Response to Bellevue Spur

 
                                      Kirkland, WA

                                      Kirkland, WA

Sound Transit Board
401 S. Jackson Street
Seattle, WA 98104-2826

Dated: May 5, 2016

Subject: Public Comment re: LRT Bellevue Spur to S. Kirkland Park & Ride

Dear Chairman Dow Constantine and Sound Transit Board Members,

We want you to know that Save Our Trail strongly opposes the light rail extension from Bellevue to the S. Kirkland Park & Ride. We repeat our position in light of the fact that during the latest Kirkland City Council meeting on May 3rd they voted to support the extension “subject to the following provisions” which demands “a provisional “dotted line” of extended HCT service along the CKC to Totem Lake is included in the ST3 plan, in the event that the SKPR project costs less than anticipated or more federal dollars are secured."

We have stated that we opposed the extension because we feared it would be the first step to future transit on the entire Trail. Kirkland’s actions now show that this could happen in ST3. Here are other reasons we oppose the Bellevue Spur

  • :The Spur conflicts with the intent of the Environmental Study to study the Trail before anything is built. This is truly an example of putting the passenger car before the locomotive!
  • The proposal cost of $335 million dollars for only 2 miles is exorbitant.
  • There is no real time savings for commuters. In the City proposal, the city calculates that taking the 235 bus from Totem Lake to the S. Kirkland P&R and then a transfer to light rail would take only 37 minutes versus the normal 44 minute ride. Currently, the 535 ST Express bus from Totem Lake to Bellevue only takes 12 minutes with no transfer. Which is the obvious choice for riders?
  • The Spur would impact traffic near the park and ride. Traffic congestion around the park and ride will only increase and will not resolve the neighborhood traffic issues.

Regarding the Environmental Study, we would like to clarify our position that we stated in the 4/25/16 letter to you. If the intent is to solely build transit on the Trail, then we will not support it. However, we will support it if other alternative routes are also studied, like transit on I-405.

We want to be absolutely clear - we are resolutely against the Bellevue Spur proposal and any HCT plan affecting the CKC and will not support ST3 if proposals like these are included. We would like to continue to collaborate with you and your staff in making sure that we are able to fully support the ST3 plan in November

.

Sincerely,

Save Our Trail Leadership Team

David Greschler, Santos Contreras, and Jan Young

Cc:  Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff
       City Of Kirkland Council members