On April 9, 2015, Cascade Bicycle Club’s Advocacy Director Jeff Aken wrote the following letter of support (pdf):


Cascade Bicycle Club

Date: April 9, 2015

Re: Cascade Bicycle Club support for Cheasty Trails and Bike Park

Dear Mayor Murray and City Councilmembers:

Thank you for your leadership on creating safe, comfortable and convenient places for people to bike. From adopting a world-class Bicycle Master Plan to building out neighborhood greenways and protected bike lanes, your dedicated efforts are making our streets safer and more accessible to everyone throughout the city.

On behalf of Cascade’s nearly 16,000 members, we would like to offer our strong support for moving ahead with a comprehensive Cheasty Trails and Bike Park pilot project. ​Cascade Bicycle Club has a mission to improve lives through bicycling, and we believe the Cheasty Pilot Project will do just that by providing local, equitable access to wooded parklands for residents in Southeast Seattle.

To truly learn from the pilot project,​ i​t needs a comprehensive trails plan that includes both perimeter and interior trails that create safe, sustainable and fun places for people to ride, connects neighborhoods and increases access to nature. We are confident that perimeter and interior access will ensure the success of the project and meet its dual goals of healthy forests and healthy people.

Seattle’s Gaps in Usable Open Space map identifies New Rainier Vista as being more than a half mile from usable open space. Cheasty will help address that gap. According to the Trust for Public Land’s parkscore, Cheasty Greenspace has the potential to serve 11,848 people (4,507 households) of which 2,258 are low income. ​As a city, our goal should be to make sure our parks and open spaces serve our neighborhood needs. ​A complete trails system will not only provide a healthy place for physical activity, but will improve pedestrian connections between Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill.

The Cheasty Trails and BIke Park project will provide desperately needed restoration of our urban forests. Hundreds of hours of forest restoration have occurred at Cheasty by neighbors interested in this project. It creates a strong synergy between the work the Green Seattle Partnership is doing and engages volunteers that are motivated by the Cheasty Trails and Bike Park. By working together this project clearly highlights the value of innovative, win-win partnerships to restore and maintain our urban forests and parklands.

Lastly, this project has the opportunity to make Seattle a healthier city. Study after study shows that childhood obesity is an issue and daily physical activity is extremely important. A comprehensive network of trails at Cheasty will ensure that kids (and adults) have a safe place to walk, ride or run after school and recreate with their families on the weekends.

As Seattle grows, we need to make sure that we are not only maintaining and restoring our forests and natural areas, but also providing access for our neighbors. ​Cascade wants to see a comprehensive trails plan with both perimeter and interior trails to use this pilot project at Cheasty to learn and understand the opportunities and potential impacts.

Sincerely,

Jeff Aken
Advocacy Director, Cascade Bicycle Club

CC: Rachel Acosta Christopher Williams

Improving Lives Through Bicycling
7787 62nd Avenue NE Seattle, WA 98115-8155 * P (206) 522-3222 * F: (206) 522-2407 * www.cascade.org * info@cascade.org