stp route

have a question regarding route into yelm.  i didn't do the ride last year but in the last number of years we have gotten onto bike path just as we entered the city.  i noticed that this year we took the old route back and around the town and got onto the path south of town.  not that i am complaining as this was the route for many years in the past and even before the use of the bike path.  could someone explain to me why the route was changed this year.

Jim, It's just a guess on my part but the STP route's left hand turn through Yelm has always caused traffic delays for the residents - I'm sure they get complaints and fiddle with the route to try and lessen the impact. They've used this route before and in previous years there was a water stop at the school, but not this year which caught us by surprise.

Over the years the marshalling and safety devices at the two Fort Lewis railway crossings have changed - sometimes there are marshalls, carpets over the tracks and orange cones forcing the riders to turn and cross the tracks at a 90 edgree angle. Some of this was there this year at the far end of Fort Lewis but at the first set of tracks there was nothing. We knew enough to make our own 90 degree turn but just behind us a rider crossed the tracks at their shallow angle and caught his wheel in the gap throwing him over the handlebars onto the road. One of our group and others stayed with him until the ambulance arrived. I realize that the whole volunteer situation fluctuates from year to year but these two track crossings are perhaps the most dangerous and marshalling them should be a high priority. Since I started STP in 1997 I've seen more then one ambulance attending crashes at these tracks.