7 Cranes and 7 Lanes

by SFG Staff Writer

Whoa…

This is Bellevue? (My first thought after returning from four years of college in San Diego). I was expecting Rudy’s Barbershop, a 7-eleven, and maybe a KFC (probably good that’s gone since it was my hideout during cross country practice). But I was wrong. Wow.

So for four years I have been living in Southern California where the cities are large, the beaches are long, and the traffic unbearable, right? Well, yes, sort of—but after experiencing both cities I would almost rather idle there than here, and here’s why:

It’s true that Los Angeles alone has a population basically five times that of Seattle. So smog, waste, traffic, water shortages, all come with living there. But the 900 miles of freeway with seven lanes of weaving pleasure is at least (arguably) better suited to handle that amount of use.

Commuting in Seattle, where infrastructure seems to be designed for only about half the population, is brutal. Traveling just 10 miles between Bellevue and Seattle can take well over an hour during rush hour. Mix in some bad weather, accidents and low posted speed limits and you’re in for a very long drive…plus maybe some hair loss.

Although relief is on the way, it is coming in the form of cracked pontoons and 1000 ton Big (dead) Bertha. This has been a little worrisome for drivers and taxpayers alike.

Hopefully these projects are achieved when considering all of this new multifamily/office space going up in Bellevue. These are just the seven I am able to see from my office window:

  1. The Soma Towers: apartment buildings being built on the corner of 106th & NE 2nd (Hello neighbors!) One is complete; Phase II is expected to be finished in 2016.
  2. Recently completed are the Main Street Flats (Bye Petco).
  3. On the corner of Bellevue Way and Main Street you have the Main Street Gateway.
  4. And directly south across the street, the Bellevue at Main.
  5. The Bellevue Park II Apartments are under construction next to the park on NE 1st.
  6. The old Bank of America on NE 4th is being turned into an office building.
  7. Finally, the original Safeway site is set to be part of the Lincoln Square Expansion.