Leslie Lloyd, BDA President
With the big summer events behind us, we’re delving deep into issues here at the BDA. This time of year finds us holding our Board planning session, the City addressing its long-range financial challenges, and voters contemplating the future of our transportation network – not to mention the makeup of our City Council. I was struck by the words of the late Walt Crowley, published in a recent Seattle Times guest column, asking, “when does a region know it’s stepping out into its future?”
Mr. Crowley was referring to this November’s Roads & Transit ballot measure, but the same inquiry lies before us here in Downtown Bellevue. We have a clear vision of our place: the cultural and economic heart of the Eastside region. Are we there yet? It surely seems that our vision of a compact, vibrant business and retail center has materialized. And more and more, we’re becoming a preferred residential neighborhood, as well.
But are we prepared for the challenges that lie ahead? How does our maturing city center handle growing congestion? How will we balance the efforts to make Bellevue more pedestrian-friendly with the priority to keep cars moving? Are we ready to meet the needs of what will soon become one of the largest neighborhoods in Bellevue? Is the City equipped to finance what we need downtown? Our goal is a place that is viable, livable, accessible, and memorable. How will we define success in our efforts to make such a place here?
These issues are top-of-mind here as we chart a strategic plan for 2008 and beyond. Be sure to catch our October membership meeting, when we’ll conduct a Bellevue City Council candidate forum. And tune in for committee work on a slew of issues. Also in this issue, check out our observations from a recent conference several of us attended back east. Incoming Chair Jill Ostrem and I welcome your thoughts.
Finally, two of our members have treats to share with you. Massage Center of Bellevue is offering an October special to commemorate five years in Bellevue. Make an appointment this month, and you'll receive a healthy gift and entry to win a free one-hour massage. Specialty's Cafe and Bakery is offering a free cookie to BDA members who simply register and place an order online. Yum. Use the promotional code: BELLEVUE.