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, December 23, 2014

Easing "I-405 Misery" Problem

The Seattle Times article “I-405 Misery” lamenting the sorry state of commuting on the eastside identifies the problem “more people in their cars”.   Yet they fail to mention the obvious fix is to convince more commuters to use public transit.  Instead, Sound Transit is spending our precious transportation dollars on Prop 1 Central Link extensions that will have a minuscule effect on I-5 transit ridership, none at all on I-405 transit, and East Link will actually reduce transit capacity across I-90 bridge.

A single 70-ft articulated bus can accommodate 119 riders.  100 bus trips could eliminate 10,000 cars from the freeways and the roads connecting work centers around the area.   Parking spaces near where people live would replace those near where they work.   The problem is to find where to add the parking spaces and what bus routes are needed to connect the local P&R with the work locations. 

Someone needs to survey employees at all the work centers in the area.  Find out where people would like to leave their car or be dropped off and when and where they would like to commute.  Some may need their cars at work or where improved bus service is not practical.  However, surely these results will identify a large number of commuters who would chose transit, if provided with additional parking spaces and bus service, to justify the cost of the improvements. 

While it may not "solve" the "I-405 Misery" problem, it will surely ease it, something the billions spent on Prop 1 will never do.

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