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Policy Committees on Hiatus; More on Meydenbauer Bay Park; East Link Construction in high gear; I-90 Center Lane changes coming soon.

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, May 15, 2017

Policy Committees on Hiatus

As a reminder, we’re taking the month of May off from Chamber policy committee meetings. But. we’ll be back in June with fresh topics and speakers! Keep your eyes on these pages for more information. 

More on Meydenbauer Bay Park

Bellevue has long been known as the “City in a Park,” with nearly 100 open spaces to enjoy. Now, new and longtime residents alike can celebrate the groundbreaking of Meydenbauer Bay Park. Three decades in the making, this new project will connect Meydenbauer Beach Park with Meydenbauer Marina and open up a quarter mile of waterfront property to permanent public access.

Here are a few highlights of the project:

  • Construction of a new beach house with restroom and showers;
  • A new pier with hand-carry boat launch;
  • An expanded swimming area;
  • Additional parking capacity.

Total cost is projected to be $17.2 million and the park is expected to open in late 2018.

Bel-Red East Link Construction in high gear

Beginning May 15, work crews will begin demolishing buildings on the site of the future Bel-Red/130th light rail station. Take a look at a map of affected properties here. To learn more about light rail-related construction in the Bel-Red area, Sound Transit is planning a construction kick-off open house during the month of June. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we have additional details.

I-90 Center Lane changes coming soon

Over the last month, we’ve experienced a series of partial lane closures on I-90, as work crews performed re-striping and other tasks related to addition of one new HOV lane in each direction, between Mercer Island and the Mount Baker tunnel.

Now, Sound Transit and WSDOT are on track to permanently close reversible operation of center lanes across I-90 on June 3, for conversion to light rail operations. Learn more on from WSDOT here.

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Transportation Business Forum; Bellevue Boards and Commissions; Transportation Budget; I-90 Center Lanes Update.

Posted By Chris Johnson, Friday, April 14, 2017

Transportation Business Forum April 25

Do you have a business in the Bel-Red Corridor? Come to the upcoming Business Resource Forum, scheduled for Tuesday, April 25, 4:30 – 7:00 PM. Staff from Sound Transit and the City of Bellevue will be on hand to help you navigate through the many transportation projects coming your way, including Overlake Park Ride Closure, East Link light rail and more. Learn more and register here.

Bellevue Boards and Commissions Openings

Would you like to serve your community and have a direct impact on public policy? The Bellevue City Council is now taking applications for openings on the following advisory bodies:

  • Environmental Services Commission;
  • Human Services Commission;
  • Parks and Community Services Board;
  • Transportation Commission.

Apply online or pick up hard copy at the City Clerk’s office; deadline is April 21 at 5 PM.

Transportation Budget

As reported in #TheBizVoice, the state House has adopted a transportation budget for the 2017-19 Biennium, amending a proposal sent over by the Senate. ESB 5096 includes important investments for the Eastside.

  • Sec. 1106(11) – Appropriations for -405/Kirkland Vicinity State 2, I-405/SR 167 Interchange, I-405 Renton/Bellevue;
  • Sec. 1006(11) – Preliminary engineering for adding capacity between SR 522 and I-5;
  • Sec. 1006 (29) – Revised appropriations for hard shoulder running from SR 527 to I-5.

Also included in Section 204 is funding for a third-party traffic study of I-405 express toll and general purpose lanes. Stay tuned as final details are negotiated.

I-90 Center Lanes Update

After two and a half years of work, WSDOT and Sound Transit are preparing to open one new HOV lane in each direction across I-90, between Seattle and Bellevue. This will be accomplished by shifting existing GP lanes in the outer roadway to the right – and then re-striping.

Once the new lanes are open on Saturday, June 3, the center roadway will be converted for East Link light rail operations. On the following weekends, motorist should be prepared for center lane closures and rerouting of traffic to the outer roadways:

  • April 21–24 (westbound)
  • May 5–8 (westbound)
  • May 12–15 (eastbound)

See the WSDOT I-90 project web page for more information.

 

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: State Budget Revenue Proposals; Men’s Homeless Shelter Due Diligence; Changes to I-90 center lanes; Temporary closure of 114th Avenue

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, April 3, 2017
Updated: Friday, March 31, 2017

State Budget Revenue Proposals

As reported in this week’s edition of #TheBizVoice, the WA State Legislature is considering two competing budget proposals. On the revenue side, the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus is proposing a new statewide uniform property tax or “local effort levy” of $1.55 per 1,000.00 A/V, to fund basic education. This would replace all current local school levies in support of basic education; residents of the Bellevue School District would see their rate increased thirty cents from $1.25 to $1.55 per $1,000.00 A/V.

The House has its own proposal, relying on new sources of revenue to pay for basic education, as well as human services. Here’s a summary of the details:

  • B&O Tax increase of 20% for businesses with taxable income over $ 250 K, an exemption for less than $250 K and $1000 deduction for $250 to $500 K;
  • Capital Gains Tax of 7% on sale of securities above $25 K for individuals, $50 K for couples filing jointly;
  • Graduated Real Estate Excise Tax rate of .75% for home with less than $250 K value, 1.28% for homes priced $250 K to $1.0 million, 2.0% for $1 to $5 million, and 2.5% for above $5 million.

Take a deeper dive with the latest report by the WA Research Council.

Men’s Homeless Shelter Due Diligence

For the past year, we’ve been following the proposal to build a new men’s homeless shelter and transitional housing facility in Bellevue. The primary site currently under consideration is at 14350 SE Eastgate Way – immediately adjacent to the Eastgate Park and Ride Lot.

Council will review due diligence reports as prepared by staff, at the Regular Study Session on Monday, April 3, 6 PM at City Hall. You can watch the discussion on Bellevue TV Channel 21 or via live streaming.

Changes to I-90 center roadway

Sound Transit has announced that it is on track to close the I-90 center roadway in June, making it available for conversion to light rail operations. In order to make this deadline, crews must first complete the addition of new HOV lanes in the either direction, on the outer roadway of the bridge deck between Mercer Island and Seattle.

Consequently, motorists should be prepared for partial center roadway closures on the following weekends:

  • April 7–10 (eastbound)
  • April 21–24 (westbound)
  • May 5–8 (westbound)
  • May 12–15 (eastbound)

See the WSDOT I-90 project web page for more information.

Temporary closure of 114th Avenue

After nearly three months of continuing operations, 114th Avenue will once again be closed in both directions between SE 6th and SE 8th for utility work. The closure is scheduled to begin on April 10 and continue for two weeks.

For a view from the ground, take a look at the map located on the project website.

 

 

Tags:  State Budget Revenue Proposals; Men’s Homeless She 

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Newport Way Improvements

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, March 20, 2017

Newport Way Improvements

Last spring, City staff held an open house at South Bellevue Community Center, relating to proposed bike and pedestrian investments along Newport Way SE. With traffic volumes estimated at 7,000 vehicles per day, area residents have long requested non-motorized improvements to this busy corridor.

Council will receive an update on design alternatives to the Newport Way Improvements Project – Somerset to 150th SE (PW-R-166), at its March 20 Study Session. Members of the Public can tune in to live coverage on Channel 21 – Bellevue Television and view background materials online.

 

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Fire Station 10 Update; Green Light for Meydenbauer Beach Park; S. Bellevue Park and Ride Alert.

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, March 13, 2017

Fire Station 10 Update

Last November, Prop 1 – the fire services levy, was approved by 57% of the voters. Site acquisition costs for a new Fire Station 10 were already in the CIP, but the levy provided resources to actually build the new station. Last week, Council was briefed on public feedback regarding the preferred site – the northwest corner of 112th Avenue NE and NE 12th.

A total of nine parcels will be acquired in order to proceed with this option. Upon reviewing the site selection criteria, including fire services response time and coverage, Council affirmed its earlier decision and staff will proceed with property acquisition. View site selection criteria here or public meeting materials from last October.

Green Light for Meydenbauer Beach Park

After years of planning, Council has given the green light for phase one construction of the Meydenauer Beach Park expansion project. With its action last week, Council has authorized a $14.6 million construction contract, with work to begin in May.

Longtime Bellevue residents know this process began with adoption of the 1987 Parks and Open Spaces Plan, continuing with the Meydenbauer Bay Park and Land Use Plan of 2010. For those who can’t wait until the sun is out to visit the Park, drop in and see the Meydenbauer Bay Sewer Line Replacement Project – scheduled to be completed in time for Park expansion.

S. Bellevue Park and Ride Alert

March 11 marked the day for spring transit service changes – including routes which serve the South Bellevue Park and Ride Lot. However, there will be no interruption in service to this park and ride, until the facility closes later this spring.

To find out if your bus route has been affected by the spring service changes, check here. Learn more about alternate park and ride locations and subscribe to East Link construction alerts. Regardless, we’ll let you know as soon as a final closure date for S. Bellevue Park and Ride is confirmed.

Tags:  Bellevue Fire Station 10; Meydenbauer Beach Park;  

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Council funds EBBC petition for review; Propositions 1 and 2 projects funded; Chamber briefed on Bellevue Way SE Project

Posted By Chris Johnson, Friday, February 24, 2017

Council funds EBBC petition for review

By a split vote, the Council on Tuesday approved a resolution authorizing up to $27,000 for the East Bellevue Community Council's petition to the Washington Supreme Court. Resolution No. 9235 affirms that appellate litigation costs are a “legitimate expense” of the EBBC and the City is therefore obligated to provide funding under state law.

The ongoing litigation concerns the Lake Hills Transmission Line Project – Puget Sound Energy’s proposal to increase electrical distribution reliability. If implemented, the project would install a second 115-kilovolt overhead transmission line on a 2.89 mile route along SE 16th, 148th SE, and NE 8th. The original PSE permit applications for a conditional use permit were submitted in 2011, approved by the Hearing Examiner in 2014 and granted by the City Council in 2014.

To review details of the proposal, including community mitigation, see Ordinance 6226. For the record, the Chamber has not taken a positon on the litigation or proposed petition for review, but strongly agrees with the need for the underlying project.

Propositions 1 and 2 projects funded

The Bellevue City Council has approved the first allocation of revenues from Propositions 1 and 2. With adoption of Ordinance 6346, Council added $95,026,995 to the adopted 2017-23 Capital Investment Program (CIP). Categories to be funded include the following:

  • PW-R-198 Neighborhood Congestion Management - $2 million in 2017, $14 million overall
  • PW-R-199 Neighborhood Safety & Connectivity - $5.4 million, $37,800,000 million overall
  • PS-64 – Fire Station 10 - $6.15 million in 2017, $18.45 million overall
  • PS-65 – Fire Station 4 - $6.15 million in 2020, $24.6 million overall

To learn more about the individual projects to be funded in the “neighborhood congestion management” bucket, come to your Chamber Transportation Committee meeting on Tuesday, March 14, 7:30 AM at the Chamber office. In the meantime, take a look at the following project list.

 Chamber briefed on Bellevue Way SE Project

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Chamber Transportation Committee members were treated to briefing by the Bellevue Way SE project team. Staff confirmed the following project goals, per Council direction:

  • Reduce congestion along Bellevue Way SE southbound during the 3 – 6 PM peak period
  • Reduce delay for transit operations in the corridor
  • Improve multi-modal access to the corridor (including S. Bellevue Station, I-90 Center Roadway).

Much of our discussion focused on the projected costs and benefits associated with project alternatives and we reached the following conclusions.

  • Option 4 “narrow” will cost $30.8 million, while Option 4 “wide” would be $40 million, but there is no difference in travel time savings or person throughput for the additional $ 9 million.
  • Options 1, 2 & 4 assume travel time benefits based on unfunded “high levels of bus ridership” – 8 buses per hour on Bellevue Way and 13 per hour on     112th (in addition to light rail) – we’ve asked the staff team to re-run the model at the “medium scenario.”
  • Before recommending one of the existing project alternatives, we’d like to know what the underlying “BKR model” tells us about the following: Origin and destination of trips in the corridor; GP vs HOV mode split; Transit vs. carpool split; Local vs. regional trips

We think answers to these questions will help us determine which alternative will best balance project costs with total person throughput, prevent neighborhood cut-through and provide fairness for local taxpayers. Check out project background materials online and let us know what you think.

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Key Projects at Transportation Commission; Foul Weather Road Closures; Bellefield Area Utility work continues.

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, February 13, 2017

Key Projects at Transportation Commission

The Bellevue Transportation Commission took a first look at projects proposed for funding with revenues from recently adopted Bellevue Proposition Two. Early investments proposed for 2017-18 include design work for badly needed congestion relief projects in the Eastgate area. Take a look at the memorandum and project list here.

Also on the agenda was the Bellevue Way SE Project. The Commission received a full briefing on project alternatives scenarios, including Option 3: GP lane through the “Y” and Option 4: HOV lane through the “Y” (112th only).

The Commission is expected to make a recommendation at its March 9 meeting, so take a look at the project briefing materials from last Thursday.

You can shape your Chamber’s position on this vital project at our Transportation Committee briefing –Tuesday, February 14, 7:30 AM at the Chamber office.

Foul Weather Road Closures

Beginning with the snowfall of February 4, Bellevue residents experienced foul weather related road closures on major and minor arterials, as well as neighborhood streets throughout the city. As of last Friday, all storm-related closures had ended, but motorists should be on the lookout for standing water in a few remaining locations.

For real-time information on future storm related closures or to sign up for e mail notification, visit the City’s Emergency and Extreme Weather page.

Bellefield Area Utility Work Continues

There’s good news for those who travel the “back way” to the Chamber office – 114th Avenue SE is now operating in both directions from SE 8th all the way to Main St, due to completion of the Wilburton sewer main replacement work.

As reported in the last issue of the Bellevue Blitz Roundup, however, the right lane (westbound) on SE 8th remains closed between 112th and 114th SE, until later this month. Check the traffic advisories page for more information.

 

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Bellevue Way SE Project Alternatives Unveiled; East Link Construction Update; 114th Ave. SE Reopens.

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, January 30, 2017

Bellevue Way SE Project Alternatives Unveiled

A Community Open House on the Bellevue Way SE Project was held on January 19 and Chamber members were there to check out the alternatives. A total of six modeling scenarios were presented, including Option 3: GP lane through the “Y” and Option 4: HOV lane through the “Y” (112th only).

View the open house materials, including summaries of estimated travel time saving for each alternative at the project webpage. If you have already made up your mind, go directly to the online survey regarding project alternatives – open through January 31.

And don’t forget our Transportation Committee briefing on this project – Tuesday, February 14, 7:30 AM at the Chamber office.

East Link Construction Update

Last summer, there were several partial street closures along 110th Avenue NE, as Sound Transit contractors performed pre-tunneling excavation. Beginning this week, we’ll see lane and sidewalk closures, as crews begin construction of a dewatering test well along 110th NE.

Pumping out water is a necessary precursor to tunneling and work will continue at several sites along 110th NE over the next several months. For more details, including temporary closure of the southbound right hand turn lane at NE 4th and a possible sidewalk closures adjacent to the Skyline Tower, visit the East Link project webpage or call the 24 hour construction hotline at (888) 298-2395.

114th Avenue SE Reopens

After intermittent closures for over a year, in order to perform badly needed work on the Wilburton Sewer Main, all lanes on 114th Ave. SE are open to motorists. Most recently, SB lanes were closed from SE 6th to SE 8th through early last week. While some paving work continues and traffic cones remain in place, travelers may now drive all the way from SE 8th to NE 4th, including the Chamber office, in both directions.

Be aware, however, that the right lane (westbound) on SE 8th remains closed between 112th and 114th SE, until later sometime in February.

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: City Appoints Finance Director; Bellevue Way SE Project Open House; Foul Weather Traffic Updates

Posted By Chris Johnson, Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, January 10, 2017

City of Bellevue Appoints Finance Director

City Manager Brad Miyake appointed Toni Call as Bellevue Finance Director in December. Ms. Call has been briefing Public Affairs Committee members on the City’s proposed 2017-18 Operating Budget and 2017-23 Capital Budget. She also provided a deep dive into the financial assumptions behind recently adopted ballot measures Bellevue Proposition One and Proposition Two.

After over five and half years with the Bellevue Finance Department, we congratulate Toni Call on her new position. We look forward to more briefings as the City embarks on a 2017-18 mid-biennium review.

Bellevue Way SE Project Open House Scheduled for January 19, 2017

As reported in the last issue of Bellevue Blitz, the City of Bellevue is moving forward with the Bellevue Way SE project and is ready for additional public input.

Here’s what is on the calendar for this month:

  • Thursday, January 19, 2017 – Community Open House, 5 – 7 PM, City Hall Concourse
  • Tuesday, February 14, 2017 – Briefing before Chamber Transportation Committee (7:30 AM)

Keeping people moving on Bellevue Way SE has long been a top priority of the Bellevue Chamber. We urge all Chamber members to attend the Community Open House. For those unable to attend, please fill out an online survey regarding project alternatives – open January 12 – 31.

Foul Weather Driving Advisory and Construction Update

As winter weather conditions continue, please be careful while driving and look out for snow and ice on local roads and sidewalks. Sign up today for foul weather traffic alerts from City Emergency Services.

As reported earlier, 114th Ave. SE between SE 6th & SE 8th will be closed between SE 6th St. and Main St. from December 23rd through January 20th.

Similarly, the right lane (westbound) on SE 8th will remain closed between 114th SE and 112th SE until approximately mid-January 2017. For additional information, consult the City’s traffic alert page for frequent updates.

 

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Bellevue Council Adopts 2017-18 Budget

Posted By Chris Johnson, Friday, December 9, 2016

After several months of deliberation and public testimony, the Bellevue Council adopted a 2017-18 Operating Budget and 2017-23 Capital Improvement Program. This year, the Chamber focused its input on the Operating side; here are a few general observations

  • The operating budget contains a modest projected growth rate of 3% per year or 6% for the 2017-18 Biennium.
  • The cost of government expressed by taxes as a percentage of personal income remains constant at 2.4%. This tracks with the project inflation rate for 2017 of 2.4%, slightly up from 2.2% in 2016.
  • The Chamber applauds the decision not to raise general property taxes, and to “bank” the difference between the implicit price deflator (IPD) amount of .95% and the maximum 1% aggregate property tax increase allowed under state law.

For additional details, see our letter to the Bellevue Council below dated December 2, 2016.

 Attached Files:

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