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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Council Roundup: Korean website unveiled

Also, ped-bike plan goes to Planning Commission and city passes latest audit 

In an ongoing effort to reach out to non- and limited-English speaking residents, the City of Bellevue has added Korean language pages to its website.

Staff told the City Council Monday of the new Korean pages, which bring to five the total number of foreign-language sites now on the city's website. Spanish pages were introduced in 2003, followed last year by Russian, Chinese and Vietnamese.

"As the Internet becomes an increasingly important communications tool for the city, we need to continue to work to insure it serves our increasingly diverse populations," City Manager Stave Sarkozy said. "The addition of a fifth foreign language is another step in this direction."

In recent years, Council members have requested that the city's Neighborhood Outreach Team work with Communications staff to improve communications and customer service to non- and limited English speaking residents.

In addition to the foreign-language web pages, city staff have provided training for bilingual staff to serve as interpreters and expanded foreign-language office hours at Crossroads Mini City Hall.

To access the foreign-language pages, look in the left navigation column, near the bottom of screen.

Council propels revamped 'ped-bike' plan toward completion
A plan that would bolster alternatives to the high cost of driving by increasing Bellevue's network of pedestrian and bicycle thoroughfares has moved a step closer to implementation.

Council Monday received the Transportation Commission's recommendations on the updated Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation Plan, and directed staff to continue work on Comprehensive Plan amendments based on the update. The city's Planning Commission is scheduled to review the proposed amendments in coming weeks, and final Council approval is expected in early 2009.

The ped-bike plan is consistent with the Council's commitment to a "multi-modal" approach to a transportation system that offers a variety of travel options, including a robust pedestrian, bicycle and trail network. A comprehensive walking and biking system makes it easier for people to reach the places where they live, work and play.

The extensive process to update the ped-bike plan, last modified in 1999, began in early 2007, and has involved numerous opportunities for the public to help. In addition to four Council presentations on the topic, the Transportation Commission has overseen a wide-ranging outreach effort that reflects strong interest in the update.

Public participation has included six focus groups, 40 public events attracting a total of more than 500 people, and 1,300 responses to an online survey about the ped-bike plan.

Major conclusions drawn from the work: bike and walking corridors need to connect people to where they want to go; new pathways should complement the character of Bellevue; and additional attention is needed to increase awareness among all travelers about sharing the road.

Among other objectives, the ped-bike plan calls for Bellevue in the next 10 years to create at least two integrated, connected north-south and two east-west bicycle routes in the city, reduce accidents with vehicles by 25 percent from 2007 levels, build 25 miles of sidewalks along arterial streets and increase bike and foot trips by 10 percent above 2007 numbers.

Feedback: Franz Loewenherz, Senior Planner, 425-452-4077, floewenherz@bellevuewa.gov
City passes state audit with flying colors
Bellevue continues to receive kudos for its fiscal stewardship. Finance Director Jan Hawn reported that the city recently passed its annual State Auditor review with flying colors.

The review concluded the city employs sound financial management practices and accounting procedures.

Earlier this year, the city was awarded the prestigious Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). Bellevue has won the award for 25 consecutive years.

In recent years, Bellevue has maintained the highest possible bond rating from the nation’s two leading bond rating agencies. The rating reflects the agencies' strong confidence in the city's leadership and diversified economy.

Feedback: Jan Hawn, Finance Director, 425-452-6846, jhawn@bellevuewa.gov

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

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