Bel-Red from the air

As ambitious as Bellevue’s plans are for growth in the Bel-Red and Eastgate/I-90 corridors, investments will still need to be made to ensure that infrastructure to support development are up to par.  As such, this means that there are a lot of transportation projects that need to be funded, and Bellevue, not immune to the recession, will have to figure out which ones to prioritize.  Luckily the public can weigh in on the matter, which is a plus given the broad support for light rail and the Bel-Red plan in the city.

There will be four open houses in February along with a survey to solicit input on the Transportation Facilities Plan (TFP).  According to the City of Bellevue, the prioritization of projects in the TFP helps inform the development of the capital budget, which will be critical in providing the funding needed to build major projects:

The public can weigh in on what should be funded in the future. Those interested can respond to an online survey, beginning Feb. 20, available Or, they can attend an open house, from 4:30-6:30 p.m., on one of the following dates:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 15, at Highland Park & Community Center, 14224 Bel-Red Road
  • Thursday, Feb. 16, at Factoria Mall, 4055 Factoria Boulevard SE
  • Thursday, Feb. 23, at Bellevue City Hall, 450 110th Avenue NE, Rm.1E-108
  • Tuesday, Feb. 28, at Crossroads Mall, 15600 NE 8th Street, Community Meeting Room

This is a good opportunity to make sure Bellevue maintains a progressive attitude towards its transportation future.  Even if you’re not a resident but still frequent the city, I’d encourage you to attend.  Some of these projects will be making good on big regional investments, so it’s fair to say that a lot of people, both in and outside Bellevue, will have a stake in the process.

19 Replies to “Bellevue to Seek Input on Transportation Projects”

  1. I drive a van through Bellevue. I believe the best transportation solution for Bellevue is to widen I-405 by two lanes in both directions. The adjacent north-south streets should be merged with their adjacent streets, i.e. 112th with 110th on the west side and the corresponding streets on the east side, making two wide boulevards.

    The upshot of this will complete the overlay of Bellevue with concrete. There will be no places of employment, and therefore nobody going to work or shopping in Bellevue. This is a means of permanently limiting the growth of traffic on our region’s busiest road, without imposing financially burdensome tolls, thereby eliminating the need for future transportation investments and improvements.

    1. For the win! I award you ten shiny new Internets!

      This comment reminds me of home… people in my part of Chicagoland make similar “suggestions” for pretty much all of northwest Indiana.

  2. Steve, I hope you are being sarcastic here :)

    My priority project would be sidewalks and bike lanes on Northup Way between 108th and 116th. Bike lanes are crucial to get a continuous bike corridor from Redmond to Seattle (after the entire 520 bridge project is complete). Failure to do this means one lousy half-mile section will render the entire route usable by only hard-core cyclists. Sidewalks are also important because there are homes and businesses in the area, including a day care center for small children, and there is currently no safe way to reach any of these buildings on foot.

    1. Honestly, they should lid 405 through Bellevue and put a trail on top. It would remove the barrier between DT Bellevue and Overlake and, as Eric said, for a non-hardcore cyclist to easily get even to Seattle.

      Seattle was lucky enough to have I-5 put in AFTER there was already stuff on the to-be-other side, but Bellevue doesn’t have that luxury. So, we get such first-world problems, if you know what I mean =P

      1. There was also this.

        If a partnership is not in place by the end of 2011, the funds will be re-directed to HOV/bus rapid transit in the I-405 corridor. Sound Transit 2 does not include any additional funds for commuter or passenger rail on the Eastside BNSF corridor.

        I have heard something about plans for a trail. Do you know what happened to them?

      2. Nothing I am aware of has suggested use of the BNSF ROW for connecting the 520 bike trail across 405. It’s obvious that is the best solution but because the ownership and use has been up in the air for so long WSDOT doesn’t even consider it. COB hasn’t addressed purchase of the ROW either. Although they do plan to use it as a utility ROW.

        Kudos to Kirkland. They purchased the ROW and last week there were already survey crews out on the section through Totem Lake hired by the city.

        Northup would be fine if the city did nothing. It’s wide lanes each direction with a generous shoulder. The plans I’ve see make it worse by adding lanes. A bike lane on a four lane road with center turn lane is next to useless.

      3. “Northup would be fine if the city did nothing. It’s wide lanes each direction with a generous shoulder.”

        The generous shoulder only exists between 108th Ave and Bellevue Way and between 116th Ave and 24th St. Between 405 and 108th Ave, there is maybe 6 inches of shoulder at best. There is one isolated section a couple-hundred where the westbound direction has decent shoulder width, but it’s so short, it’s next to useless (I don’t use it because if I did, as soon as I pulled out of traffic, it would be time to merge back in).

        For a bicycle thru-route, I like the railroad track idea the best, if it can ever happen. However, a bicycle trail on the BNSF corridor is still not a substitute for at least sidewalks on Northup Way because the BNSF corridor still provides zero pedestrian access to the businesses along Northup.

      4. “they should lid 405 through Bellevue and put a trail on top”

        Please lid I-5 from Yesler Way to Denny Way. Pretty please. It would open up vast opportunities for real estate, housing, a big f***ing park, and would make it more pleasant to walk from downtown to First Hill and Capitol Hill.

    1. I forgot about that, but I agree that would be really nice to have. The question whether the 99% of residents who drive everywhere and never take the bus will see paying for it as a worthy use of their tax dollars.

  3. Bellevue needs a decent E/W bicycle route through the center of the city. There is that trail along 520 in the North, and the Factoria bike lanes SE 36th and SE Eastgate way on either side of I-90. But if you are in Cross roads and want to get to downtown Bellevue it’s hard to find a route that isn’t full of cars. Yes you can ride Bell-Red, yes you can ride Northup, but neither is pleasant.

    1. In a few years, there will be NE 15th/16th for an east-west route. Closer to downtown, the widened NE 12th will hopefully be a less scary route than NE 8th.

      Where does the SR-520 trail end? Does it connect up with NE 24th somewhere east of 130th NE?

  4. A lightweight diesel passenger train
    (like this in San Diego

    , or a light rail train with a battery car could make the run from Woodinville , through Totem Lake Kirkland, and Bellevue, as a local running train, until the I-90 rail line is complete. All that, with just putting the vehicle on the existing tracks, without even yet building (and paying for) the overhead high voltage electrics.

    That could move real people, right now, in considerable numbers. Granted, its a single rail track. Several small side tracks would take care of track sharing.

    Or just one train, making a simple Woodinville to Bellvue 30 minute run, reverses direction and goes back the otherway.

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