BikeWork’s Executive Director Deb Salls wrote the following letter of support (pdf):


3709 S. Ferdinand St. / Seattle, WA 98118  206.725.9408 / info@bikeworks.org / bikeworks.org  BIKEWORKS

Dear City Council Members and Mayor Murray,

I am writing to you to let you know I support the idea of mountain bike trails in the city and I think the Cheasty Trails and Bike Park is a great idea. I am excited about the prospect of getting urban kids into nature and getting them active.

The current stretch of the Cheasty Greenspace where there is a proposed plan to put the walking and biking trails is not really utilized because of all the blackberry bushes and ivy and invasive species that are choking the hillside. And the only human activity that happens there is often illegal and dangerous. (Drug deals etc.) So cleaning it up, and putting it to good use is a great idea from our perspective. Youth who are from the urban south end of the city see these overgrown greenspaces areas as an area to stay away from, or even ‘scary’ and instead of being able to appreciate the nature in their backyard they avoid it. By putting in biking and walking paths people will begin to use the space. I envision it being used by lots of youth and families from the south side of the city. We know the youth from Bike Works afterschool programs and summer camps will use it. The Cheasty Greenspace is an asset to our neighborhood but it is highly underutilized (at least in a positive manner).

I don’t know if you have seen the walking paths on the south side of Columbia Way/Alaska where the Friends of Cheasty Greenspace have already taken out the invasive plants and made walking trails. It is a great little park and there is still tons of wildlife and everything is working out great between humans, and birds, and nature. I feel the same will happen in the acreage on the north side of the street and having both biking and walking paths will make it a great use for everyone.

I think the mission of the park is a very good one and a well thought out one. I know the organizers and the Park Board have thought a lot about impact on environment and nature and I believe there will not be any negative impacts. Ultimately I believe that the new Cheasty Greenspace walking and biking trails will be a positive, innovative solution for our community as a place to gather, to recreate, and to activate the youth of Southeast Seattle.

Sincerely,

Deb Salls
Executive Director
Bike Works