The Bellevue City Council could make a very bad decision Monday night, choosing to change its preferred alignment from the superior B3 alignment to the environmentally-questionable B7 alignment that skips the South Bellevue Park & Ride, instantly losing thousands of daily riders for East Link.
Transportation Choices Coalition has the details:
The City Council meets on Monday, March 1st to potentially reconsider its decision to serve the South Bellevue Park and Ride with a light rail stop. Last year, the City Council picked an alignment (B3) that would bring a light rail stop to this popular Park and Ride. The city council — with its two newly elected councilmembers — is considering switching its preference to an alignment (B7) that bypasses the South Bellevue Park and Ride, runs along the freeway and would serve the much smaller Wilburton Park and Ride, potentially leaving hundreds of transit riders in the lurch.
Show up on Monday and urge the council to keep light rail service to the South Bellevue Park and Ride.
WHAT: Bellevue City Council meeting to discuss the light rail alignment in South Bellevue
WHEN: Monday March 1 at 6:00pm. Public comments are taken at the beginning.
WHERE: Bellevue City Hall, 450 110th Ave. NE (one block from the Bellevue Transit Center)
Action on the B segment may be taken as early as 6pm, so please try to be there at or before then. Comments are scheduled for 8pm, but a stronger showing at six will be more influential. The meeting will be in conference room 1E-113, next to the council chamber.
Our own Sherwin has written a great article on the Bellevue City News blog on how many residents in south Bellevue support the B3 alignment. We ran an op-ed earlier this week against the B7 alignment. And in an open letter earlier this month to the city council, we shared our thoughts on segment B in South Bellevue:
[...] The South Bellevue P&R is a critical transit access point and must be served by East Link, since ST Express route 550 will no longer exist once light rail begins service. However, even the modified B7 has environmental concerns that leaders should consider carefully. We are confident the legal, financial, and environmental obstacles of crossing environmentally-sensitive wetlands will prove that B3S is the more practical and affordable alignment. [...]
The final decision on the alignment comes down to the Sound Transit Board. Many on the board have expressed their desire to see regional light rail built in the best way possible; a good route will enhance the chances of future expansions of Link passing the ballot in the future and bringing light rail to communities that boardmembers represent, the thinking goes. Make no doubt: skipping the South Bellevue Park & Ride will hurt East Link deeply. The Sound Transit Board should overrule the Bellevue City Council if the council decides to be unconstructive rather than find an acceptable compromise.