A sure sign of spring – this Thursday, May 18th, is opening day for the Bellevue Farmers Market. Back at its familiar location, vendors will be setting up in the parking lot of Bellevue Presbyterian Church (1717 Bellevue Way NE just north of downtown) with ample parking available. The market will be open every Thursday from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM, rain or shine, from May 18th through October 12th. (Pets are not permitted except service animals.)
Windermere Real Estate
A proud sponsor of the Bellevue Farmers Market since 2004.
Bellevue Light Rail Tunnel Video
Construction has been under way for months on the south portal site for the tunnel under downtown Bellevue. Part of the Sound Transit East Link extension, the tunnel will host light rail service in Bellevue and run between the future transit stations at East Main and Downtown Bellevue. What you might not know . . .
- The tunnel will be approximately one third of a mile long when completed and will run between the East Main and Downtown stations, mostly under 110th Avenue NE
- Excavation work should be complete in about two years followed by another year of construction to complete the tunnel interior
- Crews are excavating at the south portal site at 112th Avenue SE and Main Street. Construction is on pace to dig 3 to 4 feet of tunnel a day. The north portal will surface at the light rail station at NE 6th Street near the current Bellevue Transit Center
- The completed tunnel will be nearly 28 feet tall and run 30-60 feet below ground
- The budget for the tunnel is $121.4 million
- Instead of a tunnel boring machine, this tunnel is being built using the sequential excavation method (SEM). SEM uses an excavator and cutting equipment to take out soil. As soil is removed, lattice girders are installed and then pressurized concrete, called shotcrete, is sprayed onto the tunnel sides, ceiling and floor. This method, vs a tunnel boring machine, should minimize disruption to surface streets, homes and businesses.
East Link is scheduled to open in 2023 and is part of the 14 mile, 10 station light rail extension. When open a trip from downtown Seattle to downtown Bellevue will take about 20 minuted. The next extension is scheduled to open the following year linking stations to Redmond.
2023 will be here sooner than we expect. Access to light rail is going to be a game changer downtown, adding appeal, convenience, prestige and value to downtown Bellevue’s business and residential communities.
The last couple of warm-ish days got me thinking about ice cream. The big news, and I will make a trip to Capital Hill, is Portland’s Salt & Straw ice cream shop opening in the Capital Hill. Downtown Bellevue is missing a signature ice cream shop.
A long time downtown Bellevue resident, I remember the Baskin & Robbins ice cream shop downtown. Along with the Dairy Queen (both have been gone for years) these were the two “go to” stops for ice cream in the summer. Ben & Jerry’s is inside Bellevue Square and there are several places you can find gelatto, frozen yogurt or a milkshake, no destination ice cream shop in downtown Bellevue anymore.
The weather was great and we spent a lot of time outdoors this weekend walking the dogs and enjoying the colorful blooms downtown. It was fun to sit outside with a cup of coffee but it would have been fabulous to sit outside with a yummy cone of ice cream. I’m looking forward to summer and hopefully the arrival of a pop-up ice cream shop.
photo courtesy City of Bellevue
The “Complete the Circle” project at the Downtown Park is underway with work scheduled to be completed in time for this year’s Fourth of July celebration. The expansion includes completion of the last section of the circular canal and tree lined promenade, creating a new entry and water feature at the south end of the park, upgrading the playground to create a universally accessible Inspiration Playground, adding landscaping and terraced seating and enlarging the parking lot on 100th Avenue NE.
Construction of the park’s new south entry and pedestrian crossing caused the closure of the intersection at NE First Street and 102nd Avenue NE this week. The intersection is expected to open again mid-to-late April.
The Downtown Park is a 21 acre oasis in the heart of the city and the centerpiece of the Bellevue Parks System. There’s something for everyone . . . a half mile level tree-lined promenade, canal, waterfall and reflecting pond, a ten acre lawn area, playground, picnic areas and formal gardens . . . all framed by views of Bellevue’s skyline and Mt. Rainier. It will be exciting to see the improvements and have the park open again this summer.
Did you know the City of Bellevue/Bellevue Television produces a monthly video, Lake to Lake, featuring news, projects, activities and events in and around Bellevue. Current and past videos are posted on YouTube – definitely worth watching to find out what’s happening, or what’s about to happen, in your city. Open the links below to take a look at this year’s videos.
Lake to Lake/January
Lake to Lake – February
The City of Bellevue is one of several cities selected to work with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Global City Teams Challenge as a lead city in Smart City design in the US. The White House announced in September that Bellevue had been selected to work with NIST, its collaborators and other community and technology partners to develop a pilot Smart City dashboard, a citywide digital platform that would better connect its systems, departments, employees and residents. The dashboard would allow for making better use of existing data and gathering new data for future planning and provide the city with greater effectiveness and efficiency in operating individual departments and communicating across departments (integrating smart lighting, parking, water and other systems). The Smart City program would eventually be available to all cities allowing them to replicate the online tool for improved service delivery.
Bellevue also received one of our Replicable Smart City Technologies grants from NIST that enables 11 cities and communities to work together on innovative smart city solutions.
As Bellevue continues to grow citywide systems and services must continue to improve to meet the needs and demands of a growing population. Bellevue is committed to becoming a leader in Smart City design and implementation in its effort to enhance the daily lives of its residents, businesses, employees and visitors.
Other lead cities in the White House Smart Cities program include Atlanta, GA, Columbus OH, Kansas City, KS, Kansas City, MO, Newport News, VA and Portland OR. For more information on the Smart Cities project visit the City of Bellevue website at www.ci.bellevue.wa.us.
Thanksgiving week can feel rushed – its a short work week ahead of what, for some, will be a four day weekend, there’s housecleaning, shopping and prep for Thanksgiving dinner and family and friends arriving. The pre-holiday excitement and stress starts this week and this year Thanksgiving comes on the heels of a contentious election which for many has been stressful, adding apprehension or anticipation for what is to come.
This is a good time to pause, take a deep breath, and be thankful for the amazing place we live. We are lucky to be in the Pacific Northwest, one of the most livable places in the country and a region that enjoys a robust economic and and employment environment, benefits from nationally recognized public schools, has a wealth of heritage and diversity and is surrounded by breathtaking lakes and mountains. Its a great place to call home.
The shopping frenzy and the traffic starts Friday but its also the start of Snowflake Lane, Bellevue Magic Season and the Botanical Garden’s Garden d’Lights, Eastside traditions that turn Bellevue into a holiday wonderland. This weekend is Small Business Saturday; don’t forget to visit Main Street and other area businesses and restaurants to support local merchants.
Forget shopping, traffic and turkey hangovers . . . GO HAWKS, HUSKIES & SOUNDERS. The Sounders play at home tonight in the Western Conference Finals, the Huskies travel to Pullman for the Apple Cup on Friday and the Seahawks are in Tampa Bay Sunday to play the Buccaneers.