Joggers pass over a sensor imbedded in the pavement that tallies foot and bicycle traffic on the Waterfront Trail east of Port Angeles City Pier. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Joggers pass over a sensor imbedded in the pavement that tallies foot and bicycle traffic on the Waterfront Trail east of Port Angeles City Pier. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Counters to help track use of Olympic Discovery Trail

PORT ANGELES — The state Department of Transportation will install three bicycle and pedestrian counters on the Olympic Discovery Trail west of Port Angeles.

Commissioners approved a grant request, maintenance agreement and separate local agency agreement with Transportation for the counters Tuesday. The department agreed to install the $16,935 sensors at no cost to the county.

The equipment will help the county apply for future grants and measure the success of the ODT in attracting visitors and helping the local economy, county officials said.

The permanent sensors will be installed at the Elwha River crossing west of Port Angeles, the Spruce Railroad Trail at Lake Crescent and near Cooper Ranch Road on the county’s West End.

They are scheduled to be installed in September and be operational in October, according to a project summary.

“Since we got a counter in last year at the [Port Angeles] Red Lion, we’ve been pretty amazed at the counts we’re getting for the trail,” Transportation Program Manager Rich James told commissioners last week.

“It’s averaging almost 200,000 a year.”

The Cascade Bicycle Club of Seattle applied for a grant from the state Department of Transportation to make the Eco-Counter trail counters available to local agencies, James said.

The club was “very favorable” to Clallam County’s application, he added.

The grant requires a $5,040 county match for four years of automatic data transmission. Clallam County also is required to maintain the trail counters and share the data for five years.

Each counter has a magnetic loop buried under the trail and a heat-sensing counter above the trail.

“With this combined system, you can count both pedestrians and bikes and distinguish between them, which is pretty useful,” James said.

“We were pretty amazed at how many walkers we have using the trail down at Red Lion. They outnumber the bicyclists.”

The existing trail counter on the Port Angeles waterfront is near the east end of the Red Lion Hotel.

“These units have a modem that we would be ordering with it,” James said.

“That modem keeps that information, makes it available through the web and to this Eco-Counter system website. So you go on a state site and actually see what the counts are at the various locations.”

The Elwha River sensor is to be placed near the county’s 8-year-old Elwha River bridge. The Olympic Discovery Trail is suspended under the bridge.

The Lake Crescent sensor is to be installed near the east end of the Spruce Railroad Trail at the Lyre River trailhead.

“That’s going to be problematic for a year or two until the project’s done, but definitely a good place to have a counter in the future,” James said, referring to the Spruce Railroad Trail and tunnel restoration project.

Clallam County is working with the National Park Service to realign, widen and pave the 4-mile-long Spruce Railroad Trail.

Once completed in 2019, the Spruce Railroad Trail will become part of the Olympic Discovery Trail.

The third sensor is to be placed at the Trail Camp Creek trailhead near Cooper Ranch Road in the Sol Duc River Valley.

Clallam County, which has been developing the Olympic Discovery Trail since 1993, is working to close gaps in the trail between the Elwha River and Lake Crescent and in the greater Forks area.

Most of the trail between the Elwha River and the Jefferson County line has been completed.

The Olympic Discovery Trail will eventually connect Port Townsend to La Push.

________

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News                                Joggers pass over a sensor imbedded in 
the pavement that tallies foot and bicycle traffic on the Waterfront Trail east of Port Angeles City Pier.

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News Joggers pass over a sensor imbedded in the pavement that tallies foot and bicycle traffic on the Waterfront Trail east of Port Angeles City Pier.

More in News

Ridge ski season opens Saturday

Finally, enough snow falls for winter sports

A gate and concrete barricades block the north end of Towne Road as it reaches the new Dungeness River levee on Tuesday northwest of Sequim. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Residents provide Towne Road feedback

More than 30 express opinions on project

Point Hudson Marina slated to be open today

Port of Port Townsend plans grand opening ceremony on April 24

Firefighters extinguished a fire in an RV near Olympic Medical Center on Wednesday in Port Angeles. No one was injured. (Port Angeles Fire Department)
No one injured in RV fire

No one was injured following an RV fire at… Continue reading

tsr
Mobile Healing Clinic to start in Clallam Bay on Monday

RV offers similar MAT services as Sequim facility

Finalists for the 2023 Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber Commerce’s Citizen of the Year award include, front row, from left, Carol Labbe and Pauline Olsen. Not pictured is the award recipient, Renne Emiko Brock, who was unable to attend the chamber’s annual awards luncheon on Tuesday. Pictured with Labbe and Olsen are, back row, from left, chamber President Eran Kennedy, chamber Executive Director Beth Pratt and Lorie Fazio, Citizen of the Year committee chair. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Art advocate Brock named Sequim Citizen of Year

Labbe, Olsen finalists for town’s top civic award

Lena Curtis guides a snow sled with her two children, Lucien Williams, 4 1/2, and Millie, 2, all from Port Townsend, down a snow hill at Port Townsend High School on Tuesday. An overnight storm passed through but not before depositing about 3 inches of soft powder, which melted rapidly as the day warmed. The blast of snowfall was largely confined to the area around Port Townsend and Port Hadlock overnight into Tuesday morning on the North Olympic Peninsula. Another weather system was coming in on Tuesday afternoon and is expected to drop rain in the lowlands and snow in the mountains on Wednesday and early Thursday, according to meteorologist Jacob DeFlitch with the National Weather Service in Seattle. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Downhill sledding

Lena Curtis guides a snow sled with her two children, Lucien Williams,… Continue reading

waddell
Clallam PUD seeks replacement for Waddell

Applicants for the Clallam County Public Utility District commissioner seat… Continue reading

Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe council leaders celebrate the opening of the tribe’s new library at its Blyn campus on Saturday. Pictured, from left, are treasurer Theresa Lehman, vice chair Loni Grinnell-Greninger, chair/CEO Ron Allen and secretary Rochelle Blankenship. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe celebrates library opening

Chairman/CEO: New facility is ‘second to none’