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Bellevue Chamber News & Happenings: Bellevue Chamber News

Bellevue Chamber Board Announced it Will Oppose ST3 Measure on November Ballot

Tuesday, August 30, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sara Garner
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August 30, 2016
Contact: Betty Capestany, (425) 213-1200; bcapestany@bellevuechamber.org

Bellevue, WA – The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce voted on Monday to oppose adoption of Sound Transit 3, the $54 billion transit package which will appear on this year’s general election ballot in King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties.

Solving our region’s transportation problems, with a focus on the movement of people goods and services on the Eastside, has long been a priority of the Bellevue Chamber. Historically, the Chamber has shown support for large infrastructure proposals, including the I-405 corridor program, the 2015 Keep Washington Moving Package and the Sound Transit 2 proposal in 2008.

This time around, there were simply too many unanswered questions to merit a PRO position in 2016. In reaching its decision, the Board considered data as provided in the Sound Transit 3 System Plan and Appendices, as well as guiding principles adopted earlier by the Board. Principals which figured prominently in this year’s decision include:

  • Improve the overall economic vitality of the Eastside;
  • Maximizing overall traffic capacity within the City of Bellevue, with special emphasis on downtown mobility;
  • Return on investment.

The Chamber believes that we have many pressing infrastructure needs, all of which are critical to the business climate. We must focus on mobility choices for the trip markets of the future, with an emphasis on Eastside to Eastside connections. The Chamber sees the value of additional light rail investments to high density destinations such as the emerging Spring District, Overlake and downtown Redmond, all of which can be accomplished in the short term. However, we have less confidence in the projected costs and benefits of those light rail projects scheduled for completion after 2030. We can’t wait until 2041 for flexible transit alternatives to serve medium and low density destinations.

In the short run, the Chamber believes there is no need to rush to the ballot with this set of investments, at this price tag in 2016. Let’s tap the brakes, fix basic education and then come back for another try.

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The Bellevue Chamber serves as the voice of business on the Eastside, representing thousands of jobs in our community. Businesses range in size from sole proprietors to large corporations. The Chamber's mission is to foster a healthy business environment by providing strategic leadership, advocacy, tools, and resources


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