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.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Bellevue City Council Ignores East Link Debacle

I presented the following to the council at their 8/14/15 meeting with Sound Transit
Bellevue City Council Ignores East Link Debacle
I first appeared before the council 6½ years ago to explain Sound Transit had made a monumental blunder when they failed to consider BRT in their 2008 DEIS as the “no-build” option for I-90 transit.   I told you an independent study would’ve concluded BRT had 10 times light rail capacity, 10 years sooner, at 1/10th the cost.   BRT would also provide transit access from every P&R on the east side, reducing congestion for everyone.  You ignored me.
I also told you DEIS claims to voters East Link was the “equivalent of 10 lanes of freeway” capable of “increasing cross-lake transit capacity by 60%” were sheer fantasy.  You ignored me.  They recently conceded East Link will be limited to one 4-car train every 8 minutes.  Their plans to require all transit riders use East Link for the I-90 Bridge commute will reduce peak transit capacity by nearly 50%.
You ignored me when I gave you copies from a 2004 report belying ST claims 4th lanes on the outer roadway could accommodate both non-transit and transit HOV traffic needed to allow light rail on center roadway.  The lack of outer roadway capacity and lost center roadway transit capacity means East Link will inevitably lead to I-90 gridlock.
You rewrote the land use code to allow light rail construction, disrupting those who commute or who live along the route for years.  When complete, East Link will result in 10,000 transit riders inundating the South Bellevue P&R every morning and afternoon, attempting to transfer to and from over-crowded trains.  Noise from the trains will disrupt the route through Bellevue for more than 18 hours a day.  You apparently don’t care.
I could go on, for example tonight’s meeting with ST.  In 6 months they’ll close the South Bellevue P&R.  They still haven’t provided plans to accommodate all the transit riders who use it.  Yet, what are you talking about with them tonight?  Plans for what they might do more than 6 years from now IF they get ST3 funds.  The entire area will pay a heavy price for your lack of concern.

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