Photo by EBoperator

A fair amount of commentary on STB laments routing decisions that Metro has made in the past, or lamented the comments coming from interest groups that have derailed what might have been a sensible change.

Well, Tuesday is your chance to influence the process. Metro is going to rearrange service on the Eastside, and the County Council is listening. As we reported previously:

The Metropolitan King County Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee will take public comments on proposed changes to Metro bus service in Bellevue, Redmond, Clyde Hill, Medina, and South Kirkland at a meeting on April 12. The meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Mercer Island Community Center, 8236 SE 24th Street on Mercer Island.

17 Replies to “Testify About Metro’s Eastside Changes on Tuesday”

  1. In all fairness to NIMBYs and interest groups, South Park’s problems with the 132 are not that it was routed poorly to begin with, or that a sensible plan was stopped by outside forces.

    Rather, it was that the 132’s routing was not modernized after Link opened. So, we have three bus routes from South Park to Burien that take over 30 minutes, and not even one route to TIBS, which would only take 20 minutes, and provide a whole lot more connectivity.

    I think Metro’s route planners do some fine work, but Metro is solely responsible for the continued lack of connection between South Park and TIBS.

    My point here is that we can’t pin every problem with transit on neighborhood groups. Sometimes, the problems are a result of inertia within the transit agencies.

    The eastside re-routes are turning out to be a refreshing exception to Newton’s First Law of Bus Routes.

    1. I suspect the “interest groups” remark was directed very specifically at ACRS and the bus 42 awfulness.

      1. It wasn’t “interest groups”. It was one organization. The “Save the 42” sign is gone. So is the ridership on the 42, mostly happily riding Link or the 7, I suspect. Can we put the 42 out of the taxpayers’ misery now?

      2. Yes, an “interest group.” Martin probably used the plural to make the sentence more general and to read more smoothly, at the expense of exacting precision. I’m sure everyone on STB would like to kill the 42, and if you want to start a campaign to kill it, I’ll happily sign on.

  2. I don’t know if any eastside commuters actually care about consolidating I-90 and SR 520 routes in downtown Seattle. If they don’t care, so be it. I don’t know if I can get to the hearing, but I hope one of the route interlining proponents can be there, bring up the idea, and see if anybody cares.

    If nobody cares, so be it.

  3. I don’t get where comes the decision on holding the public comments on unrelated Mercer Island (albeit consider part of Eastside).

    1. I agree as to the location/timing of the meeting. Who wants to go from the Eastside to Mercer Island during rush hour on a night when the Mariners have a game at 7pm.

      The meeting should have been in Bellevue.

      1. Metro has been using Mercer Island has a half way point for a lot of it’s meeting. Not in Seattle but not on the Eastside, with good service from both to there. With that said it probably would have been better to have this at Bellevue City Hall. Maybe there were logistics issues?

      2. I don’t believe that there are any changes on Mercer Island. The changes are driven by RapidRide B. It would have made sense to have the meeting in the area where the people impacted by the changes live/work.

    2. +1 to this; I wrote an email to Metro to this effect, this morning…

      S Kirkland P&R -> the meeting is a 53 minute bus ride, but a 13 minute drive… Who do you think will be better represented?

  4. Taking a quick look, there are two parts of the change that stick out to me as bad:

    1) All the routes around Eastgate looks very circuitous. While there are three routes going from Eastgate to Overlake, none of them go in a straight line down a major arterial (245 comes the closest). I would rather see 245 remain the same, 221 handle 140th Ave, and 233 do the Phantom Lake area (with a straight line on 164th between Northup Way and 8th). All these twists and turns mean that the bus will remain slow, even on roads with no traffic, even when the bus is blowing past nearly every stop without stopping. It also increases operational costs because we have to pay the drivers for this extra service time.

    2) On Saturday night and Sunday, service is spread too thin across too many areas, with almost nothing except the rapid ride doing better than once an hour. I was hoping that with all the talk about tolling and increased transit demand across the 520 bridge that at least the U-district->Bellevue section of the 271 would move from once an hour to twice an hour. This appears like it’s not going to happen because hourly runs on the 233 and 221 that almost no one will ever use are considered more important.

    1. If the 233 goes up 164th between Northup and 8th, it would get rid of service to Crossroads (a major destination) and leave a large portion of currently served East Bellevue without service.

      Actually, the 233 service up 148th and 156th is faster than the 245 service

      1. *standard disclosure, I was on the sounding board which looked at these changes…I speak for myself and empirical data, not the board.

    2. Agreed on point one but that is partly because they are trying to get all of the routes to meet at the transit center and also because the road network in this area is really spars and disconnected.

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