Model gulch plans after Paradise Valley | Letter
Editor, The Beacon:
With all due respect, many of the comments about the BMX area in Japanese Gulch are ill informed, off target and simply incorrect.
First, I have been running, mountain biking and helping to build and maintain trails in the gulch for about 20 years. For as long as I can remember, there have been bumps, jumps and structures to challenge riders better than I am in this general area.
For many years there was an abandon vehicle that was used for jumping and trails-type activity. This is not new: Things have been remodeled and redone for years. Think of the area as a skateboard park for BMX'ers.
Second, look at the message being sent to really talented riders and those who want to learn. Like the mountain bikers, they use their own time, energy and equipment to construct an area to practice and ride.
Isn't this a lot more healthy and positive than overeating while gaming or watching videos? Isn't a positive work and exercise ethic something that should be encouraged? Sweat equity just like the dog park construction and maintenance?
Third, if those involved are not constructing features in an environmentally responsible manner, how about working with them to develop a positive area?
It would be really good for those who view this negatively to take a short drive over to the county's Paradise Valley trail system north of Bothell and see how a well thought out system can benefit multiple users.
Paradise Valley offers trails for hikers, equestrian users, mountain bikers, and yes, even a bike park situated in a corner with many different features.
The Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance has done an excellent job of thoughtfully developing the park and mountain bike system with Snohomish County.
It is great that the city and a motivated group of individuals have brought part of the area into public ownership.
This could have happened over 15 years ago largely with County Conservation Futures funding and a tax exempt donation by the owners, but at that time the city was more interested in trying to run a road down the gulch and quashed the idea.
Hopefully, the area can now be maintained and developed for a variety of different users, especially younger riders and hikers who are willing to put their own time and energy into improving the area.