About this blog

My name is Bill Hirt and I'm a candidate to be a Representative from the 48th district in the Washington State legislature. My candidacy stems from concern the legislature is not properly overseeing the WSDOT and Sound Transit East Link light rail program. I believe East Link will be a disaster for the entire eastside. ST will spend 5-6 billion on a transportation project that will increase, not decrease cross-lake congestion, violates federal environmental laws, devastates a beautiful part of residential Bellevue, creates havoc in Bellevue's central business district, and does absolutely nothing to alleviate congestion on 1-90 and 405. The only winners with East Link are the Associated Builders and Contractors of Western Washington and their labor unions.

This blog is an attempt to get more public awareness of these concerns. Many of the articles are from 3 years of failed efforts to persuade the Bellevue City Council, King County Council, east side legislators, media, and other organizations to stop this debacle. I have no illusions about being elected. My hope is voters from throughout the east side will read of my candidacy and visit this Web site. If they don't find them persuasive I know at least I tried.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

East Link's Fatal Flaw

Why East Link won't work

East Link’s Fatal Flaw

East Link violates a fundament transportation dictum, “you don’t install light rail and bus service on the same transportation corridor”.   If you want to use light rail, you need to have the capacity and the accessibility to transport large numbers of commuters.  A Paris subway route for instance has 10-car trains running every 4 minutes.  It is accessible to huge numbers of riders because of the population centers around the many stations it serves. 

By contrast, East Link, at best will consist of 4-car trains with minimum 7-minute intervals.   The only access point for the vast majority of cross-lake commuters will be the South Bellevue P&R.  This P&R will never have the capacity or the accessibility to attract a large number of 405 and I-90 commuters. 

East Link will result in the vast majority of cross-lake commuters forced to use the outer roadways.  Sound Transits own 2004 analysis concluded their proposed addition of a 4th lane to the outer roadway for both bus and HOV traffic would not provide needed capacity.

Unfortunately, the media, BCC, KCC, eastside legislators, and other organizations refuse to recognize this reality.  I suspect the influence of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Western Washington and their labor unions along with the millions spent on light rail advertising is contributing to this reluctance.  In any case, if ST is allowed to proceed it will result in billions spent on a transportation project that will cause gridlock on 1-90, devastate parts of residential Bellevue, wreck havoc on downtown Bellevue and do absolutely nothing to ease congestion on 405 and I-90

Bill Hirt

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