Technical Scope of Work
The technical scope of work will focus on several components of Bellevue's downtown transportation system.
One of the first tasks will be to review the roadway projects identified in the Downtown Subarea Plan to ensure that they are still the right projects to meet expected needs, or if a different approach may provide a better solution. Potential roadway capacity and operational improvements will be identified and evaluated as stand-alone projects and/or as aggregates of related projects. Ideas and options will be analyzed with the intent to provide additional on-street parking and loading zones to support the short-term parking and loading/delivery needs for downtown businesses and residents.
B. Roadway Operations
Bellevue implements advanced technology to improve roadway efficiency – an important mobility strategy downtown, where rights of way are limited and expensive, and where there are multiple travel options. Incorporating intelligent transportation systems (ITS) into the City’s transportation system provides better signal timing, real-time traffic information, system monitoring and performance measures, and supports transit and emergency services. Staff and the consultant team will look for additional opportunities to improve signal operations downtown, and will quantify any associated benefits for future mobility.
Downtown Bellevue transit service in 2030 is planned to be a combination of light rail and bus service to meet the demands of downtown residents and businesses. A significant focus of this work will be to identify improvements to the speed and reliability of the transit service, to improve transit ridership and reduce driving trips. Building upon the regional investments in Sound Transit East Link light rail and King County Metro RapidRide, this plan update will identify the complementary transit service -- with recommended additional routes and greater frequency to serve downtown.
D. Non-Motorized Transportation
Recent analysis of average daily vehicle trips on downtown arterials reveals a slower rate of growth than might be expected given the amount of development that has occurred in the past decade. This trend may reflect growing commuter and daytime transit use, more bicycle riding and higher pedestrian volumes along busy sidewalks. The Downtown Transportation Plan Update will consider and plan to accommodate the non-motorized trips that will comprise an increasing portion of the overall number of daily trips within downtown. Recommendations for projects that improve the environment for pedestrians and bicyclists will be a key part of the strategy to improve downtown mobility.
E. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Analysis
The analysis of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is becoming increasingly important in city planning efforts. Approximately 50 percent of GHG emissions in the Puget Sound region come from transportation sources -- cars and trucks. In 2006, the GHG contribution from transportation sources within Bellevue stood at 43 percent. It is expected that in downtown Bellevue the transportation-related GHG emissions are less than the city as a whole – a finding similar to that of other mixed-use urban areas due to less driving per capita. Still, Bellevue must identify strategies to further reduce emissions, including those from transportation sources, to meet its overall GHG reduction goals. In 2007 the City Council adopted a communitywide GHG emissions target: to reduce emissions to 7 percent below their 1990 level by 2012. Quantitative measures of GHG emissions will inform decisions on various options to ensure long-term mobility while reducing carbon emissions.
F. Implementation Strategy
While this plan update will extend the planning horizon to 2030, it will also provide recommendations for phased implementation, a prioritization strategy and potential funding resources for recommended improvements to the transportation system. As part of the phasing and prioritization considerations, threshold metrics or conditions will be described that would trigger the need to implement a project –- such metrics may include degraded level of service, increased traffic volume, inadequate transit capacity or increased transit or auto travel time.
G. Public Involvement Strategy
Innovative and emerging strategies in public involvement, such as web-based information-sharing and social networking, as well as traditional approaches of community meetings, focus groups and newsletters, will be utilized. The City Council appointed the Transportation Commission to serve as the primary advisory body to oversee the work program and to provide a final recommendation. There will be briefings to other boards and commissions, in particular the Planning Commission, which will be responsible for providing recommendations on any amendments to the Downtown Subarea Plan. There will also be significant input and ongoing interaction with the Bellevue Downtown Association, the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, other downtown businesses and residential stakeholders, and with residents of nearby neighborhoods.
H. Project Principles
The City Council has approved a set of project principles that describe expectations and provide guidance.
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