Like many other transit agencies and local municipalities, Bellevue is facing a budget shortfall of its own, though not as dramatic as say, Sound Transit’s. Nonetheless, several important transportation projects have fallen under the axe through the city’s Capital Improvement Plan. The $353 million plan, which delegates funding for capital projects through 2017, strips $29 million of funding for such projects, a few of which could actually be very useful for South Bellevue P&R users. From the Bellevue Reporter:
More than $29 million of that came in the form of transportation projects, including $6 million that would have went toward neighborhood sidewalks, $5.2 million on 145th Place Southeast and 4.4 million on 108th Avenue SE and Bellevue Way to Interstate 90.
While the original projects weren’t massive non-motorized traffic-calming master plans with cycletracks and road diets, they were part of an Enatai neighborhood program aimed at promoting traffic safety through sidewalks, bike lanes, etc. Any loss of pedestrian projects in the park and ride’s station buffer is not welcome news for neighborhood non-drivers. The current lack of sidewalks on both 108th and Bellevue Way poses a safety hazard and acts as a major deterrent for residents walking to the park and ride. Not only such facilities give pedestrians a place to walk, they also help mitigate impacts from traffic. The future success of a Link station at South Bellevue will depend on whether or not walking/biking are feasible options.
Unfortunately, the city council seems oblivious to these kinds of travesties. But as the council majority has consistently favored throwing money at fantasy routes over the kind of mitigation South Bellevue neighborhoods need, no one can truly be surprised. Ironically enough, the defunding of the sidewalks would only add to the already-questionable impacts of the city-pursued A-2 replacement for the park and ride. Considering that traffic will feed directly from both sidewalk-less Bellevue Way and 108th Ave SE via 113th, I have to question if the new and revised B7 is still truly about “protecting neighborhoods.”