The answer is mostly everywhere. To further nail the point Sherwin and John made yesterday, that the majority of Bellevue citizens support Sound Transit 2 and East Link, I made a map specifically showing only Bellevue precinct level results. The current East Link Preferred Alignment is also shown with both C9T and C11A options.

Click on map to download PDF version and enlarge.

While support and opposition is spread throughout the city, the map makes it easy to see what each neighborhood was thinking. 57% of votes from the two Surrey Downs precincts rejected ST2. Compare that to the majority of their neighbors in nearby Enatai, Bellecrest and Downtown who voted to approve ST2 and also the 56% citywide. Residents in precincts along the BNSF and Bel-Red corridor also had high approval.

Note that one precinct downtown is white. There was no data for that precinct. For those who want to dig in further, get the data extract and Bellevue precincts map.

32 Replies to “Where In Bellevue Did They Vote for ST2?”

  1. it’s not just people in bellevue that really want east link – plenty of us (my neighbors in seattle especially) voted for the regional system so the trains could bring about the increased density everywhere, and not just in our neighborhood

  2. Re: the white area downtown for which there’s no data

    A little over ten years ago I lived in the downtown area shown in white on the map. At that time there were so few registered voters in the area that there was no polling place to vote — You had to vote by absentee ballot. This might account for the lack of data if the same is still true.

  3. Nice Map Oran! Hopefully this puts the nail in the coffin of the idea that Bellevue didn’t support ST2 or Eastlink. Now let’s move on.

      1. I can see how SB P&R may be convenient to the Factoria area, but I would think the Eastgate P&R would be more convenient to Somerset.

      2. Ah yes, but if you work an early shift you can scoot over to M.I. or S. Bellevue and ace out the locals. Probably saves 3-5 minutes each way on the commute or 30-50 minutes over the course of just one week. For P&R lots that are at capacity a significant share (likely close to 100% in the case of M.I.) should be reserved via window sticker for nearby residents. And of course all parking in these lots should carry a fee.

      3. Sound Transit’s considering charging a fee at the Sounder park and rides. They talked about it at the May executive committee meeting. There’s also some talk about integrating a Mercer Island only park and ride in to some new development near the Link station.

      4. If you’re a “nearby” resident, why not walk?

        Good question. Ideally there are enough “walk on” passengers to justify a light rail station. In a relatively small city like Seattle (relative to NY, London, Soul, Madrid…) that only really works for the stations in the DSTT and at the stadiums on game day. In the specific case of S. Bellevue there is virtually no walk on ridership and even if light rail is put in there is zero development potential to generate it; lose lose.

      5. “there is virtually no walk on ridership”

        How many do you consider “virtually no walk on ridership”? I frequently pass people on my bike who end up on the same bus with me. My wife and I frequently walk to the P&R as do many of our neighbors as well as Enatai residents I know. Obviously it’s not a huge number (like thousands) of people, but get gas prices up to $4 or $5 per gallon and I guarantee you ridership will increase.

        Like I’ve said before – Have ST build a smaller P&R garage there to cut the cost, charge a parking fee, and focus on better bus connections to that P&R, along with modest pedestrian and cycling improvements. I’d love to see the 240, or some combined version of the 240 and 560, turned into a Rapid Ride route to draw passengers up from Renton, Newcastle, and Factoria into Bellevue & the SBPR. Not sure how to get through Factoria though. That place is a mess.

      6. it’s not a huge number (like thousands)


        If you’re at SBPR and you’ve got some time to kill waiting for your bus, how long does it take to walk somewhere, buy a coffee and walk back? Bus connections from Renton, Newcastle, and Factoria are handled better at M.I.

      7. Eastgate is closer to the north and east sides of Somerset, while South Bellevue is closer to the west and south sides. Bus service from Somerset is comparable for both, at least for the time being.

  4. Yet another great map from Oran… Too bad the vocal minority always gets the most attention.

  5. Interesting — I know there are many condos and apartments; large ones, some empty, some very very empty, in that white area. Don’t empty condos get to vote for light rail? I think Sound Transit is drilling many holes in that area, righ now, searching for life.

    But help me, those dark blue areas – just east of 112th and south of 8th and along the Bel-Red and 520 corridors – who the F lives there?

    Thirdly, Do Bellevue Transients vote at the Court House in Surrey Downs? Like all you guys do in Seattle?

    1. Precincts are laid out with some regard to population within the precinct.

      Who lives in those areas you describe?

      If you’re unwilling to get out and look, at least try Google or Bing to see the houses, apts. and condos in each of those areas.

      1. There are some residential areas along 124th NE south of NE 8th. And there’s considerable low-density residential and some multi-family between Bel-Red and NE 8th between 124th NE and 148th NE. Because of the low density, I expect those precincts are pretty large.

      2. Yes, my mom lives in one of those precincts, and voted a mile or two away from her house. My precinct on Capitol Hill is just one or two blocks. I assume the precincts are equal-population countywide.

        As for the empty condos, empty condos don’t vote. The owners vote wherever their primary residence is.

      3. Well Bruce, back from my walk; saw a lot of frogs. The point is – don’t let those large blue areas on the map be considered to represent large groups of blue people. Nor should you consider the large white hole in the middle to represent a large group of white people. Many people live in the white area — very few people live in the large blue area. I bought a car there once, had to walk, couldn’t get there by bus. There are some train tracks that run through there though. :-)

        The precinct maps do a good job of identifying the unpopulated areas – the result map (above) doesn’t.

      4. Yes, it can be misleading that sparsely populated large areas in Mercer Slough and Lake Hills make it appear to have more support. But the larger the precinct = less (resident) population density. That’s why I carefully worded my post to say the map shows which areas or neighborhoods supported ST2 not where the most numerical votes support was.

      1. DT Bellevue is doing well from a pedestrian stand point. You really have to walk it to see what’s happened. I might not like all of it but overall the city has done really well… for pedestrians. For bikes it still sucks the big one.

  6. Interesting that all of the condos along 116th that have fought against East Link in their backyard are in the group that voted +60%. Surrey Downs is obviously the red center of the bulls eye for the opposition. So, why is it we don’t want to route this where the people are that claim to want it? Oh yeah, it’s too damn noisy. Obviously they want the benefit but none the impact. Hi density NIMBYs!

      1. No, even trying to skew the costs B7 was one of the least costly options. Efficient, let’s see; zero development or potential for development at S. Bellevue P&R vs. establish condos along 116th (remember, countless more people affected by the noise if they use that route?) and an area primed for TOD. “Thank You For Playing— Please Try Again”

      2. B7 was hopelessly inefficient due to running through a bunch of “You Cannot Build Here Without Massive Environmental Remediation” while missing out on most of the existing population, and having to double back to get to downtown Bellevue. :-P

        Looking at the precinct maps, though, I’m wondering whether running right up Bellevue Way would have been more popular! A bit slower, but gives Surrey Downs the poor service they seem to want, and gives better service to people further west who voted for ST2…..

      3. System ridership was almost the same; easily within ST’s margin of error for estimating. Funny how ST has massive remediation costs when GNP is exempt for the northern section of the Woodinville Subdivision. Doubling back? You really are stretching to make this stuff up. B7 serves the highest density and is along the only route with significant TOD potential. ST eventually came to their senses and dropped the stupid jog up NE 20th to 156th and gave up on the Overlake Village P&R. Eventually they’ll come around to the conclusion that South Bellevue is another vestige of the past and realize B7 is the only routing that builds to the future.

      4. How does B7 have any more TOD potential than B2M with its station at SE 8th? There’s a lot more re-developable land near SE 8th and 112th than there is at 118th. Surrey Downs won’t be single family forever.

  7. If you add the blank ballots into the mix, the the “yes” rate is actually 50.7 percent. Still a win for ST2, but not as impressive as the 56% yes rate you state in the headline. If Bellevue voted today on ST2 I have my doubts as to whether it would pass. Also, the fact that we had so many voters in 2008 turning out to vote for Obama very likely affected the vote for ST2. In non-presidential election years, the number of voters in Bellevue is much lower than the nearly 57,000 ballots cast in 2008.

    1. Obama certainly got the mass transit supporting demographic out to vote. ST2+RTID failed the year before. And in this economy, a tax increase to pay for new projects would be less likely to pass but that’s what opponents used as their primary argument in the last two votes.

      We really don’t know what the blank voters were thinking if they had to choose. If all the blanks went to Reject, ST2 would still pass by a very slim margin.

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