Bellevue Holds Out for Light-Rail Option Rejected by Sound Transit

By Erica C. Barnett July 21, 2010

At its meeting Monday night, the Bellevue City Council declined to adopt a preferred light-rail route on 112th Ave. SE heading in to downtown Bellevue, the Bellevue Reporter reports. Instead, by a 4-3 vote, the council opted to send a letter to the Sound Transit board reiterating its support for the so-called B7 alignment, which would run on BNSF right-of-way along I-405, bypassing neighborhoods, businesses, and the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride. As I've reported, that alignment is widely supported by residents of the Surrey Downs neighborhood and businesses in the area, including the Red Lion hotel and the Bellevue Club.

Sound Transit rejected the B7 alignment because its analysis showed that route had the lowest ridership, and serve the fewest jobs and residences, of any Bellevue alternative. B7 would also require a new park-and-ride between six and seven stories high, at a cost of between $170 million and $210 million.

I have a call out to Bellevue City Council member Claudia Balducci—a supporter of the 112th Ave. alignment, and a member of the Sound Transit board—to talk about Monday's meeting and the Sound Transit board's vote on the 112th Ave. alignment tomorrow.
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