Also, shoreline plan and commendation for police chief
The city is nearing completion of a new plan to improve bus routes for a "frequent transit network" by 2030. The goal is to enable more people to reach more destinations in less time.
Members of the Transportation Commission Monday presented a draft report to the City Council that recommends more than 100 improvements to roadways, traffic signals and related infrastructure that would move buses faster through Bellevue and make it easier for people to board them at bus stops and park-and-rides.
These improvements will be included in the city's new Transit Master Plan, set to go before the council in May. While the city doesn't operate its own transit system, it can make investments that maximize King County Metro and Sound Transit bus services.
The plan will replace a 2003 transit plan, which helped guide the construction of hundreds of millions of dollars in HOV access ramps, transit centers and park-and-ride lots.
To put the new plan in perspective, the Transportation Commission members outlined a proposed project in Eastgate that would streamline a bus route past Bellevue College and the Eastgate Park-and-Ride. The "Bellevue College Connection” project would include better sidewalks and bike lanes on Snoqualmie River Road and 142nd Place Southeast over Interstate 90.
The Transportation Commission developed the Transit Master Plan over the last two years in consultation with members of the Parks and Community Services Board and Planning, Arts and Human Services commissions. The process drew input from residents, businesses and workers, as well as Bellevue College, transit agencies and neighboring cities.
On May 19, staff will present the council with the draft Transit Master Plan. After a public hearing before the Transportation Commission on June 26, staff will return to the council on July 7, seeking adoption of the plan.
Overview of shoreline plan
The council began its review Monday of new regulations governing development on Bellevue's many shorelines.
After years of public process, the Planning Commission drafted a Shoreline Master Program for Bellevue last year. The SMP is an update of the city's original shoreline regulations, which have not been changed significantly since their adoption in 1974.
The update applies to shorelines on Lake Washington, Lake Sammamish and Phantom Lake, as well as some creeks. The council will review the SMP over several meetings in April, May and June. A public hearing will be May 5.
Once the council adopts the SMP, anticipated later this year, the package will be sent to the state Department of Ecology for its review and approval. The SMP update, which includes amendments to the city’s Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Code, is available online.
Commendation for police chief
After 35 years as a police officer, the last seven as Bellevue's police chief, Linda Pillo is retiring. The council honored Pillo with a commendation, noting her trailblazing accomplishments in law enforcement.
Pillo became Bellevue's first woman police chief in 2008. Highlights during her time at the helm included equipping all patrol units with defibrillators and all first responders with tasers as a non-lethal alternative to guns and the formation of a downtown patrol squad and crime analysis and vice units. Violent crimes in Bellevue have decreased every year since 2008.
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