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.
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