The blurb is enough to show the Times didn’t investigate this story at all:
“Bellevue City Council members are angry Sound Transit didn’t tell them it was considering building a large rail yard in the city last year”
Basically, anti-rail Bellevue City Council members Kevin Wallace and Jennifer Robertson have found a new way to oppose East Link. They claim that they had no idea that Sound Transit was considering maintenance facility locations in Bellevue! No idea at all!
Except that not only have these identical maintenance facility locations been in the final environmental impact statement for East Link for over a year, they were also in the draft environmental impact statement published in 2008 (see section 2, “alternatives considered”). They’ve even been displayed at Sound Transit open houses – including at least one physically in Bellevue City Hall. Furthermore, comments on maintenance facility options are included in correspondence dating as far back as 2009 between the City of Bellevue and Sound Transit on East Link options.
Given that I’ve personally spoken to more than one Bellevue City Council member about possibilities for a maintenance facility, and that it came up in the investigation of council member Kevin Wallace, it’s clearly a falsehood that they are in any way surprised about this part of the East Link project.
The Times says one thing to try to cover this ridiculous allegation:
“But Sound Transit officials told Bellevue in 2009 they had decided instead to locate a major rail yard south of Seattle and store a limited number of trains on the Eastside.”
In discussions I’ve had with Sound Transit staff, that option has never been a long term solution, and I don’t believe that a rail yard was ever cancelled, just delayed.
The supposed paper of record for our region shows significant bias in this piece, and fails to fact check Bellevue city council members, or accurately portray their knowledge of the largest infrastructure project in their city. I look forward to a correction from the Seattle Times.