RapidRide A station at 176th St
RapidRide A station at 176th St // Photo by Oran.

Tomorrow, from 6 PM to 8 PM, King County Metro is holding an open house at Green Lake Presbyterian Church (64th & Linden), to share ideas about Metro’s future RapidRide E Line, an improved local bus service that will replace Metro’s Route 358 in 2013. I encourage readers to attend, and  plan to be there myself. If you can’t make it, see my previous discussion of RapidRide E & F, which has links to alternate ways of sending feedback to Metro.

23 Replies to “Reminder: RapidRide E Open House”

  1. I filled out the online survey. It’s amazing that where there are nice sidewalks, stops are every 5 blocks. Where there are poorer or no sidewalks, every 10 blocks. I think stops should be every 10 blocks – just to keep the buses moving. I suggested only the blocks ending with “5” with the exception of N 130th for transfers to the 345. People will walk farther to catch a service that’s faster.

  2. With respect to the Linden Deviation, the meeting location has the interesting aspect that those that benefit the most from the deviation are those that live right across the street from the meeting location, while those that would benefit most from having it removed are those who would have to bus or drive to get there.

    Because of this, I expect the percentage of people at the meeting who are in favor of maintaining the Linden deviation to significantly exceed that of the overall population. Hopefully, the Metro planners will realize this too and take this factor into account.

    1. I thought the same thing when I heard about the meeting, Metro put the meeting right in the community where people are most likely to complain about losing their stop. I wish they were having a meeting in Shoreline or Bitter Lake instead, so they could hear more people who want a faster route with less stops.

    2. I live at ~85th & Aurora. I favor the Linden deviation even though it would slow my ride a little bit. I’ve been getting around the city mostly by foot for many years and the idea of crossing Aurora Ave (sometimes in the dark)even with a stop light gives me shivers. Drivers just aren’t expecting a stop light along that portion of Aurora and some small percentage of the drivers will not even notice a red light and just drive on through.

      I cross Aurora Ave at 83rd St several times per day. About once a month, I see a driver blow through that intersection, totally oblivious to the red light.

      1. I can see how this would be an issue. I am interested to hear what kind of safety improvements they have in mind if the stop is on Aurora.

    3. I noticed this too. But the location is where the people most impacted are. If it had been Bitter Lake they’d probably be accused of neglecting the area.

      I’m going to arrive early to walk up the hill to Phinney myself and see how much of a barrier it is. I also sent feedback to consider eliminating both variations of the stop, because Winona is at 74th which is six relatively flat blocks away. Why is that not close enough for most of the walkshed, especially for a “frequent” service? The only people who would be most impacted are those living at 63rd or further south.

      Nevertheless, I recognize that 65th & Linden is a “hole” that no other route can as easily fill. The 44 and 48 are both a solid mile away, and the 5 is apparently too steep a hill to be an option. (I actually experienced this dilemma, deciding whether to come on the 44 or 48. But they both require a transfer or a long walk. I decided to get off the 48 at Greenlake & Wallingford, which is probably slightly closer than 85th & Linden, and certainly flatter. Plus it would position me for a walk up to Phinney rather than down to Linden.

      1. It is a really steep hill to get from the flat area near Linden up to where the 5 runs. That said, there is only one block west of 68th & Linden that is flat–if you live past that, you’re walking up a steep hill on your evening commute vs. walking up a steep hill on your morning commute. Also, Metro is not talking about eliminating a stop in that neighborhood entirely, just relocating it to Aurora. The question really is about safety crossing Aurora, which really depends on what they do are able to afford to build there. I am hoping to hear more about that at the open house.

        To me, a much bigger issue is the ridiculous number of stops further up the line. Seriously, 95th is being kept? What, because of the huge number of people taking the bus to Dunn Lumber or the headstone store there?

        I just hope Metro doesn’t take the feedback from folks upset about the loss of their stops in the Linden community as indicative of how people in, say, Shoreline might feel about losing their stops.

      2. One other suggestion, you could transfer from the 44/48 to the 358 rather than getting off and walking. Taking the 44 and transferring would also give you a chance to see what the wait is like at the light by Green Lake where the detour begins.

  3. I am going to try to make this meeting depending on child care issues (will have to have my 4-year-old in tow if I come, ugh). I really hope people push for fewer stops. I actually want my stop to be eliminated.

  4. So, I made it to the event after all. Parent side-note: cool that they had those paper model buses for the kids, my son LOVED that thing. :) Also cool that they had tables available so you could sit for a bit and fill out your survey, or, let your kid eat something. Proud parent moment: my 4-year-old even came up with a smart question, which was, how did the Rapid Ride buses do in the most recent snow storm? So we asked one of the Metro people, and she said they did pretty well because the roads were pretty well plowed/sanded where the Rapid Ride runs. My son is already a transit nerd–parenting win! :)

    Anyway, I asked one of the Metro planner people (I can’t remember the guy’s name, but he was standing by the map that showed all the stops) about why so many stops. He said it’s because they aren’t doing shadow local service, and suggested I comment to the City of Shoreline guy about it. I then told him that I actually live in Seattle and think some of the stops should be eliminated, including my own, and he encouraged me to fill out a survey and tell them that. He looked surprised that I might suggest my own stop be removed, I would bet that is not feedback they get very often.

    The folks who live around the Linden deviation came prepared–there was a white-haired woman with accident data to support the case that putting the stop on Aurora is unsafe. It sounded like her concern was less with people blowing through the light and taking out a pedestrian in the crosswalk, and more about drunk people swerving out of control and hitting someone waiting for the bus at the stops there, so she didn’t think a bridge or anything like that would resolve the safety concerns. I suggested to her that if they could save time further up the line by eliminating stops further north, it might relieve some of the pressure to save time by staying on Aurora.

    While we were waiting for the event to start, my son and I sat at the bus shelter by the church, and watched several northbound 358’s stop. That stop is very well used, and in the dark, it looked really sketchy trying to cross the street at the crosswalk there. Cars were not stopping and people were walking out in front of them, yikes. I suggested to the white-haired woman that they should really put in some safety features if they keep the stop on Linden too, like maybe put in a light there so cars are more likely to stop for people crossing the street.

    Also, from the dots that people put on the maps they had up, it looked like people want the Linden stop to be at 63rd instead of 68th. Which might make more sense for the neighborhood, given that there will be a stop at 74th/Winona.

  5. I found the meeting full of Lindenites, who were definitely focused on what would serve their neighborhood rather than on what would serve E riders as a whole. Still, their opinions were diverse and not all were anti-Aurora.

    There was significant support for moving the station to 63rd & Linden, one because it’s the most-used stop in the area, and two for better stop spacing. (They did understand the concept of walksheds, and that a 63rd walkshed wouldn’t overlap with 74th’s as much as a 68 station would.) There was also some support for a station at 63rd & Aurora, which was not in Metro’s proposals. That would be next to a farmer’s market, although it would require a more expensive highway crossing than 68th. Many of them did not seem to grasp how the station location would affect riders: one thought they could walk in a “U” path from a southbound stop at 63rd/Aurora to the existing underpass (that the 358 uses) and back up to a northbound stop. I’m sure Metro is not insane enough to consider that.

    I’d say there’s a strong change Metro will put the station at 63rd & Linden. That of course would be the same travel time as 68th & Linden. I was depressed about that for a few minutes, then remembered we’ll be getting 15-minute evening and Sunday service, so that’s an improvement over the status quo, and we never really believed Metro would make it much faster anyway.

    The rep said all the Shoreline stops were requested by the City of Shoreline, so that’s a strong reason not to consolidate those. Seattle has made no such request, so there may be a greater chance of consolidating stops around 90th and 130th.

    The map shows bidirectional BAT lanes throughout Shoreline, a northbound transit lane in part of Seattle, and peak-only peak-direction BAT lanes in another part of Seattle. I don’t remember exactly where these were, but I think they cover the stretch from Winona to 145th or at least part of it.

    1. “The rep said all the Shoreline stops were requested by the City of Shoreline, so that’s a strong reason not to consolidate those.”

      I meant, she said that’s a strong reason not to consolidate those. I of course would “consolidate, baby, consolidate”.

    2. THAT’S what I forgot to look at, where they’re putting in a BAT lane. There is already a northbound BAT lane from I think it’s 115th up into Shoreline (it might actually be a bit before 115th, I can’t remember if it starts by the cemetery or just after the light at 115th). I really think they could build a BAT lane southbound for pretty much that whole stretch too, a lot of the shoulder along that stretch is just that, a shoulder, not a sidewalk with curb. So in my mind, it wouldn’t be that hard to turn the shoulder into a lane.

      I thought I heard one of the Metro planning people say something like “Metro doesn’t build sidewalks” which suggested that improvements needed to make a stop on Aurora feasible might have to be paid for by the city. Like, Metro would build the stop area, but the route to it is the city’s problem.

      Is there a sidewalk along that underpass under Aurora? For folks south of 63rd I guess that would be a decent route home for them from the northbound stop…

      One thing that I didn’t hear discussed in the Linden conversation was access to Green Lake. Like, if I want to take my kids for a stroller ride around Green Lake, and the stop is at Linden, then I’m making the dicey crossing that the neighbors don’t want to make. Or, would the stop at Winona be considered the access point for Green Lake? If the stop was at Linden and 63rd, I’d probably get off there and walk under the underpass, if it’s got a sidewalk.

    3. I don’t think the E is considered a primary access point for Greenlake. Most people going to Greenlake want the east side where all the services are, and would use the 16, 26, or 48. Before the 358, the 6 used to go around the southwest quarter of Greenlake, then the Linden arc and back onto Aurora. I was surprised when the 358 was created with the Linden arc but not southwest Greenlake. Why keep one and not the other? I guess southwest Greelake got so little ridership that they were able to delete it without much fuss.

  6. So, I hear some of the missing sidewalk network to connect to Line E stops may not be in the queue due to the failure of the city car tab. Is there going to be another city transportation package, or has David Miller won a pyrric victory for the cause of sidewalks before buses?

    1. I understand that the $37.5M received from the Federal Government will be used to furnish the cities of Seattle, Tukwila and Shoreline for site improvements as a result of the RapidRide upgrades needed.

  7. Exactly HOW much time will be saved by eliminating the Linden Deviation? I’m very curious about this because while there are a lot of good arguments for keeping the stops off of Aurora in this corridor, the only argument for keeping it off is the time of ride for the people coming from or going to the North end. What if there was only one stop on Linden at 63rd?

  8. Reading through the comments is very enlightening, I’m glad people are posting. I live at 68th and Linden and a group of neighbors recently got together to discuss the plans. Have any other neighborhood groups formed? We’d like to hear from you and get your thoughts. The email address LindenEline@hotmail.com has been set-up. Please shoot us an email if you are a member of a neighborhood group (please no individuals that’s what this blog is for) and let us know how you feel and what if anything you are looking to do.

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