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.