Representatives from various Eastside city governments were on hand Wednesday night for a “transportation town hall” at Bellevue City Hall. I had thought it would be focused on Metro cuts, and, indeed, the Transit Riders Union was out in force. However it turned out to be a broader effort, designed to drum up support for the various transportation bills floating around in Olympia. I didn’t stay for the whole thing, since it seemed to consist of softball questions about the need for more revenue.
Fred Jarrett (King County), Jane Hague (King County), Rod Dembowski (King County), Don Gerend (Sammamish), Jennifer Robertson (Bellevue), David Baker (Kenmore) and Bruce Basett (Mercer Island) were on the panel, and several other elected officials were in the audience as well.
All panelists supported a local option for Metro funding. Big props to Hague and Dembowski for keeping the focus on buses. Cheers to Jarrett and Baker for emphasizing the importance of road maintenance. Jeers to Robertson for pushing I-405 expansion.
I wish there’d been more of a dialogue about the tradeoffs between highway expansion and the maintenance backlog. If we’re closing one bridge per year in King County, as Jarrett claimed, should we really be adding lane-miles to I-405? Sadly, the question went unanswered. Or at least no one answered it before I had to leave to catch my bus.
I did, however, get to see some renderings of the new and improved Downtown Bothell, which includes some pretty fantastic pedestrian-oriented redevelopment projects.
Were you there? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!