The PI.com's Chris Grygiel weighs in on a couple of stories PubliCola has been following closely in Bellevue: The bickering over the route Sound Transit's East Link light-rail line will take through the city, and Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman's $500,000 spend on Tim Eyman's anti-tolling I-1125.

Grygiel's take? Bellevue's transportation debate is becoming as dysfunctional as Seattle's, and it's time for Gov. Chris Gregoire and others who've criticized Seattle residents who want to stop the downtown tunnel to turn their scrutiny toward our eastern neighbor.

Of Freeman, Grygiel writes that while Freeman isn't an elected official,
he’s essentially  Bellevue’s First Citizen. His father created Bellevue Square shopping mall and Freeman is the Eastside’s premier advocate for cars-only, suburban-style development. He sued to stop the voter-approved light rail extension to his neck of the woods. With his big donation to Eyman, he’s taking aim right at the heart of how state transportation officials hope to help pay for major projects in the future – tolls. Say what you will about tunnel-hating Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, he’s not trying to saw off one of the legs of the funding stool for new roadways like Freeman now is.
Gov. Chris Gregoire, state legislative, business and labor leaders have had pretty strong words for McGinn and Seattleites who are trying to stop the viaduct tunnel. To be consistent, isn’t it time to ratchet up the rhetoric against Bellevue and Freeman?

Meanwhile, over at the Seattle Times, columnist Lynne Varner laments over the departure of city council member Grant Degginger, who announced last week that he does not plan to run for reelection, citing the loss of collegiality on the council. "Like Seattle paralyzed over a proposed tunnel, light-rail is Bellevue's tunnel issue," Varner writes. "No one expected Degginger to sit on a temperamental council plugging the dikes forever, but this is a bad time to lose his thoughtful, moderate voice."

 
Show Comments