A photo of a city with light rail under construction, streets, and tall modern buildings in the distance
An aerial view of East Link light rail construction with Downtown Bellevue in the distance. (Credit: Sound Transit)

Two tours will provide different insights into a Bellevue neighborhood poised for significant growth.

It’s no secret that Bellevue is growing & changing. New developments are bringing new residents, workers, and visitors to the city in a way that will define the Eastside for many decades to come. Link light rail will open in 2023, connecting our city with the rest of the region with reliable, sustainable transportation.

But how will the city grow? Who do we want to benefit from that growth? How will people riding our new light rail line connect with their schools, businesses, and homes? Complete Streets Bellevue (CSB) and The Urbanist are partnering together to educate the community on the upcoming changes to Wilburton, one of Bellevue’s growth centers. We’ll also hear your feedback & ideas for how the city should build out its transportation infrastructure and share opportunities to engage. We’d love to have you at one (or both!) of the events below.

Event #1: Walking Tour near Wilburton Light Rail Station

Saturday, August 6th from 11am – 1pm
Meet at Wilburton Light Rail Station on NE 8th Street

In just a short time, East Link light rail will open and connect the Eastside with the rest of our region. However, the Wilburton neighborhood is currently full of car dealerships, strip malls, & minimal residential uses, and does not seem to be ready for the benefits that light rail will bring. The City of Bellevue is aware of this and is initiating significant rezone work that will define the character and growth of this changing neighborhood.

At this event, you’ll walk with CSB and Urbanist volunteers, who will share ways to get involved in the city’s process, answer questions, and hear your feedback on how we can craft policy to make this neighborhood the best it can be. The total walk will be approximately 1 mile in length, and we’ll end at the Pumphouse Bar & Grill on NE 8th St to relax and share what we observed. Additional route information to come as the event gets closer.


Event #2 Biking Tour of Wilburton Neighborhood

Saturday, August 13th from 11am – 1pm
Meet at Operations & Maintenance Facility East (OMFE) on 120th Avenue NE

For part two of our organizations’ tour of Wilburton, we’ll be hopping on two wheels. Bellevue transportation staff are planning significant investments in bicycle infrastructure in the city’s “growth corridors”, including Wilburton. On this tour, we’ll share examples of good tactical improvements the city has recently made and show where there can be improvements. Similar to our organization’s previous walking audits, we’ll collate participants’ feedback into a report which we’ll share with city staff as they begin their public outreach in September.

The route will be approximately 3 miles, contain some hills, and feature some on-street riding. However, we will ride and stay together as a group. Participants will be required to wear helmets, provide their own bike, and sign a liability waiver before they can participate. We’ll end our tour at the newly-opened Bellevue Brewing Company location in the Spring District, where we can eat, drink, be merry, and share what we saw.

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Article Author
Senior Eastside Reporter | Website

Chris is a UW Environmental Sciences graduate who moved to Bellevue in 2015. When he's not busy being an urbanist fox on the internet, he's working on the Eastside to support efforts reducing greenhouse gas emissions and going to city council meetings to denounce the hegemony of automobile infrastructure. Follow him on Twitter at @Deutski1.

Article Author
Managing Editor | Website

Natalie Bicknell Argerious (she/her) is Managing Editor at The Urbanist. A passionate urban explorer since childhood, she loves learning how to make cities more inclusive, vibrant, and environmentally resilient. You can often find her wandering around Seattle's Central District and Capitol Hill with her dogs and cat. Email her at natalie [at] theurbanist [dot] org.