Metro Parks is planning to experiment with closing Five Mile Drive at Point Defiance Park to vehicles on weekday mornings.
The closures, scheduled to begin later this month, are part of a pilot program to give pedestrians and cyclists greater access to the road.
The drive will be closed until 11 a.m. Monday through Friday. The scenic drive is already closed to vehicles until 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
The park opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes 30 minutes after sunset.
The pilot program was briefly mentioned Tuesday during a joint study session between the Metro Parks Tacoma board and the Tacoma City Council.
Parks Commissioner Erik Hanberg said after the meeting that people have long requested more nonmotorized access to the 700-acre park.
“It’s an incredible resource and people love it,” Hanberg said. “If you want to walk the trails through the park, you are going to have to be on Five Mile Drive at certain points.”
The pilot project will begin when a new trail linking the Point Ruston waterwalk and Point Defiance opens later this month. The completion of the interim trail and its opening date are dependent on weather.
Tacoma resident Matt Newport, who occasionally organizes group bicycle rides, predicts that cyclists will take advantage of the additional closures.
“I’m just one of the many that would enjoy the opportunity to use the whole area on other times of the week,” Newport said.
Feedback from park users led parks commissioners to consider more closures of the road for foot and bicycle traffic, said spokeswoman Nancy Johnson.
The pilot project could last through May, she said. The parks board will then review user comments about the closures.Kate Martin: 253-597-8542