The Bellevue Reporter released details this morning on Kevin Wallace’s proposed alignment of East Link— what he dubs the ‘Vision Line.’ The proposal essentially calls for the use of the BNSF corridor (B7 alternative), which would bypass the South Bellevue Park and Ride, and an alignment along 114th Ave NE through downtown before crossing I-405. This alternative would run right along the freeway and is furthest from the downtown core than any of the other DEIS alternatives. To address the distance factor, the plan calls for a covered walkway that leads to the Bellevue Transit Center. Wallace has stated before that he believes a surface alignment would be too disruptive and a tunnel would be too costly.
From the Bellevue Reporter:
The Vision Line aims to protect residential homes and downtown businesses. But it adds another option to a growing list of alternatives for Sound Transit’s East Link light rail project.
Wallace is asking that Sound Transit consider his plan as part of the East Link environmental-review process.
Arup, the San-Francisco based consulting firm that undertook the study, has full details of its Phase A study here. One important thing to remember is that this first phase of the plan has not taken ridership into account, an integral factor into making East Link cost-effective. However, Wallace believes that the ridership will be comparable with the other alternatives while still bringing down the costs of the Bellevue alignment. We’ll have a follow-up soon with these concerns and questions addressed directly by Wallace.