Wash. – On Monday, the
City Council’s extended study session was bookended by presentations on the Eastside
Rail Corridor and Grand Connection. Both projects are City Council Vision Priorities and highlight
Bellevue’s efforts to create multi-use pedestrian and bicycle connections that
provide transportation options into the city’s job center.
The ERC is a 42-mile old rail line, stretching from Renton to
Snohomish County through Bellevue. Once open, the corridor will provide key
connections from the north and south, and a significant opportunity to
implement trail and transit-oriented development in the Wilburton commercial
During the presentation, staff showcased renderings of the
Wilburton segment, which will interface with the proposed Grand Connection,
Wilburton Trestle trail and Interstate 405 gap crossing. Staff also updated the
council on plans for a potential Northeast Eighth Street overcrossing. The
council is expected to finalize an updated interest statement that lays out key
city priorities at a future meeting.
Later in the meeting, staff also provided the council with new information on
the Grand Connection, including additional public space and connectivity
improvements and alternatives for the proposed I-405 crossing. The Grand
Connection is intended to offer a safe, comfortable link from downtown to
Wilburton and the Eastside Rail Corridor. So far, the project consultant has
provided three options with varying levels of complexity. One option consists
of a park-like lid over the highway between Northeast Sixth and Fourth streets.
Councilmembers continued to voice their enthusiasm for the “signature” urban
landmark. Refined alternatives will be presented at a later meeting.
Wilburton commercial area advisory committee
council also approved a slate of Bellevue residents who will advise the city on
the Wilburton-Grand Connection redevelopment
project. The citizen advisory committee has 15 members, five of them
drawn from city boards and commissions. Candidates were selected by the mayor
with consultation from other councilmembers.
The committee will be co-chaired by Jeremey Barksdale from the
Planning Commission and Lei Wu of the Transportation Commission. The committee
will meet at regular intervals to inform and advise the Wilburton Commercial
Area planning process.
A full list of committee members can be found on the city’s legislative website.
Low-impact development and other code amendments
Staff briefed the council on three policy areas related to the
city’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Phase II Municipal
Stormwater Permit. The proposed amendments are updates to the Storm and Surface
Water Utility and the Clearing and Grading codes and regulations to implement
low-Impact development principles. The largely technical updates are needed to
comply with federal requirements. The additions and modifications for the LID principles
were created after a robust public engagement process.
Staff will prepare
ordinances for potential final action on Nov. 2