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The Fort Lewis campus is pedestrian friendly. All facilities are within a 10 minute walking distance of each other. The difficulty from a pedestrian viewpoint is getting to the campus due to its unique site located 350 feet above town.
Many natural dirt trails exist around and on the campus. These trails provide access to the campus from nearby residential areas and have become a necessary amenity for many pedestrians and bicyclists. Campus walkways are integrated with the natural pathways.
Bikeways are integrated with the walkway and pathways in and around campus. There is not a separate bikeway system, however one is being considered for College Drive to improve access to campus.
Campus sidewalks meander through the academic and residential areas. A central connecting point is located at the 8th Avenue entry where a traffic light controls multiple pedestrian crossings along a busy 8th Avenue.
Campus sidewalks are multi-purpose walks which are used by pedestrians, bicycles, and service/emergency vehicles when necessary. Walkways are used for recreation as well as general access. Mountain biking and jogging are common among many students, faculty, and staff.
Due to the rolling hills and undulating topography of campus, accessible routes can be difficult to provide. The college has made accessibility a priority and most walks are ADA compliant. The campus has an accessible routing map to help mobility impaired persons migrate through campus.
Various architectural and landscape elements help provide a sense of place along the pedestrian walkways. Fort Lewis uses a variety of site elements, integrated with the walkways, as identifiers. Art sculptures, the outdoor amphitheater, Hesperus Park, and the Clock Tower, are just some examples of the College’s approach to developing pedestrian way finding.