Bellevue Chamber, City of Bellevue Host Transportation Tour
The Bellevue Chamber and City of Bellevue hosted a transportation tour Tuesday, July 27, 2021, to showcase critical transportation priorities in advance of the next legislative session.
A diverse group of public and private stakeholders, including City of Bellevue leadership, Washington State legislators and business leaders, departed from downtown park on the 80-minute bus tour across Bellevue. The tour highlighted seven key transportation infrastructure projects in order to build support for their inclusion in a state transportation package. Projects included:
- Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail
- I-405/I-90 Interchange Improvements
- I-405 Access to Downtown Bellevue
- SR 520/124th Ave NE Interchange
- I-405/SR 520 Interchange Improvements
- Bellevue Transit Center: BRT/NE Improvements
Last year, the city of Bellevue and the Bellevue Chamber joined forces to adopt joint transportation priorities to bring before the legislature. Both Chamber leaders and the City Council approved the package of project asks. The city and chamber have worked in cooperation to lobby state leaders over the past 10 months.
“This ongoing cooperation with the city sends a strong message that Bellevue is united in our work in Olympia. Preparing for the growth ahead will require massive infrastructure investment in roads, transit, open space, utilities, and a host of other areas,” said Bellevue Chamber President and CEO Joe Fain. “This strong partnership with the city demonstrates the human and political infrastructure is in place to make that happen.”
“Traffic and congestion hit our low-income workers harder than most in the region,” said Bellevue Mayor Lynne Robinson. “With Bellevue’s downtown workforce returning to the office and more than 30,000 new jobs expected by 2025, affordable housing and these key infrastructure projects are more important than ever.”
“Here in Bellevue, we are fortunate to be gearing up for one the biggest economic recoveries in the nation with the addition of 25,000 Amazon jobs over the next few years, as well as investment from other technology companies,” stated Guy Palumbo, Director, Public Policy at Amazon. “As Bellevue prepares for its next phase of growth, it’s essential that public and private entities work together to find solutions that support affordable housing and transportation initiatives.”
“The projects we visited today are essential investments for accommodating growth on the Eastside. They’re the types of investments we need to help the region and the state rebound from the pandemic, to prepare for continued economic growth, and to create new job opportunities,” said Irene Plenefisch, Government Affairs Director at Microsoft. “But these investments can’t be made and the projects can’t be completed without a transportation revenue package here in Washington, so a special legislative session is needed to address transportation funding.”
Legislators in attendance included State Senator Patty Kuderer, State House Transportation Chair Jake Fey, and State Representatives Roger Goodman, Tana Senn, Vandana Slatter, and Larry Springer. The City of Bellevue was represented by Mayor Robinson and Councilmembers Jennifer Robertson and Janice Zahn. Bellevue Transportation Director Andrew Singelakis, Assistant Director of Capital Program Services, Ron Kessack, and Eastrail Partners Executive Director helped narrate the tour.
To view the Bellevue Joint Transportation Priority list, click here.