Cheasty Mountain Bike/Pedestrian Trail Pilot Project

Updated: November 29, 2018

The Cheasty Mountain Bike and Pedestrian Trail Pilot is a community-driven project that is years in the making. The project provides recreational opportunities for families and neighbors to access nature through our urban park greenspaces.

Update

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) issued a Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) for the Cheasty Mountain Bike and Pedestrian Trail Pilot Project on October 15, 2018.

The appeal period ran through November 5, 2018, and the Hearing Examiner received two appeals.

The Public Comments period for the DNS ran through November 13, 2018. SPR received 349 comments, with over 90% in support of the project.   If you'd like to learn about the background, please review the project library at the bottom of this page, which has material that spans the course of this project.

Project

The idea of a bike trail was first suggested by community members almost a decade ago. What started out as a desire to provide more recreational opportunities as well as deeper connections with community and nature, became what we now refer to as the Cheasty Mountain Bike and Pedestrian Trail Pilot Project.

The proposal is a bicycle and pedestrian loop trail system. Those would be comprised of three (3) shared trail segments and two (2) bicycle only one-way segments. There would be limited grading and no significant trees are proposed for removal. There are identified Environmental Critical Areas (ECAs) located within the site. It is also worth noting that the proposed trail alignment has been reconfigured from the 2015 proposal: the new alignment further avoids the wetland complex and steep slopes. This is not a permanent use, but rather a pilot project. It is not being rolled out within all of our greenspaces: this particular proposal is only occurring within Cheasty. This 15-month test will commence once the mountain bike trails are open. During that time, SPR will also conduct an evaluation, which includes monitoring the trails, assessing impacts to wetlands, erosion control, habitat disturbance, parking impacts. After 15-months, SPR will decide if they will continue to allow mountain bikes in Cheasty Greenspace.

Background

Almost a decade ago, the Friends of Cheasty Greenspace at Mountain View, along with other stakeholders had an idea. They wanted to build community and provide more access and opportunities to an underused greenspace. Through many conversations, community grants and hundreds of volunteer hours, that idea gained traction when Seattle Parks and Recreation began examining the feasibility. The result was the proposed bicycle and pedestrian trail pilot project within Cheasty Greenspace, which is located in southeast Seattle at Cheasty Blvd. S and S. Della St.

This project entails both bicycle and pedestrian trails within Cheasty, that will provide additional opportunities for families and neighbors to access nature through our urban park greenspaces. The proposal is quite intentional and has been designed to minimize environmental impacts by utilizing best management practices for protecting wetlands and enhancing the stability of the steep slopes. SPR feels this is a win-win situation, creating opportunity and expanding accessibility, while also being mindful of the importance of our greenspaces.

In 2015, Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) studied the potential environmental impacts of the Cheasty Mountain Bike/Pedestrian Trail Pilot Project and found there were no significant environmental impacts and issued a Determination of Non-Significance (DNS).

That decision was appealed to the City of Seattle's Hearing Examiner.

On Jan. 26, 2016, the Hearing Examiner found that there was insufficient information for SPR to issue a DNS at this time and that more information and study are needed about wetland impacts including drainage/hydrologic impacts as they relate to wetlands, impacts to trees including through compaction and altered hydrology and any associated impacts to wildlife habitat.

In 2017, the City's Survey Crews completed the surveying ground work and mapping of the proposed trail alignment. Environmental consultants completed the seasonal wetland evaluation and re-evaluated the trail alignment, including the trail's buffer areas, with special emphasis to issues that were raised by the Hearing Examiner related to environmental impacts. 

SPR has evaluated the impacts of the proposal as it relates to these limited areas of the environment and feels confident the project can move forward. A Determination of Non-Significance was issued on October 15, 2018. The appeal period ran through November 5 and the public comment period was open through November 13, 2018.

Process

The beginnings of the Cheasty Mountain Bike and Pedestrian Trail go back to at least 2013. SPR has worked closely with both internal and external stakeholders. Some highlights of the conversation include:

  • The issue of Bicycle Use policy and/or the Cheasty Mountain Bike/Pedestrian Trail was before the Board of Park Commissioners at least four times, between 2013 and 2015. 
  • The Seattle Board of Park Commissioners held a public hearing on the Cheasty Mountain Bike/Pedestrian Trail Pilot Project on April 9, 2015.
  • Seattle Parks and Recreation convened a Project Advisory Team (PAT) for the Cheasty Mountain Bike/Pedestrian Trail Pilot Project, which included a five-month public process.
  • Robust community outreach, two site tours and input from a Landscape Architect, Geotechnical Engineer and Environmental Consultant.
  • Hundreds of public comment and input throughout the process helped shape and ultimately improve the proposed project.

Timeline

flow chart of pilot project from 2011 to 2018

Documents

Cheasty Bike Trail Pilot Oct 2018 Info Sheet
(Oct 2018) Project updates

SEPA DNS document
(Oct 2018) Determination of Non-Significance

SEPA Checklist
(Sept 2018) Environmental Checklist

Cheasty Critical Areas Study Part 1   
(Aug 2018) Critical Areas Study and Conceptual Mitigation Plan

Cheasty Critical Areas Study Part 2    
(Aug 2018) Critical Areas Study and Conceptual Mitigation Plan, Appendix

Geotechnical Engineering Report 1 of 2   
(July 2018) Draft Geotechnical Engineering Report

Geotechnical Engineering Report 2 of 2   
(July 2018) Draft Geotechnical Engineering Report, Appendix

Cheasty Trails Map 
(July 2018) Technical rendering

Figure 1 Vicinity Map  
(2016) Indicates project area

Figure 2 Wetland Delineation and Trail Design   
(2017) Aerial view of wetlands

Figure 3 Geo Hazards   
(2017) Aerial view of geologic hazard areas

Inadvertent Discovery Plan   
Attachment 4: Cheasty Greenspace- Trail Pilot Project

Hearing Examiner's decision on the City Clerk's website  
(Jan 2016) Findings and decision of the Hearing Examiner 

Community Communications Documents (ZIP File)   
(File includes but is not limited to: 2014 FAQ sheet, Bicycle Use Policy, 2014-2015 Outreach, 2014 Cheasty Project Advisory Team notes)

SEPA Documents (ZIP File) 
(File includes but is not limited to: 2015 analysis and decision of SPR, 2015 Determination of Non-Significance, 2014 schematic design, SEPA checklist)

Environmental Documents ZIP File 1   
(Jan 2014) Draft consultant agreement, (Nov 2014) Draft scope proposal, (Jan 2015) Wetland Reconnaissance and Wildlife Habitat Assessment

Environmental Documents ZIP file 2   
(Nov 2013) Inventory snapshot, Monitoring criteria and evaluation checklist, 2013 Wildlife Survey

Maps/Drawings/Charts (ZIP File)  
(Nov 2014) Preliminary schematics designs, slope map, GSP management zones and forest values, design process

Technical Reports ZIP File 1   
(March 2015) Cheasty Schematic Design at Mountainview

Technical Reports ZIP file 2   
(Jan 2014) Geotechnical engineering investigation, (Nov 2014) Preliminary Geotechnical Evaluation, Wetland Reconnaissance and Wildlife Habitat Assessment

Board of Park Commissioners Agendas and Minutes related to this project (ZIP file)   
(Oct 2013. Nov 2013, Jan 2014, April 2015)

Project Advisory Team and Community Outreach documents (ZIP file)   
(2014- 2015)

Hearing News Release    
(Mar 2015)

Optional Trail Features   
(Dec 2014)

FAQ Sheet for more information about this project   
(May 2014)