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June 12, 2015 at 9:44 pm #817684
Seattle Parks – which backed the ill-advised Go Ape zipline in Lincoln Park a few years ago – could be on the brink of another terrible idea.
They are now proposing the Supplemental Use Guidelines, which if approved would open up our protected natural areas to be developed for “unspecified new uses.”
The vast majority Seattle’s parklands have already been developed for active recreation, sports, or other uses. Only about 1 or 2% of Seattle’s total acreage is park natural area. It should remain preserved for passive, low-impact use only, and for wildlife habitat.
Nature is a dwindling, precious resource, and access to it must be fair to all people. Walking in nature is the top-rated activity (78%) in our parks. The few remaining natural areas should remain fairly allotted to the widest, and most inclusive user-group, not parceled out to specialized-user groups.
If you’d like to learn more, check out the link below and write to Mayor Murray and the Parks Department.June 12, 2015 at 9:54 pm #824895
Among the natural areas at risk are Schmitz Preserve, Fauntleroy Park, the West Duwamish Greenbelt, as well as others around town. Please everyone, let’s make sure these special places remain intact for future generations! Just because a gazillion people are moving to West Seattle does NOT mean we have to give up our natural areas! Visit the link above to learn more.June 12, 2015 at 10:07 pm #824896June 12, 2015 at 11:27 pm #824897June 13, 2015 at 4:44 am #824898
This is the crux of the supplemental use guidelines (quoted below). Note the most important sentence, which is the last one, and is a driving force of the document.
The guidelines reference multigenerational activities and challenge course areas for recreation consideration. These are defined as:
Multigenerational activity: activity that is conducive to, or relating to, severalgenerations, as of a family, or society, and may include bicycling.
Challenge course area: an area and/or activity that test one’s ability, require personal development and/or team building, and consist of a variety or progression of elements, and may include a bicycle skills course or ropes course.
Following the Superintendent’s approval of the Natural Area and Greenbelt Supplemental Use Guidelines, Parks will revise the Bicycle Policy, with Park Board review, which does not allow bicycles in Natural Areas and Greenbelts.June 13, 2015 at 5:35 am #824899
Appalling bureaucratic b.s. And what the heck is with the “multigenerational” nonsense? I see generations of families enjoying the parks as is. Glad the Parks Department has nothing better to do.June 13, 2015 at 6:01 am #824900
Thanks acemotel for pointing out the astounding number of mentions of bicycles in a document about taking care of our natural areas and greenspaces. As Christopher Williams joked at the mini-summit, “Cheasty is the skunk on the table.” It is no joke, and everyone knows it.June 13, 2015 at 1:57 pm #824901
It’s absolutely ridiculous to think that all parks and natural areas can or must accommodate every recreational activity imaginable. In the end, this serves no one. Contrary to popular belief around here, many cities the size of Seattle have much more dedicated park area. The idea of sharing quiet, wooded pathways with racing bicycles is just as poorly thought out as a smoking ban with no enforcement.June 13, 2015 at 3:25 pm #824902
It’s not the Parks department that’s to blame. The superintendent takes direction from the mayor, as does Kubly (SDOT) and the other departments. This sounds like the bicycle lobby has the mayor’s ear.June 14, 2015 at 5:49 am #824903
I wrote to the mayor and will contact the park commissioners. Nothing wrong with bicycles; we just don’t want wooded pathways taken over by speeding bikes. Anonyme put it more eloquently! Remember, Mr. Christopher Williams, who is now Deputy Superintendent, was one of the backers of the Go Ape zipline. So I don’t exactly have faith in him protecting our parks.June 14, 2015 at 2:31 pm #824904
Hey acemotel, where did you find that passage on supplemental use guidelines? I’d like to read the rest of it.June 14, 2015 at 2:53 pm #824905
I think you’ll find it here:
There is a link to the PDF under next stepsJune 14, 2015 at 3:24 pm #824906
what this mayor says and what he does are often not the same.. especially when it comes to the public’s best interestsJune 14, 2015 at 9:37 pm #824907
Indeed, JoB. As for the Parks people – I wonder how much they care about protecting our precious parks and wild areas as Seattle continues to grow and grow.June 15, 2015 at 2:14 pm #824908
JoB, I voted for the man. It’s too bad to understand his MO so late in the game. Frankly, it seems we haven’t had a decent mayor since Nickels.June 15, 2015 at 2:18 pm #824909
he talks good talk
but the walk? not so much.
I think his leadership has been toxic for Seattle’s public servicesJune 15, 2015 at 7:41 pm #824910
I support mountain bike trails in Seattle City Parks. This is a safe, healthy, and fun activity.
Currently there are no opportunities for children and adults to go mountain biking in the city of Seattle. I’d like to see that change.
Of course the trails would be set up in a thoughtful manner so that we could all enjoy the parks.June 15, 2015 at 8:24 pm #824911June 15, 2015 at 9:13 pm #824912
Thank you Ace. You are correct. Instead of saying there are “no opportunities” for mountain biking in the city I should have stated there is “one opportunity” for mountain biking in the city. The one current opportunity is approximately one or two acres and is located underneath a freeway.
My position is the same, though. I’d like to see that change.
All children, rich and poor, should have a place to ride a mountain bike within a one hour bike ride from their house. This is a wonderful and healthy activity.June 15, 2015 at 9:29 pm #824913
For those who are opposed to mountain bike trails in Seattle Parks, I highly, highly suggest you visit a park that allows biking in a nearby area and judge for yourself. I’ve been to several. These parks are clean, well cared for, safe, and full of children and families recreating.
Here are a couple samples:
Please understand that many children and families in Seattle simply do not have the time and money to drive to Issaquah in a car to enjoy these opportunities. Seattle would be a much better city in my opinion if families had access to local mountain biking trails within a reasonable distance of their house.
If you have the chance to check out one of these parks please report back and let me know your thoughts.June 16, 2015 at 5:55 am #824914
Those children, families, singles and – yes, even wildlife – have the right to untrammeled parks and wild green spaces – a true asset for everyone, rich and poor, young and old. Mountain bike trails, ziplines, rope courses and the other “unspecified uses” are not for everyone. These are parks, not amusement parks.
As the petition says: “Natural areas in parks serve to support a diverse ecosystem and are essential to our health and well-being. These spaces should not be divided up to benefit special user groups, they should be accessible to all. Parks are for everyone.”June 16, 2015 at 2:14 pm #824915
if only 1 to 2 percent of Seattle’s parks are dedicated to wildlife..
what percent will be left for children to explore on foot if we open those areas up to mountain biking?
have you ever been on the walking end of being overtaken by a mountain bike?June 16, 2015 at 2:42 pm #824916
I would guess that anyone who can afford mountain bikes for each and every family member could also afford to drive to Issaquah.June 16, 2015 at 5:27 pm #824917
Metro buses have bike racks too. There are plenty of places to ride bikes in Seattle, you just have to be a little creative. Just because the word “Mountain” is in the description, it doesn’t mean you have to be in the mountains or forest to enjoy it. There are lots of place in schools, alleys, side roads that can replace a dirt trail in the forest or park for biking enjoyment. I’d like to ski closer too, should we build a ski hill?June 16, 2015 at 5:47 pm #824918
Are you guys also against golf courses in city parks? Skate parks? Soccer fields?
IMO mountain bike trails make far more sense than these other activities and have far less environmental impact.
JoB – to answer your question – I have not been walking and overtaken by mountain bikes. I walk on walking trails and bike on biking trails. If I was to see a mountain biker on a trail that prohibits biking I would let the biker know.
Anonyme – One could easily say “anyone who can afford golf should drive to Issaquah” or “anyone who can afford soccer lessons should drive to Issaquah.” I think we should offer activities in our parks that people enjoy without having to drive 20 miles. Just my opinion and everyone is welcome to their own.
I Wonder – if you think a ski hill would be a good addition to a park then put up a proposal and help make it happen! That’s what the mountain bikers are doing.
Parks are for enjoyment and recreation. Golf, skateboarding, biking, soccer, kayaking, walking, frisbee, playgrounds, barbeques, etc, etc. These are all great activities and I’m delighted we’re using our parks.
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