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News Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Council Roundup: Finding room for bikes downtown

And making way for buses throughout the city

Should an overpass or underpass for pedestrians and cyclists be built at the busy intersection of Northeast Eighth Street and 112th Avenue Northeast?

The City Council discussed that and other options Monday during a briefing about a plan to ensure that getting around Bellevue's core is easy and safe for motorists, cyclists, transit riders and walkers.

The Downtown Transportation Plan, an update of the 2004 plan, which doesn't take into account the future East Link light rail line and RapidRide buses, is intended to plot out needed facilities for all modes of getting around downtown between now and 2030. By 2030, employment downtown is projected to be 70,300, up from 42,525 in 2010, while the residential population is projected to reach 19,000 a 177 percent jump from the 2010 downtown population of 6,858.

Targeted for completion in 2013, the new plan could set the stage for projects as big as new highway overpasses and streets or as small as lane striping, traffic signal timing and crosswalks. The Northeast 10th Street overpass and an added lane on Northeast Eighth Street between 106th and 108th avenues are examples of completed projects identified in the current downtown transportation plan.

The update focuses on four modes of transportation -- bicycle, pedestrian, transit and roadway. In scoping meetings last year, residents told planners what they considered most challenging about getting around downtown.

Staff and consultants have worked with the Transportation Commission on the bicycle section of the plan so far, and the council focused on that.

Possible bike facilities include east-west corridor improvements on Main and Northeast 12th streets and north-south corridor improvements on 100th, 108th and 112th avenues Northeast.

Councilmembers asked about ways to make conditions better for cyclists on 112th Avenue, which is part of the Lake Washington Loop route and a key bike commuter route. The intersection with Northeast Eighth Street, with many lanes of traffic in four directions and on- and off-ramps for Interstate 405, begs for some kind of improvement, councilmembers said.

Staff said while some ideas have been identified, including a dedicated bike lane or a bike-pedestrian overpass, resident input would be helpful for developing a preference or finding new solutions. 

Council study session

Feedback: Kevin McDonald, senior transportation planner, 425-452-4558 or kmcdonald@bellevuewa.gov

City to consider transit improvements
The council approved principles for an update to the city's transit plan, intended to ensure that Bellevue gets the most out of transit service provided by King County and Sound Transit.

The Transit Master Plan, an update of a 2003 plan, will address the city's needs over the next 20 years. The council agreed that the plan should present a bold vision of what transit improvements are needed to support Bellevue's growth targets and economic vitality and identify investments that encourage long-term ridership growth.

The launch of the transit plan update this month follows several months of public outreach during which staff surveyed bus riders, formulated draft principles and crafted a scope of work.

While the city does not itself provide transit, it makes recommendations to King County Metro and Sound Transit based on the community's needs, and can make capital improvements that support bus routes.

Feedback: Franz Loewenherz, Senior Transportation Planner, 425-452-4077 or floewenherz@bellevuewa.gov

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