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In the 2011-2012 budget, the City Council approved capital and operating funding to support an update to the Downtown Transportation Plan. Staff from the Transportation Department will manage this effort with support from Planning & Community Development. A consultant team, headed by DKS Associates will provide technical information and analysis to assist in decision-making. The Transportation Commission will serve as the advisory group for this plan update.
This plan update will be a focused update to the transportation portion of the Downtown Subarea Plan which was adopted in 2004. That planning effort included a horizon extending out to 2020 – a date that is rapidly approaching. There is a need to plan further out to 2030 to assure the downtown transportation system can function well and support expected new jobs and housing in the longer term.
The plan update will consider and incorporate forecasted growth in population and employment through 2030. This updated and extended planning effort will include planned transit improvements such as King County Metro's RapidRide bus service and East Link light rail. Other regional projects, including State Route 520 improvements and tolling, will also play a key role in the function of Bellevue’s transportation system. These and other projects and plans, such as the updated Bel-Red Plan, were not included in the currently adopted Downtown Subarea Plan and need to be reflected moving forward.
A multimodal strategy is needed to accommodate both motorized and non-motorized transportation demand. The technical scope of work will include developing recommendations to improve roadways, transit, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and traffic signal operations, preparing an implementation strategy for prioritization and funding, as well as outlining possible measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from downtown transportation sources. The final report will be a revised list of transportation system improvements that will accommodate the forecast motorized and non-motorized through 2030.