Expedia’s announced move from Downtown Bellevue to the Interbay Waterfront is likely a net negative for its transit accessibility to employees. Workers coming from arbitrary parts of the region will have to transfer downtown. Getting downtown is straightforward, but the last leg involves a slog through the (still general-purpose) 3rd Avenue through Belltown, time on the wildly unpredictable Denny Way, a potential diversion through Lower Queen Anne, and a trip down Elliott, where a commuter to Interbay is “reverse peak” and currently unworthy of priority treatments.
As a regular traveler in this corridor, I can attest that 30 minutes to cover the mile and a half Lower Queen Anne to Westlake is something that happens a few times a month. When added to another trip to get to downtown for most people, transit is an unattractive option.
I asked Richard Sheridan of SDOT if the Expedia announcement would cause them to reconsider policy in this area. He told me that “SDOT is interested in adding off-peak direction operation to Elliott Avenue’s transit lanes. Given the recent nature of the Expedia announcement, we do not yet have a timeline for doing so.”