Bellevue City Council Deadlocked Again

Greenbaum Home Furnishings, the site of a proposed B7 Wilburton P&R, would be condemned. Image from Google Streetview.

For those who expected the Bellevue city council to finally come to consensus on a ‘B’ segment decision last night, it didn’t happen.  The large expectations were that the council was to pick up on a vote, where it left off last Monday. From internal sources, rumor was that Mayor Davidson was intending to do just that until the word reached his ear about the damage a vote could do to choosing a tunnel for the ‘C’ segment.  This was further coupled with a mass of discontent from B3 supporters.  Either way, progress was limited yet again in last night’s study session.

A recap of the meeting is below the jump.

For those who haven’t been following closely with our East Link coverage, there has been a swiftly growing movement, mostly led by Mercer Slough and Enatai residents, to counter the revival of the B7 route.  A large number of B3 supporters turned up, including several of our readers who heeded our call to action (thanks, guys!).  We were provided pro-B3 stickers and badges to show support, which visibly wrangled the nerves of several Surrey Downs attendees.  Turnout was so large, that a dividing wall had to be opened up to another conference room to accommodate us all.

Largely, the discussion was focused on drafting yet another letter to Sound Transit- whether it should be done, how it should be done, when it should be done, etc.  However, John Chelminiak blew a considerable amount of caution to the wind and hinted at the growing pile of letters already sent to ST from the council.

Much of the dialogue between Mayor Davidson, Claudia Balducci, and Jennifer Robertson was how to properly word the letter.  Robertson wanted the letter to state that the “council, as a whole, supports B7″ when Balducci wanted to make clear that only a “majority of the council” supports B7, but not as a whole.  It’s also important to note that there was unanimity in dropping B7 modified from consideration, which will be noted in the letter.

The question on everyone’s mind was how things have changed since last year as to warrant amending the preferred alternative.  While Grant Degginer explicitly expressed his belief that nothing had changed except for the “political environment,” Kevin Wallace responded by saying that a significant number of things have changed and ranted about no one being proactive about modifying B7 to address its shortfalls.  One of these modifications suggested even included the possibility of eliminating any kind of B segment park and ride completely.

Conrad Lee made the most outlandish statement of the night.  While proclaiming himself as the biggest “transit system advocate,” he went on to say that “transit can be designed to support B7″ and that “freeways were built exactly for the purpose of transit.”  Garnering several eye-rolls and scoffs were not enough to deter him from continuing to say that light rail “should not run through congested neighborhoods,” which left many of us wondering what we’re doing at Capitol Hill if that’s the case.

The only consensus of the night was that no vote should be taken.  Instead, council staff were directed to draft the letter, which we expect could be up for further consideration next week.  At the end of the discussion, Balducci essentially summed up what everyone was thinking: “agreement will likely never be reached.”

Comments

  1. lazarus says

    Interesting. That is much less than I expected to happen. I fully expected the “new” council to bury their heads in the sand and blindly change their support to B7. It’s good to hear that B3 supporters are having an effect, and removing B7M from the mix will certainly help clarify the choices.

    However, ultimately it is the ST board that will make the decision and they will certainly follow the data as opposed to the whims of KF.

    This is relatively good news.

  2. Mike Skehan says

    This is beginning to look like an old rerun of the Keystone Kops movies. First B7M, and now a suggestion by Mayor Davidson that the trains can reverse direction after reaching SBPR, to continue the trip on B7: even to the point of using the Airport Stn as an example of how that works well.
    I’m not in love with parking lots as good candidates for a rail stop, as they can be built just about anywhere, and SBPR is only a good location because it’s already there and serving as a transfer point.
    Any more mixed smoke signals rising from the slough will only serve to send a message across the lake that the smoke you see has probably been used in other ways.

    • Ben Schiendelman says

      Uh, the Airport Station will continue south. That’s the end of the line right now.

      • Mike Skehan says

        You missed the point. Mayor Davidson rode Link to the airport, and watched the operator change ends. He used that as an example of how E Link could pull into SBRR, change ends, and continue on the B7 route across I-90.
        Never mind the extra two minutes that would cause in delay, plus I can’t think of another system that does that, but what the heck,
        Seattle is know as the “City of Transit Oddities”. Why not one more?

      • Ben Schiendelman says

        I didn’t miss the point. The mayor missed the point in not realizing that there weren’t any people waiting on the train while the operator changed ends.

    • says

      I’m more interested in SBPR as a transfer point and so is Sound Transit, I think. The plans they were shopping around at the South Bellevue workshop had a LOT of layover space. Given the configuration of the I-90 & I-405 crossroads, South Bellevue is about as good as you’re going to get for an inter modal transfer point. You’ve got a bike trail and 2 major freeways right there.

      The Park & Ride facilitates that since you’re bringing a lot of one mode, cars, to one spot. With Buses, bikes, cars, and rail meeting in one spot, I can’t imagine it won’t be a great success. The only problem will be mitigating increased traffic and any noise issues created by the trains there. Given the relatively remote location, it’s as good as a place as any.

      • Ben Schiendelman says

        Yes. The intention is to have many Issaquah and Renton buses terminate at South Bellevue.

  3. bill says

    I’m from nyc, but have been watching this whole debate with great interest. Sometimes the things your politicians say simply amaze me. What decade are they from???

    • lazarus says

      Well….this is Bellevue we are talking about here and they are essentially mirroring the views of Kemper Freeman who is fully engrossed in the 1950’s mindset of the auto being king and transit only being for the poor. His family became very wealthy through some rather ugly actions and he is not likely to back down from his believes – wrong as they are.

      • Adam B. Parast says

        Bellevue politicians come from pretty different backgrounds (in general older, monied, conservative, business) and most of those things don’t generally bode well for forward thinking transportation solutions. With that said Bill I’m very surprised about some stuff that happens in NYC like the constant emergencies that the MTA is in or the cities inability to institute a cordon toll, or at the very least tolls on the East River.

      • bill says

        i agree things are hardly perfect here..i’m no fan of the MTA/TWU/NYS axis of evil…suffice it to say various personal agendas (aka greed & corruption) takes precedence over civil service.

    • Mike Orr says

      Bellevue is postwar suburbia. It was rural until the 1960s. People who moved there in the 70s and 80s liked the automobile-oriented aspect of it, and still do. Seattle has a pre-car history but it also joined the stampede to automobilia, which has left it with some aspects of both. Which is why non-car people crowd into Capitol Hill and the U-district, but those same neighborhoods are also getting people who insist on more parking. Many of us transit fans would love to live in NYC next to a 24-hour subway, but are daunted by the high cost of living and humidity.

      Still, NYC perpexes us because we see contradictory things happen. On the one hand, it has the most comprehensive transit in the US, reaching into the surrounding states, and the majority walk or ride transit everywhere. On the other hand, it was one of the first cities to bring in urban freeways. And recently we’ve heard of some developments in the Bronx that are transit-hostile. I don’t remember the names, but a mall built next to a station with only an unpublicized sidewalk running through a parking garage between them, and another development with no transit nearby. We’re surprised that the most transit-friendly city in the US, and which many other places look to as a model, tolerates things like this. It sounds like something that belongs in Bellevue.

      • says

        ZOMG! A mall with only a sidewalk to the transit? And another development with no transit nearby? Well, uh, maybe in a city the size of New York, a few events like this won’t make as much difference as they would here.

  4. Jessica Clark says

    Thanks for going to the council meeting everyone (I’m in the hospital again, or I’d be there)

    • Ryan says

      Unfortunately, that’s all irrelevant because it’s been voted on and approved for Seattle and Bellevue. Now that light rail is a certainty, following Kemper’s argument about density, it should be close to as many people and businesses as possible. So in other words, it sounds like KF should be a supporter of the line with the highest ridership, which is B2/B3 and the at-grade option through downtown.

    • Martin H. Duke says

      Sam,

      Did Kemper Freeman contribute to the Transit Now campaign, which is building some BRT-lite?

      • reality based commute says

        No–Kemper gave money to the opposition. He really doesn’t like buses either. He only pretends to support buses to justify more roads.

    • BWill says

      Are you his PR guy or a relative? I recommend more first person.

      BRT and Bike lanes are in no way appropriate replacements for a strong light rail infrastructure. They are complementary. In the same way commuter rail should feed a strong light rail network, bike lanes can help feed and enlarge the light rail catchment area. Transit planning is all about using the right components in conjunction with each other.

  5. Ryan says

    I am glad to see that there was some reason at the meeting (dropping B7M) and that the clear divisions on the council are being highlighted. I’m also thankful that supporters of the B3 alignment were there and appeared to have an influence. Personall my top choice would be B1, followed closely by B2 (at-grade on 112th without the dogleg over to the freeway and back), but anything is better than a B7 freeway alignment.

    Although I’m temporarily out of the area, I may return someday, so I have an interest in a positive outcome for East Link’s routing through Bellevue.

    • Anc says

      I’m in the same boat, except I know I’ll be back. That’s one of the great benefits of the internet, you don’t have to physically stay in an area to still be part of it’s community or political discourse.

  6. says

    I attended last night’s Bellevue City Council study session. It’s the first time I’ve been to one of these, and I’d have to characterize it as largely dysfunctional. Here are a few observations to supplement Sherwin’s report.

    At the start it seemed like Mayor Don Davidson wanted to just jam a letter through without any true debate – and that it was a complete set-up. Davidson had worked with Jennifer Robertson and a city staffer to prepare a draft letter which I gather the 4-person majority endorsed, and then didn’t provide a copy to the 3 opposing councilmembers until 30 minutes before the meeting. Some staffer apologized saying he had gottent he letter on Friday but it got lost in his email.

    Grant Degginger provided a cogent summary of the factors that led the council to vote to recommend B3 a year ago, and said that there were no new facts that supported a change to that recommendation. John Chelminiak also provided his reasons for supporting B3.

    Claudia Balducci discouraged sending a letter at all, noting that Bellevue has been asking Sound Transit to do all kinds of extraneous work, and sending multiple letters – and I think trying to ask the question – what are you trying to achieve?

    I think Balducci has a very good point in asking that question. It seems to me that the most important issue for the Bellevue Council ought to be the downtown Bellevue alignment, and getting a good design and maybe some extra effort and resources from Sound Transit applied to that – and that Bellevue risks spending its political capital and credibility on a ridiculous skirmish about B3 vs. B7 and losing focus on the big issue of downtown Bellevue.

    I did not, however, feel that Balducci appeared to be a strong supporter of B3. Maybe she was just holding her cards close to her chest or she knew she wasn’t going to convince anyone – but she seemed more focused on the process to be followed with Sound Transit, rather than the alignment per-se.

    I was struck by the fact that none of the four councilmembers who support B7 (Kevin Wallace, Conrad Lee, Robertson, and Davidson) articulated any credible rationale for why B7 was better. I think Davidson went so far as to say, maybe there should be no stop between Mercer Island and downtown Bellevue. At best they asserted that some of the B7 shortfalls could be mitigated and a big P&R built at the Greenbaum site. There seem to be some assertions that crossing the Mercer Slough along I-90 and then following a portion of the BN ROW has less environmental impact than an alignment alongside Bellevue Way/112th, and all kinds of worry about a slough I hadn’t heard of before (Sturtevant? north of SE8, I believe) – though it seems like a B7 alignment would have an impact on that slough also. Davidson also rejected any prior environmental studies, and seemed to assert that because he’s a fisherman he will personally evaluate the impact on fish.

    The master of double-speak and non-sensical assertions had to be Conrad Lee. He gave a long and rambling speech about wanting to cooperate with Sound Transit and acknowledge Balducci’s concerns about a letter and being the biggest supporter of transit that there is and wanting to make the best possible design for transit and how freeways were built for transit and how transit can move and adapt. And therefore we should send a letter to Sound Transit telling them it must be B7. Much of what Lee said made no sense. If this session is put up on the Bellevue City TV website, it is worth watching his monologue just to see the non-sense he said. It has to be hard for even the councilmembers who agree with his view to listen to that. (Davidson even made a somewhat insulting joke about how he was glad that Lee couldn’t filibuster.)

    At the end of the day, I ask myself, what are these elected officials actually accomplishing? If their goal is to kill or delay East Link, does this debate on B7 vs. B3 help that, or are they just setting up for lawsuits? Are they trying to use up part of the BN ROW so it can’t be used for anything else? Do they think they are creating a negotiating chit with ST over downtown Bellevue? I think there would be far more effective ways to accomplish their goals with ST in Bellevue. Why are they wasting so much effort on what will ultimately be a pointless exercise? There’s not enough benefit to anyone to move the alignment from B3 to B7, and Sound Transit would be nuts to do it.

    • Adam B. Parast says

      Thanks Carl for everything you wrote.

      I think there is a lot going on here and I too am I bet confused. Since most of us don’t have a long background is Bellevue politics either we are missing something or something is seriously wrong with the Bellevue City Council. I have become concerned with the integrity and transparency of the bellevue city council over the past few weeks and the specifically the knowledge of Mayor Davidson.

      As you said I can’t tell if they just don’t know any better or are trying to pull a fast one. Either way they aren’t a friend of transit.

      • Matt the Engineer says

        Is there any chance a representative from STB could schedule a meeting with Mayor Davidson to either interview him or just have a frank closed-door discussion over issues? I know that’s a lot to ask for unpaid bloggers, but it sounds like Bellevue would benefit from him understanding light rail at a higher level.

      • Martin H. Duke says

        I don’t think he’d want to do that with people he probably considers “reporters”, if biased ones. As luck would have it, the Transportation Choices Coalition basically exists to do this kind of thing, and there are very few policy differences between us and them.

      • BWill says

        Based purely on what I’ve read. I think Balducci and the others might know that the council and Mayor are in over their heads to a certain extent or at least look silly. They are doing enough to keep B7 from gaining momentum and allowing the b7ers look like obstructionists with ulterior motives. Come ST board decision time they know the BCC will have been made to look foolish and the ST board can feel free to oppose any letters or “declarations of preference” the council makes with minimal public backlash. Or maybe this is jsut wishful thinking

      • Adam B. Parast says

        Sounds like a good reading of what could happen to me. I think Balducci know what she is doing.

      • says

        Ha ha, of course there’s something wrong with them! They’re mushheads! Sheesh, ya think because people in Bellevue have money they must be smart?

        Look, the thing that has you quivering with excitement about all the potential Bellevue riders is your belief that they will be average. They will be about as likely to ride as the average person. Their city government will be about as interested in bringing transit to their town as the average city government. And now you’re all shocked that some people in Bellevue are below average.

        But think about it. Somebody has to be below average. Only in Lake Woebegone can everybody be above average.

    • Brent says

      Ah, yes! I think you just hit the nail on the head. Kemper and Kevin may want us to think they want eastside commuter rail. However, by using the BNSF ROW for light rail, which they now seem to admit will happen one way or another, they may be precluding the use of that corridor for another rail line. Clever!

      Or maybe they are afraid it will become a popular hike-n-bike trail for the Birkenstock crowd.

      Openly suggesting that there be no stop between Mercer Island and Vision Station hovering just outside the far northeast corner of downtown Bellevue? Not so clever.

    • Mike Orr says

      Why not take them at their word that they don’t want trains running near existing homes or near Bellevue Square? This seems to account for their position, with no need to imagine other motives. (Leaving aside Wallace’s property interest.) We think low-density stations are detrimental to the trains; they think the trains themselves are detrimental. And they’ve clearly never thought about it from a transit rider’s perspective: where passengers would want the stations to be.

      As for the South Bellevue station, the only reason it’s there is because it’s a central transfer point. It would be nice to close it and return the land to the Slough, and that would also improve travel time between the population centers. But that would shut out riders from the east and south (not to mention Bellevue Way/Enatai riders), and there’s no alternative that addresses those. So it’s a necessary evil. (And maybe we can build Bellevue Slough Condos on the parking lot someday.)

      • alexjonlin says

        Yeah I wonder if it would ever be possible to develop the area around South Bellevue Station. Everyone around here is always ardently arguing for it but it’s really just a station in a parking lot surrounded by a low-density single-family neighborhood.

      • Mike Orr says

        I’ve looked and I don’t see where you could build. The P&R is surrounded by the slough, Winters House and the blueberry farm. Across Bellevue Way is a few houses on a steep hillside; it would be an inhospitable place for a larger development. South is I-90, and north is a long walk to the nearest businesses and apartments.

        Maybe we should treat it as a park gateway and call it Slough Station or Blueberry Station.

  7. Gary says

    I listened to Mayor Davidson on KUOW’s WeekDay last Friday. He seems totally confused on the entire subject of transit and light rail. He looked like a deer in the headlights last night.

    Since Davidson was essentially knighted by Kemper Freeman, it’s no wonder incompetency rules the day in Bellevue.

    If I paid taxes over there, I would expect A LOT MORE from my elected leaders. No offense, dentists, but I think I now know why the dentist-legislator is such a rare bird.

    • Adam B. Parast says

      Completely agree. See comment above. The Bellevue City council seams completely inept and unable to effectively govern on a very basic level which is actually pretty scary. One thing I have learned is that luckily department heads and city employees usually have a much better understanding of the issues than elected officials. In this circumstance it seams the majority of the council has dismissed this expertise because it doesn’t fit into their political agenda.

      • justin says

        Adam I think the Bellevue City council knows quite a bit about light rail, they have been studying it for years and even went on a trip around to visit other systems.

        The problem is that now 4 members of the council care more about Surrey Downs’s wrath then anything else. Don’t forgot that without a strong Surrey vote they would not have even been elected.

        Personally I think they all know B3 is going forward, they are just trying to appease voters so they can say they tried, but big bad ST didn’t listen.

      • says

        The councilmembers who spoke yesterday did not demonstrate any significant knowledge of light rail. Both Davidson and Robertson said that if the S. Bellevue P&R needs to be served, it should be done with a stub-end terminal, and the trains should reverse there and head back to I-90 to go over to Bellevue. Davidson tried to demonstrate his deep knowledge by saying he’d been to the Seatac Link station, and that’s how it is done there. That would have to add at least 5 minutes to the trip time, to allow for the operator to change ends and the increased distance traveled – or add to operating costs if operators switched.

        As to the impact on Surrey Downs, if I were them, I’d be supporting the C11A alignment which gives them their own convenient station and will raise their property values.

  8. Derek says

    Tangentially related to this topic, but I find it ironic that they can say more money should for bike paths while also considering a large P&R ride next to what’s the closest thing Bellevue has to a bike path that leaves downtown area.

    This whole thing is ridiculously frustrating.

    • Phil Miller says

      If bicycling is going to be complementary to transit of any sort, I would think the ability to access transit centers using well-designed bicycle facilities to hardly be ironic. Obligatory, yes – ironic, no.

      That said, I’m thrilled that Kemper is promoting bicycling these days. Let’s be sure to hold him to that lofty committment, OK?

      • says

        Where is Kemper promoting cycling? Not at Bellevue Square, I assure you. There are no bike racks to be found there, except possibly one or two on Bellevue Way that was installed by the city. Kemper has done an excellent job of making cyclists feel unwelcome so why should I frequent his establishment? (That said, maybe I should just lock my bike to one of the staircases and see if security gives me any crap. I do need to take some dead laptop batteries back to the Apple store)

        Ironically, the QFC and Bartells across the street at Bellevue Village has had a Cora bike rack (my favorite) right in front for years. I use that rack quite a bit since they’ve made it so easy and safe.

      • justin says

        Velo there are a few bike racks around, just hidden and not well used. One I can think of is by the interior entrance to the mall by the McDonalds. There are a few in front of other Kemper properties but those ones are probably city funded…

      • says

        Looks like I have to eat my words on this one. There are 5 racks, 3 of which are my favorite – the Cora racks. Two appear to be city racks on the sidewalk but 3 are most definitely on KDI property and appear to be quite old (a few rust spots and obvious repainting over the years).

        I’ll stand by my earlier statement that Kemper doesn’t promote cycling since he’s had decades to work with the city to link the mall to bike paths – If he’s actually done anything to try and get the city to get bikes safely in and out of the downtown corridor somebody let me know and I’ll happily send him a thank you letter.

        For now, I’ll start riding my bike to Bellevue Square on the rare occasions that I actually go there.

      • says

        Actions speak louder than words. If Kemper *really* believed bikes were part of the solution, he would do things like:

        . Have employee bike cages, showers, and lockers

        . Lavish workers with bike to work incentives and transit passes (and charge for parking instead of providing shuttle buses)

        . Put a bike rack at *every* door, prominently displayed and preferably under cover. These racks would be for customers.

        . Work with the city to create a bike/pedestrian friendly boulevard on the NE 4th side of the mall facing the Bellevue park

        . Remodel to add cafes, coffee shops, and other pedestrian friendly businesses on that side of the mall

        . Bring in a combination spa / shower business. Think about it: Bike across the lake, take a shower, get a massage, have lunch, go shopping, and then turn around and head back home on your bike.

        . Offer delivery for items you can’t carry home on your bike – or a holding service if you want to come back later with your car.

        . He missed an opportunity to create a whole bike themed chunk of the mall by not inviting Gregg’s of Bellevue to be an anchor tenant surrounded by all of this bike friendly goodness I’m describing

        There are plenty of people out there that buy $2000-$5000 bikes that would happily drop some real cash on businesses tailored to a cyclist. I’m not saying it’s huge, but given the inexpensive nature of cycling infrastructure, surely somebody as smart as Kemper could make room for stuff like this – if he actually thought bicycles were a meaningful form of transportation.

      • alexjonlin says

        I tried biking around Downtown Bellevue a little while ago. It totally sucked, everyone was honking at me, and I definitely didn’t feel welcome. I guess I could’ve just biked on the sidewalk, nobody walks in Downtown Bellevue anyways…

      • says

        Maybe you’re looking at honking wrong. Maybe drivers in Bellevue are just more safety-conscious, giving bicyclists a quick honk before they pass to make riders aware they’ll be passing on the left.

      • says

        If that’s truly what they are doing then they need to stop. I know you are there, just concentrate on your driving and give at least 3 feet when you pass and we’ll all be fine. FYI: There is information that will be added to driver’s education materials that specifically tells drivers NOT to do this.

        Horns are legally only to be used in an emergency situation. Technically, you can get a ticket for tapping your horn to let a distracted driver know that the light has changed to green…

      • Martin H. Duke says

        If so, you should let your link operator colleagues know. They love to use that horn anytime someone’s sitting in the turning lane.

      • says

        I doubt thier horn regulations are the same since they are on rails. That said, I also doubt they are supposed to use it as a substitute for opening the window and yelling “Get the hell out of my way!” But I’m just guessing since I only drive rubber wheeled vehicles. (And Kevlar, if you count my bike)

      • Derek says

        Yes, please don’t honk your horn when you drive by. I’ll ride straight and if you’re a driver do the same and respect, my (the bikers) space.

        And riding through Bellevue is a chore. I have found a couple of half-way decent routes but it really feels like a battle with the cars. That said, even on those routes, say 108th south from the transit center to I-90, where there is little traffic, invariably there will be a commuter(s) in a hurry who pass too close, only to be met at the next light.

        Like your ideas too Velo.

      • Nathanael says

        Horns are for notifying people on the other side of *blind curves* that you are coming.

        Nobody seems to know this. Nobody.

        If you go up one of those twisty one-lane mountain switchbacks hugging the cliffside, please blow your horn before going around each blind curve; it will make everyone much safer.

        Most of the rest of the time, don’t use your horn at all. It’s meant to notify people of your presence *when they can’t see you*.

      • Derek says

        Phil,

        I hadn’t thought about it like this. My perspective comes from trying to escape from the area just north of downtown Bellevue to the I-90 bike path, using the bike as my only means of transportation. This route (116th) is my current favorite for getting through town. I’m just picturing having a bike path intermingling with an area where car and bus traffic would substantially increase. But I guess the reality would be more than adding a building to the existing layout.

        To me it’s one thing to ride through the downtown Bellevue transit center area as cars are going slow and there are not that many busses. It’s a completely different situation trying to ride through an area that could function as a major freeway fueled, park and ride lot.

  9. Bellevue Soccer Dad says

    Sherwin, are you a reporter or an advocate? You both report and make comments to the City Council trying to influence the outcome. That’s not being a reporter, so please stop referring to yourself as a reporter.

    • Martin H. Duke says

      You can use whatever definitions you like (and Sherwin didn’t refer to himself as anything above), but Sherwin is providing a valuable service by sharing what went on at the meeting. If you don’t think that’s useful because he attaches opinion and analysis you don’t like, you’re welcome to get your news somewhere else.

    • Michael H says

      I keep looking for where Sherwin calls himself a reporter. Still haven’t found it. Was that straw man invented out of whole cloth?

    • Eastside Leftist says

      I always assumed that Sherwin was a blogger, since this is a blog. I didn’t realize that there was supposed to be a separation between blogging and citizen advocacy. In fact, most of the time they seem to go hand-in-hand and is a great demonstration of how the internet facilitates citizen level democracy.

    • Sherwin Lee says

      Bellevue Soccer Dad,

      I, too, would like to know when I have ever referred to myself as a “reporter.” If you visit our “About Us” page, you will see that we stand behind certain principles, which we can freely advocate in this blog. This is irrelevant and separate to my testimony Monday night where my comments were made on behalf of my own beliefs as an individual and Bellevue resident.

    • Nathanael says

      Reporters don’t need to be “objective”; that’s a myth dating from the late-19th/early-20th century US when newspaper monopolies arrived (it was the “really it’s OK to have a monopoly” excuse the newspaper magnates used in order to avoid having their monopolies broken up).

      Look at 18th century newspaper, or modern British newspapers. The reporters have very clear opinions. They give their opinions, and they give the facts, and they distinguish them, and it’s just fine.

      Sherwin is a reporter just like the reporters for the Guardian and the Financial Times are. His opinion and advocacy is perfectly appropriate as long as he doesn’t try to hide it.

  10. justin says

    props to Claudia who spoke up about how all they talk about is mitigation and impacts and not about what is best for transit users! Abandoning the south belleuve park and ride would be a huge fail for transit users…

  11. J.R. says

    @Sam: I think your explanation of Kemper Freeman’s motives is a little incomplete. In his City Club debate against County Councilmember (now KC Exec.) Dow Constantine during the Sound Transit 2 campaign, Freeman was up front about his transportation solution–a massive roadway expansion. Freeman said that the region is 30 years behind on necessary highway building and that he stepped down from his seat in the state Legislature because his colleagues insisted on funding transit rather than new highways. Kemper’s major new roadway proposal is Interstate 605, a new interstate through the Snoqualmie Valley to allow through traffic to bypass Seattle. Yes, Kemper would let buses drive on his new freeways, but to call him pro-transit would be a stretch.

    • 47hasbegun says

      I-605 is not new. One person or another has been been pushing for it since the 1960s.

      • Anc says

        Would it be possible to trade I5 through Seattle for 605?

        Just make 405 the new I5. ;)

    • Mike Orr says

      Well, there have been two 605 proposals. One through the Snoqualmie Valley, and the other in Eastern Washington for the Canada-California truck traffic.

  12. Joan Devraun says

    Posts on cycling:

    Would you like to promote cycling, and stick it to Kemper Freeman and Kevin Wallace? Go to this bicycle advocacy site http://www.eastsidetrailadvocates.org/ > Action Center > Action Template Petition. Fill in your information, and submit the petition to all the organizations (just click the boxes).

    Secondly, open Facebook > enter Eastside Trail Advocates in the Search box > click Become a Fan. Alternatively, this direct link may work for you: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Eastside-Trail-Advocates/295175686353?ref=search&sid=702961611.211040075..

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