Council Roundup: CommutePool, Smart Mobility Plan review

Council Roundup: CommutePool, Smart Mobility Plan review

On Monday, the City Council learned additional details about a proposal to create a “CommutePool” network of electric and eventually autonomous vehicles. The network would serve commuters along the congested Interstate 405/SR 167 corridor, from southeast King County to employment centers in Bellevue and Kirkland.

Submitted by the cities of Bellevue and Kirkland, the joint proposal is in the form of a grant application to the U.S. Department of Transportation that was submitted a few minutes before the council presentation started. The application has garnered 30 letters of support from major Eastside employers, public agencies and industry organizations.

Bellevue and Kirkland’s request to the USDOT grant program – officially named the Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment Initiative – is for $3 million. The total project cost is estimated at $9 million. City officials anticipate finding out if the grant application was successful by mid-October.

The application to develop a flexible, electric, autonomous CommutePool network is just one piece of Bellevue’s work to create its Smart Mobility Plan which is grouped into six initiatives, each with several projects. They include traffic management, real-time traveler information, data management, electric vehicles, autonomous and connected vehicles, and shared mobility.

Councilmembers reviewed progress on the plan and offered input on an interest statement that will provide policy direction. Principles that could be incorporated in the statement are public safety, benefits, measurable outcomes, economic development, technology advancement, supportive regulatory framework, partnerships and public engagement.

Background information on the Smart Mobility Plan Update can be found in the council agenda materials.

Library Board appointments

Later, during the regular session, councilmembers voted unanimously to appoint Ankit Saraf and Jillian Selem to the Bellevue Library Board. Saraf will serve a partial term in the Position 2 slot, expiring in 2021. Selem’s full four-year term will end in 2022.

The Library Board serves as an advisory body to the King County Library System. It is comprised of seven residents appointed by the mayor with the concurrence of the council. The Bellevue branch is the largest in the King County system.

Helistop hearing examiner appeal

As the last item of business, the council heard a Land Use Code appeal regarding the Hearing Examiner’s decision to deny an application for revocation of a conditional use permit for the use of a helistop in downtown. Under the code, certain appeals of the examiner’s decisions are heard by the council. The appeals are quasi-judicial proceedings and must rely on information within the record.

After hearing arguments, councilmembers discussed the matter in executive session. The council is not expected to make a decision on the case until later this summer. Additional background can be found in the agenda packet materials.

Published on 06/20/2018
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