Council Roundup: ‘Smart City’ accomplishments

Council Roundup: ‘Smart City’ accomplishments

On Monday night, the City Council was briefed on the substantial progress made in implementing the "Bellevue Smart" plan. Developed in 2017, the plan established a comprehensive and phased approach to leveraging technology to increase livability, sustainability and resiliency throughout the community. The six focus areas of the plan include connectivity, transportation, public safety, water, buildings and energy.

The projects in the plan — developed for Bellevue’s Smart City initiative — involve several departments collaborating on implementation. The initiative focuses on proactive and predictive solutions, driving analytics and data-driven processes, pursuing partnerships and leveraging regional relationships. Recent accomplishments from the annual update include:

  • Deploying an electronic patient care system for emergency medical services to streamline patient information sharing with hospitals. The effort helps first responders deliver critical care information more quickly and provides analytics that support long-term diagnostic improvements.

  • Expanding public Wi-Fi access in city parks and affordable housing properties such as the Spiritwood Apartments, with more potential sites in progress. Free, public Wi-Fi can be used to address the “digital divide,” and partnerships with the King County Housing Authority and Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue have allowed the city to expand access.

  • Converting streetlights to LED for greater efficiencies and piloting streetlight management for greater control and awareness of outages. These improvements are designed to deliver more cost-effective and predictive services.

  • Major steps taken in procuring “smart” water meters for eventual deployment to customers. This project supports proactive leak detection, benefitting customers with early warnings and improved access to data.

As with past briefings on the topic, councilmembers voiced their ongoing support and enthusiasm for the Smart City initiative.

Draft list of future transportation projects reviewed

Also on Monday, the council approved the Transportation Commission’s recommended preliminary list of capital projects that will make up the city’s 2019-2030 Transportation Facilities Plan, but with one addition: a sidewalk and bike lanes project on Southeast 16th Street, between 148th and 156th avenues southeast.

The 12-year plan, which is updated every two to three years, provides a bridge between the city’s longer-range Comprehensive Plan and its seven-year CIP Plan (capital investment program), a list of projects that are funded.

The TFP also is used as the basis to calculate transportation impact fees that the city collects from developers to offset the cost of expanding roadway capacity to accommodate new growth. And the update process includes an environmental review that evaluates possible citywide impacts to traffic, air quality, noise and other factors as land use growth occurs and the transportation system is upgraded over time.

Revenue for TFP projects comes from a variety of grants, loans, fees and taxes, including the voter-approved 2016 Neighborhood Safety, Connectivity and Congestion Levy. The total projected revenue for all transportation projects over the next 12 years is $432 million, but most of that revenue is already committed. The amount available for new TFP programming is projected at approximately $140 million.

Work to update the TFP started in September 2017. Public outreach has included three open houses, an online survey and 11 Transportation Commission meetings. Once the environmental review is complete and the Transportation Commission prepares the final TFP, the council will review and adopt it in late 2018 or early 2019. More information and the preliminary TFP list is available with the council agenda materials.

Surplus easement releases

Earlier in the meeting, the council approved the release of surplus easements on two pieces of property. No individuals or organizations testified at the public hearings held right before each vote.

The first batch, including seven water and sewer easements, are located at 13351 SE 32nd St. (Factoria Recycling Transfer Station). The second concerned a portion of an existing water easement located at 11959 Northup Way. Per city policy, both groupings were reviewed and determined to no longer be needed for delivery of utility services.

More background can be found in the agenda packet materials.

Published on 07/11/2018
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