For most of the past century, transportation improvements have emphasized the movement of motorized vehicles, especially automobiles. Alternative modes, such as bicycling and walking, have been eclipsed by this automobile-centered emphasis. It is expected that the automobile will continue to account for the majority of transportation trips in the foreseeable future, both in the number of trips and in the distance traveled.
Importance of Non-Motorized Travel
However, there is recognition that alternative non-motorized modes can play an important role in intra-community and inter-community transportation, especially for relatively short trips. Encouraging development of alternative modes can lessen vehicle congestion, reduce the need for new infrastructure, reduce the maintenance requirements of the built infrastructure, and reduce air pollution while providing positive health benefits to the users and attract visitors. Alternative transportation routes must be safe for both the non-motorized users and the motorized vehicles at crossings.
It is the Yakima County Parks Department’s task to plan, develop, and coordinate the creation and construction of viable, accessible parks and trails for recreational purposes. These efforts are supported through the Goals and Policies of the Yakima County Comprehensive Plan 2015 Parks and Open Space Element.
To achieve the county’s goals for parks, open space, trails and recreational opportunities, it is county policy to:
Develop trails to accommodate multiple uses and sign accordingly.
Ensure acquisitions and development reflect an interconnected system of facilities, trails and open space.
Ensure facilities are developed and maintained in an efficient and cost effective manner with consideration for sustainability.
Seek ways to spread the costs for operation and maintenance of existing facilities to reduce reliance on county funds.