Yesterday the Sound Transit Board unanimously approved the Bellevue Council’s recommendation for cost savings, including numerous noise mitigation projects but a relatively poor site for the downtown station. I’ve said my piece on this subject, but here are some explanations from Board members with solid urbanist credentials:
Seattle Councilmember Richard Conlin: “Fundamentally it’s because this keeps the process moving without throwing it back into more confusion, and recognizes the good work that Claudia did in getting the $5 million for ped improvements, ensuring that ST will not be asked to pay for the HOV lane, and getting this to be required approval for the light rail line so that we do not have to fear further litigation or delay from Bellevue. Also, the ST ten minute walk statistics showed that the losses were minor for moving to the 6th avenue station and there was no measurable ridership loss.”
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn: “The design and cost savings were a compromise with Bellevue that moves the project forward.”
Bellevue Councilmember Claudia Balducci did not offer a comment in time for publication.