Yesterday’s Downtown Bellevue open house for the new C-segment alternatives was rather uneventful, to say the least.  As expected, the meeting was very similar to the first downtown open house last November, when public comment was being taken for the original DEIS alternatives.  The Surrey Downs East Link Committee was out in full force handing out yellow literature asking for attendees to support B7 and C14E, two alignments we believe are simply the wrong way for East Link to go.  As an incentive, they also handed out lollipops along with the flyers.  Among the rest of the attendees, I recognized a few folks there as those who attended our meet-up last Thursday.

Katie Kuciemba, community outreach specialist for East Link, informed me that this time around, instead of allowing attendees to draw on the map plots, ST would be taking more general comments in lieu of people lamenting their individual qualms about the alignments.  The overall mood of the open house was much tamer in comparison to last November’s, as there seemed to be a more balanced showing of supporters for each alternative.  Below are some brief highlights of the evening presentation, much of which is old news:

  • With ST’s revenue forecast down 20% due to the recession, Don Billen quickly highlighted the appeal in the lowered costs of the downtown segments linked by an alternative B2A/112th Ave NE connector.
  • The downside to C14E’s restricted walking access was glaring, as Bernard Van de Kamp, Bellevue Regional Projects Manager, highlighted the Hospital Station’s more northernly placement, and its subsequent failure to effectively serve auto-row, an area that has been by marked as an ‘prime’ TOD zone by C14E supporters.
  • Van de Kamp also referred to the downtown ‘wedding cake’ node in saying that C14E was “not as good as the other alternatives” in serving the central core.
  • None of the questions explicitly criticized any single alignment, but were mostly logistical and objective queries.

Next Monday evening, the council is scheduled to hear public comments on the downtown segment.  We’ll have more as soon as an exact time is scheduled.

12 Replies to “Very Brief Recap of Downtown Bellevue Open House”

  1. Getting involved in the local politics of someone else’s neighborhood is always tricky, especially in a good cause. I think the idea of running EastLINK through the wetland and along I-405 is a very bad way to route a transit system- which really is someting of mine.

    But I would automatically resent people from Surrey Downs appearing at meetings to direct a future Sound Transit line through Ballard. Of course, people from the farthest reaches of the globe glut the media and the blogosphere with reasons they’re glad they don’t live in Seattle- as if I cared where they live or why.

    If local political non-interference were pursued to its logical extreme, there would have been no Freedom Rides- also no liberation of slaves by Union forces. Not to put the Simon Legree in the same category as Kevin Wallace. The former was proud of his rundown property, just so he got to beat his slaves to make them run it.

    We don’t live in the US of the 1950’s, let alone the ante-Bellum south. Or the Puget Sound Region of the 1970’s. Next week I could have to work in Bellevue, and someone from Bellevue could get a good job in Ballard. Next year both of us could have clients in Federal Way and Everett.

    The reason we passed Sound Transit was precisely so everybody in the region could have the freedom to travel everywhere else- without having to take a ton and a half of pollutionary car along with us. It’s important to all of us that the system runs its most efficient alignment everywhere.

    So the question is how to assist the Bellevue voters who don’t like the bad alignments in turning Bellevue politics in the direction of a good alignment? Comments from Bellevue welcome.

    Mark Dublin

    1. From my perspective as a long-time resident of the Eastside, STB needs to keep the facts about the different Eastside alignments coming. Sadly, the Seattle media tends to focus on Seattle issues so getting really good information about what’s going on over here can be difficult. The Bellevue Reporter has had a couple of articles, but none that really give any detailed information.

      I’d also ask folks to keep the snarky anti-Bellevue / Eastside comments to themselves. Just because a small, vocal, and politically connected group of folks is fighting alignments that would serve the downtown Bellevue core, doesn’t mean we are all lined up behind Kemper. Bringing up potential conflicts of interest is fine but slinging mud at individuals or the entire population of Bellevue is pointless and just paints STB followers as a fringe element.

      I’ve lived on both sides of the water – both sides have their strengths and weaknesses. I’d move back to Seattle in a heartbeat – if only my wife would let me :)

      On the conflict of interest item: Does anybody have a map of Kevin Wallace’s properties? Biking home from work this morning I couldn’t help but notice that one of Mr. Wallace’s buildings at NE 12th & 116th would be better served by the Vision line. The Hospital station under that alignment is pushed about a block closer than in other options. If there were a general pattern of better service to Wallace properties under the Vision line, that would be an interesting fact to know.

      1. OK, stop somewhere in the Bellevue Post Office area and be done with it. Then on to Redmond where they WANT Rail transit and GET what is happening to the world!

      2. The only part of the Redmond alignment that uses existing street ROW is a very short section by Overlake Plaza. The rest follows the freeway or will be on BNSF ROW. Do the same through Bellevue and the City would be on board too.

  2. Not sure if this was mentioned but at the last study session for Bellevue’s city council, Don said that he did NOT want B7 to cross where the potential maps noted, but instead launched into how the south bellevue park and ride could be moved south and the crossing of the slough should be closer to I90.

    They talked about doing that last year but was deemed far too expensive and not practical with the wetlands south of there. It sure looks like yet another attempt to slow this process down with ‘studies’ they know will not work.

  3. The idea of moving forward with B7 and skipping the So. Bellevue P&R is a terrible idea. That will not only reduce ridership and ignore existing infrastructure but also load our roads with more cars that will have to drive into town to access rail.

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