In my recap of the 112th Avenue East Link options, I mentioned that Option 4 would likely gain the most traction among South Bellevue residents.  What I didn’t mention is that it could brew an internal conflict among the pro-B7 faction.  While the Bellevue Club and Surrey Downs has been nearly unanimous in their call to push Link far far away to I-405, the two could probably not disagree more on a 112th Ave option.

The Bellevue Club, which I said would likely lose a few tennis courts and street-side landscaping, has been pushing for Option 2, a west-side running option which would ironically displace 46 residences, most, if not all, from Surrey Downs.  While the club is still fervent in promoting B7, we know that ST has no interest in advancing that option.

Surrey Downs, on the other hand, campaigned on the whole premise that they would not have their residences impacted, much less torn down for silly screeching trains.  Outside of their support for B7, they have clung tight to Option 4, which would burrow a retained cut on the east-side of 112th.

In a letter to their members, the Bellevue Club’s rationale:

The impacts of the center and eastern alignments cannot be mitigated and permanently affect the use of the Club. Commencing with a construction period estimated beyond two years, excavation of 22,000 SF of green belt 635 feet long removes the west side of the property. The character of the our garden setting is blighted beginning with the removal of thirty year old pines on 112th Ave SE. More troubling is the loss of outdoor recreation areas, four tennis courts, pool decks, garden decks, water elements and patios all positioned most favorably on the west side of our property.

…The western alignment as it passes Surrey Downs would impact only two homes which is less than 1% of that neighborhood. As to the Carriage Place Condominiums north of Surrey Downs, from discussions we have had we feel, if appropriately compensated, would welcome selling…

Outdoor recreation areas, patios, and more…all worth the displacement of 46 homes (not just two, as the letter states)!  Considering the general apathy about the displacements coming from this letter, it seems unfair that Sound Transit should be the only scapegoat here.

30 Replies to “An Interesting Dilemma”

  1. Of the two options they’re fighting over, I’d rather see the recreation areas taken out. It’s easy enough to find new places for fun when you have a car as the Bellevue Club members are likely to have. Moving to a new residence is quite a bit more trouble.

    1. I think they should have a choice between polo mallets or golf clubs, and meet on the tennis courts at high noon. It’s the only fair way of deciding this.

  2. It’s unfortunate that Link opened “On-Time” against internal opposition to fix wheel squeal and track mis-alignment that causes trucks to hunt for the center of the rails. The bad publicity is one of the reasons the 112th crowd is fighting East Link alignments with such fervor.
    NIMBY-NODE = Not in my backyard – Not of Dare Either

    1. crap! It’s not funny anymore when you have to correct typos on line. “Not over Dare Either.

      1. I believe the terms you are looking for are: NIABY (Not In Anyone’s Backyard) or
        BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone)

      2. Then read it over before submitting. /irrational-irritation (Though this site really needs an edit button, even if only briefly. Also, is it just my propensity to have a lot of tabs open, or is this site really prone to have lag in the text boxes when typing?)

    2. I go either way on this, but I think it was important for ST to open “on-time” after the fiasco that preceeded Joni Earl. This group is going to loudly complain and complain, but their neighborhood is going to change and there’s very little they’re going to be able to do about it other than exercise their first amendment rights.

      1. If it were a matter of a couple of weeks or even a couple of months then maybe. But they’ve been fiddling with it for almost a year and it’s still not fixed. Leaving it idle all that time would have been crazy and “giving up” after a couple of months would have looked worse than acting surprised that there was an issue to begin with.

  3. The sad thing about the Bellevue Club’s opposition is this: Those tennis courts have never been particularly appealing, given their proximity to 112th. In my semi-privileged youth, my family held a membership at the Bellevue club – I always chose to play tennis inside rather than outside, because of the road noise and grit from the roadway. They have also recently remodeled and removed one tennis court to expand their building. If they really want a nice outdoor tennis court, they may want to consider reclaiming some of that parking lot space. It’s not like parking garages in the area aren’t pretty common.

  4. Wait…the west side of the street is 46 residences…but they’re mini-condo developments fronting 112th, not Surrey Downs houses.

    East makes more sense, but I don’t understand how the west alignment would effect Surrey Downs aside from higher noise levels.

    1. According to the linked document, 5 single-family homes would be displaced.

    2. I would presume that those multi-family residences are just a part of Surrey Downs as the single-family homes.

  5. The class warfare you breed is embarrassing.

    Recent renderings by Sound Transit of Option 3/4 provide a “park like” tunnel entrance at 2nd that is far from actual scale… and misrepresent the apartments, businesses and condos that will be destroyed or otherwise impaired for the sake of a 1 block tunnel and underground station.

    1. Then build the surface route along Main – 108th – 6th St, which allows stops at Main/108th and at the BTC.

      The most effective route wouldn’t go along 112th at all, it would follow Bellevue Way all the way to Main St, allowing a stop near Main/Bellevue Way to serve Bellevue High and the southwest corner of downtown Bellevue, and then a stop at the BTC. But Bellevue refused to allow that route to be considered.

  6. Divide em up and conquer them, that would downsize the opposition.

    1. Sam,

      What groups of potential light rail riders would you like to see East Link serve in Bellevue?

  7. Waking up to a fresh cup of coffee, and pondering the days catch of transportation related opinions on a myriad of subjects here at STB, as I prepare for a trip to Tukwila for All Aboard WA’s monthly meeting, prompts me to think “Big Picture” – always an enjoyable exercise to start ones day.
    Just as I couldn’t interest anyone in thinking long range about true High Speed Rail from Seattle to Portland, (we’re currently stuck in incremental higher-speed rail land, which just gets us back to some fast steam train days) it seems like East Link is stuck in just planting the flag at Redmond, and calling it good. When ST was proposing the 509 routing to SeaTac without considering the long term needs to branch into the Green River Valley, or serve South Center, I protested.
    Likewise, as ST proposes the 112th routing into Bellevue, I raise the question again.
    How will Factoria and future growth out I-90 be accommodated? Where’s the merge? What’s the plan?
    How will the BNSF Eastside corridor connect, if at all, to East Link?
    If the answer is ‘we don’t know, or it’s not important at this stage’, then I fear the trap is set. Maybe all this teeth gnashing over B2 and B7 is warranted!

    1. I think you can later add a junction at I-90 which can allow for a branch which serves Factoria – Eastgate – Issaquah. Travel to Bellevue/Redmond might require a transfer at Mercer Island, or if they determined there was sufficient demand, a full Y could be built. The Y would be much more relevant if there were eventual plans for light rail on the new 520 bridge. I don’t see that the BNSF Eastside corridor is all that relevant near the I-90 connection, and if eventually it were to be used to the south, I think you’d build south from the S. Bellevue P&R to hook up to the corridor. I don’t think you’d use the corridor fragment from I-90 to NE8th St because it misses the major destination. The northern portion of the corridor could be used in part if there is a northbound branch from Bellevue – Totem Lake – Woodinville, although it also misses some key destinations, esp. downtown Kirkland and existing P&Rs at Houghton and Kingsgate.

      I think the bigger travesty is that we are about to spend $4 billion on a new 520 bridge with little or no thought about how that new infrastructure might support light rail at either end, and with totally inadequate bus transit routings and infrastructure at the Montlake end.

      1. Agreed. $4 Bil. for 520, $4 Bil. for AWV/DBT, a couple a Bil for E.Link and maybe $10 Bil. for the new/new/ I-405 redo, and none of that is very well coordinated into a long range plan.

      2. Mike,

        If you were God Emperor of Puget Sound, where would you place East Link and its stations?

        Same question for the bullet train.

      3. Most likely the segment serving Eastgate and Issaquah will turn North to Bellevue and Redmond rather than crossing I-90. Both the bridge and the DSTT have capacity issues that will limit headways. The transfer point will likely be S. Bellevue P&R (if B2M is chosen) or Wilburton (if B7 is chosen).

        If Link is extended North to Kirkland, Totem Lake, etc. Some of the BNSF ROW will likely get re-used but I suspect Link will leave the BNSF ROW to serve major destinations like downtown Kirkland, I also expect Link will continue North along I-405 from Totem Lake rather than head to Woodinville.

      4. What capacity issues are there on the bridge? The actual capacity issues in the tunnel apply to tracks heading north, not south. It’s conceivable, depending on what the final frequencies are, that you could fit in Issaquah trains coming out of the DSTT.

      5. I believe one of the studies on running Link across the I-90 bridge said there shouldn’t be more than one train on the bridge at a time. This by itself will limit headways.

        The issue with the DSTT is there is a maximum number of trains per hour the line will accommodate in each direction between IDS and Northgate (or Lynnwood for that matter). I assume Central link will need at least 50% of the trips of the interlined portion. This means 50% of the trips are available for trips across I-90 or 25% each for Issaquah and Redmond. With 3 minute headways on U Link that translates to 6 minute headways on Central Link and 12 minute headways to Bellevue/Redmond or Issaquah. This is getting a bit long for a high-capacity line, especially at peak.

        While I realize it was purely conceptual, the studies Sound Transit did for Eastside HCT service all assumed the ‘main’ line would run from Seattle to Redmond via Bellevue. The Issaquah and Eastgate service was shown as running to Redmond via Bellevue rather than into Downtown Seattle.

  8. It’s too bad we can’t just bypass the fabricated area lines and redirect the East Link money into finishing South Link to Tacoma first.

  9. If you talk to the 46 residents affected on 112th, I’ve heard they are amenable to being bought out! Do you really think they don’t get that their property values will drop and they will have a train outside their front door? The West-side alignment is the best.

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