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, September 17, 2013

Supreme Court Errs in Freeman Decision

My reading of the Supreme Court’s recent Freeman decision concerning I-90 light rail prompted me to send the justices the following email.  I decided to post it as others might be interested.

Dear Supreme Court Justices,
I’m no lawyer but I believe the Justices erred when they made the below finding in the recent Freeman decision (page 14 of decision))

Such a determination was made here, as stated in the Umbrella Agreement: "upon the completion of the R8A Project and the completion of all the necessary obligations and actions identified in this Agreement and the exhibits attached hereto, the Center Roadway will no longer be presently needed for highway purposes." CP at 1382.

They rejected appellants claims the facts do not support WSDOT's assessment that the lanes are not presently needed with the below finding (Page 19)  

             In this case, WSDOT considered numerous studies and engaged in extensive planning, as identified in the Umbrella Agreement. Considerations included the "I-90 Two-Way Transit and HOY Operations FEIS [(Final Environmental Impact Statement)] and ROD [(Record of Decision)]; I-90 Two-Way Transit and HOY Access Point Decision Report; WSDOT I-90 Center Roadway Study; East Link FEIS and ROD; East Link/I-90 Interchange Justification Report; I-90 Bellevue to North Bend Corridor 19No. 87267-8

Page 9 of the referenced document "I-90 Two-Way Transit and HOY Operations FEIS [(Final Environmental Impact Statement)] and ROD [(Record of Decision)]; includes the following description of the Preferred R8-A Alternative

Alternative R-8A will provide HOV lanes on the outer roadways. It will retain the existing reversible operations on the center roadway, with both lanes operating in the same direction, westbound in the AM and eastbound in the PM. SOVs will only be allowed to use the center roadway between Rainier Avenue in Seattle and Island Crest Way on Mercer Island. The center and outer roadway HOV lanes will likely operate with a 2 + occupants per vehicle restriction

Thus it is clear the R-8A configuration, which adds an HOV lane to the outer roadway, does not make the center roadway “not needed” for highway purposes.

Bill Hirt

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