Tonight will play host to a very important meeting, when the Bellevue city council is expected to make its pick for the B segment. We’ve repeated again and again that the reconsideration of its preferred alternative of B3 modified made last year will possibly change to B7. We’ve also endorsed the B3S alignment over B7/BNSF, an alternative we feel the city has no business changing its mind about, simply because a few council seats changed.
For anyone (South Bellevue residents in particular!) who is available tonight from 6-10pm, we’d urge you to attend this meeting. Comments will be at the held at the beginning of the extended study session, so if you want to speak up, tardiness will not be in your favor. The meeting will be held at Bellevue City Hall in the Council Conference Room.
For those speaking out in favor of B3, I have a list of talking points that has been graciously forwarded to us from TCC:
- Bellevue City council has already picked a preferred alternative – B3. This decision was made a year ago and no new ridership or environmental data has emerged since then that requires a reconsideration of this alternative. Tax dollars have already been spent to study this alternative and move forward with planning. In this tough economic environment, it is wasteful for the council to continue to spend tax dollars despite a decision being reached. Planning decisions should not be politically motivated. They should be based on sound planning and evaluation criteria as well as public benefit. The city’s long term interests and viability should be the top priority.
- Light rail is being built to serve the neighborhoods of Bellevue. It is an asset to our community and will give residents new transportation options. Light rail should serve the most number of transit users and the B3 alignment accomplishes that purpose.
- The South Bellevue Park and Ride is an important transit node and failing to serve this node is a disservice to the residents of Bellevue. The expanded park and ride would accommodate 1475 spaces – a tripling of current capacity. A park and ride at 118thwould accommodate 1000 spaces. How are we going to handle the loss of capacity? Will the additional drivers be forced to drive and further clog up our highways?
- A significant proportion riders at the South Bellevue Park and Ride use the 550 bus service (Sound Transit’s best performing transit service) to downtown Seattle to commute. How will these riders be served if light rail is relocated to the BNSF corridor? Plans for the 550 service to be eliminated once light rail becomes operational will leave these transit riders stranded.