[Tweeters] Discovery Parking

Tom Merritt birders.2341 at comcast.net
Tue Oct 29 17:12:40 PDT 2019


Permits are issued for short term use at the Visitor's Center. The permits are restricted, are good for 3 hours and the criteria per the Discovery Park website (https://www.seattle.gov/parks/find/centers/discovery-park-environmental-learning-center/parking-and-beach-shuttles) is stated below. To obtain a permit stop by the visitor's center front desk and ask for a permit. They will ask for your license plate number and perhaps some ID. That is all there is to obtaining a permit.

"Beach permits are only for those who otherwise would not be able to walk to the beach - families with children under 6, people over 62, and others who are not physically able to walk to the beach due to an injury, illness or some other physical condition."

My partner and myself are both over 70 and have been doing the monthly COASST survey on the North Beach for over three years. The only time we have obtained permits is when the weather is very bad, or we have been extremely restricted for time due to family health issues or some other concerns. We normally do the loop walk and use it as a good outing, combined with birding. And like all good birders we do not let a bit of rain dissuade us. This is despite some serious health issues with which we have dealt. During that period, we missed two surveys. I fully concur with the comments by Matt Dufort, Michael Hobbs and others. Las summer during high traffic periods shuttles were used to allow people to access the beaches.

Tom Merritt

From: Tweeters <tweeters-bounces at mailman11.u.washington.edu> On Behalf Of Matt Dufort
Sent: Tuesday, October 29, 2019 16:05
To: Elston Hill <elstonh at yahoo.com>
Cc: Tweeters Newsgroup <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] Discovery Parking

Elston et al.,

What's being missed in this conversation is that the road to the lighthouse is officially closed to public access. The permits that are loaned out at the visitor center are not parking permits - they are access permits that include parking. There are big signs pointing this out where Discovery Park Boulevard splits from the road going down to the north parking lot. Those signs are widely ignored, but that is still the rule.

The park is intended to be largely vehicle-free, with the exception of access to the main parking lots and residential and water treatment plant in-holdings. The permits provide access to people who would otherwise have difficulty getting to the beach area. The park's original 1972 master plan features this explanation: "There will be great pressures to open up the park to automobiles, motorcycles and motor bikes. One of the greatest values of the park is, however, that it will afford the people a refuge from the noise, air pollution and danger of the automobile. We believe, therefore, that park patrons should not be permitted to drive their private vehicles through the park." There's more detail on implementation of this principle in the 1986 Development Plan, which you can find here: https://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/ParksAndRecreation/Parks/MasterPlan1986.pdf.

As for how to get to the lighthouse, there are lots of potential routes. For pre-dawn visits, I take one of two approaches. The first starts at the south parking lot, and goes north along the west side of the parade grounds to Discovery Park Boulevard, then generally west down the road to the point. The second starts at the visitor center parking lot, and goes west along either Discovery Park Boulevard or the paved roads/trails that largely parallel it a little to the south until those trails hit the road at the north end of the parade grounds. On either route, keep your eyes and ears out for Barn and Barred Owls. Also, in addition to the park map that Jane Hadley shared, I created a birding map of the park, which you can find here: https://tinyurl.com/y8dv2axr.

I hope this is helpful.

Matt Dufort


On Tue, Oct 29, 2019 at 12:21 PM Elston Hill <elstonh at yahoo.com <mailto:elstonh at yahoo.com> > wrote:


> Message: 1

> Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2019 17:27:32 -0700

> From: Hartmut Peters <tuoichen at gmail.com <mailto:tuoichen at gmail.com> >

> To: birders wa <tweeters at u.washington.edu <mailto:tweeters at u.washington.edu> >

> Subject: [Tweeters] Discovery Park - how to get to the lighthouse

> Message-ID:

> <CALv4JExwRzxVwuc=FoTY+6=QNOS_h-Y-mLpUtmLP-ZLh05_cSQ at mail.gmail.com <mailto:QNOS_h-Y-mLpUtmLP-ZLh05_cSQ at mail.gmail.com> >

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"


> The small parking lot down at the South Beach is by permit only for most

> excellent reasons. If you are able-bodied, it will NOT hurt you to walk the

> mile to the beach and the lighthouse from the south parking lot. We

> regulars do it all the time. It helps keeping up our health. Walking from

> the south parking lot is easier than from the north parking lot. For

> navigation, google Discovery Park and get the park map - or get it at any

> one of the parking lots on paper. Also, all the trails in Discovery Park

> have posts marking trails and destinations. Look for "South Beach".


> --

> Hartmut Peters

> Seattle, Washington; tuoichen AT gmail.com <http://gmail.com>

As someone who does hike a lot, I appreciate the benefits of hiking.

BUT, I think I raised some legitimate issues. What is the point of restricting the parking so that no one can use the parking lot by the lighthouse when the visitor center is not open? There are many reasons that people who are fit and like to hike might like to be able to use those parking spaces when they are just sitting empty. For example, stopping by on the way to work when one does not have the time to hike two miles both ways.

Sometimes government gets obsessed with rules that make no sense. For example, one person replied to me that the park did not want to allow early morning parking because of a problem with break ins. Somehow it seems to me that a car parked nearby at the lighthouse in the dark is less like to be broken into than a car left in the south parking lot in the dark.

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