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, October 13, 2015

The East Link Debacle Begins

I presented the following to the Bellevue City Council last night in the first of several future appearances detailing the results of their East Link approval.
The East Link Debacle Begins
On my last appearance two months ago I told the council the entire area would pay a heavy price for the fact that for more than 6 ½ years you’ve ignored my many appearances here and countless emails detailing problems with Sound Transit’s East Link light rail. 
You ignored me when I told you Sound Transit had lied to the public with claims East Link was the equivalent of 10 lanes of freeway; that they had lied to a federal judge when they told him the modified outer roadway could accommodate all the cross-lake vehicles allowing ST to close the center roadway for light rail; and that they had lied to the FHWA and FTA when they claimed light rail noise would have no impact on the quiet solitude of the Mercer Slough Park.
You ignored the fact you had more than ample reason to refuse to approve the permits Sound Transit needed for East Link.  Instead you rewrote the city’s land use code to make light rail possible.  ST has already devastated 112th Ave, turning a tree-lined boulevard into a transportation nightmare, forcing I-90 commuters from both directions to endure long lines accessing Bellevue via I-405.
Next March Sound Transit will close the South Bellevue P&R.  You could have made permit approval contingent on ST providing their long-promised plan for accommodating the thousands of transit riders who use it daily.  Yet they still haven’t provided one and likely never will.  The end result will be thousands of would-be transit riders finding the remaining P&R’s full well before they get there leaving them little choice between driving into Seattle or attempting to find other means to access buses.
As bad as that is for commuters, its nothing compared to what closure of the I-90 Bridge center roadway in 2017 will do.
All so Sound Transit, 8 years from now, can provide one 4-car train every 8 minutes.  That’s what you have done.

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