Eastside rapid transit should be quickly implemented. But Sound Transit’s proposal is flawed in three ways.
Focusing upon connecting Seattle and Bellevue commercial districts, its route goes across the I-90 bridge, turning north to travel the shortest distance to downtown Bellevue. It neglects serving other Eastside population and job centers. It uses expensively acquired developed private properties. It gravely harms existing neighborhoods.
A superior alternative would use the I-90 right-of-way to Factoria. In phases, it could be extended along the existing dinner train route with links to Bellevue, Renton, Issaquah, Redmond, Kirkland and Woodinville-Bothell. It uses publicly owned right of way, part of it already graded for rail.
It would be save much money compared with routes through expensive private property. It would not disrupt any neighborhoods. The sole disadvantage is a slightly longer travel time between Seattle and downtown Bellevue.
Instead of only serving Seattle and Bellevue commercial interests, our Eastside public transit should link all our Eastside’s population centers. We should be able to travel easily between any of them. If Sound Transit’s unduly expensive, disruptive short-sighted proposal is put on this fall’s ballot, I shall oppose it.