A recent Times article “Bellevue Citizens Group Propose Deep-Bore Tunnel” is a clear indication Bellevue citizens recognize the devastation resulting from East Link construction and operation. The BCC's response “After you dance with someone for long enough, you understand the moves their willing to make” is a clear indication of the East Link problem. The BCC has already spent far too much time “dancing with Sound Transit about East Link”. (To be fair, some council members are also concerned but don’t have the votes to do anything. I’ll leave it up to readers to find out which ones.)
Build a Better Bellevue, residents of Surry Downs, Enatai and other South Bellevue neighborhoods should not have to look forward to “living with East Link”. The BCC could put an end to East Link by simply refusing to approve the 9 permits (identified in 2008 DEIS) ST needs to begin construction. They have more than ample reason for doing so.
ST has lied for years about East Link benefits with claims that light rail will provide the equivalent of 10 lanes of freeway with 60% more cross-lake capacity. They used these claims to convince voters to approve Prop 1 in 2008. East Links promised service (in 2023) for one 4-car train every 7 minutes will never have the capacity or the accessibility to carry more than a fraction of cross-lake commuters.
Prior to the 2008 vote they also claimed their plans to add a 4th lane to the outer roadway for bus and HOV traffic would enable it to accommodate all vehicular traffic without increasing travel time. They’ve used that claim to convince a Kittitas judge to allow them to install light rail on the center roadway. Their own 2004 studies concluded that claim was false. East Link even violates federal environmental law (US Code Sec 138) with train tracks and 5000 volt power lines that encroach on the Mercer Slough Park.
Its clear if ST is allowed to go ahead with East Link, it won’t be because the BCC couldn’t stop it, but because they wouldn’t. They need to change “dance partners”.