Yakama Nation Tribal Council announces plans for 150 miles of trails

Photo: Yakama Nation Tribal Council
Photo: Yakama Nation Tribal Council

YAKAMA NATION, Wash. – The Yakama Nation Tribal Council has announced that they plan to create 150 miles of trails from White Swan to Union Gap, in an effort to address pedestrian safety.

The “Heritage Connectivity Trails” is in “direct response to community concerns surrounding pedestrian safety and the lack of broader transportation options,” city staff said in a press release.

90% of tribal members and people living through the Yakama Nation feel that addressing pedestrian safety of highest priority, according to a 2019 transportation survey by the Tribal Traffic Safety Committee.

Tribal staff reported that Yakama Nation has the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in the state. They said in the past 10 years there have been 350 injury collisions and 22 fatalities on US 97 between Union Gap and Satus Pass.

The trails are also meant to provide educational signs and exhibits and community groups are encouraged to adopt portions of the trails for this purpose.

The trails will allow for walking, biking, skateboarding. It will start in Union Gap, follow the Yakima Valley Highway to Donald/Parker, branch souteast on US 97 to Mabton, then head south to Goldendale, and finally weset from Toppenish to Fort Simcoe, according to Yakama Nation Tribal members.