Metro Parks keeps File Mile Drive loop closed to weekend traffic until 1 p.m.

The outer loop of Five Mile Drive at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma will remain closed to vehicle traffic until 1 p.m. on weekends. Metro Parks Tacoma made the decision this month after conducting a year-long pilot program.

The outer loop will be closed to motorized vehicles from the park’s opening until 10 a.m. Mondays through Fridays.

In October 2013, the park district began to collect public feedback regarding additional vehicle-free hours on the outer loop. That comment period ended last month.

In those 12 months, the district received hundreds of comments. According to a district news release, 78 percent of the respondents agreed that additional vehicle-free hours should be added. A majority of the respondents said they use the park primarily in the morning before 11 a.m. Among the popular activities were walking, running, sightseeing and visiting the beach.

The comments also will be used to support long-term planning decisions for Point Defiance Park in 2015.