Tuesday is shaping up to be quite a packed bike meeting day. The Safe Roads Awareness Week kickoff walk is in the afternoon, then an open house for the second Ballard neighborhood greenway is in the evening. But if mountain biking is your passion, you may want to attend the Cheasty Greenspace Mountain Bike Pilot Project meeting on Beacon Hill.
As we reported previously, the Cheasty project (once known as the “Beacon Bike Park”) received approval from the Parks Department to move forward as a pilot project to test the concept of having mountain bike trails in an urban forest. While Seattle does have the I-5 Colonnade mountain bike park in Eastlake, the Cheasty Greenspace is different. It’s a steep green area in a part of the city with few other forested areas (on border of Beacon Hill and Rainier Valley).
However, the Cheasty forest has some fairly intense issues with invasive plant species, and has long had issues with dumping and littering (the Cheasty MTB group has more information on their website). There are also few usable trails through the area for people on foot or bike, making it difficult for residents to access the woods.
Some neighbors see the lack of human foot or bike traffic as a good thing for preserving wildlife habitats, but others see it as a missed opportunity for neighbors with few hiking and mountain biking opportunities nearby. The proximity to Bike Works, for example, creates an excellent opportunity for their youth programs. It’s no secret that kids love mountain biking, but not everyone has easy access to a car to drive to mountain bike parks around the region.
Following the lead set by Evergreen MTB in other natural areas, the Cheasty group plans to help clean, restore and maintain the area. The energy behind mountain biking could brings a big volunteer pool to the park.
These arguments (and likely more) will be partly hashed out at the Tuesday meeting. More details: