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.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Bellevue Reporter Blind to East Link Reality

(The Bellevue City Council is apparently in the final stages of approving permits Sound Transit needs for East Link: a project that will devastate parts of the city, force residents to pay up to $200 million for a tunnel beyond the hundreds of millions they’ve already paid in sales taxes to Sound Transit, and increase congestion for those who commute into Seattle.  One of the primary reasons for this debacle is the Bellevue Reported that for years has “declined” to print anything critical of Sound Transit.  The following is just the latest example of my attempts to influence their editorial page.  Believing “past is prologue” I’ve posted it on this blog.)
Letters, Bellevue Reporter Blind to East Link Reality,

For years the BR could “charitably” be described as viewing everything regarding Sound Transits East Link light rail program through “Rose Colored Glasses”.   How else could one characterize a media organization that fails to criticize the Bellevue City Council’s willingness to pay $200 million for a project that will devastate parts of Bellevue and increase cross-lake congestion.   

However, the April 5 headline “First Look at Light-Rail Noise sees Gain for Neighbors” suggests they’ve gone totally “blind” to reality.   The idea that trains trundling through the area for 20 hours a day will improve conditions along the route is totally absurd irrespective of whatever  “mitigation” techniques are used.

Prior to Central Link, Rainier Valley residents lived for years with traffic noise from a wide assortment of vehicles along Martin Luther King Way, apparently without significant noise issues. Central Link light rail noise has changed that region forever with homes 400 to 500 feet away from the tracks requiring extensive modifications to meet noise standards.  

Sound Transit’s East Link trains will have 4 cars rather then the Central Link 2-car trains, undoubtedly resulting in higher noise and vibration levels for longer periods of time than what Rainier Valley residents have been exposed to.  Any media outlet that doesn’t recognize that reality is, to put it mildly, “ill serving its audience”.   

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