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, July 12, 2012

One Way to Stop East Link

In previous posts I’ve answered the question “why?” I want to stop East Link.  This post proposes one answer to the question  “how?” to stop it.   Sound Transits 2011 Environmental Impact Statement lists 9 “permits or approvals” the city of Bellevue has to issue.   Thus four of the seven Bellevue City Council members can stop East Link by refusing to issue the permits.  

Claudia Balducci and John Chelminak are staunch supporters of East Link (Neither could find time to meet with me to discuss my concerns privately three years ago.).   Those two along with recently elected John Stokes were heavily supported by pro rail “Move Bellevue Forward “.   Typical of much of the “pro rail” support, three of the five MBF board members weren’t even from Bellevue. 

The other four would seem to be persuadable.  They’ve all argued for the BSNF route from I-90 into downtown. Don Davidson has recently been particularly outspoken in his opposition to the current route.  Jennifer Robertson, prior to her election to the council, promised to use the permitting process in negotiations with Sound Transit.   Mayor Lee and Kevin Wallace both seem willing to listen to reason on the issue. 

Prior to my candidacy I spent more than three years using the “3 minute Public Comment” portion of BCC “extended sessions” to explain my concerns.   The council, as is their “policy” never responded.   To my knowledge no one else raised any concerns.  The Bellevue Reporter refused to publish my emails critical of East Link (and still hasn’t acknowledged my candidacy).   The Seattle Times editorial board ignored my offers to meet, choosing instead to promote East Link as the answer for cross-lake commuters.  (Needless to say I'm not expecting their endorsement.)

The BCC, Bellevue Reporter, and the Seattle Times need to be “persuaded” to pay attention to East Link problems.  Those who share my concerns should speak out at BCC meetings or email the council at council@bellevuewa.gov and email the Bellevue Reporter and Seattle Times.

My post “The Cast Against East Link” explains how the billions spent on East Link fails any rational “cost/benefit analysis”.   Its not only those who live along the current route who will suffer, anyone who commutes into Seattle, or for that matter, commutes along 405 and I-90 will be affected.  East Link can be stopped.

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