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.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Eyman ST3 Opposition Welcome

As one who has been opposed to Sound Transit’s Prop 1 since I recognized their promises to voters in the 2008 DEIS were sheer fantasy, I welcome Tim Eyman’s opposition to ST3.  I urged him at the April Eastside Republicans Club meeting to visit this blog as part of his $30 dollar car tab campaign.  I have no idea whether it played any part in his decision to co-write the anti ST3 statement. 

The real absurdity is the People for Smarter Transit calling the Eyman opposition “an attempt to poison the issue”.   First of all I’m surprised the agency’s governing board would have selected Eyman to write the statement against ST3.  Second I’m surprised the Seattle Times would choose to write a front page article about the Smarter Transit opposition to the Eyman statement. 

Particularly since the Seattle Times has ignored the more than 300 posts I’ve referred them to dealing with Sound Transit’s total failure to deal with the area’s transportation.  Apparently any “Special to the Times” or other submissions by the People for Smarter Transit would have been welcome.  Yet I don’t recall seeing any editorial page submissions detailing their organization’s opposition to Prop 1 or ST3.

While I look forward to reading the Eyman opposition in the voter’s pamphlet, my 200 words would have said the following:

The problem with ST3 is it enables Sound Transit to proceed with Prop 1 light rail extensions the vast majority of commuters will never be able to use due to limits on light rail trains through Seattle Tunnel.   A 2004 PSRC report concluded light rail capacity would be limited to 8880 riders per hour through the tunnel with half that to East Link and SeaTac.   As a result, the ST3 funds spent on the “light rail spine” will do absolutely nothing to reduce congestion along the area's major roadways.

Sound Transit could use existing Prop 1 funds (i.e. without ST3) to add 20,000 parking spaces a year with express bus service to T/Cs in Seattle, Bellevue, and Overlake for as long as it takes to meet commuter demand.   Commuters have to park their car someplace.  Giving them the option of doing so near where they live rather than where they work is the only way to ease the congestion on the area's roadways.

While rejecting ST3 may or may not force Sound Transit to consider added parking and bus service, ST3 approval will certainly result in $54 billion and 25 years wasted on light rail. 

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