Sunday, May 10, 2009

Seattle Times: Editorials & Opinion: Bellevue's creative tunnel vision

SEATTLE - Today's Seattle Times has an editorial affirming the newspaper's love for the Eastside of Lake Washington.

THE Eastside has emerged as a strong, enthusiastic proponent of light rail, joining innovative ideas and long-range visions of the region's development, making civic leaders' call for a tunnel under downtown Bellevue worth serious consideration.

Sound Transit officials estimate a tunnel would add between $500 million to $600 million to the overall cost of the regional transit expansion between downtown Seattle and downtown Redmond. The added cost shouldn't be taken lightly. Nor should it be discounted as economically out of reach.

As Sound Transit's board of directors this week choose the focus of further engineering studies, a tunnel ought to be included. Pushing forth a tunnel, in addition to the surface option, allows further research on the costs, benefits and impacts of each.
- Seattle Times

Hey, what's $500 or $600 million dollars between friends?

Sound Transit link-light rail line that will run through Bellevue is marked with well thought out decisions with a vision of the future, according to the Times. Not mentioned in the option to run part of the rail through a tunnel is that Bellevue should on the hook for tunnel cost overruns, right? That is the new trend from the Washington State Legislature, right?

Seattle wanted a tunnel as part of the replacement of the Alaska Way viaduct and the legislature tagged Seattle with the cost overruns of the tunnel with the passage of Senate Bill 5768. In fact, both State Senators from Bellevue, Fred Jarret of the 41st and Rodney Tom of the 48th Districts, both voted to put the cost overruns on the citizens of Seattle (hey, that's me).

Don't start arguing fairness now Bellevue, you already approved this to be fair in the legislature through the actions of your senators there.

Ok, the "state" is one organization and Sound Transit is a regional organization. . . chaired by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. Yes, that is the same Seattle and mayor that Jarrett and Tom both voted to dump the viaduct project cost overruns onto.

I guess there is only so much the Seattle Times can cram into a puff piece about Bellevue.

Hey, on a side note, Fred Jarrett is running for King County Executive. Seattle is in King County, and so am I.
Greg Nickels is running for re-election for Mayor of Seattle.
What is a voter t do?

Holding your representatives accountable for their votes is coming too end, right now.

I'm not paid to write this so I can't be fired, so, get used to it.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker
Sent from my iPhone