The Pullman Civic Trust hopes the city will one day establish an underpass beneath North Grand Avenue and transform a nearby steel train trestle into a path connection.
These ideas were among the many discussed Tuesday evening at the Pullman 2040’s annual meeting, held at the Courtyard by Marriott. Pullman 2040 was established in 2016 and aims to help the city accomplish long-term goals..
According to Bobbie Ryder of the Pullman Civic Trust, the organization envisions the North Grand Avenue underpass connecting a path traveling next to the Lumberyard Food Hall to an existing greenspace next to the Neill Public Library.
In addition to this plan, the greenspace, known as Scout’s Park, would be expanded for the benefit of local residents, Ryder said. The nearby steel train trestle would also be railbanked so that it, too, could become part of this path.
The Pullman Civic Trust said this would improve safety for pedestrians wanting to cross Grand Avenue.
According to information provided at Tuesday’s meeting, the underpass would be closed during the winter and spring run-off.
Ryder said the organization hopes this path would eventually connect to the starting point of the proposed trail connecting Colfax, Albion and Pullman.
The “CAP” trail would travel along the 19-mile corridor that is currently owned by the Washington Department of Transportation. The corridor would have to be railbanked to become a trail for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Ryder said if the Colfax-Albion-Pullman trail became a reality, it could connect to the Bill Chipman Palouse Trail and Latah Trail. These 60 miles would make it a “destination trail,” Ryder said.
Also discussed at Tuesday’s meeting was the future of downtown Pullman. Tom Handy, president of the Downtown Association, said the consultant hired to develop a master plan for downtown Pullman will present their work to the Pullman City Council next week.
The consultant, BDS, was hired last year to help the city find ways to improve the appeal and function of the downtown business district.
Handy said the Downtown Association is also working to become an accredited member of the Washington State Main Street Program.
The program aims to help Washington cities revitalize their downtown districts, and Handy said it would open up opportunities for businesses to get tax credits. The application for this accreditation is due in November, Handy said.
Anthony Kuipers can be reached at (208) 883-4640, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.