TACOMA, Wash. – A popular scenic drive will soon be closed off to cars in the mornings. Metro Parks Tacoma is launching a pilot program Nov. 1 through April 15 prohibiting cars on the Five Mile Drive loop through Point Defiance Park in Tacoma during certain morning hours.
Safety is the number one reason for the expanded closure. There have been some accidents and close calls on the Five Mile Drive. It's a narrow one lane road only a line separates cars from runners, cyclists and walkers.
“It's just so much nicer when they don't have to worry about the car coming up behind them,” said Marina Becker, the Metro Parks Tacoma Superintendent.
Currently, the Five Mile Drive is closed off to drivers on weekend mornings until 1:00 p.m. Now, Point Defiance Park wants to expand the car-free hours to weekday mornings, which means motorists can only use the Five Mile Drive after 11 a.m. on Monday through Friday.
"It seems kind of weird to shut it off because you know people come in and drive through," said Anson Dawkins, a runner in the area. "But It does create a safer atmosphere for everyone to run and walk and ride bikes."
Metro Parks Tacoma wants feedback about the 6-month pilot program. People can fill out a survey at www.metroparkstacoma.org or call 253-305-1024. Metro Parks Tacoma will decide at the end of 6 months what should be the long-term plan.