Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Council funds EBBC petition for review; Propositions 1 and 2 projects funded; Chamber briefed on Bellevue Way SE Project

Feb 24, 2017

Council funds EBBC petition for review

By a split vote, the Council on Tuesday approved a resolution authorizing up to $27,000 for the East Bellevue Community Council’s petition to the Washington Supreme Court. Resolution No. 9235 affirms that appellate litigation costs are a “legitimate expense” of the EBBC and the City is therefore obligated to provide funding under state law.

The ongoing litigation concerns the Lake Hills Transmission Line Project – Puget Sound Energy’s proposal to increase electrical distribution reliability. If implemented, the project would install a second 115-kilovolt overhead transmission line on a 2.89 mile route along SE 16th, 148th SE, and NE 8th. The original PSE permit applications for a conditional use permit were submitted in 2011, approved by the Hearing Examiner in 2014 and granted by the City Council in 2014.

To review details of the proposal, including community mitigation, see Ordinance 6226. For the record, the Chamber has not taken a positon on the litigation or proposed petition for review, but strongly agrees with the need for the underlying project.

Propositions 1 and 2 projects funded

The Bellevue City Council has approved the first allocation of revenues from Propositions 1 and 2. With adoption of Ordinance 6346, Council added $95,026,995 to the adopted 2017-23 Capital Investment Program (CIP). Categories to be funded include the following:

  • PW-R-198 Neighborhood Congestion Management – $2 million in 2017, $14 million overall
  • PW-R-199 Neighborhood Safety & Connectivity – $5.4 million, $37,800,000 million overall
  • PS-64 – Fire Station 10 – $6.15 million in 2017, $18.45 million overall
  • PS-65 – Fire Station 4 – $6.15 million in 2020, $24.6 million overall

To learn more about the individual projects to be funded in the “neighborhood congestion management” bucket, come to your Chamber Transportation Committee meeting on Tuesday, March 14, 7:30 AM at the Chamber office. In the meantime, take a look at the following project list.

 Chamber briefed on Bellevue Way SE Project

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Chamber Transportation Committee members were treated to briefing by the Bellevue Way SE project team. Staff confirmed the following project goals, per Council direction:

  • Reduce congestion along Bellevue Way SE southbound during the 3 – 6 PM peak period
  • Reduce delay for transit operations in the corridor
  • Improve multi-modal access to the corridor (including S. Bellevue Station, I-90 Center Roadway).

Much of our discussion focused on the projected costs and benefits associated with project alternatives and we reached the following conclusions.

  • Option 4 “narrow” will cost $30.8 million, while Option 4 “wide” would be $40 million, but there is no difference in travel time savings or person throughput for the additional $ 9 million.
  • Options 1, 2 & 4 assume travel time benefits based on unfunded “high levels of bus ridership” – 8 buses per hour on Bellevue Way and 13 per hour on     112th (in addition to light rail) – we’ve asked the staff team to re-run the model at the “medium scenario.”
  • Before recommending one of the existing project alternatives, we’d like to know what the underlying “BKR model” tells us about the following: Origin and destination of trips in the corridor; GP vs HOV mode split; Transit vs. carpool split; Local vs. regional trips

We think answers to these questions will help us determine which alternative will best balance project costs with total person throughput, prevent neighborhood cut-through and provide fairness for local taxpayers. Check out project background materials online and let us know what you think.

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