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.

Monday, November 19, 2012

More Times Editorial Page Absurdities

I emailed the following to the Seattle Times in response to Sunday’s (11/18) editorial page.  I’m posting it because I’m sure they’ll ignore it.

Opinion  “frightful traffic fix”,
The Sunday Times devoted one entire editorial page to the question “What’s one big fix for frightful traffic?”  The answers still managed to ignore the one easily available option that would greatly alleviate congestion on the east side.   That option is to “persuade” Sound Transit to install bus rapid transit (BRT) across Lake Washington center roadway rather than light rail.

Any competent analysis would quickly conclude BRT was infinitely better than light rail with higher capacity, greater accessibility, far less cost, and could begin carrying commuters in 6 months not 10 years.  The increased capacity would allow express bus routes for commuters from every P&R on the eastside directly into Seattle.  Attracting addition commuters to public transit would reduce congestion throughout the entire area.

The WSDOT secretary’s solution “we look for ways to make a corridor operate more efficiently” ignores the fact the WSDOT is a major culprit to allowing ST to proceed with spending billions on an East Link program that will devastate parts of Bellevue, eventually gridlock the I-90 bridge, and do nothing about SR405 and I-90 congestion.

The Kemper Development Company spokesman laments the money spent on public transportation including light rail, proclaiming the need to add more highway lanes along 405.   He criticizes light rail across I-90 Bridge but ignores the fact that public transit, namely BRT, is the only practicable way to alleviate congestion on the bridge or the entire I-90 corridor.

The answer to the “frightful traffic” problem facing most daily commuters is not to build more highway lanes but more P&R lots and better bus service.   Attracting commuters to park their car near where they live and use a bus and existing highways to commute is better than providing them with another highway lane to get to an undoubtedly more expensive parking space near where they work.

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