The Bellevue City Council is holding two meetings this week to discuss options for the most controversial segment of East Link light rail, the segment that runs through South Bellevue. Council members who fought long and hard for more expensive, lower-ridership options than the one Sound Transit ultimately adopted are now complaining that they don't have enough time to discuss the latest alternatives. Perhaps the heat is making me extra cranky, but it seems that if you're the one who dragged out the process as long as possible, you don't get to complain that you need more time.[pullquote]In reality, opponents of the adopted route will almost certainly use the meetings as an opportunity to complain---again---about the routing and demand  even more time to debate and delay the project.[/pullquote]

Some background: For more than a year, a four-member majority of the Bellevue council has been fighting for a South Bellevue route known as B7, which would  run across the Mercer Slough wetland and along an abandoned railroad right-of-way next to I-405, bypassing most homes and jobs as well as the existing South Bellevue Park-and-Ride. That alignment had the lowest ridership, a  served the fewest businesses, and cost the most of any potential alignment.

By comparison, Sound Transit'sadopted alignment, B2M, would run alongside the Mercer Slough and up 112th Ave. NE into downtown Bellevue, stopping at the existing park-and-ride.

Ostensibly, the two meetings are to discuss how to mitigate the impacts of B2M, to hammer out the details of how the rail line will cross SE 112th St. (at grade or on an elevated bridge), and the terms of a memorandum of understanding with Sound Transit to build a controversial $320 million city-Sound Transit-funded tunnel through downtown Bellevue. In reality, opponents of the adopted route will almost certainly use the meetings as an opportunity to complain---again---about the routing and demand (as council member Kevin Wallace, who opposes the B2M route, is already doing, calling the timeline "crazy") even more time to debate and delay the project.

Given that Wallace and his council allies are the main reason the timeline for adopting the alignment has been delayed this long, it's pretty rich to hear him complaining that delay is "crazy" now.

Weigh in on East Link at an open house this afternoon from 4:30 to 6:30, or at next Monday's regularly scheduled Bellevue City Council meeting at 8:00. Both meetings are at Bellevue City Hall, 450 110th Ave. NE.