way to Gig Harbor broke the silence. Every now and then a parade of Apaches from Camp Murray will whoop-whoop-whoop by, and inevitably the flight paths of the big C5 Galaxies will send them overhead, but over the course of a week, out of ten hours of walking, all that might amount to a whole three minutes.

The biggest change was that the noise reduction has caused a change in the behavior of the resident fauna.
I have several times over the last year had to (literally) shoo a deer off the trail in order to pass. As an added bonus, the amount of garbage I'm picking up has been significantly reduced.

What's not to like? MetroParks Tacoma enacted the closure ostensibly due to the erosion along the edge of the bluffs at the outer end of the peninsula, which are sloughing off into the Sound daily.
I'm happy that they came up with a sound argument that would be difficult to counter, as it's being done in the name of "public safety".
My understanding from communicating with contacts at MPT and other walkers is that there were and are a great number of people who are very much in favor of this change.


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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."

flatsqwerl, kiliki, day_hike_mike, kw, ChinookPass  Anne Elk
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Navy salad
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Navy salad
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PostSun May 22, 2022 4:29 pm 
{sighing} Sad! I learned to drive in Stadium high drivers ed class (summer of 1967) driving around 5 mile drive. Plus it was a fun drive with my girl friend in high school (a looooooong time ago).

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Kim Brown
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PostMon May 23, 2022 10:09 am 
I haven't seen the return of the buffalo yet, but the jackalope population is returning.


mosey  Anne Elk
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Dharmabum
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PostMon May 23, 2022 11:51 am 
I run the outer loop in the morning with the dog a couple times a week.  It's not unusual even at 8-9AM on a weekday that there were people parked at the vehicle lookout areas smoking up w/ music blaring. I say good riddance to getting rid of the vehicle traffic.

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Anne Elk
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PostMon May 23, 2022 3:33 pm 
When I saw the thread title I thought maybe the city of Tacoma was catching the motor vehicle animus virus that's swept thru Seattle city government.

I've never visited Pt. Defiance Park and from Ski's great pics of it over the years it seems worth a visit to Tacoma just to check it out; especially now. Sorry to know that some local bozos had turned the park into the equivalent of Alki on a hot summer weekend. What a bonus the road closure is bringing Pt Defiance will be more like Discovery Park - peace and quiet! More critters! Audible birdie tweets! Bravo!  up.gif  up.gif

solohiker
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solohiker
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PostMon May 23, 2022 7:37 pm 
Agree totally that this is a good thing for the park - all due respect to Navy Salad and nostalgia but in today’s times, a non-motorized version of that pathway is absolutely the way to keep the area in good shape.

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I have never been lost, but I'll admit to being confused for several weeks.  - Daniel Boone
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