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AGO 1950 No. 376 - October 26, 1950
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

USE OF PARKWAY

1. The State Capitol Committee does not now have the authority to limit the use of the road and parkway now being constructed on the west side of the Des Chutes Basin.

2. The state agency vested by the legislature with authority to maintain and control the road and parkway now being constructed on the west side of the Des Chutes Basin may limit the use thereof to certain types of vehicles by reasonable regulations.

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                                                                October 26, 1950

Honorable Cliff Yelle
State Auditor
Legislative Building
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 49-51 No. 376

Dear Sir:

            We have your letter of October 18, 1950, asking the following two questions:

            "1. May the Parkway, now being constructed on the west side of the Des Chutes Basin be limited to certain types of vehicles by the Capitol Committee?

            "2. If the Capitol Committee does not have this authority who in your opinion would have?"

            You are advised:

            1. The State Capitol Committee does not now have the authority to limit the use of the road and parkway now being constructed on the west side of the Des Chutes Basin.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            2. The state agency vested by the legislature with authority to maintain and control the road and parkway now being constructed on the west side of the Des Chutes Basin may limit the use thereof to certain types of vehicles by reasonable regulations.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            The controlling public authority may adopt and enforce reasonable regulations with respect to the use of roads, walks, and other public ways in parks.  39 Am.Jur. 822, Parks § 25.

            The authority of the State Capitol Committee is to complete the Des Chutes Basin Project adjacent to the State Capitol grounds.  Section 7, chapter 186, Laws of 1947.

            The project includes, in addition to such undertakings as the Capitol Committee may consider necessary, two parkways, both having termini connecting with existing streets or highways.  The parkway now being constructed on the west side of the Des Chutes Basin is to form a connection from the Pacific Highway with the Olympic Highway.  Section 7, chapter 186, Laws of 1947.

            Section 2, chapter 47, Laws of 1949, contains an appropriation for "* * * roads, fills, parkways and other improvements contemplated in the plan of Unit Number Two adopted by the Committee."

            The right of way acquired is a fee so that a highway as distinguished from a parkway as defined inKupelian v. Andrews, 233 N.Y. 278, 135 N.E. 502, 121 A.L.R. 567, may be constructed, and the contract which has been let calls for the construction of a parkway and road.  The legislature may, and undoubtedly will, designate the controlling state agency charged with the duty of maintaining and operating the parkway and highway.  It could vest the Capitol Committee with that authority in cooperation with the Department of Highways or vest the Department of Highways with that authority.  (See the last paragraph in section 7, chapter 186, Laws of 1947.)

            You are therefore advised that the State Capitol Committee does not now have the authority to limit the use of the road and parkway now being constructed to certain types of vehicles, but that when the road and parkway is completed  [[Orig. Op. Page 3]] the agency designated by the Legislature to maintain and control the same will then have the authority to make reasonable regulations as to the types of vehicles which may travel thereon.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

E. P. DONELLY
Assistant Attorney General

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