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.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Where’s Seattle Transit Blog Rebuttals?

Since I started this blog critical of Sound Transit I’ve been anticipating some sort of response on their Seattle Transit Blog. 

Two years ago it featured a post with the title “A Few Lies out of Many”, with the following:

                There’s no doubt that the debate revolving around East Link has yielded a number of lies.  Most are complete nonsense, but there are few that can spread dangerous misinformation.  I want to direct your attention to a letter from Bill Hirt, an anti-Link critic who has had a compulsive passion for writing an extraordinary amount of letters to local papers.  From the Seattle Times:
                    The Council majority could simply refuse to grant those permits, stopping the light rail in its “tracks.” Stopping East Link would undoubtedly please Bellevue residents, the majority of whom voted against its funding in 2008.

I realized shortly after my “opinion” page to the Times was published (One of the very few times they chose to do so) I had made a mistake.  (Although the 57% of voters in the 41st and 48th district who approved did not constitute a majority of the residents.)    I thought at the time it was truly ironic that the transit blog would classify my mistake as “dangerous misinformation” when Sound Transit had spent more than 10 years “misinforming” the public about cross-lake light rail.  (Which undoubtedly played a major role in 2008 vote.)
The blog also criticized my contention that the Bellevue City Council could refuse to grant the permits Sound Transit needed.    I’ve included the following excerpts:
I should point out RCW 36.70A.200 under Washington State Law, which stipulates the following:
No local comprehensive plan or development regulation may preclude the siting of essential public facilities.
The section specifically mentions a “development regulation” meaning to include the issuing of municipal permits, coincidentally the ones that Bill Hirt believes that the City of Bellevue can withhold.  Furthermore, said “essential public facilities” include regional transportation systems that can be defined by a number of things, of which “high capacity transportation systems” are a part of under RCW 47.06.140.

If you’re still unconvinced, consider RCW 81.104.015, where the State defines “high capacity transportation systems” as including “rail fixed guideway systems” that are hereby defined as a “light, heavy, or rapid rail system.”  Last I checked, Link Light Rail fits the bill perfectly. 
Apparently the Seattle Transit blog doesn’t recognize that “high capacity transportation systems” can also include BRT.   Their claim that some state regulation would prevent the Bellevue City Council from refusing to grant permits because they prefer BRT service is another example of their mendacity or incompetence.  The fact the council hasn’t done so a long time ago has already resulted in hundreds of millions wasted and years of increased cross-lake congestion.  Allowing East Link to proceed would be unconscionable.
In conclusion, I’ve been expecting to see the Seattle Transit Blog respond to my stopeastlinknow blog for some time.  They were very quick to point out my “dangerous misinformation” two years ago.  It’s now been almost three months and 37 posts.  I’m still waiting for their rebuttals.


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