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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 13, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Proposed Bellevue tunnel

The only sensible option

Grant Degginger, mayor of Bellevue, is correct in his opinions for East Link through Bellevue in his guest commentary published Tuesday [“Keep tunnel options on table for East Link,” Opinion, May 12].

The proposed surface route along 108th and 106th Avenues Northeast is on four-lane streets surrounded by condominiums, apartments and businesses. In one block on 108th between Northeast 10th and Northeast 12th there are about 750 parking spaces.

The train would require two lanes down the middle of the street, leaving only one lane on each side of it for car traffic. With the train running often, these cars would not be able to egress or ingress the buildings. If they want to go east or west, they would have to cross over the tracks within a very limited time period. The resulting gridlock would make it difficult for anyone to move along the roads. Driving to I-405 would be almost impossible!

Additionally, there would be significant environmental impacts in these narrow corridors resulting in increased noise, pollution, vibrations, difficult fire truck and emergency vehicle access, substantially reduced safety and many traffic and train conflicts.

These issues are true for most of downtown Bellevue. A tunnel is the only option.

— Helen Kester, Bellevue

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