A Lawmaker Hopes to Prevent Vehicle Terrorism on Seattle's Trails by Building an Elaborate Barrier System

It would likely take tens of thousands of boulders, barriers and bollards to keep cars and trucks off of the trails.

Seattle Cyclist
AP Photo/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Dan DeLong

The attack in New York City on Halloween day where a rented truck was used as a weapon against bicyclists and pedestrians on a busy trail has many wondering how this type of terrorism can better be prevented moving forward.

For protecting "soft targets," we're often told to remain vigilant and expect an increased security presence. However, an approach under consideration by a member of the King County Council in Washington wants to go much, much further.

Councilman Reagan Dunn, a former member of the Department of Justice Terror Unit, is championing an ambitious plan to install barriers and boulders along hundreds of miles of bike and pedestrian trails in the Seattle area in an attempt to avert future vehicle attacks, according to KIRO 7 News.

Anthony Behar/Sipa USA/AP Images

The truck used in a terrorist attack in New York City on October 31, 2017

“My fear is the problem with what happened in New York. It gives people ideas – ‘Wow, that worked!’ (He) just rented a truck, off he went, eight people are dead tragically today. We want to make sure the easy targets are taken away,” said Dunn.

According to Dunn, the project's cost could be in the tens of millions of dollars and take at least five years to build out.

“There are places where you can simply drive right onto the paved trail surface or to a gravel trail surface and do a lot of damage. I mean, the people walking trails, hiking on trails, biking on trails, they’re not expecting vehicles to be there," Dunn cautioned. 

The proposal will be considered for a study before moving forward with a vote.