In response to Lynn Thompson’s article “Residents split on parkland bike trails” [Local News, July 27], I would argue that there is no division about mountain bicycling in Seattle parks. In fact, there is currently only one Seattle Park that allows mountain biking on trails — Seattle Colonnade Mountain Bike Park.
Meanwhile, Seattle has invested millions of dollars in team sport facilities, like soccer fields, available only to group play. Mark Ahlness’ “natural area” concerns are reminiscent of the birders’ fight over the Magnuson Park playfield lights. How can “peace and quiet” be a legitimate complaint for a park under the city’s busiest flight path?
If mountain biking is limited to, as Cameron Justam suggested, “young, white male energy,” then perhaps Seattle Parks’ exclusive, anti-mountain bike policy is to blame. Because, for now, the vast majority of trail opportunities for mountain bicyclists require vehicle access.
Currently, we have a method to provide input into Seattle Parks’ policies. Seattle Proposition 1 proposes to form an elitist governing body — reminiscent of ARC (the notorious Associated Recreational Council that controls community centers) — that would answer only to the Seattle City Council. If mountain bicyclists think opportunities for new recreation forms are limited now, how will they be heard when councilmembers gain complete control over these public assets?
Scott Marlow, former president of the Backcountry Bicycle Trails Club, Seattle