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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Council Roundup: traffic enforcement cameras to be tested

Also, plans for neighborhood events unveiled and input sought for possible driving range expansion at golf course

Traffic enforcement cameraJoining the ranks of other cities, Bellevue will launch a pilot program using cameras to enforce speed limits in school zones and red lights at problem intersections.

The program, approved by the City Council Monday, calls for American Traffic Solutions Inc. to install cameras to catch motorists running red lights at still-to-be determined locations on Northeast Eighth Street, Bel-Red Road and 148th Avenue Northeast. Cameras to enforce speeding laws will also be installed near Stevenson, Lake Hills and Sunset elementary schools.

More of both types of cameras may be installed later at other locations, depending on whether the program improves public safety.

"The effort is expected to improve traffic safety in the affected areas, while reducing risk to our officers," Police Chief Linda Pillo said. "With only minimal impact to our budget, the red-light cameras should provide efficient enforcement and help us continue to protect our community's children."

City Council members emphasized the program is a pilot. To monitor its effectiveness, statistical reports will be compiled for council review every six months.
Feedback: Greg Grannis, Police Public Information Officer, 425-452-4129 or ggrannis@bellevuewa.gov 

City unveils plans for neighborhood events
City Council members voiced support Monday for a coordinated series of activities and events designed to strengthen neighborhood connections, improve community appearance and help families suffering economic setbacks.

Bellevue's Neighborhood Outreach Team presented a 2009 Neighborhood Fitness work plan that offers city assistance with clean-ups and other activities to improve overall neighborhood appearance and livability. The program works in partnership with neighborhood associations and other community groups, including volunteers willing to step forward and help their neighbors with home maintenance challenges.

Also presented on Monday was a related plan to engage neighborhoods in spring and summer activities that strengthen community ties while generating resources for families in need. Drawing on funding made available by the City Council for 2009-10, the Outreach work program will include:

  • A neighborhood food drive competition, culminating in a city-sponsored celebration and recognition for the best efforts to collect food for local food banks;
  • A know-your-neighbor campaign, with the city helping neighborhoods to build connections that increase community security, enhance emergency preparedness and facilitate neighbors helping neighbors (Participating neighbors receive a Party-in-a- Box);
  • Assistance to neighborhoods planning and implementing their own community celebrations;
  • Adopt-a-Cause campaign, helping residents identify and respond to needs in the community by "adopting" a needy family, a human services program, a child who needs funding for a summer camp or sports program, etc.; and
  • Neighborhood volunteer projects culminating in city-sponsored celebrations.

For more information about the Neighborhood Fitness program and community-building events, contact Neighborhood Outreach, 425-452-6836, or go to Neighborhood Fitness

Feedback: Cheryl Kuhn, Neighborhood Outreach Manager, 425-452-4089 or ckuhn@bellevuewa.gov

Input sought on proposed driving range improvements
Bellevue is seeking public input regarding potential improvements to the Bellevue Golf Course driving range, including adding hitting stations and lights. The changes could improve the facility’s function and aesthetics and generate additional revenue.

At meetings this spring, input will be solicited from residents, including Bridle Trail residents living near the course, located at 5500 140th Ave. NE.   

The driving range was built in 1969 and is limited in space, heat and lighting. During peak season, customers often wait up to 30 minutes to warm up or practice at the range. Potential improvements would expand the number of hitting stations from 24 to 47, many covered. Lighting would allow longer operating hours in the spring, fall and winter. 

The Parks and Community Services Department has been exploring options to improve the driving range at the Bellevue Golf Course for several years.  Last fall David A. Clark Architects completed a preliminary schematic design and cost estimate for expansion of the driving range.

The proposed driving range improvements would increase annual golf revenues by an estimated $350,000, based on driving range revenues at other courses in the area managed by Premier Golf Centers, which operates Bellevue's course. 

The proposed driving range improvements would cost about $2.1 million. They would last 20 to 30 years and additional revenue could cover the expense in about seven years.

Public input will be sought through regular meetings of the Bridle Trails Community Association and from two additional public meetings at the course. 

Following the public outreach, Parks staff plans to return to the council in May or June. If the council approves an architecture and design contract, expansion of the driving range could begin sometime in 2010.

Feedback: Randy Leifer, Bellevue Golf Course Superintendent, 425-452-2850 or rleifer@bellevuewa.gov

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

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