Colton-Uniontown Trail Association (CUTA)
Colton Uniontown Trail Committee
The next meeting of the Trail Committee will be via Zoom on Thursday March 16 at 7 pm. If you are interested, contact Cyndi Arbour for the Zoom link. [email protected]
In early 2021, the Colton-Uniontown Trail Association (CUTA) applied for a technical services grant from the National Park Service. The grant was awarded in May 2021, and the NPS assigned Toole Design (www.tooledesign.com) out of Seattle for 80 hours of work to develop a Vision Framework document. Toole Design specializes in transportation planning and engineering. The Vision Framework should be completed in late January 2023 and will include information on:
1. Public Engagement
2. Design Challenges and Strategies
3. Evaluation of Route Options
4. Management and Maintenance
CUTA has been in touch with the Spokane office of WSDOT. New state legislation passed in 2021 requires WSDOT to consider “Complete Street Design” for all projects over $500,000. Complete Streets (highways.dot.gov/complete-streets) states that all modes of transportation, including pedestrian and bicycle, should be considered in road design equally along with vehicular use. WSDOT plans to chip seal US-195 from the Idaho border through Colton in 2026, and this project would qualify for this Complete Streets requirement. Initially, WSDOT stated that if plans were available by the end of 2023, then they would include construction of a trail as part of the chip seal project as long as the trail was within the highway right of way. In later conversations, however, WSDOT clarified that additional funding for a trail was not guaranteed by the state, so they may not be able to include it. They suggested that we consider applying for the biennial Pedestrian and Bicycle Program grant instead.
CUTA has also verified that the old railroad right of way was abandoned in 1984 and the land was sold to the neighboring landowners. Therefore a rails-to-trails conversion is not possible. However, the US-195 right of way may be used for a trail, or land purchases for a trail are possible. These options are being explored by CUTA.
For further information including Zoom links to future meetings, contact Trail News