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.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sound Transit Board Advice

For nearly 4 years my emails to the Sound Transit Board, the WSDOT, Bellevue City Council, Seattle Times and many others concerning East Link have been ignored.  That’s why I was so pleased with the Building a Better Bellevue lawsuit challenging the Federal Transit Administration (“FTA”) and Federal Highway Administration (“FHWA”)  “Record of Decision” (ROD) approval of East Link.  It forces ST to defend in a federal court actions that give a whole new meaning to the term “incompetent”.

I believe this lawsuit will show ST made a monumental blunder when they selected light rail for cross-lake public transit instead of a bus rapid transit (BRT) system.  (The fact the ST board, many of whom were appointed with few transportation qualifications, could have this decision supported by purported transportation “experts” in the WSDOT says a lot about that organization’s competence also.)

Their original decision was followed by years and hundreds of millions spent promoting a totally flawed transportation program. They made promises for light rail capacity that simple multiplication showed was impossible along with ridership projections that ignored the fact that the vast majority of cross-lake commuters wouldn’t even have access to light rail. 

Their own studies showed they lied when they claimed that a 4th lane added to the outer roadways could accommodate all the Bus and HOV traffic.  As a result East Link would devastate the area along the route into Bellevue, eventually lead to gridlock on I-90 Bridge and do nothing to ease congestion along SR405 and I-90 corridors. 

The 12/07 and 12/12 posts on this blog show Sound Transit’s response to the BBB lawsuit is devoid of substantive justification for their actions.  They have already wasted hundreds of millions and forced thousands of commuters to needlessly endure years of increased congestion.   The sooner they recognize that fact the sooner eastside taxes can be used to reduce eastside congestion not increase it.

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