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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, November 9, 2007

Planning for light rail in Bellevue continues Nov. 14

Residents will have another opportunity to help shape the vision for a possible extension of light rail to Bellevue at a Nov. 14 open house and a series of round table discussions about light rail experiences in other cities.

The events are part of the City of Bellevue's ongoing Light Rail Best Practices Project, which will move forward alongside Sound Transit's environmental review of its East Link project to extend light rail from Seattle, through Bellevue and on to Redmond. 

The open house and round table discussions will take place from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, on the first floor of Bellevue City Hall.

The East Link environmental review will proceed while Sound Transit is reviewing options for continuing the Sound Transit 2 planning process following the defeat of Proposition 1, according to Sound Transit officials.

The city's Best Practices effort also will continue in order to help Bellevue residents make informed policy choices and have a role in crafting a preferred alternative, since light rail remains a vital component of the city's transportation strategy.

"It's still important that the Light Rail Best Practices effort move forward so that Bellevue stakeholder groups are assured a part in the decision-making process," said Goran Sparrman, director of the city's Transportation Department. "Ultimately, voters would have to approve funding for East Link. We just want to be prepared for the next step, whatever it is."

The Bellevue City Council created the Light Rail Best Practices Project and Light Rail Best Practices Committee to learn from the experiences, or best practices, of other communities with light rail systems. The Nov. 14 event will consist of two parts:

  • An open house from 4 to 7:30 p.m. offers an opportunity to learn about light rail experiences in other cities and share thoughts.
  • A series of round tables from 4:15 to 7:15 p.m. includes in-depth, small group discussions on four different topics, beginning every 45 minutes, on how best practices in other cities could be applied in Bellevue. The topics are: community and neighborhoods, connecting people to light rail, protecting and enhancing property values, and station security.

Attendees may participate in from one to four round table discussions, but must arrive at 4 p.m. to participate in all four sessions. Each session will include a brief description on the research topic and a facilitated discussion in which participants will be asked to respond to questions that will help the Committee identify best practices for Bellevue.

To help city staff better prepare for this event, those planning to attend are asked to RSVP by e-mailing staff or calling 425-452-2042.

In addition to the open house/round table, the Light Rail Best Practices Committee will hold meetings on Nov. 20 and Dec. 18 to further review and discuss the four topics. Both meetings are at 7 p.m. in City Hall and are open to the public.

For more information, visit the Light Rail Best Practices website; for more information about Sound Transit’s East Link project visit the Sound Transit website.

For those driving to City Hall, visitor parking is available for free on a first-come, first-served basis for those attending the open house/round table discussions.

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Contact Information

450 110th Ave. NE
P.O. Box 90012
Bellevue, WA 98009
Contact: David Grant, Public Information Officer
Phone: 425-452-4397
E-mail: dgrant@bellevuewa.gov

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