Focus on: "The Triangle"
The “Triangle” is a key piece of the Destination Point Defiance concept. Prior planning efforts recommended the Triangle be the connection between the park’s trails and Ruston Way; the site of a new visitor center to help people get the most out of the park; headquarters of a parkwide shuttle service; and the site of a lodge and small retail spaces that can offer overnight accommodations.
These recommended improvements are laid out in a 2012 Triangle Framework Plan, which emphasized enhancing the visitor experience and generating revenue to offset maintenance and operation expenses. The plan was conceptual and did not make specific commitments about final grade elevations or other design details. As is standard practice, additional planning for specific projects is needed for these details to be worked out. Metro Parks will use a public process to ensure citizens can comment on ideas.
Several Triangle projects described in the 2012 Framework Plan and the park’s 2015 Master Plan Update are underway: A pedestrian bridge linking Point Ruston and Ruston Way to the park’s trails, improved parking for boat trailers and vehicles near Point Defiance Marina and transformation of the Asarco slag pile peninsula into an 11-acre park. Construction of a roundabout at the Pearl Street entrance is on track to begin early next year.
These projects are improvements in their own right, but they also are setting the stage for a future phase of construction that will bring the Triangle to its finished form. Until this next phase takes place, the Triangle will remain in an interim state, with soil elevations at a level required to effectively stockpile for future re-use and contouring according to future design; with the park district’s maintenance yards still located on its easternmost edge; and with other unfinished aspects.
Metro Parks intends to begin developing strategies for this next phase of planning in 2017 and has invited the City of Ruston and City of Tacoma to participate. The district will invite additional entities and citizens to provide input and help move the Triangle from its interim state to a finished form that will benefit visitors, park neighbors and district residents.