Six showed up for Greenway Loop walking tour Sunday — and learned it was canceled

Six people showed up at Westgate Elementary School Sunday afternoon, expecting a tour of the proposed new citywide looped path — the Edmonds Greenway Loop — that was publicized in a city press release last month.

However, those attending — including a city councilmember, two members of the media and four residents — learned that the event had been canceled due to “little interest” from the public to participate in the walk.

City of Edmonds spokesperson Kelsey Foster said that Planning and Development Director Susan McLaughlin and her staff decided to cancel the event last week. While staff posted a notice on the Edmonds Greenway Loop webpage and also notified people who had responded that they planned to attend the event, “nothing went out broadly to the public or the media announcing the cancellation,” Foster said. That process will be changed in the future to ensure that such event cancellations are publicly announced, she said.

The city spokesperson also shared an email from McLaughlin, which was sent to some of those who were in attendance Sunday and wondered what happened.

“My sincere apologies for the folks that took their own time to attend this event without seeing the cancellation notice,” McLaughlin wrote. “Cancellations can be frustrating, and I understand that. We will do everything we can to avoid this in the future.

“Staff had received very little interest in the walk and decided to pivot to an alternative event that hopes to yield more interest,” she added.

Greenway Loop rendering courtesy City of Edmonds.

As proposed, the Edmonds Greenway Loop would be a nearly 20-mile path to connect schools, parks and open spaces in and around Edmonds. Emphasis for the design will focus on accessibility for all ages and abilities, the city press release said. “Users can enjoy the path in a variety of ways  — walking, jogging, biking, rolling or simply strolling.”

As proposed, “the Greenway Loop will be separated from traffic and motorized vehicles with a landscaped buffer to enhance safety while encouraging active forms of mobility,” the press release said. “This aligns with the city’s climate goals to reduce carbon emissions (by driving less for daily needs), to improve air quality, to improve public health and to help achieve a high quality of life for all Edmonds residents.”

— By Teresa Wippel

  1. I absolutely support the idea of a 20-mile path to connect schools, parks and open spaces around Edmonds. Having paths that are safe from traffic is key, and makes getting out more enjoyable.

    1. I agree! I think it is a great idea to connect schools, parks and open spaces. Currently, the waterfront is heavily used, but other parts of the city are not connected.

      I lived in Bellevue a couple years before moving to Edmonds and found it to be much more walk-able, because the city has connected many of their parks and green spaces (e.g., the Lake-to-Lake Trail).

  2. Newsflash here. What does this lack of interest tell you about the over all community interest in this latest get Nelson re-elected PR effort? Hint: You probably won’t need a biased Survey Monkey Poll on this one. That should save us a few consultant $$$$.

  3. Agreed!
    More of a place to attract street people to camp out, crime, and drugs.
    Put the money into our schools to retain and hire quality teachers who want to teach our kids reading, writing, math, and unrevised history.
    Put the money into police and fire department so they can have the staffing levels to protect, serve, and save our citizens.

  4. While I understand the attraction of such a pathway, the logistics and cost are tremendous! I live off of Olympic View Dr… whose property will be bought at what cost, and which way Will construction go- up hill or toward the water? How will people who live along OVD get in and out during construction? And this is just the area that I am most familiar with. Multiply this 10 times and more.
    Sidewalks- good, non-crumbling sidewalks and timely pruning of overgrown plant materials that block said sidewalks. Let’s start there!

    1. The attendance is an example of the total interest in spending more money on items not needed. Who is going to pay for this? What charges are going to increase to cover the costs of ‘the path.’? We have seen way too much money needed for the Mayor’s fantasies. Listen to the Citizens Mr. Mayor! By the the way why not take the money for paving the path and smooth out the streets?

  5. As someone who is wanting to drive less and bike more for local trips, I am looking forward to a more bike-friendly Edmonds. Any town that is situated at the edge of the sea should be doing all it can to cut emissions, since sea level rise puts the waterfront at risk. Riding a bike and walking instead of driving is one way to contribute to repairing the climate.

  6. For those not able to ride a bike or want to bike in the rain, it would be interesting to see how the city would support small, two passenger electric cars with just enough storage space for some groceries or other items from our local shop owners. Most have a range of 100 miles. When we have enough using them we could even have smaller parking stalls with longer time limits and in sufficient numbers he help our ADA type citizens.

    1. Please tell me who comes up with these crazy blue sky ideas? What is the plan? Where does all the money come from? It makes absolutely no sense and whomever dreamed it up must not be in touch with reality. They aren’t going to take away road or sidewalk space to do this. So they will take it from homeowners and businesses property. Have they driven along the steep slopes of Olympic View Drive. Im beginning to believe the lunatics are running the asylum but unfortunately it’s our city that is the asylum.

  7. Has anyone done a cost estimate? For example didn’t we just finish adding new ADA crossings from perinville to 196th on 76th didn’t we just add bike lanes and resurface the road? What did that cost a million dollars? Probably more but let’s tear that all up and redo it because some idiot in charge wants a feather in his cap. Most of this path already has sidewalks and the cost to do this would make the hwy 99 property look like a bargain. Note the sidewalk crossing at 196th has been torn up for more than a year and a half which shows the incompetence of the city to get projects done in a timely manner. This project would likely take a hundred years to complete and raise taxes significantly.

  8. I agree with Patti. This sounds like a fertile environment for the homeless. Who would patrol this? Where is Edmonds getting money for these projects? Put money into our safety – police – and in our sidewalks. Improved sidewalks had been a concern for a long time.

  9. As an avid walker and biker around Edmonds this new path is a brilliant gift. It’s so difficult to try to navigate around the city navigating through dense traffic, roads without bike paths and the various start and stop obstacles along the way. I think this increases our city wide walkability score, creates more social engagement between all of us and ultimately helps foster city that’s safer and more enjoyable to live in. Full support of this, it’s about time.

  10. I read about this in the Beacon and planned to attend to get more information – failed to notice that registration necessary. I could not find any information on the city calendar – planned, cancelled or otherwise. I walk and/or bus all around Edmonds. I support safe pathways/sidewalks/bike lanes. I agree with Chuck.

  11. As a person with a disability and one that cannot drive I think this is the lamest idea ever put forth. Our community needs to worry about safety first and paths second. What good does a walkway do if you cannot ensure public safety. As a person whom cared for a husband with ALS a better use of funds would be fixing all the cracked sidewalks in edmonds that are lifted from tree roots making it, at times impossible to navigate a walker or motorized scooter. Just saying.

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