Wayfinding posts coming soon to Japanese Gulch

Signs to encourage keeping dogs on-leash
By Brandon Gustafson | Aug 29, 2018

One of Mukilteo’s most popular destinations is getting a makeover of sorts in the near future.

Mukilteo’s Recreation and Cultural Services Director Jeff Price said wayfinding posts are likely to be put into the Japanese Gulch by the end of September.

“Nineteen posts are planned to be put into the Gulch,” Price said. “The goal is to provide directions when in the Gulch.”

Price said the posts will be placed throughout the Japanese Gulch, and will have different signs or faces, symbolizing things like biking and cycling, dogs on leashes, and directional arrows.

“Some posts will be at trail intersections,” Price said. “That’s why you’d need those arrows.”

Price also said the number of steps to certain locations will be included as well.

“We’re going to have steps listed for the average person. We’re trying to encourage people to monitor their steps while walking,” he said.

In addition to these new posts and signs, there also will be maps of Japanese Gulch at two of the entrances: one at the trailhead off of 76th Street Southwest and 44th Avenue West where the Mukilteo Community Garden is located, and the other by the Tails and Trails Dog Park on 5th Street.

The project is funded through a lodging tax grant from 2017 that carried over to 2018.

Price gave a presentation to the Mukilteo City Council at its Monday, Aug. 20, meeting, which provided an update on the wayfinding project, as well as some information in regards to dog owners.

As previously reported by The Beacon, some dog owners have had issues with off-leash dogs in Japanese Gulch.

During his presentation at the council meeting, Price and Mukilteo Ranger Peg Bohan said one of the biggest challenges with off-leash dogs is safety.

This includes the danger of off-leash dogs running into a coyote, posing potential danger to other dogs and humans, and also danger to the wildlife in the Gulch with unmanaged waste.

Price and the city’s staff have considered options such as designated off-leash days or trails in the Gulch, but for now, they are pursuing a path of educating the public on keeping dogs on-leash.

“All wayfinding signs have dogs on-leash to help educate the importance of keeping dogs on-leash,” Price said.

Mukilteo’s municipal code requires dogs to be on-leash in public areas and parks, but the Japanese Gulch is in both Mukilteo and Everett, thus Mukilteo can’t pass an on-leash ordinance through the entirety of Japanese Gulch.

Price said he’s excited to see how the posts and signs are received by the public once they’re in place.

“I’m looking forward to receiving feedback from people who hike and walk in the Gulch,” Price said.


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