City prepares for construction on new Redmond Bike Park

After a two-year-long appeal process, the wheels are back in motion to begin construction on the Redmond Bike Park south of Hartman Park on Education Hill.

After a two-year-long appeal process, the wheels are back in motion to begin construction on the Redmond Bike Park south of Hartman Park on Education Hill.

Earlier this week, the City of Redmond posted a public notice sign at the site to notify the community about the revised permit and plans. Residents in the surrounding neighborhoods also received written notice about the Bike Park plans in the mail.

Carolyn Hope, park planning and cultural services manager for the City of Redmond and project manager for the Bike Park, said once the letters were sent out, it triggered a 21-day commenting period for people to provide feedback.

“If we don’t get any appeals … then we would move forward with the plans,” Hope said, adding that they would like to begin construction in May.

Permits for the Bike Park were first submitted in April 2011. Neighbors, citing concerns about noise, privacy and the park’s potential impact on the wetlands on the site, appealed the project in May 2011. According to the city website, the appeal was heard in the fall of 2011 and the hearing examiner’s decision was made in favor of the city. In winter 2012, the neighbors appealed the decision to Redmond City Council, who also ruled in favor of the city. They also appealed the project to King County Superior Court, but before the case was heard, the two parties began settlement discussions. A settlement agreement was finalized in spring 2013 and City Council approved it on April 16, 2013.

Hope said per the new agreement, the features of the bike park have been moved away from the southeast corner of the property and the wooden ladder bridges that were part of the original plan have been removed due to the neighbors’ concerns about noise. In addition, the new plan features expanded vegetation in areas closest to resident homes.

According to earlier reports, plans for the Bike Park began in 2009 when Redmond Mayor John Marchione instructed staff to look into legitimizing the dirt jumps — which residents have been constructing (only to have the city bulldoze them down when they got too high or dangerous) for about 20 years — in the wooded area near Hartman Park into a city park. The Bike Park was the solution city staff and the community came up with to put an end to this ongoing battle between bike jumpers and the city.

The city continued meeting with the community and according to the report, hired a consultant, Hilride Progression Development Group, to design a new and improved bike jump park. The park was to be built by community members and bike jumpers and Hope said that is still the plan two and half years later.

“We’ll start recruiting volunteers as soon as we get permits,” she said, adding that while the park will be constructed by volunteers, parks operations staff will be onsite to supervise.

Hope said many of those who would be using the park were teens when the concept was first conceived. Now many of those teens are older and have left the area for college.

“A lot of them are gone,” she said.

Because of this, city staff will have to work to recruit new volunteers, though Hope said some of those who left for college may come back for the summer and make use of the Bike Park as originally planned. She said another goal of the park is to have stewards from the community who will help to maintain the site throughout the years.