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.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Bellevue Patch Interview

(I was unable to complete what I had intended to say during my Bellevue Patch radio interview so am posting it)

I’m a retired Boeing engineer whose only previous elective office was president of 25 class-of-‘57 seniors in Armstrong, Iowa.  I’m here today to attract listeners to my blog “stopeastlinknow.blogspot.com.  It’s my attempt to inform voters about the devastating effect of the Bellevue City Council’s East Link agreement with Sound Transit. The council could have used the permitting process and the fact eastside taxes provide more than enough funds to insist on whatever light rail route they preferred. 

For example they could have demanded ST tunnel from 1-90 through the city to the Hospital area as they recently agreed to do with their Northgate extension.  Or they could have demanded ST consider BRT through the city and across I-90 Bridge.  Either option would have eliminated the devastation to the city from construction and subsequent operation of light rail.  ST not only refused to even consider either option, they demanded the council agree to pay for half a tunnel under downtown area.

The council not only acceded to this extortion, their recent agreement allows ST to proceed with plans to spend billions installing a light rail system that will devastate parts of the city, disrupt commuters throughout the east side, do nothing for I-405 and I-90 congestion, and increase rather than decrease cross-lake congestion.

Listeners need to recognize that, for a fraction of light rails cost, ST could have moved non-transit HOV to 4th lanes on the outer roadways 15 years ago and initiated BRT service on the center roadway.  Its far greater capacity and access from every east side P&R could have attracted additional transit riders and reduced congestion throughout the area.  It’s still not to late to do so.  That’s why I’m here today.

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