On November 17th at the final budget hearing of the Bellevue City Council, 20 green shirted Newport Way supporters turned out to hear a final plea for the inclusion of $1.1 million for pre-design phase, a necessary step before it can be included in the 2015-2021 Capital Investment Program. Phil Moser, resident of Somerset Woods, presented to the Council petitions and endorsements by 15 organizations asking for high priority for sidewalks and bike lanes that are needed to safely link us to the facilities that are an important part of our daily lives. But we were not the only ones speaking up for the Newport Way Sidewalks. To our delight Chair Scott Lampe of the Transportation Commission, Lisa Quinn of First Free, and McKayla Dunfey of Cascade Bicycle Club all specifically called for Newport Way Sidewalks and Bike Lanes. In December, the City Council will vote on the budget proposals. Kristi Weir Newport Way Sidewalk Committee
Please come to the most important City Council meeting this year!
This will be the last opportunity for public input before the budget for 2015-2017 is finalized. Come a few minutes before 8 PM to pick up a green T shirt. If you already have a light green top, please wear it.
We will sit together in the Council Chambers, our sea of green visually reminding the Council members that there are many residents who want the Newport Way Sidewalks and Bike Lanes project to be a high priority in the Capital Investment Plan.
Our presence will also reinforce the message of our speaker who will address the Council on behalf of our group during the budget hearing portion of the meeting. The budget hearing will occur about half-way through the agenda. We should be able to leave shortly after 9PM. Even if you can't stay until 9, come at 8 and stay as long as you are able.
With over 20 Newport Way Sidewalk supporters present, we presented
three themes for the council about the urgency of sidewalks and bike
lanes. Casey Schoonover of Boy Scout Troop 638 said he and many
of his friends would like to walk or bicycle to school but currently it is
unsafe so they are driven to school. Linda Reichenbach, Tyee’s Girls
Cross-country coach, said the lack of sidewalks means her runners
cannot utilize that route for training. Barbara Spindel, founder of the
group, cited that in a recent traffic study this section of Newport Way handles close to 8000 cars per day during the week, with over 90% of the weekday traffic driving over the posted 25 mph. She asked City Council for a vote in December that will fund the design of the sidewalk and bike lanes we need to safely link us to the facilities that are an important part of our daily lives.
Despite the last minute change in the meeting date, there were 20 of us "green t-shirts" in attendance at the Open Budget meeting. Barbara Spindel, founder of the group, introduced of our growing list of endorsements. Randy Brown then read the entire letter of endorsement from the 16,000 member Cascade Bicycle Club. The letter described how the project is needed for the safety of the local neighborhood and also the greater bicycling community as part of the "Mountains to Sound" corridor.
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A heartfelt thank you to all who came to City Hall Monday night! Our group’s turnout and presentation was absolutely perfect and well received. Approximately 45 Sidewalk Supporters attended the Budget Hearing session of the Bellevue City Council. 3 speakers addressed the council: Pastor Beeman, Reese Velton (Boy Scout and Senior Patrol Leader of Troop 438), and Vicki Heck of the neighborhood sidewalk committee.
Although our speaking time occurred much later in the proceedings than anticipated, the fact that we all showed up in our green shirts and patiently waited our turn had a big impact with council members. Our speakers Pastor Beeman and Reece were eloquent and their messages were uniquely impeccable. Vicki Heck's wrap-up of our presentation with reference to the City's own budget priorities really hit it home. Other than one lone Downtown Association speaker, we were the only group requesting budgeting consideration, and we were a big group!
We believe last night made a very positive impact with the Transportation Dept. and City Council. Please thank your neighbors, family and friends that came out last night and let them know their presence made a huge difference providing maximum impact!
You can also view a video of the speakers and the sea of green shirts as captured by the video cameras in council chabers. Fast forward 1:12 (1 hour 12 minutes) into the video.
Bellevue Reporter writer Brandon Macz attended the April 10th Transportation Commission Meeting and published this article in the Reporter: Bellevue Transportation Commission makes recommendation on projects
Doris Martin's letter "Sidewalks needed for Safety" was published in the Bellevue Reporter.
Sidewalk supporters attended the Bellevue Transportation Commission Meeting. Joe Pham addressed the commission on traffic and safety issues along Newport Way. Philip Moser also explained safety ordinances and metrics used in other cities.
The neighborhood committe met at the Newport Way Library to discuss ongoing activity and upcoming events to raise awareness and get the community involved in supporting the sidewalk project. The group is growing with each meeting, this being the largest turnout so far. Plans were made for upcoming City Council and Transportation Commission meetings, as well as how to engage neighborhood groups to support the project.
On March 13th, thirteen neighbors showed up at the Transportation Commission Meeting at City Hall to voice our support for constructing sidewalks on Newport Way. We were all wearing bright green shirts with the logo “Newport Way Sidewalks – For a Safer Community”. Philip Moser, from Somerset Woods, made a verbal presentation to the Commission, explaining why the Newport Way sidewalks are so important. He explained how other cities evaluate and prioritize sidewalk construction projects, and how the Newport Way sidewalk project ranks high using those evaluation metrics. Join us at future City Council and Transportation Commission meetings. More info is on the Action and Calendar pages.
On March 3rd, nine Somerset and Eastgate residents showed up at Bellevue City Council to voice our support for constructing sidewalks on Newport Way. We were all wearing bright green shirts with the logo “Newport Way Sidewalks – For a Safer Community”. Philip Moser, from Somerset Woods, made a verbal presentation to Council, excerpts of which are here: City Council Presentation 3/3/2014. Please join us in our efforts! Newport Way sidewalks are included in the Transportation Facilities Plan; our goal is to get it funded in this budget year so work can begin. To this end, we plan to show up at all City Council and Transportation Committee meetings this year. Come with us, we provide the shirts and signs! For more information, see our Action page.