Project to build bike/pedestrian trail in SE Seattle moving forward

Seattle Parks and Recreation is moving forward with a plan to design and build the Cheasty Mountain Bike and Pedestrian Trail Pilot Project in the Cheasty Greenspace in southeast Seattle.

Last Thursday, May 28, the Seattle Park Board of Commissioners voted to move forward with the proposed trail project.

In addition, the Board voted unanimously to support the proposed designs for the trail. The Board also approved the Phase II addition of a cross trail to create a safe walking route from Rainier Vista to North Beacon Hill and “skills trails” on the south side of the proposed project area. Phase II will occur if the 15-month pilot project is successful and the environmental evaluation studies are favorable.

“This is an exciting opportunity to bring positive activation to a greenspace that has been plagued with dumping, encampments and illicit behavior,” said Christopher Williams, Acting Superintendent for Seattle Parks and Recreation. “We will be creating an accessible urban public space that can be enjoyed by the rapidly growing population of families in the surrounding neighborhoods, many of whom do not have access to the wilderness outside of their community. We are looking forward to the community spending time recreating and exploring in this wonderful space.”

The Greenspace is a 38-acre park on the east slope of Beacon Hill between Cheasty Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Way S in southeast Seattle.

Acting Superintendent Williams will forward a recommendation to the City Council soon, as directed by Ordinance No. 124546.

The project will provide a soft surface mountain bike trail in the Greenspace. The goal is to provide a mountain bike experience for users of all ages and abilities in conjunction with ongoing and future forest restoration.

The Board of Park Commissioners discussed and deliberated on the Friends of Cheasty Greenspace at Mountain View’s mountain bike/pedestrian trail proposal at public meetings in November 2013 and January 2014. The recommendation to the Parks Superintendent was that Seattle Parks should initiate a pilot project to allow mountain bike trails to be built in the Cheasty Greenspace, in conjunction with restoration and foot trails. Seattle Parks and Recreation worked with community stakeholders during a five-month public Project Advisory Team process for the trail project.

For more information about the project please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/projects/cheasty/gs_bike_trail.htm  or this briefing paper. If you have questions, contact David Graves, Seattle Parks and Recreation at david.graves@seattle.gov or 206-684-7048.

 

Parks to form Project Advisory Team for Cheasty pilot bike/pedestrian trail

Seattle Parks and Recreation will form a Project Advisory Team (PAT) for the proposed Cheasty Mountain Bike/Pedestrian Trail Pilot Project, and invites interested persons to apply for PAT membership.

The Cheasty Greenspace is a 43-acre park along Cheasty Boulevard in southeast Seattle.

The PAT will work with project staff and consultants to develop recommendations on the pilot project, including design, metrics to measure the success of the project, and a mechanism for receiving public input and providing information to the public. Parks will schedule a series of four meetings in September and October.

If anyone s interested in serving on the Project Advisory Team, please complete the application form and return it along with a brief resume by August 29, 2014 to PAT Application, c/o Doug Critchfield, Seattle Parks and Recreation, 1600 S Dakota St., Seattle, WA 98108.

Parks staff and management will review the applications and recommend PAT membership to Parks Acting Superintendent Christopher Williams, who will approve the final roster.

Background

In 2012, the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund received a proposal from the Friends of Cheasty Mountain View to restore 22 acres of Cheasty Greenspace in addition to creating a pedestrian and mountain bike trail. There was considerable community support, including endorsement from the North Beacon Hill Community Council. However, because the proposal for a mountain bike trail was contrary to Seattle Parks’ existing Bicycle Policy, the project was not successful in the Opportunity Fund process.

In October 2013, Parks staff presented proposed updates to the existing Bicycle Policy to the Board of Park Commissioners. These policy updates would allow Parks to consider community-generated proposals for constructing mountain bike trails within a greenbelt or natural area. The Board held a public hearing on the proposed changes to the Bicycle Policy. The Park Board publicly deliberated on the issue on November 13, 2013, and received a large amount of written and verbal testimony both for and against amending the Bicycle Policy. At its January 9, 2014 meeting, the Park Board recommended that a three-year pilot mountain bike trail project be developed.

The first public meeting held by Seattle Parks to discuss the pilot project was on March 25, 2014. The public meeting was well attended by supporters and opponents. A series of meetings with community members and subsequent discussions with the City Council regarding potential funding from the Department of Neighborhood suggested the need for a Project Advisory Team (PAT).

For more information about the PAT, please contact Doug Critchfield at 206-684-4108 or doug.critchfield@seattle.gov.

To download the application, click on the following link: Cheasty Project Advisory Team application form