Beach Court trail gains Centennial status, $1,000 earmark

Chalk up another victory for pedestrians of the town.

And history buffs as well.

Not only did the Friday Harbor Town Council unanimously embrace the proposed Beach Court Trail, it upped the ante May 7 by designating the trail a Centennial project and dipping into the town's birthday account — $1,000 — to help fund its construction.

A recent show of support from eastside property owners, several of whom would be impacted by the trail and whose enthusiasm remains subject to proper signage, helped to coax Councilwoman Carrie Lacher out of her earlier opposition.

"That was impressive to me," she said.

An earmark from the Centennial fund for signs is also appropriate, she said.

The trail will link the area east of Tucker Avenue to the north end of Blair Avenue via a 40-foot long path that traces an unopened town road. It includes a series of switchbacks near the top to help more easily traverse its steep grade.

The path evolved after development of the waterfront eliminated a shoreline trail that at one time had been widely used as a route to town, according to Brian Windrope, who helped spearhead the project and coordinate trail designs provided to the town staff and council.

The trail offers a safer alternative than walking along Tucker Avenue into town, Windrope said. He credits Steve Ulvi and the Land Bank's Doug McCutchen with engineering the trail's design, and Town Administrator King Fitch for providing clear understanding of the process.

"There's not much alteration to the landscape that needs to be done, except at the top," Windrope said. "That it's a Centennial project, I'm thrilled. I think they're honoring a historic access that existed in that point of the town."

— Scott Rasmussen

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