Problems with light rail route
March 20, 2009 · 1:28 PM
Those Bellevue residents adversely affected by the Bellevue City Council route selection for East Link should be aware that they have significant grounds to protest and that light rail through their area is far from a “fait accompli.”
Federal Environmental Protection Act law includes the following provision:
Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act (23 United States Code Sec. 138) protects parks and recreation areas, historic sites, and waterfowl and wildlife refuges that may be affected by a project with U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) involvement. Under the law, the Secretary of Transportation cannot approve a transportation project that uses or adversely affects such properties unless (1) there is no feasible or prudent alternative, and …
Section ES.9 of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement DEIS includes the following concerning Segment B
“All (light rail) alternatives would require direct use of Mercer Slough Nature Park…”
Thus unless Sound Transit can prove a “no build” alternative is “not feasible or prudent” all Segment B alternatives including the one recently selected violates Federal Environmental Law and cannot be approved.
I suggest they talk to a lawyer.
Bill Hirt, Bellevue