Trail maintenance on the list to prepare for National Bike Month, major eventsBy Barb Chamberlain
"When are you going to sweep the trail?" We regularly get this question about almost every trail and heavily-used highway shoulder in the state. The people traveling through those areas may not know who manages that stretch of trail or highway or who to reach out to. They just want to roll or stroll along a freshly cleaned surface.
Around the state, our maintenance crews prepare for extra bike travel and more people getting outside, whether it's sweeping to get ready for National Bike Month in May or working with organizers of major rides to clean shoulders in advance of a scheduled event.
Like housework, maintenance is never done – no sooner do you clean one place than another one gets dirty. You tackle that and then the first spot you cleaned is dirty. Again. If you want to let us know about a state highway shoulder or trail that is need of maintenance, here's how to contact us. We'll try to work it into our schedule as time and other priorities allow.
|A sweeper truck works on the Children of the Sun Trail near SR 395 in Spokane.|
Here's some of the places you might see crews out in April or May sweeping, cutting back brush to improve sight lines, or perhaps applying sealants to address cracks. Why not give them a wave and a thank you when you see them?
- Tri-Cities area
Some sweeping already took place and some is scheduled ahead of the Inland Empire Century Ride on May 12. Crews also make a special effort to apply weed controls to address the infamous puncture vine that creates many a bike tire puncture and cry of, "Oh, no, I have a flat!"
- Yakima/Selah area
Look for sweeping along State Route 24 and SR 823.
Children of the Sun Trail was swept the first week of April.
- South Sound and coast area
Crews swept US 101 from Quilcene to Queets in March, Tacoma's Scott Pierson Trail the second week of April, followed by the Interstate 5 Olympia trail. Next up, they'll be hitting all the paved shoulders on SRs 305, 104, 307, 3, and the Hood Canal Bridge.
- Greater Seattle area
Crews will be sweeping the SR 520 Trail, I-90 and the path along SR 99 by the 1st Avenue South bridge. They'll also be making pavement repairs.
|Left: Our crews work to seal cracks on bike/pedestrian trails as quickly as possible, like these in the Tri-Cities.|
Right: The public is key in helping us keep trails clean and safe for all users.
We need everyone's help keeping trails and roadways clean
If you're the one in charge of household chores for your family, you know it's easier to keep up with the cleaning if everyone pitches in (and if they don't contribute to the mess in the first place). We can all be part of the solution on our trails and highway shoulders.
Please be sure to always secure your loads – even on a short trip – to keep trash or debris from littering roadways and trails. Likewise, please properly dispose of any trash. Even "small" items add up when you multiply them by all of a trail's or roadway's users. And please share this message with friends and neighbors. We need everyone working to keep our state beautiful.
You also can volunteer to pick up litter on your favorite trails (or just do it as you walk through).
In Clark County, for example, the Vancouver Bicycle Club cleans a section along SR 14 as part of our Adopt-a-Highway program, which also includes trail cleaning and other volunteer opportunities. Near Cle Elum, volunteers pick up litter along Progress Path, a paved trail linking West Cle Elum to Cle Elum/Roslyn Schools. The trail, adjacent to SR 903, was funded in part with our Safe Routes to School funds.
If you're involved with a group interested in volunteering to maintain a section of trail, contact one of our Adopt a Highway coordinators. Happy trails!