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Bellevue Council changes its light rail preference for South Bellevue
Posted by Nicole Tsong
Editor's clarification: Two separate votes were taken Monday night at the Bellevue City Council session regarding the council's change in preference for a light-rail route. The Councilmembers who endorsed a light-rail route that would run parallel to I-90 were Mayor Don Davidson, Kevin Wallace, Jennifer Robertson and Conrad Lee. Councilmembers Claudia Balducci, Grant Degginger and John Chelminiak opposed the change. The Council also voted separately to send a letter advising the Sound Transit board of its new preference.
After a contentious debate, the Bellevue City Council reversed a decision from last year about light rail in South Bellevue and voted Monday to recommend a light-rail route that would run parallel to I-90 instead of running up Bellevue Way Southeast.
The Council also voted 4-3 to send a letter to the Sound Transit board updating its South Bellevue light rail preference to a route known as B7, with Mayor Don Davidson, and Councilmembers Claudia Balducci, Grant Degginger and John Chelminiak voting in favor of sending the letter.
But last year, the Council told Sound Transit that it preferred a route that would run along Bellevue Way and 112th Avenue Southeast. The Sound Transit board also has endorsed a similar route, and has the final say on alignment in Bellevue.
But since the November election that brought on two new Councilmembers, the majority of the Council has said that it supports a route that runs east along I-90 then heads north on the BNSF Railway parallel to I-405 before curving into downtown via 118th Avenue Northeast.
Councilmembers Kevin Wallace, Jennifer Robertson and Conrad Lee opposed the letter, favoring another draft instead, city officials said.
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