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.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lipstick on a Pig

I submitted this letter to the Bellevue Reporter earlier this year.  They "declined" to print it.
Letters,  Lipstick on a Pig,

For many years Sound Transit has promised cross-lake commuters that adding a fourth HOV lane to the outer bridge will enable it to accommodate all vehicular traffic when they close down the center section to install light rail.   Yet they continue to delay adding the outer lanes.  Lanes whose cost would be minimal and would immediately benefit cross-lake commuters.

I believe the delay is due to ST fear once HOV lane were moved to outer bridge they would be forced to divide the center bridge into inbound and outbound bus lanes. Bus lanes their own studies had shown were infinitely better than light rail.

These concerns explain their current plan to delay the outer bridge modification until just before they close the center bridge.  It’s their way of assuring the bus lanes could never be implemented.  Talk about arrogance!  What’s truly remarkable is they’ve been able to pull off this con job for more than 20 years.  They make Bernie Madoff’s investment swindles look trivial by comparison. 

For twenty years they’ve managed to force thousands of cross-lake commuters to daily endure needless congestion.  Instead of helping commuters they’ve used the time to spend millions promoting light rail; spending that gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “putting lipstick on a pig”.  

Now they want the Bellevue City Council’s permission to switch from spending millions to spending billions on this pig.  A pig which will be begin with the devastation of a beautiful part of our city and eventually end with total gridlock on the Lake Washington bridge. 

Bill Hirt

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