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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Council Roundup: Council drills deeper into light rail plan

The City Council on Monday once again dove into the issue of where a light rail line should run through Bellevue, urging city residents to let their views be known at a Feb. 2 public hearing at City Hall.

"At the end of the day, this is a very important series of choices for our city," Mayor Grant Degginger said. "We very much value the comments we've received and we look forward to hearing a whole lot more next week (at the hearing)."

The Council's discussion was part of the environmental review process for East Link, the Sound Transit project that will extend light rail from Seattle, through Bellevue and on to Redmond. Monday's meeting was one of several sessions Council has devoted to the topic in recent weeks and will continue to study in February. Next Monday's public hearing will take place at 8 p.m. in the Council’s chambers at City Hall.

Last November, voters in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties approved Proposition 1, which includes East Link. On Dec. 12, Sound Transit released a draft environmental impact statement for the project, beginning a 75-day comment period that ends on Feb. 25.

In addition to the Council's public hearing, Sound Transit will hold two public meetings this week in Bellevue. The events will include both experts who can answer questions about East Link, and opportunities for the public to make formal comments on the draft EIS.

The first Sound Transit public meeting in Bellevue is on Wednesday, Jan. 28, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Bellevue High School, 10416 Wolverine Way. The second is on Thursday, Jan. 29, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Bellevue City Hall, 450 110th Ave. NE.

On Monday, city staff briefed Council on its technical review of the draft EIS and on an initial comparison of how Sound Transit's route options compare to the city's policy direction regarding light rail. Much of the direction about light rail routing was developed last year as part of the city's Light Rail Best Practices Project. The main goal of the unique, year-long effort was to learn from the light rail experiences of other cities and apply those lessons to Bellevue.

Feedback: Bernard van de Kamp, Bellevue Regional Projects Manager, 425-452-6459 or bvandekamp@bellevuewa.gov.

The Council Agendas and Council Minutes pages offer complete information regarding Council meetings.

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450 110th Ave. NE
P.O. Box 90012
Bellevue, WA 98009
Phone: 425-452-6856

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