Nowhere else in Bellingham is mountain biking’s surging popularity more evident than on Samish Way near Galbraith Lane.
There, on any given day, throngs of riders, hikers and dog walkers vie for just 30 coveted parking spots in an old lot originally made to serve a fraction of those who now come to enjoy the trails of nearby Galbraith Mountain and Lake Padden Park. Once the lot is full, the only option is to park along the narrow shoulder on the west side of Samish Way. And anyone who has ever been forced to squeeze their car in on the side of the road there knows it gets tight between the ditch and the vehicle lane. Like, scary tight.
Fortunately, planning is underway to replace the tiny old lot. Design elements for a new expanded lot include 140 parking stalls, a kiosk with maps and information, two new vault toilets and a sorely needed crosswalk across Samish Way to increase safety for both drivers and those on foot or bike. Other improvements, like electric vehicle charging stations and modifications to existing bus routes to include a stop at the new lot are also in the works.
The Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition (WMBC), a nonprofit serving trail users in the greater Bellingham region, has teamed up with a variety of partners to raise $60,000 in funding for the parking-lot expansion: Artist and athlete Brooklyn Bell illustrated a beautiful line of products in partnership with RockShox and Ground Keeper Custom that is now for sale online, Stemma Brewing produced Lot of Love IPA, and Transition Bikes and Fanatik teamed up to host a dream bike build giveaway raffle, the winner of which will be selected May 7, 2021. The WMBC is also selling engraved bricks for those who like the idea of having their name immortalized in the new parking lot. The project is set to break ground as early as September.
Whether through beer or bricks, be sure to donate in support of the WMBC and their continued mission to expand Galbraith’s parking options in a safe and sustainable manner.
FOUR WAYS TO DONATE
1.) Ground Keeper/RockShox Badgal Brooky Collection by Brooklyn Bell
2.) Transition Bikes/Fanatik Dream Build Giveaway
3.) Lot of Love IPA by Stemma Brewing
4.) WMBC Custom Engraved Bricks
For more info about the parking lot and how to support it, check out wmbcmtb.org