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, September 13, 2016

BCC Response to South Bellevue P&R Closure

I presented the following to the Bellevue City Council at their Sept 12th meeting.  I’m posting it since they may chose to ignore it.

Dear Bellevue City Council
My name is Bill Hirt and I live at 2615 170th SE.  I’m here tonight to tell the council you’re “amazing”.  It’s not a compliment.   A Feb 9th 2015 Sound Transit presentation to the council detailed their plans to close the South Bellevue P&R in March of this year to construct the new P&R.  It went into considerable detail about the large number of commuters who used it to access transit.  However, they were, to put it mildly, vague about their plans to accommodate those commuters. 

The council subsequently signed an MOU with Sound Transit requiring they do the following:

At least 60 days prior to the closure Sound Transit will identify and implement alternate parking and transit access for the commuters who utilize the existing park and ride

Rather than doing so Sound Transit simply delayed the closure until after the vote this fall.  They knew the closure would not only limit transit access at South Bellevue, every eastside P&R would likely be full well before many commuters arrived.  They were concerned those who lost transit access would respond by rejecting ST3

What’s “amazing” is the council’s response.  Instead of requiring Sound Transit satisfy the MOU the Sept 8 East Link update to the council was dedicated to making sure none of the affected commuters could park on the nearby streets.  The council’s concern was how big to make the restricted parking zone or RPZ and how to enforce it making it impossible for commuters to walk to the station. 

You owe it to your constituents to publicize Sound Transit’s failure to meet the MOU.  That, as a result, any commuter who uses an eastside P&R to access transit will likely find it full when they arrive.  You need to do so before the vote this fall.

In closing I notice your agenda tonight includes a discussion as to whether the council should recommend voters approve ST3.   What’s “amazing” is you even have to discuss doing so.  Of course the council members have an obligation to publicly recommend voters approve or reject ST3 and why.  Refusing to do so would be absurd. 

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