The Bellevue Reporter article “Bellevue crafting opposition letter to Sound Transit” is another example of Bellevue City Council's lack of credibility. It doesn’t take "crafting opposition letter" for the council to insist ST locate the maintenance yard elsewhere if they want approval of the 10 permits needed for East Link.
Another example is Deputy Mayor Wallace’s claim it “wasn’t part of the memorandum of understanding in 2011”. The Bel Red locations were included in the 2008 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). Its difficult to believe the council wasn’t aware of Sound Transit plans, particularly since Mayor Balducci was also on the Sound Transit Board.
Even more dubious is the council’s belief that East Link without the maintenance yard will attract development to Bel Red. They required ST develop extensive plans to “mitigate” light rail noise for properties along the route into Bellevue. (ST has been forced to “sound proof” homes more than 300 ft from their Central Link tracks.) Yet, ST makes no attempt to mitigate noise in the Bel Rel area even though parts of the route will be elevated likely exacerbating the problem. It’s difficult to believe noisy light rail trains trundling through every 4-5 minutes for 20 hours a day will be a “magnet”.
In conclusion, even if the council succeeds in relocating the maintenance yard, South Lake Union streetcars would be a far better way to meet Bel Red transit needs (see 5/25/14 post). (520 is a far better route for Seattle's "Microsoft Commuters".) The council’s failure to even consider that option is another reason they’ve been inducted into the Light Rail Hall of Shame.