Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 31, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Seattle parks: Provide equal access for biking; don’t limit it under Prop. 1

Joel DeJong heads out from a section of woods in Cheasty Greenspace where volunteering Cleveland High School students helped clear away blackberry vines and English ivy. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

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

Comments | More in Parks | Topics: Backcountry Bicycle Trails Club, mountain biking, parks


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►