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.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

BBB Appeal Could Stop East Link

This post explains another way to stop East Link is for “Build a Better Bellevue” to appeal the decision earlier this year regarding Sound Transit’s refusal to consider bus rapid transit BRT for cross-lake public transit.  The 3/16/13 post explained how the judge didn’t make his decision based on the defendant’s argument “Sound Transit had no obligation to study bus-based options”.   Instead he concluded Sound Transit had used “a long, careful, deliberative process to select light rail rather than BRT”. 

Both the defendant’s argument and the judge’s decision are nonsensical.  Sound Transit obviously felt the need to look at “bus-based” options other than light rail” when their DEIS went into considerable detail on the “no-build” option.   The fact they refused to consider two-way bus only BRT on the center roadway as the “no-build” option in the DEIS belies any possible claim for a “long, careful, deliberative process to select light rail".

Thus the judge's decision would seem to be any easy one to reverse.  Unfortunately the BBB decided not to appeal apparently citing lack of funds as one reason.   Instead they chose to rely on Sound Transit promises to mitigate the very noise and vibration issues that presumably led them to file the suit in the first place (4/21/13). The BBB’s own data suggests “mitigation” potentially exposes many residents to devastating noise levels for up to 20 hours a day.

Its not clear whether anyone can appeal the judge’s decision at this late date.   However, anyone living within 500 feet of the tracks should urge the BBB to raise the issue and offer to support any legal action.  For that matter, anyone who regularly commutes into Seattle or has to endure the congestion in the Eastgate area during the evening commute should do the same.  

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