Tonight, the Bellevue City Council will meet once again to discuss East Link (agenda here), and more specifically the B7 route, something that Sound Transit has repeatedly tried to move forward on. We reported earlier this year that the council had approved some $200,000 for four independent studies essentially aimed at critiquing ST’s job in the DEIS as well as studying B7-related elements. When those studies were complete, it was discovered that there was no new information that suddenly made B7 the rock-star alignment that some of the councilmembers were expecting.
At a study session last Tuesday, Bellevue Mayor Don Davidson once again questioned the “sufficiency” of information available for B7. Staff was then instructed to prepare discussion materials for tonight’s meeting to see if the council wants to pursue “additional studies.” According to talk over the grapevine, the pro-B7 quorum’s intent is to bring B7 up to a similar level of engineering as Sound Transit is doing with B2– not at all an easy or cheap endeavor.
According to the study session materials (PDF), the City has a remaining $270,000 left in East Link study budget. Considering that Sound Transit has discretion to dictate the final alignment, it’s beyond me why the council isn’t choosing to spend this money on wiser investments– like mitigation or neighborhood impacts for B2/B3, things that people actually care about.
The study session will begin tonight at 6pm in the 1E-113 room at Bellevue City Hall. Bellevue or Eastside residents interested in East Link planning or even just prudent fiscal governance are encouraged to attend. You can read about this blog’s endorsements and opinions of the whole saga here.