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News Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Council Roundup: Prepping for winter storms

Also, Council learns latest about transportation agreement with Redmond and approves funding for Factoria sidewalk

As temperatures fall and winter approaches, the Bellevue City Council Monday reviewed city efforts to prepare for and respond to harsh weather.

Snowplows in actionTopics included wind, rain and snow storms, power outages and flooding. Staff from the Utilities Department, which is primarily responsible for managing weather-related impacts, described monitoring, preparation, response and recovery plans.

Bellevue's steep terrain includes a 1,400-foot elevation range from Lake Washington to Cougar Mountain -- the most of any city in the area -- and presents particular challenges when it comes to snow and ice on the roads.

As part of a public outreach effort to share information about its ice and snow program, the City of Bellevue will host three open houses in partnership with AAA Washington. There will be written materials, displays, free ice scrapers and staff on hand to answer questions. The meetings take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Oct. 22 at Somerset Elementary School Library, 14100 Somerset Blvd. SE
  • Nov. 5 at Somerset Elementary School Library, 14100 Somerset Blvd. SE
  • Nov. 19 at Lewis Creek Park Visitor Center, 5808 Lakemont Blvd.

Bellevue is again taking part in a state and national campaign called "Ice and Snow, Take it Slow," an effort to raise awareness about driving safely under poor road conditions.

The Extreme Weather Response pages offer additional information about preparations and responses to severe weather. In addition to a snow/ice page with driving tips and a snow response priorities map, the pages cover topics such as power outages, storm debris and garbage collection, and important phone numbers.

Feedback: Joe Harbour, Operations Manager, 425-452-2014 or jharbour@bellevuewa.gov

Work on updating joint Bellevue-Redmond plan continues
City staff in the process of updating an agreement with Redmond regarding joint transportation projects in the Bel-Red and Overlake areas briefed the Council about public outreach efforts in recent months.

The Bellevue Redmond Overlake Transportation Study (BROTS), last updated in 1999, is an interlocal agreement between Bellevue and Redmond that addresses transportation consequences of projected growth in the area that overlaps the two cities. An important difference between the earlier agreement and the update is the addition of an east Bellevue study area. Growth in the Bel-Red and Overlake areas is expected to have an impact on several north-south arterials that run through east Bellevue.

The most recent chance to find out what residents think about transportation problems in east Bellevue was at a BROTS open house on Sept. 17. Prior to that, there was an Aug. 19 presentation to the Lake Hills Community Club, a series of focus group sessions in August and a briefing for the East Bellevue Community Council in June.

Bellevue's Transportation Commission is scheduled to review work on the 2008 BROTS agreement this fall. The City Council is expected to review it in November and take action on an updated agreement in December.

Feedback: Kevin McDonald, Project Manager, 425-452-4558, kmcdonald@bellevuewa.gov.

Council approves funding for high-priority Factoria project
The City Council approved a bid award for construction of a neighborhood sidewalk on 130th Place Southeast, south of Newport Way in the Factoria area.

This sidewalk was the top Neighborhood Enhancement Program (NEP) project identified by Factoria residents. The Council made the project possible by allocating $110,000 of NEP funding -- the total available for Factoria -- and supplemental funding of $37,000 from the Pedestrian Access Improvement Program.

Through NEP, residents have the opportunity to request and then vote for projects that they believe will enhance the safety, livability and appearance of their neighborhood. This project was by far the preferred project in the area, receiving more than twice as many vote-points as the other projects.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Neighborhood Enhancement Program. The program is designed to maintain and improve neighborhood safety and quality of life, respond to needs identified by the community, inform and empower citizens to be effective participants in community affairs and promote community partnerships. 

In the past 20 years, NEP has funded and built 400 projects identified by residents, nearly 90 of which have been sidewalks and walkways. The anniversary will be recognized at the City Council meeting on Nov. 3.

The Council Agendas and Council Minutes pages offer complete information regarding Council meetings.

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