Sources for Erica C. Barnett tell her that the first phase of the latest City of Bellevue study about the two remaining South Bellevue Link alignments basically confirm what previous Sound Transit studies found — a revised “B7” alignment, along I-405, is more expensive and carries fewer riders than Sound Transit’s preferred B2 alternative, which takes surface streets from I-90 into downtown. Sound Transit could equalize ridership by spending even more money on B7.
There’s no word on whether the report will be released to the public, or how this will impact the follow-on phases of the study. There is a total of $3m and up to 2.5 years of further study that the Bellevue Council could authorize if it wishes to explore B7 further. This study follows other independent studies Bellevue commissioned to critique Sound Transit’s analysis of the alignments. The Bellevue Council is supposed to decide on the follow-on phases at a meeting on Monday, May 16th, although the agenda can change at the council’s whim.
Sherwin’s primer on East Link is a good starting point if you’re bewildered by all the alignment codes.