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East King Chambers Coalition Legislative Wrap-Up; More on Bellevue Way SE; Sound Transit Construction Alert.

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, April 9, 2018

East King Chambers Coalition Legislative Wrap-Up

The 2018 Legislative Session came and went – here’s your chance to find out what happened during a fast and furious spring to the finish line. Join with delegates to the East King Chambers Coalition, fellow business leaders and our Eastside legislators, for a full report on legislation of importance to business.

Here are the event details:

  • Thursday, April 26th, 4 – 7 PM;
  • UW Bothell North Creek Events Center, 18225 NE Campus Way, Bothell, WA 98011

Once again, Randy Bannecker of the Seattle King County Realtors will serve as our emcee, challenging elected officials of both parties to develop a bipartisan agenda for our suburban crescent.

Don’t miss this one: register today!


More on Bellevue Way SE

Last Spring, the Bellevue Council approved up to thirty percent design work on the Bellevue Way SE project, including a possible extension of the project north to Bellevue Way SE and SE 16th. In addition to stretching out the merge approaching the S. Bellevue Park and Ride lot, this option could also improve turn pockets in and out of neighborhoods such as Enatai and Bellecrest.

To learn more about issues explored at last week’s project open house at Enatai School, read the following coverage from the Bellevue Reporter.

For a deeper dive in advance of our Public Affairs meeting this week and to take an online project survey through April 19th, visit the project webpage.


Sound Transit Construction Alert

Weekend closures of 112th SE between Bellevue Way SE and SE 8th, will continue during the weekend of Saturday, April 21st from 7 AM until 7 PM on Sunday, April 22nd.

This closure will accommodate utilities work, as Sound Transit contractors prepare to construct an aerial crossing over 112th SE near SE 6th, as part of the East Link Light Rail extension. Sign up for additional updates here.

Also, this just in: Be prepared for another round of nighttime closures on I-405, midnight through 4 AM, April 16th - 19th. Work crews will install horizontal supports for a future light rail crossing above the freeway. To read the full Sound Transit bulletin click here.

Tags:  2018 East King Chambers Legislative Wrap Up; Belle 

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Proposed Metro parking permit program; Bellevue Utilities Projects; and Sound Transit Construction Update

Posted By Chris Johnson, Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Updated: Monday, March 19, 2018

Proposed Metro parking permit program

Would you be willing to pay for a guaranteed space at your local park and ride lot? Metro already allows for permitted parking for carpools at certain facilities. Now that program could be expanded to include single occupant vehicles and additional locations. Drivers without permits could still access park and ride lots on a first come, first serve basis.

Learn more about this proposal at a drop-in session and provide direct feedback to Metro here.

Bellevue Utilities Projects

Did you know that Bellevue Utilities is a self-supporting enterprise agency, with a 75-year long-range capitol Renewal and Replacement Program? In addition to ensuring the delivery of safe drinking water, the Utilities Department also is responsible for storm water management and sewer services.

Bellevue Utilities customers can learn about projects proposed for inclusion in the 2019-25 Utilities CIP and provide feedback at the Utilities Capital Investment Program webpage. Public input will be considered by the  Environmental Services Commission at its April 5th meeting and ultimately, adopted by Council in November.

Sound Transit Construction Update

Night closures on I-405 between NE 8th and Main in Bellevue, will continue March 26th – 30th. While tunneling under 110th NE in downtown continues, Sound Transit is already preparing to build an aerial crossing over I-405, to connect Link Light Rail from the Bellevue Transit Center to the proposed Wilburton Station. Motorists should be prepared for the following closures:

  • One HOV lane southbound from 8 PM – 5 AM;
  • Three lanes northbound from Midnight to 4:30 AM
  • Northbound offramp and southbound onramps at NE 6th, 9PM – 5 AM.


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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Autonomous Vehicle Study Bill; Bellevue Way SE Open House; Sound Transit Construction Alerts

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, March 5, 2018

Autonomous Vehicle Study Bill

With just three days until the end of the Regular Session in Olympia, your Chamber legislative team is pleased to report much progress in preparing the way for disruptive transportation technologies.

Our big win is final passage of House Bill 2970, creating an autonomous vehicle work group. The outcome was a bit of a cliff-hanger, with the Senate making last minute changes to the bill, but the House concurred, and the legislation is on its way to the Governor’s desk.

As adopted, the bill directs the state Transportation Commission to convene a work group to recommend a legal and policy framework for the operation of autonomous vehicles in our state and includes broad participation for private sector stakeholders.

Because of our hard work in support of this bill, the Chamber and its allies, including AAA Washington and ACES NW Network, are in an excellent position to influence the outcome of the study process.

Stay tuned for a Session Wrap-Up in two weeks.


Bellevue Way SE Project Open House 

A longtime priority for the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, the widening of Bellevue Way SE is one step closer to reality. Last spring, Council give the green light for additional design work for the Bellevue Way SE project, including a closer look at extending the project all the way to 108th SE.

Now is your chance to get a look at how design concepts have evolved, as well as updated modeling of project benefits. Here are the open house details:

Thursday, April 5, 2018, 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Enatai Elementary School Cafeteria, 10700 SE 25th Street

If you are unable to attend, the City has provided an online open house for your convenience. It will be available on April 5th at:

If you have any questions, please contact Marina Arakelyan at 425-452-4632 or


Construction Alerts – Bellevue Way SE and 112th SE

Spring is on its way and construction on East Link Light Rail continues, rain or shine. Here are the construction advisories for this week.

The Bellevue Way SE HOV onramp to I-90 westbound, will be closed from 5 AM – 3 PM, Monday – Thursday, for the next two weeks. This ramp will also be closed at 5:30 AM on Saturday, March 10 through Sunday, March 11 at 9:00 PM. On the same weekend, all ramps from I-90 to Bellevue Way SE will also be closed; general purpose ramps from Bellevue Way SE to I-90 will remain open.

Travel will also be constrained on 112th SE, with one lane northbound closed between Bellevue Way SE and Main, 7 AM and 4 PM, Monday – Friday. Expect closure of one lane southbound between Main and SE 8th. Contractors may also close one lane southbound from SE 8th to Bellevue Way SE, as needed.

For more information, including maps, visit the Sound Transit East Link Construction Alert page.




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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Bellevue Way SE Community meeting; Legislative Update; Bellevue School Levies Pass.

Posted By Chris Johnson, Tuesday, February 20, 2018

What’s the Project Status of the Bellevue Way Southbound HOV Lane? 

You’re invited to an open house to receive a project design update on the Bellevue Way Southbound HOV Lane project:

Thursday, April 5, 2018, 5:30 – 7:30 PM; Enatai Elementary School Cafeteria, 10700 SE 25th Street

You will have the opportunity to see the project’s design, the updated cost and the cost/benefit of the construction-phasing options. The project team would like to find out whether you support the construction-phasing approach.  

For background, including Council’s decision to study a slightly longer HOV lane north to 108th SE, visit the project website.

If you have any questions, please contact Marina Arakelyan at 425-452-4632 or

Legislative Update – Autonomous Vehicles

With just over two weeks until the end of Session, many bills won’t make it to the finish line. The Chamber has supported the following transportation-related legislation that fell short:

The good news is House Bill 2970, creating an autonomous vehicle work group, made it out of the House and is now before the Senate. The Chamber believes now is the time to create a legal and policy framework, so we can benefit from emerging transportation technologies, including autonomous, electric, connected and shared vehicles.

Ask your state senator to support reporting House Bill 2970 out of committee and on to the Senate Floor for final adoption. Most Bellevue residents reside in either the 41st or 48th Districts, represented by Senator Lisa Wellman and Senator Patty Kuderer.

Note: All transportation and fiscal legislation must make it out of the Opposite House by Monday, February 26th.

Bellevue School Levies Pass

On February 13th Special Election Night, all three Bellevue School District levies were passing by the following margins:

  • The four-year, $304 million Educational and Operating (Enrichment) Levy, 53.4% YES;
  • The four-year, $163 million Capital and Technology Levy, 51.6% YES;
  • The one-year, $8 million School Bus Levy, 54.5% YES.

The first two measures were replacement levies, with the Operating levy coming in at 99 cents per $1,000 in assessed value, less than the current, expiring $1.06 rate it will replace. The Capital Levy is pegged at 54 cents for the first two years, decreasing to 53 cents the third and fourth years, while the Bus Levy comes in at 12 cents per $1,000 for one year.

Despite our concern over the increasing property tax burden for commercial and residential property owners alike, the Chamber strongly endorsed all three levies. The Bellevue School District has a reputation for excellence and the business community strongly supports our students and teachers.

The final election results will be certified on February 23rd.

For additional information about how levy proceeds will be utilized, visit the Bellevue Quality Schools webpage.

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Public Affairs Council Update; Legislative Session Nears Mid-Point; Eastside Chambers Swarm State Capitol; How to Testify from Home

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, February 5, 2018

Chamber Members Weigh in on Important Issues

Your Chamber Public Affairs Council has a full slate of hot topics queued up for 2018. Last month, we endorsed legislation to extend existing tax incentives for data center development statewide. Upcoming topics include a progress report on transportation projects funded by Bellevue Prop 2, the future of the Bellevue Way SE project and a check-in on Energize Eastside.

However, in lieu of our February Public Affairs meeting, we invite all Chamber members to attend the upcoming Business Lunch with Bellevue Mayor John Chelminiak on Thursday, February 15, Noon at the Westin Bellevue. Register here today.

Legislative Session Nears Mid-Point

In a short 60-Day Legislative Session, the pace is always fast and furious, and this year is no exception. As Day 30 nears on February 6, bills of importance to the Eastside business community are still alive.

Leading the “wish list” are bills proposing to lower the top B&O tax rate for manufacturing to 0.2904 percent, including: House Bill 2947 and Senate Bill 6542. Also still alive, but not moving, is legislation to re-institute a R&D tax preference for high tech and life sciences, House Bill 1894.

There’s good news in the struggle achieve to condo construction liability reform! House Bill 2831 has move out of House Judiciary and is on its way to the House Floor.

And the Bellevue Chamber continues to lead a coalition, advocating public law changes in support of disruptive transportation technologies. Here are a few examples:

Note: All policy bills must make it out of the House of Origin by February 14th.

Eastside Chambers “Swarm” State Capitol

Representatives of Chambers of Commerce from across the Eastside, made their voices heard at 2018 Chamber Day on January 24th. Bellevue Chamber Board Chair Jim Hill and CEO Betty Capestany, led a strong delegation, which delivered a unified request for business tax relief, and better tools to create affordable housing and mobility solutions.

By the end of the day, the group had met with nearly all of our suburban crescent legislators. A highlight was our audience with Senate Transportation Chair Steve Hobbs (44th LD), regarding a possible flexible van pool pilot program on I-405, as construction between Bellevue and Renton begins in 2019.

Stay tuned for further details on this one.

How to Testify from Your Home or Office

Too busy to travel to Olympia during Session?

You can watch legislative hearings live from the state capitol on your television or laptop, courtesy of TVW. Click here for their broadcast schedule, including links to current and past programming.

Would you like to submit written testimony for the record?

If you know the bill number, go to the Bill Information page, enter the bill number in the Search by Bill Number field, then click Search. Click Comment on this bill to the right of the bill number, then complete the comment form.

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: All Star Lineup of Legislators at Annual Breakfast; Eastside Business Leaders Ready to Swarm the Capitol; Business Priorities Set for Legislative Session.

Posted By Chris Johnson, Wednesday, January 10, 2018

All Star Lineup of Legislators at Annual Breakfast

Eastside business leaders have been hosting a legislative breakfast for decades. This year, over 160 business, non-profit and community leaders packed the Hyatt Regency Bellevue on January 4, for an up close and personal discussion with local legislators.

With a record 15 senators and representatives on the platform, audience members heard there is still more work to be done on basic education, holding down the cost of housing and keeping people moving on I-405.

Most agreed the state B&O tax needs an overhaul, if not an outright repeal, but that won’t likely happen until we have a larger discussion about changes to our tax system after Session.

And despite the Governor’s proposal for a new carbon tax, there was little enthusiasm for this going into an election year. One thing everyone agreed on: after several years of Special Sessions, the odds are high for ending on time this year in early March.

Eastside Business Leaders Ready to Swarm the Capitol

Right on the heels of our annual legislative breakfast, business leaders from across the Eastside, are poised to swarm the capitol for 2018 Chamber Day in Olympia.

Here’s your chance to bring the business voice directly to our legislators from Bothell to Maple Valley, right on their turf. Join us on Wednesday, January 24, 11 AM – 3PM on the capitol campus. We’ll provide lunch, talking points and set appointments for you with the people who represent you in state government.

For more information and to register, visit our Chamber Day page.

2018 Coalition Agenda Highlights:

Economic Development

  • Provide tools for infrastructure funding through tax increment financing
  • Enact a business and occupation tax credit for qualified research and development expenditures
  • Make changes to GMA relating to vesting and plat management, enact condominium liability; reform, mandate shorter permitting processes, incentivize zoning that encourages higher density, extend the Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) beyond 12 year
  • Extend aerospace tax incentives to include the commercial space sector and enact a B&O tax reduction for manufacturing


  •  Continue to fund basic education
  •  Increase opportunities for children to access quality early childhood education across the State
  •  Enhance accountability and improve outcomes
  •  Improve state support for meaningful Workforce Training (CTE)
  •  Fund higher education programs


  • Fund additional improvements to I-405
  • Eliminate statutory barriers to shared employer shuttles
  • Create a statewide business license for transportation network companies (TNC’s)
  • Allow private shuttle providers access to publicly funded park and ride lots
  • Incentivize use of TNC’s and flexible van pools under the 1991 Commute Trip Reduction Act.

To see our complete 2018 Legislative Agenda, visit the East King Chambers Coalition webpage.


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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Eastside Business Alliance Candidate Endorsements; Bellevue Way SE Construction Update

Posted By Chris Johnson, Friday, November 3, 2017

Eastside Business Alliance Candidate Endorsements

As a possible national economic slowdown appears around the corner, the Eastside Business Alliance is supporting candidates who will focus on preserving core services, while limiting spending on new initiatives and keeping both the cost of government and tax rates low.

The Eastside Business Alliance has endorsed the following candidates for Bellevue City Council, which offered the strongest statements in support of business-friendly public policies:

Bellevue City Council, Position 2: Conrad Lee
Bellevue City Council, Position 4: Jared Nieuwenhuis
Bellevue City Council, Position 5: Phil Yin
Bellevue City Council, Position 6: Steve Fricke

EBA has also offered endorsements in these other local races:

Sammamish City Council, Position 1: Mark Boughman
Sammamish City Council, Position 3: Karen Moran
Sammamish City Council, Position 5: Chris Ross
Kirkland City Council, Position 5: Amy Walen
Redmond City Council, Position 2: Steve Fields
Port of Seattle Commission, Position 1: John Creighton
Port of Seattle Commission, Position 3: Stephanie Bowman

Thanks to all Chamber members who have made contributions to the Eastside Business Alliance in 2017!

Bellevue Way SE Construction Update

After a series of construction closures on Bellevue Way SE over the last six months, relating to Sound Transit’s East Link light rail project, expect a hiatus to begin soon. There will be no weekend closure November 11th- 12th and a final weekend closure relating to utility relocation is scheduled for the weekend of November 18th -19th.

Phase 2 of construction to build the guideway adjacent to Bellevue Way Southeast is expected to begin in January. For additional details, visit the East Link construction webpage.

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Leg Wrap Up coverage; EBA list of endorsements; Chamber Public Affairs Council to launch.

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, September 25, 2017

Leg Wrap Up coverage

The East King Chambers Coalition has been around for over 20 years, but this year’s legislative wrap up was one of the best ever. Once again, our panel was skillfully moderated by longtime friend of the Chamber, Randy Bannecker of Bannecker Public Affairs.

We heard a true diversity of opinion on issues such as the property tax funding package for basic education, future tax relief for emerging sectors such as biotechnology and whether autonomous vehicles and flexible van pools can help reduce congestion.

For news coverage of this event and terrific photos, please see the following story in the Snoqualmie Valley Record, republished with permission of Sound Publishing.

Eastside Business Alliance list of endorsements

As a possible national economic slowdown appears around the corner, the Eastside Business Alliance is supporting a new direction on the Bellevue Council, one that will focus on preserving core services, while limiting Council spending on new initiatives and keeping both the cost of government and tax rates low.

EBA has endorsed the following candidates, which offered the strongest statements in support of business-friendly public policies.

  • Bellevue City Council, Position 2: Conrad Lee
  • Bellevue City Council, Position 4: Jared Nieuwenhuis
  • Bellevue City Council, Position 5: Phillip Yin
  • Bellevue City Council, Position 6: Steve Fricke

Support these and other pro-business candidates, by making an online contribution to the Eastside Business Alliance.

Chamber Public Affairs Council to launch

After a summer hiatus, your Chamber advocacy programs are back with a new look and feel. Please join us on Thursday, October 12 at Noon, as we launch the new Chamber Public Affairs Council. We’ve combined two previous committees into one and plan to take on a broader range of topics, relating to what makes our community vital.

Mark your calendars for the following events:

  • Everything bike and pedestrian in Bellevue - Thursday, October 12, Noon
  • Sound Transit East Link construction update - Thursday, November 2, Noon   

The Public Affairs Council will generally meet on the third Thursday of the month at Noon; November 2nd will be an exception. All meetings will occur at the Chamber office in the Microsoft Business Center.

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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Bellevue bike share survey; Students back on the road; Program to reduce neighborhood cut-through traffic

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, September 11, 2017

Bellevue bike share survey

In preparation for our October briefing on Bellevue’s Bike Rapid Implementation Plan, we invite you to learn more about bike share programs already underway in cities across the nation. In addition to checking out and returning bikes to fixed locations, users can utilize GPS technology to return their bikes to designated hubs or existing bike racks.

Would you like to see a bike share program in DT Bellevue? Do you have stories to relate about bike share programs in other cities? Take the City of Bellevue’s bike share survey today.

Students back on the road

Classes began in the Bellevue School District nearly two weeks ago, so please pay attention to flashing lights around school zones and observe the 20 mph speed limit. Protect the safety of our school children by paying attention when driving near schools, coming to a full stop at school bus stops, and always keeping an eye out for pedestrians, especially at crosswalks.

If you have school-aged children or grandchildren, you can contribute to safety and reduce congestion near schools, by encouraging family members to carpool, bike or walk to school. Learn more and participate in the Bellevue SchoolPool Program.

Program to reduce neighborhood cut-through traffic

With the East Link light rail construction program going “full bore” on Bellevue Way SE, the City has launched a program to deter cut-through traffic in adjacent neighborhoods. As of last week, the following restrictions are in place:

  • On 108th at SE 16th, no through traffic will be permitted to the intersection at Bellevue Way SE
  • On SE 16th, at 108th SE, westbound traffic will be prohibited across Bellevue Way SE, as well as left-hand turns southbound on to Bellevue Way SE

The program will run for three months; for additional details, check out the pilot webpage.


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Bellevue Blitz Roundup: Legislative Wrap-Up; New Enatai Park and Ride Lot Opens; Procurement Workshop; Sound Transit Construction Alerts

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, August 21, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, August 16, 2017

2017 East King Chambers Legislative Wrap-Up

The dog days of summer have arrived and it is time for the public policy event of the season. Come join us as we hear from East King legislators as they tell us the back story behind the biennial budget and the deal to fund basic education, as well as what to expect in 2018.

And this year we have a new twist – we’ve asked legislators to grade themselves!

Details are as follows:

Thursday, September 14, 2016 | 4:00 – 7:00 PM                                                                                                                                                                                       The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge, Cascadia Room/Ballroom                                                                                                                                                                         36005 SE Ridge Street, Snoqualmie, WA 98065

Attendance at this event is limited to members of Coalition Chambers and invited guests, and always fills up quickly. Don’t delay, register today.

New Enatai Park and Ride Lot Opens

Do you live along the Bellevue Way SE corridor and need a place to park your car and catch the bus? Sound Transit has just announced the opening of a new, temporary park and ride lot, just south of the intersection of SE 16th and Bellevue Way SE.

The new Enatai Park and Ride Lot at 1624 Bellevue Way SE, is located in the vacant lot adjacent to Chace’s Pancake Corral. With up to fifty stalls available, you could have breakfast and then jump on the ST 550 Express Bus.

Get more information here.

Congressman Adam Smith Hosts Procurement Workshop September 15

Congressman Adam Smith invites you to join other interested small business owners to learn about government contracting opportunities and various resources for small businesses. Topics include government contracting essentials; panel of government agencies facilitated by Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). A light breakfast will be provided.The event is free on September 15; 9am-12:00pm at the Federal Way Community Center. Space is limited. Please RSVP with your name, phone number and email address to

Sound Transit Construction Alerts

Monday – Friday, Aug. 21-25

  • One NB lane of 112th Avenue Southeast between Main and Southeast 6th Street may be closed for utility work, 8 AM – 3 PM and one lane SB, from 7 AM – 3 PM.
  • Bellevue Way SE may see one NB lane closed from S. Bellevue Park and Ride Lot to the “Y” at 112th SE, from 10 AM – 8 PM.               
  • The Bellevue Way SE to I-90 west HOV ramp may be closed overnight, Monday – Friday, from 8 PM to 3 PM the following day, as needed.

For additional information or to sign up for alerts, see the East Link construction webpage.

Tags:  2017 East King Chambers Legislative Wrap-Up; New E 

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