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.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

ST and WSDOT lie to Kittitas Judge in Freeman Suit

My 4 22 presentation where I explain to the BCC that a 2004 FHWA document shows ST and WSDOT lied to the Kittitas judge  
Bellevue City Council
My name is Bill Hirt and I live at 2615 170th SE.  Tonight I’m going to discuss Sound Transit studies that purportedly show they could install light rail on the center bridge because it wouldn’t be needed for highway purposes with their R-8A configuration.   These claims convinced a Kittitas judge to allow Sound Transit to proceed with their East Link program in a recent suit.

A September 2004 Federal Highway Administration document,  “I-90 Two-Way Transit and HOV Operation Project, Record of Decision”, presents the most relevant study results.   Two of the several cross-lake configurations studied are of most interest.  The first, R-2B, is described on pages 3 and 4 of the document.  It maintains the current 3 lane outer bridge but divides the center roadway into inbound and outbound combination bus/HOV lanes. 

This configuration was rejected with the following comment “The study concluded R-2B would have all sorts of adverse affects on travel times and congestion and subsequently eliminated it from further study.”  The obvious problem with R-2B was the lack of capacity with combination bus/HOV lanes

The study’s preferred configuration, R-8A, is documented on pages 9 and 10.   It adds a 4th lane to the outer bridges for the combined bus/HOV traffic.  However, it provides the needed additional capacity by retaining the two existing reversible bus/HOV lanes on the center roadway.  Thus, contrary to what Sound Transit and DOT told the judge, there is not a shred of data that supports their claim that R-8A’s installation of a Bus/HOV lane on the outer bridge would eliminate the need to use the center section for highway use.

In conclusion, last month I explained that East Link’s 4 car trains every 7 minutes will never have the capacity and the accessibility promised for cross-lake commuters on the center roadway.   That lie is what persuaded voters to support Prop 1 in 2008.  Tonight I’ve used an 8-year-old FHWA document to show they’ve also lied about the capacity of their proposed R8-A configuration for the outer bridges.   That’s why they’ve delayed adding the 4th lane to the outer bridge until 2016.   They know it won’t work but apparently assume by then so much money and time will have been spent on light rail planning and construction it will be impossible to stop. 

Next month I’ll go over more details of this truly monumental fraud.  In the meantime I’ll leave a copy of the title page and the 4 pages mentioned above from the 2004 document.   You can read them, make your own conclusions, and ask Sound Transit to respond.  You surely owe cross-lake commuters, your constituents, and the entire eastside that much.

Bill Hirt

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