The Seattle Times reports ($) that the people who have tried to stop rail to the Eastside at all costs have found yet another pretext to sue:
Indeed, the petition that Bidwell, [Kemper] Freeman’s company, former Bellevue Mayor Don Davidson and the Building a Better Bellevue organization filed last month with the Shorelines Hearings Board to vacate the permits could tie the permits up until at least May. After the board issues a decision, the case could be appealed in court.
But to Bidwell, the petition isn’t about attacking light rail. It’s about preventing environmental damage to the Mercer Slough Nature Park, which he’s fought to protect for at least 30 years. Bidwell also co-founded the committee that fought to establish the park in the 1980s.
I can’t speak to the legal merits of this case, although I presume the long list of (failed) previous legal actions the article enumerates were more promising. And I certainly won’t guess what a judge will decide. However, I also presume the relevant environmental laws were intended to protect the environment. And in the big picture any environmental law that discourages alternatives to driving is perverse.
Moreover, for the specific welfare of Mercer Slough it’s clear that the thousands of cars passing by on the freeway and arterial every day, pouring the gunk and litter into the water there, are vastly more impactful than trains. Any serious attempt to protect the Slough would close the I-90 highway spans, not obstruct light rail. But of course environmental concerns are only used to obstruct environmentally sound projects, not to mess with anything important like the right to drive anywhere, alone, for free, at high speed.