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, December 28, 2012

Council and Board Member Obligations

The prior 5 posts dealt with the two pending lawsuits concerning stopping East Link: The BBB suit attempt to overturn the Records of Decision (ROD) issued by the U.S. Dept. of Trans. and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA); and the Freeman/ETA action appealing the Kittitas judge's ruling allowing Sound Transit to install light rail on I-90 Bridge.

Both present potentially very strong arguments. ST surely violated federal environmental law when their DEIS and FEIS documents failed to consider BRT, a feasible and prudent alternative that would have avoided the environmental damage along the route into Bellevue.  The Kittitas judge’s decision should be easy to reverse because ST and WSDOT lied when they claimed adding a 4th lane to the outer roadways would eliminate the need to use the center roadways for highway needs and could therefore be used for light rail. 

Unfortunately, judges may not agree with a retired engineer’s belief it’s a “slam dunk”.   I therefore sent the following email to Sound Transit Board members, King County Council, and the Bellevue City Council. 

Dear Sound Transit Board, Bellevue City Council, King County Council,
Your organizations would be well advised to give serious consideration to the information included in the 12/15, 12/12, and 12/07 posts on my blog http;//stopeastlinknow.blogspot.com.

Bill Hirt (former candidate for 48th District No 1)

My intention was to contact those who might have been swayed by WSDOT East Link support and were unaware of East Link legal challenges.  I also hoped they might choose to read some of the earlier posts.  For example the 7/19 post concerning WSDOT culpability and the 11/14 post identifying the big East Link benefactors, the ABCWW and their unions.

None of the organizations' members chose to respond directly.  However, my blog has had a huge increase in number of page views.  Not only were they “viewing” the posts dealing with the legal arguments many have also read the 7/19 and 11/14 posts along with the original 05/15 post, “The Case Against East Link”.   

I’m assuming several of the “new” viewers were council or board members.   If ST does happen to prevail in the upcoming legal actions, responsible board or council members will hopefully speak out against the East Link debacle. 

Hundreds of millions have already been wasted on light rail.   The ST delay in adding the 4th lanes to the outer roadways for 15 years is most likely due to their concern that moving the HOV traffic would force them to consider BRT for the center roadway.  Allowing ST to continue another 3-4 years will waste additional millions and needlessly extend congestion. 

The wasted millions and needless congestion pale in comparison to the debacle if ST is allowed to proceed.   In 2016-17 they'll close down the center roadway and begin spending billions installing light rail on the bridge and devastating the area along the route into Bellevue.  Anyone who would knowingly allow that to happen is not fit for public office.  This blog is an attempt to make the board and council members aware of their obligation to the entire eastside.

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