Access, Traffic and Parking
Need to park your boat trailer?
Memorial Day Weekend and June 1 (opening day of Salmon season)
Point Defiance Marina boat launch staff will be directing people to park their boat trailers outside of the park when the lower lot is full.
The shuttle driver will look for pedestrians walking to or from the launch along Park Way, Pearl Street and other locations near the entrance to the park. Boaters should look for a white van with a Point Defiance Marina or Metro Parks Tacoma logo on them and the shuttle will get them back to the water quickly!
Beginning June 3:
Thanks to a partnership with Tacoma Public Schools, boaters can park their trailers at Point Defiance Elementary School, 4330 N. Visscher St., on Saturdays and Sundays, June 3-Sept. 3.
Boaters are asked to follow the signage at the school and to park in the designated area. The marina will run a free shuttle between the school and the boat launch from 6 am to 4 pm.
If you plan to launch a boat, ask the Point Defiance Marina launch attendant about the best options for your trailer. Call (253) 752-6663 for details.
How do we handle increasing traffic?
With multiple improvements coming to Point Defiance Park we know that more visitors will be coming into the park. Metro Parks wants to increase safety and alleviate congestion. That’s why we began a major Parking & Circulation Study in 2016.
What if we could cut vehicular traffic around the Bowl and Pagoda by 37 percent on a busy Saturday afternoon?
In February, Metro Parks and its consultants presented several options that could
- Alleviate congestion
- Improve access to popular attractions
- Improve the pedestrian experience.
Thank you to everyone who completed our online survey to better understand options for improving traffic inside the park.
Next steps in the process
The feedback we received about two-way traffic options, on surveys and social media, is being used to create a "preferred" option. This will be presented at an open house in May before going before the Park Board in June.
Planning decades into the future
The “Parking & Circulation Study” project will inform the implemention of the recommendations from the 2015 Point Defiance Park Master Plan Update.
The project has three main areas:
- A pedestrian loop trail
In September 2016 the first meeting was held to discuss the first portion of work; Pedestrian and Bicycle circulation and the new “Loop Trail” around the Park.
- Transportation options
In December 2016, the second public meeting was held where we held a “Transportation and Mobility workshop” where we analyzed and discussed the future of transportation and parking in and around the Park.
- Vehicular circulation
The third meeting in this series was held February 23, 2017, and focused on a couple of key roads within the Park that the Master Plan Update recommended be converted from 1-way to 2-way.
The reasoning behind the proposed circulation improvements includes many factors:
- With the “Wilson Way” pedestrian bridge under construction, there will soon be a large number of pedestrians and bicyclists entering the Park from Ruston Way.
- Since these pedestrians will be entering the Park around the Japanese Garden area, reduction of vehicles in this area is a major goal to improve safety.
- The circulation improvements help reduce the distance cars have to travel to get to their destinations, thus reducing emissions and increasing safety.
- The improvements to these sections of roads also bring them up to city standards and will have a large impact in attracting public transportation within the park. It is projected that on a future peak Saturday afternoon vehicular traffic around the Bowl and Pagoda could be reduced by 37%.
Tom Dargan, project administrator