There’s no doubt that the debate revolving around East Link has yielded a number of lies. Most are complete nonsense, but there are few that can spread dangerous misinformation. I want to direct your attention to a letter from Bill Hirt, an anti-Link critic who has had a compulsive passion for writing an extraordinary amount of letters to local papers. From the Seattle Times:
The Council majority could simply refuse to grant those permits, stopping the light rail in its “tracks.” Stopping East Link would undoubtedly please Bellevue residents, the majority of whom voted against its funding in 2008.
More below the jump.
The portions in bold are what I believe to be blatant lies. To address the first lie, I should point out RCW 36.70A.200 under Washington State Law, which stipulates the following:
No local comprehensive plan or development regulation may preclude the siting of essential public facilities.
The section specifically mentions a “development regulation” meaning to include the issuing of municipal permits, coincidentally the ones that Bill Hirt believes that the City of Bellevue can withhold. Furthermore, said “essential public facilities” include regional transportation systems that can be defined by a number of things, of which “high capacity transportation systems” are a part of under RCW 47.06.140.
If you’re still unconvinced, consider RCW 81.104.015, where the State defines “high capacity transportation systems” as including “rail fixed guideway systems” that are hereby defined as a “light, heavy, or rapid rail system.” Last I checked, Link Light Rail fits the bill perfectly.
Second, I want to direct your attention to this chloropleth heat map (PDF) that contains the Prop. 1 election results from 2008 by precinct. If you can’t tell, all of the Bellevue precincts that lie along the East Link route approved ST2 with a majority vote but for two that happen to contain Surrey Downs, the epicenter of the pro-B7 (now anti-East Link) movement. Oh, and the 41st & 418th legislative districts like light rail too (PDF).
I rest my case.