The City Council Tuesday looked at a plan that could refine land use and transportation conditions in the Eastgate/Interstate 90 corridor, possibly leading to a transit-oriented development with mid-rise offices and housing clustered around the area park-and-ride.
Launched in February 2010, the draft Eastgate/I-90 Land Use and Transportation Project study was developed by an appointed citizen advisory committee. It envisions zoning provisions and infrastructure improvements over the next 20 years that would help ensure the South Bellevue stretch of office parks and neighborhood retail remains one of the city's major regional employment centers.
The 600-acre corridor spans the office and commercial areas on both sides of I-90, between the I-405 interchange and 161st Avenue Southeast (with a spur including the Lakemont highway interchange). It does not include the Eastgate annexation area, which is predominantly residential.
Problems that have emerged for the area include traffic congestion, limited capacity for offices and housing and a lack of amenities and character.
The committee is close to releasing a preliminary plan this month that would address these issues. The council wanted to review the plan before the committee finalizes its work. The final report will then come back to the council, who may send it on to the Planning and Transportation commissions for additional refinement. The council expressed support for the plan.
The committee and staff invited input from residents, employers and workers in the area with open houses, online surveys and focus groups over the last 14 months. Cyclists even took a ride with staff to identify fixes they wanted to see.
The project timeline anticipates the council receiving the final plan in the spring, with changes to the Comprehensive Plan and zoning pursued after that.
Recommended transportation improvements will be evaluated, along with other citywide project priorities, by the Transportation Commission as part of the Transportation Facilities Plan process now underway.
The project has already resulted in some "early wins" including: WSDOT spending $80,000 on interstate signage last summer to enhance wayfinding from I-90 to institutions/arterials in the corridor; the Federal Highway Administration providing a $160,000 grant for design and engineering for the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail project and, WSDOT spending $1.5 million to construct a new roundabout at the I-90 westbound off-ramp at the Lakemont interchange.
Feedback: Dan Stroh, Planning Director, 425-452-5255 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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