Last Night

Last Night

By Erica C. Barnett July 8, 2010

After yesterday's Sound Transit public hearing, I asked Bellevue City Council member Claudia Balducci how to get back to Seattle via the proposed light-rail alignment. (It's pretty simple until you get to the bridge to Mercer Island: Straight down 112th Ave. SE, take a left on Bellevue Way SE, then, if you're me, get lost). My route took me past tiny Surrey Downs Park, past the entrance to Surrey Downs, along the edge of the Mercer Slough, past Bellevue High School, and near the Bellevue Club and its expansive, rolling golf course.

Lessons learned:

1) Apologies to the man who described the Bellevue Club as "historic," but—apart from the golf course, which is sort of soothing—the building, built in 1979, is actually pretty ugly, at least from the road.

2) Much as I complain about drivers in Seattle, drivers in Bellevue were a hundred times worse, ranging from distracted (the lady on her cell phone who pulled her Lexus from a parking lot directly into my path) to downright mean (the woman in the Volvo who honked loudly at a woman who'd pulled over to give me directions, and wasn't in her way at all).

3) The 112th route seems to make sense—it goes past a huge number of multifamily condo buildings and businesses, in addition to mostly single-family neighborhoods such as Surrey Downs. It's not hard to see all those apartment and condo residents taking rail to their jobs or other destinations in downtown Bellevue, Redmond, or Seattle.

4) Bellevue is actually sort of far away—12 miles from the Cola offices, to be precise. I kept thinking Seattle was just around the corner, but 12 miles is a long way for a fair-weather rider like me, especially hauling a computer that seemed to get heavier with each mile that passed.
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