Earlier today, Sherwin pointed out that a noted letter-to-the-editor author who fumes about East Link has blatantly lied in his letters. Among other claims, Mr. Hirt said that the “majority of” Bellevue residents “voted against” funding East Link. Sherwin pointed out that the districts that encompass Bellevue overwhelmingly supported light rail, and showed a graphic depicting the wide majority of precincts in Bellevue supporting Sound Transit 2.

Still, some commenters wanted exact numbers for Bellevue’s support. We’re here to serve: according to the 2008 precinct numbers provided by King County, 56% (28,901) of those who voted on ST2 in Bellevue moved to approve the package that included East Link, while just 44% (22,887) voted to reject it. 5,205 voters in Bellevue were happy with others making the choice for them, and chose not to vote one way or the other on ST2.

And there’s your data-driven fact check that the Seattle Times and the Bellevue Reporter were unwilling to do before publishing Mr. Hirt’s letters.

25 Replies to “Follow-Up: Bellevue Overwhelmingly Supported East Link”

  1. The Seattle Transit Blog as a body should send a letter telling showing this information to the Seattle Times.

    1. I would second that!

      It would also be tempting to mention to the editors that even editorials or opinion pieces need to be fact-checked.

      1. I concur wholeheartedly. There is no agenda here, merely objective, incontrovertible proof that the letter contains falsehoods.

  2. I guess Mr. Hirt is one of the “majority of Bellevue residents” that use deceitful tactics to stop the progress of society :(

      1. And if it is? You can try to define and scare people by labeling it but progress is progress. It’s what humans require.

      2. How did that work out for the Native Americans? Yeah, I know, sprawl every where. Not a damn city anywhere. Probably would have died off in a score of millennium or so if Europeans hadn’t introduced progress; it’s what humans require. Interesting, when I see calculated the “carbon footprint” it seems to look solely at personal transportation and not at the cost of trucking in food and hauling out garbage. Let alone the construction impacts. Kind of a hoot, sustainable living “city style”. Does anyone really think Manhattan can generate it’s own solar energy and feed it’s self with roof top gardens?

      3. Does anyone think someone living on their own little farm off in Enumclaw can provide themselves with everything they need? No, they need things from all over the world in this global economy, and so distributing things to people spread out across large areas is far less efficient than shipping large amounts of things to concentrated population centers, and I think it definitely offsets the benefits for people who grow some of their own vegetables and eggs.

      4. This is accomplished very, very efficiently by the transformation of retail to warehousing.

        So, yes, you can use trucks and trains and boats for the long haul, but instead of inefficiently cramming goods into crowded cities, you let people use their vehicles to drive to the warehouse and load and carry it themselves!

        It’s extremely efficient all around and lets people have low density lifestyle and access to cheap high quality goods. This is just one of the things that have made the city obsolete. There can be multiple “centers” that a person can optimally drive to, rather than a the 19th century hub and spoke single file rail type systems that are stupidly being promoted as an alternative! It’s so impossibly absurd to think that any type of public train can compete with the standard model of living being used in communities around the USA for the last 20 years, that one wonders if Seattlites have been sealed in some sort of intellectual vacuum packing that prevents new information or even average awareness from penetrating!

      5. Does anyone think someone living on their own little farm off in Enumclaw can provide themselves with everything they need? No, they need things from all over the world

        You’re confusing “need” with “want”. You don’t really need those tennis shoes made in Pakistan. Even if you feed cities everything they “need” they’d so soon be buried in their own garbage that it’s not sustainable. The fact is the beloved city is an artifact of concentrated energy sources like coal, oil and hydroelectric damns that reduced the need for labor on farms and drove people into cities where they rely on what is an unsustainable lifestyle.

      6. Are you seriously taking the position that the city is a less sustainable living arrangement than the suburb or the rural settlement?! I would love to see your evidence to back up such a claim.

      7. Ironic that the cheap goods distributed in warehouse stores in Kent are likely made in cities in China.

      8. Rural is very sustainable. I just saw Restrepo and the folks over in Afghanistan seem to be doing ok with nothing getting imported. It’s all a matter of standard of living. But Bernie does seem to be on the mark. I’m not sure of any cities that are self sustaining – i.e. no imports nor connections to the outside world.

      9. Where are you going to get the extra seven planets that would be needed for all 8 billion of us to live a rural lifestyle?

      10. Bernie: “Does anyone really think Manhattan can generate it’s own solar energy and feed it’s self with roof top gardens?”

        That’s an important question that deserves more than an offhand questioning and one-sentence answer. Partly yes, partly no, partly unknown because we’ve never tried it yet, and partly people would have to change their lifestyles somewhat. And Manhattan is an extreme example due to its uber-industrialization and lack of single-family houses with yards. Seattle is much more typical of US cities.

        Bernie: “when I see calculated the “carbon footprint” it seems to look solely at personal transportation and not at the cost of trucking in food and hauling out garbage. Let alone the construction impacts”

        There are people trying to do just that. But it’s hard to calculate shared (externalized) resources. The experts don’t agree on the metrics, and ordinary citizens don’t have access to the formulas or know how to apply them. Plus, these are citywide/national issues; there’s only so much an individual can do. You can buy less industrial food and produce less garbage, but you can’t build a septic tank in the city or control how industrial food gets to the store. PS. Mayor McGinn is trying to quantify the city’s carbon footprint and mitigate it. The result may not be perfect, but it’s a very hard job.

        But more and more people are interested in solar water heaters, rooftop gardens, hydroponic gardens in office buildings, etc. Others are replacing their lawns with gardens, and we may see some dead office parks in Kent/Auburn return to agriculture. So the experiment is happening, at least with homeowners who have the ability to do these things, and we’ll see some small-scale results in the next 10-20 years.

        Alexjohn: “Does anyone think someone living on their own little farm off in Enumclaw can provide themselves with everything they need?”

        Let’s take a hippie commune, which practices self-sustainment as an ideology. I don’t know the numbers, but they can certainly grow much of their own food and sell the surplus to others. They do need some industrial products, but with time greener alternatives might be available. So they’ll have to depend on the industrial society at some minimal, low-ish level.

        Bailo: “It’s so impossibly absurd to think that any type of public train can compete with the standard model of living being used in communities around the USA for the last 20 years,”

        The low-density model was possible only because of cheap oil. Earlier, when people lived in low density, they stayed around their farms, commuting and industrial products did not exist, and long-distance trade was limited to precious goods (silks, tea, spices, etc). Long-distance food based on chemical fertilizers, and generic tables thrown together in China, are possible only with cheap oil.

        Bailo: “[Driving to big box stores] It’s extremely efficient all around and lets people have low density lifestyle and access to cheap high quality goods.”

        Another inverted-logic bailoism. Detached houses are inherently less energy efficient because they don’t share heat with their neighbors. Most detached houses are getting larger and larger, up from 500 sq ft in the 1950s to 2000+ sq ft. A delivery truck drives more miles to scattered suburban stores than to one urban area with many stores.

  3. What you don’t mention is that 2008 and 2010 are night and day. 2008 was before the long drawn out Obama Depression, high unemployment and stagnant job growth.

    People were horns-waggled back in 2008 on a false dream of unlimited growth.

    So many of the basic premises on which the current plans are based have collapsed, to me it is wrong-header to simply continue on as if nothing has changed.

    The Puget Sound, King County and Washington State are different places now. People are truly suffering and yet the Transit Banditos seek to drain as much tax money from the populace as possible!

    We need better ideas than the same old recycled ones foisted on us by Democrats in 2008. It’s time to employ kaisan principles, rip up the old deals and make new ones. Dream of better ways to do things than just plodding along, spending billions for a few miles of overpriced train track and calling it good.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizen

    1. I have been reading and commenting on this blog less and less as it has been getting weirder and weirder. I have a hard time following how some comments relate to the posts. I could just be in a mental fog, who knows.

    2. Bailo: “What you don’t mention is that 2008 and 2010 are night and day. 2008 was before the long drawn out Obama Depression …”

      Bush Depression.

      “… , high unemployment and stagnant job growth. People were horns-waggled back in 2008 on a false dream of unlimited growth. So many of the basic premises on which the current plans are based have collapsed, to me it is wrong-header to simply continue on as if nothing has changed.”

      We may need to scale back what we can accomplish given the less resources. But the principles remain: urban rail is more efficient and effective than tons of buses. And if we do have to scale back, it shows how much we’ve lost by not building a comprehensive transit infrastructure fifty years earlier.

  4. The fact that 56 out of 100 is considered “overwhelming” really speaks to the divergent and fractured nature of public opinion…

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