Just so everyone doesn’t forget today is the first of three public hearing around King County on the proposed Congestion Reduction Charge (CRC). Yesterday Metro released more detailed maps of service cuts, reductions or revisions if the CRC is not passed by the council or approved by the voters. From Sherwin’s post a last week.

Those of you bursting with feedback on Metro cuts more than our blog comments can handle will be given an opportunity live in-person with three upcoming public hearings held by the county council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee:

Wednesday, July 6, 6:00 p.m.
Kirkland City Council Chambers
123 Fifth Avenue

Tuesday, July 12, 6:00 p.m.
King County Council Chambers
516 Third Avenue, 10th Floor, Seattle

Thursday, July 21, 6:00 p.m.
Burien City Council Chambers
400 S.W. 152nd Street

If you’re more technologically inclined, you have the option of submitting written comments, but I tend to believe that verbal testimonies have an impact that written words don’t. More of our coverage on the Metro cuts here, here, here, here, and here.

17 Replies to “CRC Hearings and Detailed Maps”

  1. Thanks for the reminder! Though I must admit, when I saw the title, I thought of Columbia River Crossing, since that has had CRC for a few years now.

    1. I thought it was ‘Central Railroad Control’ – a new federal agency created after the nationalization of all the class 1’s. (you steamers are safe for now)

  2. I nominate a new comment of the week, #7 from the slog post about the hearings

    I’ve been to Sound Transit and KC Metro hearings. Watching a front-loading washing machine is a more productive use of your time. They don’t change -anything-.

    However it’s not accurate, the public hearings do make (at least a bit) of a difference.

    1. What kind of place are you looking for? Wild Rover is a relaxed Irish pub with a good happy hour and a largish outdoor seating area. Just two blocks from city hall.

    2. I’m up for that but you pick the place. ;)

      If all the cuts happened today I wouldn’t be able to get home from the hearing. 236, 238 stop running after 7:00 pm. 255 shortened to Totem Lake TC. An under 30 minute trip would turn into an hour plus trip due to a 45 minute walk from Totem Lake.

      1. Are you talking about the current routes or how they will look after the Oktober Revolution?

        I hope you make that point to the committee tonight. These cuts will be bad for Kirkland business.

      2. After telling the committee that you wouldn’t be able to get home from tonight’s meeting somebody else could “heckle” you by yelling “Get a bike!!!”. That would be an interesting twist on the whole mess.

        I’d love to make it tonight but didn’t take the afternoon off. I’ll be running laps between Issaquah and Sammamish on the 216, 217, and 218 tonight – This is one of the few trippers strung together in a way to avoid deadheading so it’s pretty efficient. That said, I’m pretty sure the 217 is on the chopping block – A prime example of penny wise / pound foolish.

      3. The proposed cuts. 236, 238 cuts next February. I don’t care much about these routes as much as the 255. The official Metro documents don’t say what will happen to the 255 and when (not next February), other than it’ll be “revised”. If it’s like the leaked Excel proposal, that means no more service north of Totem Lake. To me, that’s the same as deleting the route. A large bunch of multifamily apartments and condos by the Kingsgate shopping center and library would be left without bus service after 7 pm and need very inconvenient transfers to get to Seattle. I’d rather see the 236 go away completely. Personally, the best solution would be to move to Seattle but there are financial complications that prevent that.

        As for “get a bike!”, I have a bike but that’s not the point. Tell that to the blind and the wheelchair bound who rides from the affected area. It’s not just me.

      4. “As for ‘get a bike!’, I have a bike but that’s not the point. Tell that to the blind and the wheelchair bound who rides from the affected area. It’s not just me.”

        Actually, that was my point. I was attempting to suggest that you have a heckler yell at you to “Get a bike!” as if that was the solution to not having adequate bus service for everybody. While a bike works for me, and also for you, I’m not suggesting it will work for everyone.

    1. {editorializing alert]

      A dozen or so emTea Party types showed up to complain how they couldn’t afford the $20 tab. They were all dressed well (except for Tim Eyman, who was wearing a somewhat ratty “Let the Voters Decide” t-shirt). The value of the time they spent to come and trash the bus system, drivers taking breaks, light rail, taxes, and the very existence of government, was worth more than $20 apiece.

      They picked on the name “Congestion Reduction Charge”, as if the county was trying to slip one by using the terminology handed to them by the state legislature.

      Several, who lived at the end of various bus routes, complained about always seeing empty buses. They suggested Metro should become more efficient by only running buses during peak hour. One even suggested that Metro be sold off, to a chorus of applause from the rest of the emTea Party crowd.

      One testifier said the Eyman initiative requiring 2/3 majority votes for tax increases was passed by a whopping 64% of the electorate, which is, um, not a 2/3 majority. (It only applies to each house of the state legislature, I believe.)

      I hope they write the voters’ guide statement and put their genius on parade.

  3. Here is a copy of the testimony I submitted:

    I live in West Seattle and commute to my workspace at Microsoft (MS) in Redmond by Vanpool, which is approximately a 30-minute ride and effectively paid for by MS. Taking the bus is about 1.5 hours, due to having to travel through downtown Seattle instead of an imaginary bus route on I-90 from West Seattle; driving is faster at only 1 hour, and feels more comfortable and convenient. As a contractor, I’m not eligible to ride the MS Connector. I would like this to be your challenge: make the bus faster, more comfortable, convenient and cheaper (comparing bus fare to only gas and parking charges, since drivers tend to not think of other costs when they make the decision to drive).

    I believe it won’t be popular, but more money for the existing, more or less unchanged systems is NOT the solution.

    I would like more info about route cancellations and modifications. How did they decide on route cancellations (both the 51 & 57 that serve my home)? What are the proposed modifications to existing routes (will the 56 provide me closer service instead of a new 20-minute walk)? Are there new routes for neighborhoods?

    Here are my ideas (not in any particular order):
    1. Instead of static routes that seem to have evolved over time, why not make them dynamic based on reservations by weekday work commuters? Collaborate with Google and UW (like the bus tracker) or Microsoft to use computing power to allow people to tell Metro when and where they’d like to commute to work with an app. Maybe you could create a “proof-of-concept” software to test?
    2. Give frequent riders a perk like picking them up and dropping them off at home.
    3. Monetize regular riders by allowing local businesses pay you to sponsor concierges on major bus lines to advertise their products, hand out samples, coupons, maybe eventually even deliver packages to regular riders.
    4. Throw away the current route map and take this opportunity to do a real study of routes, to provide service for people without tech, or “single-use” riders—I can’t imagine it is efficient and cost effective to have so many different routes driving north and south through downtown. Speed things up and reduce confusion, with a “spoke-and-hub” system (like airlines, trains, and intercity buses) and consider stopping buses going in and/or out of the free ride area—have them dead end at the edges instead.
    5. Eliminate admin and route duplication by merging Metro (and other county transit systems, like B.C. did), Sound, WSF, KC Ferry District, SDOT trolley, Monorail, and even MS Connector, as possible.

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