We reported this morning on a report covering new light rail options for East Link’s downtown Bellevue alignment and later showed that a 405 station is less accessible than other alternatives. We’ve editorialized in the past that Sound Transit should put the downtown Bellevue light rail stations in the right place, with that place not next to a freeway. Readers should know by now that we’re no fans of a 405 station.
Neither is Dan Bertolet, the former HugeAssCity blogger who now posts at Publicola. Last Friday, he provided some data about the development potential of a station build next to 405 versus one that serves Bellevue Transit Center. Some arguing for a 405 station have incredulously claimed that a stop along the highway would have more transit-oriented development (TOD) potential, but according to Bertolet’s data, there’s much more developable land near the transit center. That land has the potential to hold many more jobs and residents:
Most of us know what greenwashing is; it’s when an otherwise terrible thing for the environment is promoted as green — such as advertisements in the bus tunnel proudly proclaiming that a local car dealership is carbon neutral. We’re seeing that cynical mindset spread to a new area in the Seattle region as transit options become more politically popular. Now we have transitwashing. Promoting ideas that seriously, adversely damage public transit’s usefulness being sold as something transit-friendly.
Claiming a freeway stop has development potential because there are a bunch of low-density lots across a large interstate is transitwashing, and Bertolet proves it.