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Parks Board will consider bikes-in-parks policy change, hear about neighborhood greenways

From the Beacon Bike Park group
From the Beacon Bike Park group

Volunteers with a dream of doing environmental rehab work and building a mountain bike park in Cheasty Greenspace will get the chance to earn the support of the Board of Park Commissioners.

The meeting is 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Kenneth R. Bounds Park Board Room at 100 Dexter Ave. N.

Beacon Bike Park (longer name: Cheasty Greenspace Trails & Bike Park) is an idea that grew from a group of neighbors and energetic mountain bikers who see the park as an underutilized space that has been overrun with invasive plant species and is hard for neighbors to access.

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Their vision is to combine the energy of the mountain bike community and desires of nearby residents to increase access to the park and to protect and restore the native plants there. Mountain bikers will bring a huge amount of volunteer time to such a project, but they need the Parks Department to modify a rarely-enforced policy that appears to essentially ban bikes from Parks property.

The Woodland Park dirt bike jumps are one example that the Parks Department has not been following this rule, and a strong argument that it should be modified to reflect current uses.

The rule issue was one reason Beacon Bike Park did not receive a Parks Opportunity Fund grant they were seeking.

The Board is a volunteer advisory board that carries a lot of weight in Parks Department decisions. Their support is an important step to making the group’s vision a reality.

The Board will also hear from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways in the hopes that the Parks Department can be more involved with greenway planning, perhaps even encouraging design of greenways so they lead to and maybe even go through parks when desirable.

More details on the meeting, from the Parks Board:

The Seattle Board of Park Commissioners will meet October 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Kenneth R. Bounds Park Board Room at 100 Dexter Ave. N. The October meeting agenda will include:

Greenways. The Park Board will hear a panel discussion regarding connecting parks through greenways and walkways; this panel will consist of City staff and experts from local pedestrian and bicycle groups.

Bicycle Policy Update. Parks staff will present proposed updates to Parks’ Bicycle Use Policy and the Board will hold a public hearing on the update. The original 1995 policy has not been updated since it was adopted. In addition to the Bicycle Policy updates, Parks staff is proposing additions to Parks’ Trail Standards to include standards for mountain bikes which will afford access and preserve the surrounding natural resource. In the almost twenty years since the policy was adopted, bicycle use, both on and off-road has increased exponentially. Currently, bicycle use is limited to roads and multi-use pathways in some parks. The updates to the policy would allow bicycle use in Parks’ Natural Areas and Greenbelts such as the West Duwamish and Cheasty Greenbelts only on trail(s) built to Parks’ Mountain Bike Trail Design Standards. Bicycle use would continue to be limited to paved surfaces in Discovery and Schmitz Parks and the Washington Park Arboretum and limited to trails 60-inches or wider in Ravenna, Carkeek, Seward, Interlaken and Lincoln Parks as outlined in the existing policy.

Legacy Plan Update. Parks staff and members of the Parks Legacy Plan Citizens Advisory Committee will update the Park Board on the progress of the Legacy Plan and next steps.

The Seattle Board of Park Commissioners is a nine-member citizen board created by the City Charter. Four members are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council; four members are appointed by the City Council; and one member is a young adult appointed by the YMCA Get Engaged Program (http://www.leadershiptomorrowseattle.org/YMCA.asp). Current members are Antoinette Angulo, Tom Tierney, Bob Edmiston, Jourdan Keith, Chair Diana Kincaid, Brice Maryman, Mazohra Thami, Yazmin Mehdi and Barbara Wright.

The Board meets once a month, normally on the second Thursday, to advise the Parks and Recreation Superintendent, the Mayor, and the City Council on parks and recreation matters. For more information, please call Rachel Acosta at 206-684-5066 or email her at [email protected]

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2 responses to “Parks Board will consider bikes-in-parks policy change, hear about neighborhood greenways”

  1. How far-reaching is this policy? I think the trail through Ravenna Park could be an interesting part of a bike commute route.

  2. […] in the Cheasty Greenspace on the eastern edge of Beacon Hill hit a roadblock last year: There is a long-forgotten Seattle Parks policy that prohibits bicycle use in […]

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