Bellevue, Washington has been alive with debate about planned light rail alignments in and around its downtown this year, with Sound Transit, the regional transit agency, often at loggerheads with local elected officials about the preferred route to be selected for study and eventual implementation.
Last month, Sound Transit selected a segment adjacent to a close-in residential neighborhood for further evaluation in the project Environmental Impact Statement.
The situation remains a textbook application of the challenges which Paul Symington and I addressed in our recently republished report, “Urban Centers and Transit-Oriented Development in Washington“, (the “Barriers Report“), downloadable here. In keeping with our discussion of political, organizational and interagency implementation challenges, the Bellevue City Council and many residents oppose Sound Transit’s preferred alternative.
On the ground, opposition is clear from the landscape of signage, and from an imaginary train ride captured below–well over a decade before completion of Sound Transit’s East Link. Regardless of which alignment is chosen and constructed, consider rides with memories of where planning-era signage was located along the way!