Sunday, June 23, 2024

Cashmere Planning Commission discusses potential routes for Regional Multi-Modal Pathway connecting Wenatchee and Leavenworth

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CASHMERE — The Cashmere Planning Commission convened on June 3 to discuss potential routes for a multi-modal pathway that would connect the communities of Wenatchee and Leavenworth. The pathway is part of the Chelan-Douglas Transportation Council's (CDTC) Regional Pathway Master Plan Project (RPMPP), which aims to improve transportation options and accessibility in the region.

Steve Croci, Director of Operations for the City of Cashmere, informed the commission that the RPMPP has secured approximately $1 million in funding to plan the pathway. The proposed pathway will accommodate a variety of transportation modes, including bicycles, e-bikes, wheelchairs, runners, and pedestrians, making it accessible to a wide range of users.

During the meeting, commissioners carefully examined and annotated maps provided by the RPMPP, which highlighted potential routes through Cashmere. The routes were color-coded according to their feasibility, taking into account factors such as existing infrastructure, land ownership, and environmental considerations.

The commission expressed a preference for avoiding the congested Cottage Ave./Hwy 2 intersection and instead utilizing the existing river trail. They believed that routing the pathway through the town could provide a boost to local businesses by increasing foot traffic and attracting visitors.

Canals were also discussed as potentially viable routes for the pathway. However, the commissioners acknowledged that rights-of-way, property ownership, and fencing are significant factors that need to be thoroughly addressed for all potential routes before any final decisions can be made.

Jeff Wilkens, Executive Director of the CDTC, emphasized the importance of creating safe and direct transportation options for people of all ages and abilities. "Our main priority in this project is making transportation connections between communities, particularly for people who may not have access to a car," Wilkens said. "It's a safe mobility option combined with a quality-of-life amenity for our region and our communities."

In addition to the pathway discussion, Croci announced that new playground equipment will be installed near the swing sets and restrooms in Riverside Park. He also mentioned that a gazebo shelter will be added to the park, although the exact location has not yet been determined.

Looking ahead, Croci reminded the commissioners that a major revision of Cashmere's Comprehensive Land Use Plan is set to begin in October. The city will receive a grant of approximately $125,000 to fund the planning process and additional funds to help plan for ways to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

As the planning phase for the Cashmere corridor of the RPMPP is expected to continue until the end of 2025, the CDTC plans to introduce interactive maps on the project's official website in the coming weeks. These maps will help residents of Chelan and Douglas counties stay informed about the planning process for each survey corridor in the region.

The Cashmere Planning Commission's discussion on the potential pathways through the city marks an important step in the development of the RPMPP, which seeks to enhance transportation options, improve safety, and promote connectivity between the communities of Wenatchee and Leavenworth.

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