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 7, 2012

Sound Transit's Opposition to BBB Lawsuit Absurd

Sound Transit response to the BBB lawsuit filed on 11/30/12 typifies their arrogance and incompetence.   For example their response regarding their failure to consider bus rapid transit (BRT) for the I-90 Bridge included the following: 
“Despite decades of open and public processes that narrowed the potential modes of cross-lake transport, Plaintiffs now complain that the FEIS should have considered alternatives to light rail.”
The reality is the number 1 “Common Comments”, CC1a question regarding the 2008 DEIS was “Why is bus rapid transit (BRT) or increased bus service not included as an alternative?”   Their response in the FEIS was
 “BRT, as an alternative for East Link, was eliminated during the Sound Transit Long-Range Planning and ST2 process” along with their comment “light rail provides the highest level of ridership and the shortest travel times of all technologies evaluated in the corridor”
My 07/05/12 post (ST Response to DEIS Questions, "Questionable") explained the problems with the study ST used to eliminate BRT from serious consideration.    “The 1990’s study they referred to had initially included Configuration R4 which moved the non-transit HOV traffic to 4th lanes on the outer roadways and used the center roadways for two-way, bus-only BRT lanes.   The 40 foot wide center roadway would have been ideal for BRT with two bus lanes separated by a third lane for increased safety and maintenance.   It was dropped from serious consideration, apparently because of Mercer Island concerns they would loose their exclusive access to center roadway, a concern ST subsequently ignored for East Link.”  

ST claims “light rail provides the highest level of ridership and the shortest travel times of all technologies in the corridor” was debunked in my 8/08/12 post (BRT Obvious Choice Over Light Rail).  It explains in detail why BRT is infinitely better than light rail in terms of capacity, accessibility, and cost.  It could have been available in less than 2 years and would have eliminated a major problem with those who currently avoid paying light rail fares.

I’ll deal with their response regarding violations of federal environmental law in a subsequent post.

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