City Council members Monday endorsed the proposed Roads and Transit plan scheduled to go before the region's voters in November.
By a 5-2 vote, council members adopted a resolution stating the need for transportation mobility solutions in East King County and Bellevue was at a "critical crossroads," with traffic congestion currently costing Puget Sound residents more than $2 billion annually due to delays.
"(The Roads and Transit plan) provides a comprehensive, regional transportation investment plan that includes timely multimodal transportation solutions," the resolution states.
The plan is comprised of numerous road and transit projects in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. An estimated $5.6 billion of the package is specifically earmarked for projects in Bellevue and other parts of East King County.
Major Eastside projects include replacing the State Route 520 bridge across Lake Washington, widening Interstate 405 from Bellevue to Renton, building a light rail line from Seattle to Bellevue and on to Redmond, and express bus service enhancements.
The council's vote followed a public meeting during which council members listened to comments from groups and individuals who both favor and oppose the plan. Under state law, such a public meeting must occur before the council can take a formal position on a ballot measure.
The majority of those who addressed the council Monday favored the Roads and Transit plan and represented a broad spectrum of the community, including both residential and business areas. Those who were critical of the measure were largely residents residing south of downtown who may be impacted by the proposed light rail line that is part of the plan.
Council members Conrad Lee and Don Davidson both voted against the resolution, saying a vote should be delayed until council members had more time to study information presented by the public during the hearing. Davidson also stated that he was not convinced the Roads and Transit plan would adequately resolve the region’s transportation challenges.
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