My name is Bill Hirt.
My wife Saundra and I have lived in our current home since 1967 where we raised two daughters.
My last elective position was class president for 25 “class of ’57” seniors in Armstrong, Iowa. I received an MS in engineering at ISU, worked at Boeing for 36 years before retiring in 1998.
Since my retirement I’ve taken 8 Rick Steve’s tours in Europe. I also spent considerable time traveling on my own before or after these guided tours so have covered most of Europe. I mention this because it enabled me to experience a wide variety of public transit systems. During my last 15 years at Boeing I commuted mainly on Metro buses. This experience is part of why I’m a candidate. In Europe everyone rode public transit. More needs to be done here.
My primary reason for running is to use the voters’ pamphlet to inform east side voters that Sound Transit and WSDOT are attempting to perpetrate a monumental fraud with their East Link program. Prior to the Prop 1 vote the media allowed them to lie with impunity about East Link.
The light rail installation on the I-90 bridge center roadway will never have the capacity or the accessibility to accommodate more than a tiny fraction of cross-lake commuters. Their planned 4th lane addition to the outer roadways will never provide the capacity needed for cross-lake vehicles.
The only winners are the Associated Builders and Contractors of Western Washington and their labor unions and the media. The contractors fund Republicans, the labor unions fund Democrats, and Sound Transit advertising revenue funds the media. East side legislators, King County and Bellevue City Councilmen, and the media don’t seem to care about the disaster that awaits commuters.
The sordid details of this debacle are included in my blog stopeastlinknow.blogspot.com. Suffice to say Sound Transit gives a whole new meaning to the term incompetent. Fifteen years ago they could have moved the HOV traffic to a 4th lane on the outer roadway and divided the center roadway into inbound and outbound bus lanes. The bus lanes would have had 15 times light rail capacity available from every eastside P&R. The added transit riders would have reduced congestion throughout eastside.
Instead Sound Transit plans to spend the next 12 years and 5-6 billion on a transportation project that will gridlock the 1-90 bridge, devastate a beautiful part of residential Bellevue, wreck havoc in downtown Bellevue, and do absolutely nothing to relieve congestion on 405 and I-90.
I’ve spent the last three years trying to convince the Bellevue City Council to use their permitting process to stop East Link. Their lack of concern for eastside residents is unconscionable. A recent Times article showed how light rail would literally split one resident’s yard in half. The BCC recently lamented the cities dire financial problem that will force them to delay needed capital improvements for years. At the same time they’re agreeing to give Sound Transit 200 million to pay for a tunnel.
What’s also amazing is community leaders throughout east side seem perfectly willing to go along with a project that will cause gridlock for their constituents. My opponent’s response when I raised these concerns was “Get over it, Sound Transit is going to install light rail across Lake Washington come hell or high water.” My goal in running is to prove him wrong.
The best way to do that is to use “Social Networking” such as Face Book to get this story out. The media will deride my candidacy. For years, the Times editorial board has refused to even meet with me. King, Komo and Kiro news have ignored my frequent requests for their organizations to look into this issue.
While I welcome the opportunity to visit all the precincts or any other public forums I’m not asking people to contribute to my campaign or post signs of support. I’ve promised my wife she will not have to be involved in my campaign and she is not enthused about my spending a lot of time in Olympia. I told her not to worry yet.
What I want is for those who agree with me to use their Face Book pages to urge their friends to go to my blog “stopeastlinknow.blogspot.com”, In particular the “Case against East Link”. Its not just the 48th District, it’s the entire east side that needs to say this debacle has to end.