Information sent in to PITF by the citizen association, Building a Better Bellevue
November 11, 2011
Dear FTA and Other Federal Officials Concerned With Transportation Services Planning and Finance in the City of Bellevue:
It is essential, as you consider the evidence provided yesterday (see copied below) with respect to the coming gridlock caused by transit growth in downtown Bellevue, that you also understand that Eastlink light rail will be of no help in solving this problem.
Eastlink will serve only a very small portion of all these new transit trips into the Bellevue downtown core.
The reality in 2040 - focusing both rail transit (the Eastlink tunnel) and bus transit (the existing Bellevue Transit Center) into a constrained interchange space at NE 6th Street and 110th Avenue, in downtown Bellevue, will likely dramatically add to Bellevue's downtown transit-caused congestion.
Given this coming disaster, it is essential that the Washington State Department of Transportation, Sound Transit, Seattle Metro, and the City of Bellevue immediately step back from proceeding with the current Eastlink Plan for downtown Bellevue, and work together with the Puget Sound Regional Council to fashion a better solution now.
Failing to do so now will result in the abandonment of an investment of $300 Million of scarce taxpayers' dollars long before the benefit of this investment will ever be realized.
The Building A Better Bellevue Steering CommitteeBegin forwarded message:From: Joseph Rosmann <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: November 10, 2011 2:52:03 PM PST
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Ray.LaHood@dot.gov, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Jeff Harvey <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.orgSubject: Recent PSRC Data Shows That The City Of Bellevue Will Be Forced to Abandon the Downtown Eastlink Tunnel Due to Bus Transit-Caused Congestion Within 20 to 30 ears
Dear FTA and Other Federal Officials Concerned With Transportation Services Planning and Finance in the City of Bellevue:The purpose of this message is to provide you with critical information obtained from the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC), and its transportation planning staff, which shows that Sound Transit has seriously failed in understanding, and has also failed to properly address the extent to which its plan for linking a tunnel placement of its light rail line in Downtown Bellevue to the existing Bellevue Transit Center will cause major hardship to Bellevue downtown businesses, to the employees and customers of those businesses, and to the neighborhood residents who live adjacent to downtown Bellevue, because of the massive traffic congestion that will be caused by the rapid growth in transit services into and from Downtown Bellevue in the near term.This expected downtown traffic congestion will likely lead the City of Bellevue to have to abandon Bellevue taxpayers', and Sound Transit's investment in the proposed downtown light rail tunnel and Transit Center interchange plan that is a central element of the Eastlink light rail plan. The City of Bellevue will be faced with this dire decision because transit-caused congestion will soon leave the City of Bellevue with no other choice but to invest in a different intermodal transportation interchange solution in Bellevue downtown that will effectively serve the City of Bellevue, its downtown businesses, and the adjacent neighborhoods for the next 100 years. The documentation provided by Sound Transit in its FEIS documents and its Request for a Federal Record of Decision on its Eastlink Plan totally completely fails to incorporate this newly available information.
Building A Better Bellevue (BBB), which represents the interests and concerns of many thousands of homeowners with homes adjacent to downtown Bellevue, requests that no Record of Decision be provided to Sound Transit for its Eastlink Plan until this recently understood and critical new problem is fully understood and properly assessed.
Prior to Building A Better Bellevue's presentation to the Bellevue City Council on November 7, 2011 regarding this new information on traffic congestion in downtown Bellevue, no public body has fully understood the facts identified by these recently released new PSRC data, nor analyzed the implications of these important data for Bellevue's coming downtown gridlock. Most specifically, Sound Transit has completely failed to properly assess this information which has also been available to the agency for nearly a year.
BBB's findings and presentation were drawn solely from our region's primary public research entity charged with assessing regional transportation needs, the Puget Sound Regional Council. These PSRC data show that total transit demand for access to our Bellevue Downtown will grow to a five-fold level by 2040, from the present transit use level in downtown Bellevue. There is no way that the present downtown Bellevue Transit Center, and its nearby streets, can accommodate such a total volume of transit access each week day.
BBB believes that the only intermodal transit interchange solution that will work for our City at that point must recognize the eastward growth of our downtown, take advantage of every available access and egress point to and from I-405, link to an elevated light rail line that runs adjacent to I-405, and that also provides for gaining the use of the airspace over I-405. Such a facility would also argue strongly for running the light rail line along the West side of I-405, all the way from I-90, as this would provide the most efficient access route from all east/west light rail facilities along I-90 that reach to Seattle and, in the future, also to Issaquah and beyond.
BBB believes that anything less than a full understanding of these issues now is not in keeping with sound planning for a so called "100 year light rail transit plan" for the City of Bellevue, as Sound Transit claims it has accomplished in its FEIS and ROD request documents.
A copy of BBB's presentation to the Bellevue City Council on this issue is provided here for your consideration.
for Building A Better Bellevue425.417.0797
Download the Full Story in PDF of a Power Point presented to Bellevue City Council on November 7, 2011