Edmonds may add bike lane along Sunset Overlook

EDMONDS — A foot path and a designated bike lane were just some of the possible features presented to the Edmonds City Council last month as staff discussed the future of Sunset Overlook.

The overlook runs 2,000 feet along the west side of Sunset Avenue, just north of the ferry terminal from Bell Street, ending at Caspers Street.

“This project will make an impression on future generations,” Councilman Michael Plunkett said after hearing the proposed plan.

Bringing the project to the council was required before the city can bid for a state grant of $500,000 to offset the project’s projected $950,000 cost, said Phil Williams, public works director.

“The vision for Sunset Overlook is that it will be a leg in a walking path loop through downtown,” Williams said.

The project includes a paved pedestrian trail. Currently the ground is unprepared dirt and inaccessible to people with disabilities. People using wheelchairs must use the street or a parking area to get a water vista, Williams said.

Reducing the width of the roadway to 13 feet, from its 16- to 20-foot range, will lend space for the overlook path. It also will act as a traffic calming device.

A 5-foot designated bike lane could share space with traffic lanes and be situated within the current roadway footprint. Landscaping would be added between the trail and the travel lane. Parking is slated to remain on the west side of Sunset Avenue.

Remaining funding could be cobbled together with other grants from the state and federal governments. Still, Williams says up to 14 percent of the funding may have to be found within the city’s coffers.

The council will ask for public input after the May 1 grant application deadline. In the meantime, a public survey is available through http://tinyurl.com/SunsetOverlookSurvey.

Because of its proximity to the railroad tracks, the efforts would require the city to work with BNSF Railway Company in design and construction.

The future of City Park is in the hands of state grant-givers as well.

As with the overlook project, the city sought the council’s nod to apply for a $500,000 state grant to give a toe hold in a proposed $1 million overhaul of City Park.

Additional funding to bridge the gap is in the city’s budget. Other grants would be sought, said Carrie Hite, parks and recreation director.

New playground equipment and adding a spray pad by the playground were the big-ticket items, Hite said.

The spray pad would replace the shuttered wading pool as the park’s water feature for children.

Community wading pools across the country have been closed due to public health concerns, Hite said.

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