Community Transit

Shortly after Seattle and Metro finally got together to make bus-rail transfers adequate at Mt. Baker, the City of Lynnwood has now relented to make transfers at their Transit Center a little less arduous:

Route 196 began serving two new stops on 196th Street at 48th Avenue in Lynnwood [Tuesday]. The stops are near the Fred Meyer complex and provide the closest connection between this route and Lynnwood Transit Center

The city has allowed these new stops on a temporary basis and will be monitoring their use and traffic impacts. As part of the agreement with Lynnwood, the bus stop on westbound 196th at 50th Avenue has been removed.

Up until now, the City had refused Community Transit’s requests for Route 196 to have a stop at its nearest point to the Lynnwood Transit Center, due to traffic volumes at that location. But it’s better for riders, at least for now.

With two down, there are two other stop placements we’ve written about at major transfer points:  5th & Jackson and 4th & Lander.

30 Replies to “Lynnwood Adds a Common-Sense Bus Stop”

  1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This is, among other things, a litmus test for whether the city of Lynnwood cares enough about transit that the region at large should even think of them. As such, ST should be holding a giant hammer over their heads. Allow the bus stops or no Link trains.

    1. … and they just did allow them, and I’m very glad. It was a good idea when you first said it, but I don’t think it would be useful for ST to now say “because you dawdled, no trains.” Unless I’m missing some other useful thing Lynnwood is standing in the way of?

      1. It’s still temporary. And I agree. If Lynnwood doesn’t make these stop locations permanent, it seems to me that it might be better to redirect Snohomish County resources to places like Edmonds and Mukilteo where they seem to be wanted. (An ST Express bus or two timed to connect with every ferry?)

    2. Regardless of whether the Lynnwood city government is pro-transit, there are many people in and around Lynnwood who need transit, and many people who visit Lynnwood on transit, or would do so if the transit were better. You can’t just tell tens of thousands of people to move to King County. We need to stop drawing boundaries and cutting people off from transit if they’re “too suburban”. We do have to decide an appropriate level of service for the outer tiers, and maybe that’s what’s been missing in this debate. I think one Link line, 15-minute service in the major corridors (99, 196th), and 30-minute service elsewhere is about right for Lynnwood, Edmonds, and Mountlake Terrace. Community Transit and ST Express are operating at far less than this.

      1. I’m not saying you cut the people of Lynnwood off from transit. I’m saying you strong-arm their boneheaded politicians into doing the right thing.

        The same is true for Seattle. Delay planning for popular transit projects around Seattle Center and the waterfront until SDOT gets serious about TSP for the D Line in that area.

      2. I mean, you could even play the cities against eachother. Question: focus on the spine or plan Ballard or Eastlake? Answer: who’s willing to commit to enough TSP and bus lanes to make transit reliable in the whole area?

      3. “Delay planning for popular transit projects around Seattle Center and the waterfront”

        What does this mean? Which transit projects? Wouldn’t this be shooting ourselves in the foot again? There’s public demand for transit to the waterfront and to Seattle Center. Why should we make these people wait for the transit they deserve, just because SDOT is boneheaded? The worse transit is, the more people think about driving, voting for highways, and voting against transit.

      4. Actually, those service levels you describe are pretty much what Community Transit is operating in Lynnwood, Edmonds, and Mountlake Terrace. They have 15 minute service along 200th (near 196th) and 164th with the 115 and 116, 12 minute service on 99 with Swift, and 15 minute service on the north/south corridor from Smokey Point to Lynnwood, with 30 minute service on most other routes in the south county. They need to put the 30 minute midday service back on some routes, and they need to fix Sundays, but otherwise I’d say they’re on track with your prescriptions.

    3. “As such, ST should be holding a giant hammer over their heads.”

      Absolutely not – this is not ST’s job. Do you really want a system where to get to Lynnwood on a bus, you have to ride the bus past Lynnwood to Multilteo, then backtrack on a once-an-hour CT bus just because the Multilteo politicians are more inclined to work with ST than the Lynnwood politicians?

      We can’t operate a transit system this way. We need to run it where it’s the most useful and not sacrifice efficiency and directness as a way to try to pressure one city’s politicians into doing what you want.

      1. I like the fact that route 196 travels in a nice straight line, with no silly detours to go by the front door of “preferred” destinations. We need more routes like this, and reasonability on part of the city to allow stops like this is an important part of having routes in a straight line that work.

      2. I just think the city of Lynnwood shouldn’t be able to dither on this bus stop without consequence. Lynnwood’s politicians may be too stupid to immediately and permanently approve a bus stop that might cause a tiny traffic disruption every 15 minutes on a road that already has a bunch of bus stops on it, but they’re not too stupid to do the right thing with a hammer over their heads.

        It’s a bluff. We’re certainly not building light rail to Mukilteo and we wouldn’t actually skip Lynnwood on the way to Everett. And anyway we’re not building the Lynnwood extension tomorrow. So you have ST people make some noise, “Oh, well, Lynnwood is being picky about CT stop locations, clearly isn’t committed to its future as a transit hub. Anyway the whole building out the spine thing isn’t so inevitable and we’re accelerating projects elsewhere.” If Lynnwood continued to act this way they’d probably still get their station, it’s just everything north of Northgate would be delayed while other planning took priority.

      3. Al,

        Is there any reason for “everything north of Northgate” if it runs along the freeway with stations where there’s no opportunity for development? The current routing for North Link is not even as good as BART’s Eastbay lines which suffer from the same “cheap right of way” myopia.

  2. It makes sense only in an Alice in Wonderland world. There’s nothing common sensical or green about someone living in Snohomish county, taking a bus to a train station, then taking the train all the way to Seattle to go to work. Billions of dollars in transportation infrastructure has to be built for people living this kind of lifestyle. It’s destructive and unsustainable, and we shouldn’t endorse or enable people who choose to live this way.

    1. Ok, Sam. So you work in Seattle, but are married to someone who works in Lynnwood. What are you supposed to do. Not work?

      1. Your wife works in Lynnwood because that’s where she can find work. Obviously.

        And right now in the year 2012 Northgate isn’t really a great place to live if you work in Lynnwood, at least if you’re going to rely on the transit system. Good locations would vary depending on where in Lynnwood and Seattle you worked.

      2. Northgate could work if you bus downtown while your wife drives to Lynnwood, but the bus options between Northgate and Lynnwood have much to be desired. I used to do it occasionally and I found the fastest way to be to literally run 2 1/2 miles to the I-5/145th St. station, then catch the 511 the rest of the way. And for those that can’t run 2 1/2 miles, you’re looking at a crazy, circuitous route and minimum of 30-45 minutes of additional time.

      3. It has long surprised me that Northgate-Snohomish transit has been so neglected. I used to work in an office building on Meridian, with one woman from south Everett and another from Marysville. I wanted to suggest transit to them, but none of the express buses went to north Seattle’s transit center. That’s one thing Link is going to fix. One route that can easily serve Northgate, UW, and downtown as fast as three separate bus routes.

  3. The worst thing about the decision to stonewall this for so long? It was done using cost-benefit analysis and mathematical formulas and surely without leaving the office and actually going to the sight and “kicking the tires”.

    And it was done by someone who probably never depended on making a transit connection to get to a job, since, that is only for the poor people, right?

  4. Please add Henderson & MLK to the list of intersections where better bus stop access is needed. SDOT is about to raise the cost of purchasing that staging area by upzoning for development right where buses should be waiting to pick up transferring passenger (preferably on Henderson, not MLK).

    If the development goes forward, it is an unfortunate case of RBS getting Mt Bakered.

  5. There are too many poorly designed transfers to count in our system – The one seat ride mentality rears its ugly head. One pet peeve of mine are freeway stations that don’t allow for easy transfers. 142nd & I-90 is one example but at least there are stops within walking distance. 128th & I-405, while not perfect, is pretty good. My main irritation is with the routing of the 255 which splits here. Half the buses continue onto Brickyard and the other half go to the Evergreen Hospital TC.

  6. What about South Everett Freeway Station? Only ST and ET can go in there.

    What I’d like is for the CT 201/202 to make a pit-stop there so that if I take a ST 510 to there, I’d like to be able to get on a CT bus to get to Mariner park and ride, etc.

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