This is in response to Laura Smart’s letter expressing curiosity to know if she and her husband “were the only North Benders who have noticed what a boondoggle the new Little Mount Si parking lot on Mount Si Road has become.” She goes on to complain about the design, construction timing, landscaping and the cost of this project.
Ms. Smart has reached unfair conclusions based on observation without investigation. I write from the viewpoint of a volunteer site steward for the Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation Area. I have been a participating observer on this parking lot project from conception.
If Ms. Smart and her husband had extended the courtesy of contacting the Department of Natural Resources office to express their concerns they would have gotten the answers, and there would have been no need for her letter or this response. Since those answers are lengthy and, I think, of little interest to Valley Record readers, I won’t relate them here.
What is important is what North Benders and our visitors who enjoy hiking and climbing on Mount Si get as an accrual of this attractive, well-conceived and needed addition to the Mount Si NRCA. These features include: 1) Relief for the residents along 434th Avenue who will no longer have their neighborhood peace impacted by the often hundreds of people per day tramping their residential street to what has been the Little Mount Si trailhead; 2) Relief for many hikers from having to find parking space along Mount Si Road, often forcing dangerous crossing of the narrow bridge across the Snoqualmie River; 3) A new, shorter trail to Little Mount Si considerably more interesting than the old trail; 4) A parking lot tastefully screened from passing traffic on Mount Si Road.
This project is no boondoggle – North Benders should be delighted in these days of budgetary constraints that the Department of Natural Resources has seen fit to allocate the funds to complete it.