The Bellevue Reporter released details this morning on Kevin Wallace’s proposed alignment of East Link— what he dubs the ‘Vision Line.’ The proposal essentially calls for the use of the BNSF corridor (B7 alternative), which would bypass the South Bellevue Park and Ride, and an alignment along 114th Ave NE through downtown before crossing I-405. This alternative would run right along the freeway and is furthest from the downtown core than any of the other DEIS alternatives. To address the distance factor, the plan calls for a covered walkway that leads to the Bellevue Transit Center. Wallace has stated before that he believes a surface alignment would be too disruptive and a tunnel would be too costly.
From the Bellevue Reporter:
The Vision Line aims to protect residential homes and downtown businesses. But it adds another option to a growing list of alternatives for Sound Transit’s East Link light rail project.
Wallace is asking that Sound Transit consider his plan as part of the East Link environmental-review process.
Arup, the San-Francisco based consulting firm that undertook the study, has full details of its Phase A study here. One important thing to remember is that this first phase of the plan has not taken ridership into account, an integral factor into making East Link cost-effective. However, Wallace believes that the ridership will be comparable with the other alternatives while still bringing down the costs of the Bellevue alignment. We’ll have a follow-up soon with these concerns and questions addressed directly by Wallace.
139 Replies to “Kevin Wallace’s ‘Vision Line’”
My wife and I take our daughter to Bell Square at least twice a week to play and shop from our home in Seattle. We thought we’d be able to take the train, but this alignment is way too far from Bell Square and other Bellevue retail to haul our child and purchases. If this is the “vision” Bellevue politicians have for rapid transit, ST2 is a waste of money.
Don’t worry, Link will be stopping at Northgate and eventually Alderwood and The Commons at Federal Way. Between all that and downtown Seattle, I think BelSquare will regret not having supported Link a bit more.
Just how many shopping malls does this thing need to connect to?
How bout Kemper regrets not having supported Link and builds a DT Bellevue people mover!
It’s good for it to connect to shopping malls as those are huge destinations for people, especially outside of commuting hours.
For the love of god, it’s 2 blocks!
114th Ave NE to Bellevue Way (104th) is 10 blocks
This is a completely nuts location for the sole station serving downtown Bellevue, the second largest downtown area in King County
2 superblocks, which is 4 regular blocks, uphill. And that’s just to the edge of the transit center.
If we’re going to go to the expense of building a new mass transit system, why cripple it from the beginning? By building the main station up against the freeway the effective area that station serves is cut in half. How is that a prudent thing to do?
Plus with the elaborate elevated station, covered moving walkways and track guideway that’s 175 feet off the ground I can’t see how the “Vision Line” could possible be any cheaper than tunneling.
You forgot to add four blocks uphill in both directions and mention the 6 foot snow banks :=
The waterfront trolley suffers from the same one sided routing you’re railing against. So does the streetcar line up both eastlake and westlake. But unlike large bodies of water, decent bus connections to 405 alleviate that issue.
Unlike lakes and bays 405 actually is a large source of potential ridership via transfers. When you look at the average population of I-405 it’s actually a pretty dense “neighborhood”, at least by eastside standards. I think a lot of auto commuters probably feel like they live there ;-)
Yeah, the walkways and people movers are a big issue. Show stopper as far as I’m concerned because of cost and loss of time (time = ridership). Better connections to a circulator system and I think a 114th alignment could work. This plan, with the expense and negative aesthetic impacts is a no go.
The 405 transfer ridership is at Bellevue Transit Center, which has the direct access ramps to 405.
Circulator buses are losers. They don’t work and are expensive. The Bellevue stop needs to be at some reasonable walking distance to most Bellevue destinations and to transfers at BTC. The Kevin Wallace plan is nuts from a transit perspective for Bellevue.
Agree with Eastsider. Metro has tried circulator buses in the Bellevue CBD twice, and failed twice in the past.
I didn’t remember any failed circulator bus attempts. I went back and read the Downtown Circulator Report from 2002. Sure enough:
No wonder I don’t remember it! It’s hard to remember what Bellevue looked like a quarter century ago. The report goes on to recommend that the City not restore a circulator route at that time but to revist the issue when downtown residential population reaches approximately 4,000 and downtown employment reaches approximately 40,000. Well, according to the BDA, “There are more than 35,000 workers and nearly 5,000 residents housed in downtown.”
The report benchmarked several cities with successful circulator systems. Bellevue today is very similar in numbers to Phoenix cira 2001. They had a residential population of 6,184 and 34,000 jobs (not sure where Phoenix is at today). The target of $2-3 per ride was seen as cost effective in the 2002 report. The City may not be ready for a circulator quiet yet but it seems it should be getting very close and it should certainly be considered in the Link planning process. I’ve seen a proposed route plan from city staff. The 2002 report also mentioned the creation of a ride free area in Bellevue. It might be worth doing that before the circulator. With Orca and the coming bus GPS system that would be relatively easy to administer.
Johnny, it would be devastating to ridership, and it would not allow people in Bellevue to live without cars if they wanted to.
Got a shock for you…. people in Bellevue aren’t going to live without cars no matter where the line goes.
I have news for you, some already do. Though at this point it is mostly the young, the old, the disabled, and the poor, there are in fact a fair number of Bellevue residents who don’t have cars. More will choose that option if reasonable alternatives are provided including transit, walking, and cycling.
People must have cars to live in Bellevue?
I’m a Bellevue resident who takes buses & trains exclusively (of course: regulars here know why). No car for my brother & I
This station is as far away from Bell Square as the First Hill station would have been from Third Avenue. Thanks for sharing, Mr. Wallace.
Please, let’s not build this line at grade in downtown Bellevue. Anything but that. Or this!
Its called “neutering”
I find all of this very curious.
Fancy “coalition” name – Check
Slick and architecturally unrealistic image – Check
“Official” study done by engineering firm – Check
Owns three properties *right* next to the proposed downtown Bellevue station – Check
These are hallmark moves right out of the Discovery Institute and Keeper Freeman’s playbook. These coincidences are just too good. Mr. Wallace you just blew it. Way too obvious.
Yes, this is exactly the same tactic they use.
All the while the solution seems to have manifested itself overnight…
This alignment option has been in the works for a very long time, nothing overnight about it.
The three parcels are 3225059004, 3225059171, 3225059201. One is owned by Puget Sound Energy and the other two by the City of Bellevue. These conspiracy theories crack me up.
So then why does his website say that they are part of his portfolio?
Being a property manager doesn’t mean you own the property. It means that you’re hired to find tenants, collect rent, etc. And I don’t even see the three buildings adjacent to the station location listed.
They are about as close as one can get. All three in one location.
Regardless he is a vested interest in the properties.
I got news for you, everyone who lives in Bellevue has a vested interest.
Hmm, I’m pretty sure 330 112th is owned by Wallace Properties, at the very least it contains their offices.
Ok, here we go:
Address: 222 112TH AVE NE
Taxpayer: Robert Wallace
Address: 330 112TH AVE NE
Taxpayer: WALLACE/SCOTT LIMITED PRTNR
Address: 11027 NE 4TH ST
Taxpayer: WALLACE/SCOTT LMTD PTNSP
So the last one is actually closer to the C9T alignment than the “vision line” but Wallace had previously supported that alignment too.
I do smell a bit of a conflict of interest here.
The two properties on 112th are 2-3 blocks South of the proposed station. If anything the concrete forest on 112th would be undesirable. The property on NE 4th would benefit from access with C9T or the 110th at grade. The whole issue isn’t about trying to push the stations near any particular property it’s all about eliminating any traffic impacts on downtown streets. As for the ROW, nobody wants it adjacent to their interests. The whole game is about pushing it into someone elses back yard.
Ownership of the 222 112th property was transferred to City of Bellevue in 2007. Don’t know what the deal is on that but suspect it’s future acquisition for the NE 2nd freeway access. Come to think of it, that explains why the line is jacked up in the air so high.
Bernie, back up your claims. Chris Stefan just proved your earlier assertion about parcels was false.
Chris didn’t say anything about my pointing out the parcels adjacent to the proposed station aren’t owned by any entity associated with Kevin Wallace. And of the three properties he mentioned near the station one of them is owned by City of Bellevue. It’s all public information:
The distance from the proposed station to the Transit Center is slightly longer than the distance between the Airport station and the airport terminal.
Not to mention the distance to Bell Square. That is at the very least 7/10th of a mile.
It’s more than twice as long as airport visits are generally “one-way”.
It’s 2020 and I want to go to a mall that has some shopping not available in downtown Seattle. Let’s see… Northgate or Bellevue Square. With one I have a short walk, the other about a mile… Hello Northgate.
What is it that you don’t have in downtown Seattle that you can get at Bellevue Square and Northgate?
Bail bonds? A Peruvian folk band? Restored vintage espresso machines? I bet there’s more, but I can’t think of them just yet…
Off the top of my head: Lego Store and some upscale stores that used to be downtown and are now only in Bellevue – like Neiman Marcus.
Neiman Marcus isn’t in Bellevue Square, it’s in the Braven and that’s between the Bellevue transit center and I-405.
Right, they left downtown Seattle because it’s a dump and not many families want to shop there. That can change, but it’s definitely a socio-economic issue that Seattle needs to take care of. Running to the burbs doesn’t fix the problem…
Sorry, Bell Square is the only Lego Store in Washington. Kemper’s gotcha.
If that’s the case, then do what I have done and shop only at:
Oh oops, I read the question backwards. Atmosphere. Indoorness.
Northgate has Target and Best Buy.
Bellevue Square Macys actually has things that Seattle’s doesn’t. I had to go to there to get components of a sheet set recently (yes, on the 550).
But yeah, for the most part, downtown has everything you really need.
That’s an important point. Bellevue is still a sleepy little town. Yeah sure in the long range vision (as in a long long time ago in a galaxy far far away) there’s talk of 4 minute headways through Bellevue. Fine, let my children’s children pay for that one. Let’s look 10-20 years out and get this thing built with an affordable at grade alignment that won’t gridlock the city and leave public transit passengers waiting at the station.
This is why I like the idea of an at-grade in the same footprint as the C9T alignment. It avoids most of the issues with C4A but still puts the station somewhere useful. I hope the money can be found to do C9T but if not a surface version gets the job done without messing with 108th, 8th or 12th.
Any at grade alignment through downtown will gridlock the streets.
Obviously stuff no one can live without. Finally high end shopping in Bellevue… guys this is not a consumer issue. This is a quality of life issue and what the residents of Bellevue will be left to deal with after all the “smart” people go home to plan and ruin some other community that they don’t live and won’t have to take the consequences for.
You obviously own a flying car. In 2 years you will have to pay a toll to cross 520. Or if you want to snake through kirk-othell it will take an extra 30 minutes depending on what time of day.
It looks like one of those trains is painted in some kind of non-Link livery, but it’s too small to tell. Or is it just the sun rising off the Cascades glinting off of it?
I think it’s intended to be one of those eastside commuter rail trains – this is totally intertwined with the Discovery Institute nonsense.
I dunno, I like the DMU and Link integration =P
Wait, they have their own livery already? Awesome.
No, that’s an advertising wrap. I think it’s for Wallace Properties :-P
As a Bellevue resident: slap a tunnel directly under the Transit Center with direct access. And, seriously, raise my taxes to help pay for it.
Nice try Wallace.
As another Bellevue resident, I’ll second that.
The transit center is in a terrible location and to drill a tunnel under it would f*ck up traffic for years. Get some exercise and walk the 3 blocks to the transit center.
“The transit center is in a terrible location…”
Terrible for Old Bellevue. Not great for Kemper’s properties. Pretty much ideal for the thousands of employees at Symetra Financial Center, KeyCenter, One Bellevue Center, City Center Bellevue, City Center Plaza, Expedia Building, Puget Sound Energy, City Hall and the Bravern.
Yes but that area is close to being built out. If the station is located further West there is a much larger “catchment” area for pedestrians, which has yet to be fully developed.
Based on the current alternatives, 108th at NE 6th is about as far west as you can get with a station.
Adam, I agree that it’s built out to some extent – but I don’t agree that it’s well utilized. In fifty years, a lot of those buildings should see first floor retrofits for shops – and it’ll still be the center of Bellevue.
Terrible for Old Bellevue. Not great for Kemper’s properties. Pretty much ideal for [other properties]
I think the point is that the 108th/110th alignments are good for BOTH the East and West sides of downtown. Going out to 114th is suitable for the east side but Old Bellevue is no longer walkable from the station. The question is whether we’re going to serve 1/2 of downtown or all of it.
“…Get some exercise and walk…”
You forget that I’m in a wheelchair!?!?
Sometimes people forget that not everyone can easily walk three blocks.
Kevin Wallace is not advocating for a tunnel downtown.
While I don’t like the idea of the location of ths station, I do like the painting….it’s nice. I also have some of this guy’s other railroad paintings framed.
Great. 100-foot pylons right down the middle of my daily (bicycle) commute. Did someone forget to tell Arup that 114th is a designated bike route into downtown? We need a study showing that traffic congestion in the Bellevue core will eventually cap the revenue Kemper Freeman is able to extract from his properties. If he wants to continue to squeeze more and more shoppers through his stores, he’s not going to be able to do it without mass transit. There is simply no room left to add lane capacity. Once he sees the light, we’ll have no issues getting the correct alignment through downtown.
Ah yes an alignment that bypasses the city’s largest concentration of jobs (Expedia, Microsoft, Puget Sound Energy, City Hall etc.) and retail. Quite “visionary” indeed!
By bypass, you mean 3 blocks right?
2500′ isn’t the short jaunt you’d like it to be.
A Bellevue superblock is not a block. It’s at least two city blocks, and the effects on ridership are the same as that of a two city block walk.
Just pretending there’s nothing wrong with this will not help you.
New York blocks are even longer than Bellevue blocks and somehow people manage to walk them.
It all depends on the walking experience. If it’s interesting, relatively safe and comfortable, people will walk. The proposed covered walkway and the NE 6th path to Bellevue Square are nice. I can’t say the same about the rest of Bellevue. The streets are too wide and the cars move too fast.
That one funny looking band aid trying to cover the gaping distance to anywhere you’d want to go from the platform.
Oh, and look, there are miniature douglas firs growing directly under the platform. And a Disney like ride snaking in and out of the columns. Or is that express lanes to park and ride. This truly is a transit station optimized for the efficiency of the automobile.
I’d have to say I’m not a fan of the tent city idea. I also find it hard to imagine that this is going to be cost competitive with at grade, let alone a savings. The extra height required to cross NE 6th elevated makes the scale of this way too intrusive and that extra elevation carries over to the Hospital Station which is a huge drawback in my book. I don’t see the 114th station location as a show stopper if transfers to a good circulator system are in place but people movers and elevators? No, I’m thinking walk off the train and walk directly onto a waiting bus.
Walk directly into the workplace is much preferred for most of us.
So many people will ride a train but not a bus. If you’re going to make a transit system that will appeal to beyond the normal market for transit, you should have it be rail. But anyways, the 114th station idea is retarded, people want a one-seat ride. It has to be at 110th at the very easternmost.
Bernie, I don’t know how you managed to get a private bus that will wait for you when you want it to and where you want it to but clue the rest of us in.
Private bus? Each train at peak hours is going to be dumping off hundreds of people. That’s why it’s called public transportation. If you want a private bus that will be there when you want it and take you where you want try Shuttle Express. I know they’ll do SEA and Portland for you. Neighbors around here seem to get pretty good service with Access. Service at 9PM on a Sunday, not a problem. Last Sunday around 6PM I was at Sears in Overlake, no kidding, up pulls an Access bus.
We have a few routes where buses will hold for people to get off the Sounder train before leaving. We have buses that wait for people to get off the train at Tukwila to take them to the airport. Not sure why this is surprising to you.
Gotta keep the LOOOOOOTers away from BelSquare!
See what happened in L.A. on the newly opened Gold Line extension:
Oh, boy do I hope that you are employing a healthy dose of sarcasm.
If that’s not the case, don’t you think that they could just as easily use an automobile?
I hear talk that there are some criminals that have these in their posession.
And there are those that don’t. Check out he MAX line in Portland that has quite a crime streak going and check out St. Louis which has a very high crime issue with its rail line.
So far we haven’t seen issues with crime on our light rail line as some people have feared.
Yea, gotta keep that LOOT rail out of Bellevue or you’ll be overrun with PS8Scum!
I’ve been thinking about engaging in some Link-related lawbreaking, but so far it’s limited to jaywalking, and more importantly, I am more or less new to criminal endeavors.
Looks like Denver International Airport.
Yeah, and more than just a passing resemblance, too. Still looks pretty cool though, despite the complete absurdity of the entire station concept.
That painting is a complete joke.
I don’t know art but I know what I like.
Well, J. Craig Thorpe makes cool drawings.
Sorry to see that J Craig Thorpe lent his paint brushes to Kemper/Wallace and thjier goons – he WAS a respected transport artist in my book, but not now.
I normally don’t associate the words “vision” or “visionary” w/ the path of least resistance and simply avoiding anything and everything that is even slightly challenging. I move we rename it to something more appropriate, like the “lazy line” or the “lackluster line”.
All I have to say is “holy s*&%, the tracks are 175 feet off the ground at Whole Foods!”
Zed all you would need to do to get some facts is meet with Kevin Wallace. You would find out how much your sarcasm over exagerates.
“The Vision Line aims to protect residential homes and downtown businesses.”
If by protecting businesses you mean “put them so far away from the train line that people say ‘screw it, I’m shopping in Seattle’ instead,” then I guess it will do that.
Is it supposed to look like the circus came to Bellevue and brought carnival rides from the Puyallup fair with it?
Yeah, I was going to say they should call it the “Circus Line” instead of the Vision LIne.
Piccadilly Circus? A set of trapeze would be a pretty efficient way to get from 114th up to the transit center :=
Or a pony ride….how could you say no to pony rides too and from the square.
Now that one’s got legs :=
I think the vision line is a great idea. While I am luke warm on the light-rail to begin with, I think that running it through the edge of Downtown Bellevue makes allot of sense. It would reduce the amount of disruption to the businesses, and re-use the BNSF Rail corridor that King County has been trying make into a trail.
The Vision Line and the BNSF corridor are entirely separate issues. BNSF never ran trains on 114th. I’m a supporter of the B7 alignment that uses part of the old BNSF ROW and the crossing at 6th and Overlake Hospital Station which would be on the BNSF ROW but please don’t continue the confusion that equates the frontage road ROW with the BNSF issue.
Sorry Bernie, I am not a transit/rail expert like you.
I like the idea of a station just down the hill from the transit center that won’t screw up the Downtown B that they just spend 10 years building.
That’s another myth that needs to be squished before it even becomes a rumor. I am not an expert about anything. But if you want to really have an impact and arrive at the best solution then learning all you can is important. I don’t think our goals/values are all that different. But I’ve learned a lot from being wrong on this blog and currently I think the at grade alignment on 110th actually offers the promise to improve downtown, presents the best return on investment of all the light rail choices and perhaps most important might actually be achievable.
Bernie, I couldn’t agree with you more.
People movers make that possible.
The misuse of the term “people mover” bugs me. Every time I hear that word I think of the automated shuttle trains, not moving sidewalks. Why do they have to use such a broad and vague term?
So what is it exactly, a moving walkway or an automated people mover (shuttle train)?
Oh yeah, Bernie. In lieu of piecing together your old comments, I wanted to ask: what does South Bellevue stand to gain with B7 over B3 modified? You defended B7 for not being that bad, but never explained why it’s better than B3S (or maybe you did, but tell me again).
It’s late so this may not be the best I can do. First off I think the added ridership by adding $40K per ~1.2 seats on the train is a huge waste of money. And that’s not even starting on the building multi story structures in a swamp issues. B3 has essentially zero development potential (other than the a fore mentioned building a parking garage in a swamp to subsidize each butt in the seat to the tune of … .late don’t remember and don’t want to recalculate but geesh, build me a 40k garage to drive part way to where I work. I won’t actually use it for that but I’ve got a couple classic cars I need storage for so transit dollars for car storage sounds pretty good to me. Bel-Red would be even better as it’s a short bike ride and I can get body work done close by ;-) As I testified in the DEIS, trains belong on train tracks. B7 does impact some condo owners. These folks bought condos along side a rail line and next to a freeway. Sorry, you don’t get that extra 100 feet of buffer zone between your back door and an Interstate. But, with some well designed sound buffering you might actually find that you have greater privacy and less noise after light rail goes through. At the very least you preclude the possibility of that ROW moving the freeway even closer.
I find it hard to believe that the B7 won’t be substantiably cheaper than B3. 100 years ago RR engineers decided this was the way to go. Cars don’t follow the same rules as trains.
I’m not that opposed to the B3 modified. But I am opposed to the insane spending on a multistory P&R at S. Bellevue. It makes no sense from a financial standpoint (other than possibly the distortion from federal grants because of system ridership) and it is a cut-through enabler. If you drop the pay big bucks to park cars then B3 looks pretty stupid.
Finally, (it’s late) B3 modified is VERY different than B3 in how it approaches Main. This really is a big issue for Bellevue.
One more thing… If blog primaries are going to criticizes ST for lack of website savvy on rider alerts can we please at least get a preview function here?
B7 still gets a huge garage, has traffic issues with garage/P&R access, and has little potential for nearby development as most of the surrounding area South of SE 6th is all swamp as well. Furthermore it eliminates a station at a location that makes a good transfer point for riders coming from the East and the South. With S. Bellevue you have a neighborhood nearby than can walk/bike to the station. With B7 not so much.
I’d support maybe pushing the East Main station down to SE 6th but not at the expense of a station at S Bellevue P&R
One more thing… If blog primaries are going to criticizes ST for lack of website savvy on rider alerts can we please at least get a preview function here?
It’s a fair point; we’ve talked about doing this but everything is on a volunteer basis and no one has stepped up to do the work.
Johnny, nothing has proven that ridership along this Vision Line (let alone the DEIS alternatives closest to I-405) could stack up against alignments running closer through the downtown core. Business mitigation is an easy problem to deal with, but garnering ridership is not.
Nothing has proven that the alignments running closer through the downtown core will produce ridership either.
Well we do have the projected ridership figures from the DEIS which show a drop in ridership the further from the transit center the station is. It isn’t exactly rocket science to assume the further transit is from where people are going to or coming from the lower ridership will be.
I’m tired of hearing about business disruptions. Businesses come and go all the time for a variety of reasons, this infrastructure project will be with us for generations. The businesses that are displaced will be more than fairly reimbursed and will get tons of relocation assistance, being bought out by the government is probably the best thing that can happen to a small business owner! My brother’s restaurant on Bellevue Way was torn down to make way for Kemper’s hotel and condo monstrosity. Nobody was up in arms over that business disruption, cause that’s just the good ol’ free market at work.
Minimizing a handful of business and residential disruptions is not a legitimate reason to ham-string an investment that we’re all paying for.
Spock said it best; “”The Needs of the Many Must Outweigh the Needs of the Few or the One.” :-)
I love STAR TREK but even Spock would see the logic of B7 when 75% of those commenting on the DEIS preferred the B7. Live long and prosper.
That number you keep citing is meaningless. If 3 out of the 4 people who bothered to comment on the DEIS preferred B7 than that must mean it’s the best choice.
It’s not 75%. It’s more like 63% of the comments (not people) on the B segment support B7, with multiple comments from the same person. It’s debatable whether that really represents what most people living along the East Link corridor support since there’s self-selection bias. For all we know, most of it could have come from Surrey Downs residents.
Oran, I’m willing to bet I could find people living in Surrey Downs who either favor an alignment other than B7 or are indifferent to the location.
It reminds me of the situation with Children’s Hospital in Laurelhurst. There are a number of people living in the neighborhood who favor the hospital expansion, however their voices are drowned out by the small number of well-organized opponents associated with the LCC. Now in the Children’s Hospital case the LCC complaints have at least some merit because the city hearing examiner sided with the neighborhood group, which almost never happens.
Except that the cost per rider on B7 is about 5 times all the other B segment alternatives:
(see page 15)
That image looks great, but the location seems too far from the core downtown area. I imagine that the more than half a mile walk uphill would discourage many downtown office workers and mall goers alike from using the station(s).
Also, stop stealing DIA’s tarps!
Pace if off TB, it isn’t more than a half mile, the uphill is mitigated by the level people mover from the elevated station.
It actually closer to a quarter mile. Still, it adds 4 minutes of walking to every trip to downtown Bellevue. Say I currently take the 550 to/from Seattle and now light rail is open, add 4 minutes of walking each-way from the station to my office in Bellevue. How likely am I going to use transit less?
A four minute walk to the office isn’t a big deal. I’d consider it a bonus; but then I more often than not opt for the 20 minute bike route to/from work than the 15 minute route and rarely take the 12 minute route. Now, a four minute walk to a transfer that’s dicey to begin with, that’s a different story. Especially if the headways are 15+ minutes.
It really isn’t a big deal. I walk from the Municipal Tower to Pioneer Square Station all the time and that’s with steep hills. Sometimes it’s actually faster to walk the whole way than to walk down to the station to go within downtown. Even faster on a bike. I’d encourage more people to walk and bike more. I’m just wondering how many people would.
It’s exactly as you said in a different thread:
And yes, there are ADA issues and that’s something we must never forget but encouraging walking is not only good for the health of the nation it’s pretty much essential to getting people out of the mind set that they not only have to drive to the gym but then circle the parking lot 3 times when they get there to find the spot closest to the door.
I really have to emphasize again: the issue is NOT the four blocks from a 114th station to buildings around the transit center. That’s not good, but most people can deal is.
The issue is the 8+ blocks to all the destinations on the West side of downtown bellevue, which are ALREADY a longish walk from the transit center.
I realize that ST is fairly far along the track (pun intended) but as someone who grew up in the 4th house built in Lake Hills subdivision, and having lived here all my life, I have observed a few things:
1) Kemper and the “Bellevue Business folks” are not hot on transit unless it’s buried underground. Outta sight both physically and in budget terms.
2) Demographics of those who work, play and live WEST of 405 are far different than those EAST of 405 in Bellevue’s city limits. so are the social norms and conventions.
3) In general, those EAST of 405 are far more likely to commute by bus North to Techland, South to Renton, or West to Seattle. Those who LIVE WEST of 405 will prefer to drive their latest new car, and can amuse themselves with various toys when stuck in 6 lanes of traffic. Those employed in service industries SERVING them prefer to bus…
My thoughts (and probably have been discussed here before, but I missed it):
I would be propose the line come across I-90 with a stop on Mercer Island, then:
A stop at Factoria in mid air (ala the stop at 99 pre-airport)
Continue EAST and take the BCC offramp and stop at the transit center. Skirt around BCC campus (perhaps a second stop at the NORTH end of Campus, then Follow 148th.
Next stop: the Old K-Mart Plaza. Plenty of room for a transit center and park and ride
Next stop: the old school on Bell Red Road at about 150th… Plenty of room and easy grade. OR Better yet, through the slight hill and swamp and up to Crossroads Mall. Bet THEY would understand, appreciate, and SUPPORT a light rail link.
Next stop south campus MS, then north campus MS… and on down the hill to Redmond Square. Future Extension TBA.
Most All on surface grade or existing structure… 148th and 156th are wide enough, have sound barriers in place, and could support a rail line like that along MLK.
Stop trying to force the horse to drink. They don’t want light rail? Fine. You have density all along 156th. Bellevue College is the largest single campus… and will someday be 4 year. Might as well link it up NOW. Downtown Bellevue loves a car and does NOT have the density of housing that overall the Crossroads area has, and will continue to build.
YES, I know how BUSY the Bellevue Transit Center is. But its artificial. It is a transfer point, not a destination. It’s like Metro’s own Atlanta… Everyone is routed though there… you could do the same at Crossroads, or the old K Mart on 148th and Main. If Kemper’s Crew wants to link up later, HE can pay for it and build it…
I agree with you and many of us tried to make thatpoint 2 years ago. The people who really need transit are not the fine folks of downtown Bellevue or even the fine folks of Seattle. These logical issues have fallen on deaf Sound Transit ears because Big Brother knows what is best for us.
Making use of teh B7 will cross the Mercer Slough now instead of using 2020 dollars if ST3 ever gets off the ground. It would be a 125 million downpayment on going to Issaquag, accessing the Eastgate park n ride and getting to Renton. It is a cost saving plan, it is a practical plan and it is a plan the provides for the future of the transit line.
You’re right, maybe the fine patricians of downtown Bellevue don’t need transit, but the plebs who keep the downtown economic machine humming do.
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