Sound Transit to hold Downtown Bellevue Workshop

East Link rendering from Sound Transit
East Link rendering from Sound Transit

Sound Transit will have its fourth public neighborhood workshop for East Link on Wednesday, November 18th, from 4 – 7pm (presentation will begin at 5pm) at Bellevue City Hall.  This workshop will be specific to the Downtown neighborhood and will likely be similar to the ones held last month for South Bellevue, Bel-Red, and Overlake (you can read our recap of the South Bellevue workshop here).

From Sound Transit:

This workshop will be focused on the downtown Bellevue preferred route and stations, identified by the Sound Transit Board, as well as the tunnel alternatives. Additional public meetings will be scheduled throughout the East Link project area as Sound Transit continues to progress into preliminary engineering along the preferred alternative.

We expect a lot of folks coming out against the preferred surface alignment and South Bellevue residents still continuing to lobby for the B7 alignment coming into Downtown.  Also expect input regarding the new C9T tunnel option.  This is all part of a public outreach period to collect comments before Sound Transit publishes its FEIS (Final Environmental Impact Statement) next year.  I will be there to cover the workshop and we’ll have a recap up soon afterwards.

[UPDATE:] On Thursday, the Sound Transit board was briefed on yet another new Downtown alternative.  This alignment would be an elevated-surface hybrid with the  main downtown station being just south of the Bellevue Transit Center along 110th Ave NE.  Considering that a surface segment is still part of the plan, it’s unclear how the council members-elect will react to the new alternative.  We expect to hear the details of Kevin Wallace’s full plan soon, so stay tuned for our continuing coverage of East Link.

Metro Reroutes for Friday Morning’s Procession

To accommodate Friday morning’s procession for slain officer Timothy Brenton, King County Metro has released the rerouted detours for all routes that will be affected by lie in the path of the procession, which is expected to last from 9am to 11am.  However, traffic is expected to be affected as early as 8am and as late as 1pm.  As far as we know, Metro has not made a clear update linking to all of the reroutes, so we’ve taken the liberty of identifying all of them (pdf).*

[UPDATE: 11:28am] *The procession is now over and Metro has pulled most, if not all, of the reroutes.  A statement was issued:

The procession has concluded.  All buses are back to regular route.  While there are still some delays, most buses are back on schedule.   Expect trolley routes to take a little longer to get back on regular schedule.

While there are no post memorial reroutes, you may experience delays due to heavy traffic around the Seattle Center during and after the event.

Thank you for your understanding and patience during this event.

[UPDATE: 6:53am] Metro has added information about the shuttle and more reroutes.  Commenter Transit Supervisor was also kind enough to post specific information about the Queen Anne Shuttle:

– From 2/Clay, via 3 Av, Broad St, Western Av, Western Av W, 2 Av W, via Rt 1 to Kinnear, via the wire to the Rt 2 terminal, continues as inbound 2 to Queen Anne/Galer, left on Queen Anne via Rt 13 to SPU. Opposite in reverse, except that the motor coach will follow regular Rt 1 routing SB on Queen Anne Av N. NB signed “W Queen Anne via SHUTTLE” and SB signed as “To Seattle Center West”

– The other is the Rt 4 Night/Sun routing between the top of the hill and 5 Av N & Valley St. Signed NB “4 E Queen Anne via Nite/Sun Rt” and SB “To Seattle Center East”

See the list of links to individual bus routes below the jump. Continue reading “Metro Reroutes for Friday Morning’s Procession”

Editorial: Reasons why Central Link wasn’t a political ploy

ZOOM!, by Mike Bjork
ZOOM!, by Mike Bjork

Frankly, I wasn’t around actively advocating for Sound Transit’s Central Link when it was being conceived, but one common criticism that I’ve heard rail opponents iterate time and time again is that the Central Link alignment was some sort of a political ploy or gimmick. “Why Tukwila of all places? People don’t go to the airport on a daily basis. Why not the suburbs first?”  First of all, it’s rather ironic that the same people wanting to block light rail to the Eastside (and anywhere else in general) are tied with those who criticize the Central Link alignment and throw their hands up in the air asking why the suburbs were not Link’s first destination.  It’s a fair indication that these people are just against rail transit in general under the pretense of a number of other excuses up their sleeves.

More below the jump.

Continue reading “Editorial: Reasons why Central Link wasn’t a political ploy”

The Highway vs. Fixed Transit Debate

40mph, by Mike Bjork
40mph, by Mike Bjork

There is a lot of manipulation and fact distorting when it comes to the debate between highway and road benefits versus fixed rail transit.  One of the biggest claims to have been made against Link is that it’s a “boondoggle,” a “waste of money,” and that “no one” ever rides the trains.  I pulled up an old document from the American Dream Coalition (ADC), a big anti-rail group, which compiled a laundry list of “facts” against what it calls “myths” of rail transit.  It’s a long list of points, many of which we’ve already debunked, but I thought I’d highlight a few that are relevant to the comparison often being made between roads and rail.

Rebuttals below the jump.

Continue reading “The Highway vs. Fixed Transit Debate”

South Bellevue East Link workshop recap

Sound Transit
South Bellevue Preferred Alignment (Sound Transit)

[Ed. Note: Our newest Contributor, Sherwin Lee, wrote this last week at his Lingua Urbana blog. We’ll be cross-posting some of his greatest hits as he starts writing original pieces for STB.]

I’m currently at the South Bellevue East Link workshop to take notes and ask about some key issues facing Link.  I’ve got no access to wi-fi or internet, so I won’t be live blogging, but these are real-time notes as they happened.

5:16pm: I’ve arrived at Bellevue High School for the South Bellevue East Link workshop.  Supporters of the B7/BNSF right-of-way alignment are outside handing out literature in defense of that particular alternative.  I take one and politely brush past them.

5:20pm: An open workshop with a number of booths is set up for public input.  The presentation is scheduled to begin around roughly 5:30pm.  Each booth has renderings and drafts of different phases of the guideway that follows the preferred alternative.  I hear a very elderly gentleman utter “that from everything [he’s] read, those trains can’t run across the I-90 bridge!”  I hold my tongue.

More of the workshop below the jump.

Continue reading “South Bellevue East Link workshop recap”