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News Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Council Roundup: Update on state and federal legislation

Also, briefing on bicycle, pedestrian trail

During its Monday study session, the City Council reviewed the status of legislation at both the state and federal level that could have an impact on the city.

Bellevue's legislative agenda is important because decisions by legislators on regulations and spending have the potential to cost, or save, the city millions of dollars each year.

At the state level, Bellevue is working with other cities along the Interstate 405 corridor on legislation related to express toll lanes, a way to help pay for future highway improvements. Members of the Eastside Transportation Association were on hand to present an alternate proposal based on widespread tolling instead of express toll lanes.

Bellevue is also seeking to have the Legislature clarify medical marijuana use, a topic of recent interest in the media, and how marijuana is made available through dispensaries. Currently, the city does not issue business licenses for such dispensaries because the laws are not clear.

Bellevue is tracking a dozen other bills in the Legislature on topics ranging from economic development to delaying regulatory requirements in order to reduce the cost of government.
 
At the federal level, the city is pursuing funding to pay for two projects related to planned improvements in the Bel-Red area.

Bellevue is seeking $3 million in transportation funding to help pay for improvements to 120th Avenue Northeast, between Northeast Eighth to Northeast 12th streets. Also being pursued is $500,000 to support stream restoration and wildlife enhancements for the West Tributary. The improvements are aimed at providing a public amenity and attracting private investment to support the long-range redevelopment of the Bel-Red area.

council agenda item
federal legislative agenda

Feedback: Diane Carlson, Director of Intergovernmental Relations, 425-452-4225 or dcarlson@bellevuewa.gov

Briefing on bicycle, pedestrian trail along Northup Way
Also on Monday, the council heard about a joint effort with the state Department of Transportation to build an interim, regional pedestrian and bike trail along a section of Northup Way.

The project will connect the existing SR 520 Regional Trail near Northeast 24th Street to 108th Avenue Northeast, a distance of about one mile. It would also improve safety for walkers and bicyclists along Northup Way and tie together neighborhoods, businesses and transit.

Bellevue's partnership calls for WSDOT to pay for preliminary design work on the project, and the agency has committed $8 million toward the total cost. Bellevue will be the lead agency for design and construction.

The Northup Way improvements are an interim project because WSDOT eventually will construct a regional trail along SR 520, near the I-405 interchange, when funding becomes available.

The council is expected to approve an agreement with WSDOT on the project at a meeting in February. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2013 and wrap up in 2014.

council agenda item 

Feedback: Dave Berg, Deputy Director, Transportation Department, 425-452-6468 or dberg@bellevuewa.gov

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