In yesterday’s open thread, commenter and long-time reader Mike Orr pointed out two surveys that Sound Transit is using to solicit input on East Link final design for the downtown Bellevue segment. One survey is a fairly straightforward multiple-choice form for station naming options, while the other wants slightly more comprehensive input on station access, specifically for pedestrians, bicycles, and transit. Responses and comments are due by the end of tomorrow so be sure not to dilly dally.
The station-naming form gives a few predetermined choices for the three “downtown” segment stations: East Main, Bellevue TC, and Hospital Station. Respondents also have the option of submitting names of their own, although I’d guess that option is probably abused more often than Sound Transit would like. While I don’t exactly get riled up about station names, I tend to lean toward those that incorporate cross-streets, which help give some reference to the grid.
When it comes to pedestrian and bike access, I’m not sure there’s much more that can be done aside from what’s already being considered in the Bellevue’s Downtown Transportation Plan update. Obviously, bike facilities are severely lacking downtown so there’s a lot of progress to be made on that front. The most feasible improvements for pedestrian access, on the other hand, are likely going to be mid-block crossings, through-block connections, more pedestrian-friendly signals, and other stuff that will help break up the grid a bit.
Transit-wise, however, the great shame with the NE 6th station is that it negates all the benefits of great bus-rail transfers that the old C11A surface design made possible. Also terrible is the fact that on-street bus stops along NE 6th Street are pretty much infeasible, thanks to the steep grade and the fact that station entrances will be on opposing sides of the block anyway. Although I’ve been rather partial to the idea of decentralizing Bellevue TC bus service in the past, the new station design makes planning bus-rail interface a few degrees more challenging.