DOWNTOWN ACCESS STRATEGY
2019 - 2023
Updated January 2021
The BDA Downtown Access Strategy serves to guide Member advocacy and the BDA’s approach to project and policy recommendations. The strategy includes steps that acknowledge existing conditions in the Downtown area and identify desired outcomes to direct the BDA’s advocacy focus. These steps inform the Transportation Committee’s approach to evaluating mobility issues and formulating feedback to the BDA Board.
EXISTING CONDITIONS > COMMITTEE APPROACH > DESIRED OUTCOMES
Downtown Access Strategy Objective: To convene members to address, advance and inform transportation recommendations, projects and initiatives that improve mobility in, from and within Downtown Bellevue and to do so in the most effective and timely ways to achieve the desired outcomes.
Existing Conditions: Shared understandings of mobility in and around Downtown Bellevue.
- Downtown Bellevue is the regional transportation hub of East King County.
- Traffic congestion and trip growth are inevitable in a growing, dynamic economy. Increased congestion impacts Downtown Bellevue’s quality of life and poses risks to its economy.
- Population and job growth, regular workday and school schedules, road and curb capacity constraints, evening activities, throughput trips, and limited travel options all contribute to peak period congestion.
- Retail shopping, regional events and attractions, entertainment and recreation, and road and curb capacity constraints commonly contribute to off-peak travel congestion.
- Historically and currently, most trips are made by private vehicle. Employers, employees, residents and visitors increasingly seek multimodal travel options for more reliable and/or cost competitive trips.
- Attractive transit, rideshare, non-motorized options, and employer commute programs can directly reduce drive-alone commute trips.
- Eastside’s lack of affordable housing options creates congestion and longer commute times due to the increased volume of trips from affordable markets far from job centers.
- Project funding for future transportation investments is increasingly limited and competitive to acquire.
- Adopted transportation plans and studies provide essential data and background information
Committee Approach: Process for addressing mobility issues and communicating to the BDA Board
- Track Issues – Staff will review emerging information about mobility issues to identify topics to engage.
- Identify Topics – Members are invited to recommend topics, and Committee Chairs will establish agendas. Competing topics for Committee focus will be determined by Committee Chairs. The Desired Outcomes will help inform the selection of a topic.
- Acknowledge Competing Goals – Discussion will identify how a project or initiative would support (who/what) and could negatively impact (who/what). Use the Existing Conditions to establish common ground and recognize Desired Outcomes to facilitate collaboration.
- Education & Deliberation – Subject matter experts will be invited to share insight, data and official materials with Members. Committee Chairs will facilitate discussions and input will be collected.
- Committee Consensus – Committee Chairs will seek Member consensus on a recommendation to forward to the BDA Board for appropriate action.
Desired Outcomes: Mobility Goals for Downtown Bellevue.
- Improve travel experience to, from and within the Downtown area, with an emphasis on time savings, safety, and environmental stewardship.
- Advance highway and local projects that maximize efficiency to, from, and through Bellevue.
- Support projects and programs that discourage Downtown as a vehicular throughput option.
- Serve land use patterns and build the infrastructure to accommodate planned growth.
- Reduce drive-alone trips during peak periods by establishing a connected multimodal network that reliably serves all modes.
- Reduce collisions and prevent transportation-related injuries across all modes.
- Accommodate emerging technologies and market disrupters within the built environment.
- Strengthen Downtown’s growing, diverse economy.
COVID Era: Strategic goals
- Advance projects to shovel-ready statuses to help secure access to future stimulus funds.
- Prepare for increased trips when employees begin returning to office.
- Restore transit services to levels that match travel demands.