Photo by KDavidClark

Bellevue’s Transportation Commission, which advises the Council, has a vacancy for the term expiring next May, and possible appointment to the subsequent four-year term.

The Transportation Commission advises the council about transportation issues in Bellevue. The seven-member commission meets the second Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall.

Candidates must be Bellevue residents. Residents in newly annexed areas are particularly encouraged to apply.

Residents can apply online or pick up an application from the City Clerk’s Office or the Service First desk in City Hall, as well as in the Bellevue Regional Library, the Lake Hills Library or Mini City Hall at Crossroads Bellevue. You can request an application be faxed to you by calling 452-6466.

I have no idea who is on the commission now or what they believe, but it’s always good to find people who won’t veto anything that could possibly inconvenience a car. Moreover, there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit in Bellevue, as they’re only now getting a proper frequent bus service network that deserves real investment in priority treatments. See especially my piece on improving bus travel through Bellevue College.

11 Replies to “Apply for the Bellevue Transportation Commission”

  1. I don’t know how candidates are specifically vetted, but I do know that Kevin Wallace and Jennifer Robertson presided over the evaluation of Planning Commission candidates. The rumor is that they bypassed the reommendations of city planning staff, ultimately selecting two conservatives, one of whom was radio personality John Carlson. The way I see it, true pro-transit candidates won’t get a fair chance until this council is turned over.

    1. Commissioners are interviewed by two Council Members. One is always the council member who is the current liaison to that commission. I believe the second is either the mayor or deputy mayor at the discretion of the mayor. The current commission is a great group of people but they don’t veto anything. In fact they have no policy setting power at all. The commission only makes recommendations based on what they are asked to review by the City Council.

  2. Seems like you guys are putting the cart before the horse.

    Bellevue-ites seem way more happy than Seattlites.

    They collect about half the taxes per person yet have a stellar educational system and other civil services like parks and libraries. They have low crime and nice low density housing.

    I mean, at what point is “transit” a sort of negative for a community that has no need for it or its adherents.

    1. Transit is a negative when the community drops below LOS standards in the Growth Management Act and can no longer grow, which is likely what will happen in Bellevue if East Link isn’t built.

      Bonus question: who owns the biggest piece of the downtown Bellevue pie and thus would stand to benefit if growth was capped by the failure to build a HCT system?

    2. This assumes all Bellevueites like low-density housing, half-hourly or hourly buses, and long walks to bus stops in the rain. People don’t live in Bellevue just because they like low density. They also live there because it’s close to their job, they grew up there, or they’re on fixed income and depend on social services/doctors/hospitals located in Bellevue.

  3. Vetting: candidates are usually interviewed by the Chair, the Council Liaison, and the Director of the associated Department. Conrad Lee is the current liaison.

    As far as advocating, the agenda is set by the Chair, with the Director and the Council Liaison. Tom Tanaka, the chair, supports the pro-transit council members running for election, so that’s a positive.

    Just note that the appointment decision is effectively made at the sole discretion of the Council Liaison. They will recommend whoever they want to. It is unusual for other council members to question or vote against a particular council member’s recommendation, though it has happened, and recently (Planning, Parks).

    Also note that commissions are advisory only. They can make recommendations but ultimately the Council will do what it wants to do.

  4. Who exactly serves on this body, and what is it purpose? Is this experts on transportation infrastructure? People with experience in planning and running systems?

    Or is it a citizen body to advice the council on the point of view of the citizens?

    1. All appointed boards and commissions are citizen bodies that simply listen to presentations and reports from City Staff and receive comments from the public, either during normal Public Comment periods or at Public Hearings, and makes recommendations to the Council. There are often outreach and networking opportunities at related events, meetings and other public venues. The Planning Commission in particular is viewed as a springboard to running for Council.

      Commissions advise the council on projects, plans or other matters that will come to the council, usually with a recommendation that is based on the citizen input they have received to that point. But the full council will likely still have public hearings and take comments on the matters anyway.

      A cynic would say that commissions are merely in existence to run interference for the council and slow things down, and that smart people know this and don’t bother with them, going directly to the council instead.

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