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King County Sheriff’s deputies continuing patrols in county parks, along trails
King County Parks and the King County Sheriff’s Office are joining forces to ensure the continued safety of all visitors to the County’s regional trail system and various parks sites during the busy summertime months.
Sheriff’s deputies are now patrolling stretches of regional trails including the Burke-Gilman, Sammamish River and Cedar River trails, and parks such as Big Finn Hill, Five Mile Lake, Lakewood, Skyway and others to provide parks patrons with information about proper conduct, including posted speed limits, leash laws and other rules that are intended to keep everyone safe.
“Trail use is at its highest during the sunny days of spring and summer, and now is the right time to remind everyone about the basic rules of conduct,” said King County Parks Director Kevin Brown.
Deputies are patrolling the sites to inform patrons on parks rules and regulations and also issue either a warning or fine for observed violations. Some of the most frequent observed violations include cyclists and other wheeled trail users greatly exceeding the trail system’s 15 mph speed limit, failure to follow pet leash laws that lead to accidents, and alcohol use.
Sheriff’s deputies will also be distributing copies of the trails code of conduct code of conduct, which is also posted at locations along trails.
The enhanced enforcement effort will continue along selected portions of the parks system through the Labor Day weekend. The cost of this safety program is estimated at about $140,000 and is funded through the King County Parks budget. This effort dedicates approximately 1,500 hours of patrolling and park patron interaction from April through October, with additional contingency hours to address concerns in the winter months. Deputies also work closely with park employees to help parks and trails patrons enjoy their visit.
The King County Regional Trail system is a network of approximately 175 miles of multi-use trails that is used by bicyclists, pedestrians, runners, skaters, equestrians and others. Regional trails are popular for recreational use and for commuting.