Published February 9 2023
Plus, next steps on tourism promotion, parks summer programming, highway projects and Black History Month
The City Council on Monday reviewed the Transportation Department’s new Automated Vehicle Strategic Vision, a collaboration with the City of Seattle to build a framework that applies a unified approach to prepare for the arrival of automated vehicles throughout the region.
Sometimes called autonomous vehicles, automated vehicles are equipped with technology that enables them to operate themselves. The document captures a shared future vision and guidance on the preparation, planning and implementation of AV technologies.
The AV Strategic Vision is a key initiative that builds on the city’s 2018 Bellevue Smart Mobility Plan and supports the council’s vision and priorities for a state-of-the-art intelligent transportation system that moves people safely from place to place. The 2018 plan identified potential AV initiatives that Bellevue could support and/or pursue.
In June 2022, the council received a mid-project update on the AV Strategic Vision, including how the technology is evolving throughout the nation. The completed AV Strategic Vision presents a localized approach with near-, mid- and long-term actions that the City of Bellevue and the surrounding region should take to maximize its readiness for the arrival of AV technologies. Recommended actions in the Strategic Vision also outline how city staff will work with State and Federal counterparts in ensuring a safe, equitable, efficient and complementary rollout of AV technologies in Bellevue.
View the report and more information at Smart Mobility.
Public hearing on Tourism Promotion Area
The council held a public hearing on the establishment of a Bellevue-Redmond Tourism Promotion Area, a funding mechanism to support tourism promotion through a special fee on lodging provided by hotels with 40 rooms or more. Efforts to form a tourism promotion area have been a partnership between area tourism organizations, hotels and the cities of Bellevue and Redmond. The proposed TPA would allow the two cities to generate additional revenue for tourism promotion and has a projected revenue of $3.5 million in the first year. A petition was filed on Jan. 18 to initiate the process of establishing the area and the council adopted a resolution of intent on Jan. 23.
Following the hearing, the council voted unanimously to bring back the final action to adopt the TPA at a future meeting on the consent calendar. The full hearing can be accessed through video replay on the Bellevue Television YouTube channel.
Parks summer programming
Bellevue Parks & Community Services staff are currently preparing for summer with day camps, life-guarded beaches and special events like the Fourth of July fireworks in Downtown Park. The summer season starts in early June with a citywide Lake to Lake Bike Ride and runs through Labor Day weekend at our beach parks. With hundreds of thousands of visitors to the park system in 2022, the city anticipates another active summer.
More information on the city’s parks programming and activities can be found at Programs and Activities.
Update on WSDOT projects in Bellevue
The council also previewed a written list of state Department of Transportation (WSDOT) construction happening in Bellevue through 2027. An unprecedented level of major highway construction includes:
- two full weekend closures of Interstate 405 in July and September for work on the Renton to Bellevue Widening and Express Tolls Lanes project
- completion of the Eastrail bridge over southbound I-405
- routine maintenance work on the I-90 tunnel at Mercer Island on weekends in April, July and October
More information is at state highway projects.
Black History Month
In other business, a proclamation was read recognizing February as Black History Month and raising awareness of the history and contributions of communities of color.
Special programming includes the city’s partnership with the organization Living Voices to bring “Living Voices: The Right to Dream” to City Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 6:30-7:45 p.m. More information and event registration is available at Black History Month.