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.

Friday, January 16, 2015

What I Hoped to tell MI Residents

I wrote the following in hopes of presenting it to Mercer Island residents at their Jan 14th meeting at their Community Center.  It was an opportunity to explain to island residents how Sound Transit’s East Link will end their easy access into Seattle and why the ST Integrated Transit Service will result in the MI light rail station being inundated with thousands of transit riders every morning and afternoon attempting to transfer to and from over-crowded light rail cars.  It was a major disappointment I was not allowed to do so as “East Link” was not on the meeting’s “agenda”.   I’m certain residents will eventually learn to regret that decision if  the lack of "public awareness" results in the city council approving the permits needed for East Link to proceed.

East Link Impact On Mercer Island

1) Mercer Island residents will lose their easy access to Seattle for a light rail system that provides one 4-car train every 8 minutes, or thirty 74-seat cars an hour.

2) MI residents and transit riders forced to transfer to trains at MI light rail station will have a particularly difficult time accessing this limited light rail capacity during the peak commute hours since the cars will likely be full before they even reach MI.

3) The 200 ft drop off and pick up areas cannot possibly accommodate the 84 buses per hour the ST Integrated Transit System (ITS) expects to route to and from MI Station during peak commute.  Riders attempting to transfer to buses on the return commute will have a particularly difficult time making connections.

4) MI Single Occupancy Vehicles will have a particularly difficult time accessing I-90 outer roadway.  The increased congestion due to the loss of center roadway and additional drivers forced to drive because of limited light rail capacity will require severe “throttling” by I-90 onramp control lights.

5) Once on I-90, MI commuters will join all the other vehicles facing inevitable gridlock on the route into Seattle.

6) All of this can be avoided if MI disallows the permit ST needs.

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