Metro 236
Metro 236 near the Eastside Rail Corridor in Kirkland’s Totem Lake neighborhood

Kirkland residents and workers, and anyone else interested in the future of mobility in Kirkland, should attend the City of Kirkland’s ST3 open house tomorrow night (Thursday, Nov. 19).  The open house is at the Kirkland Performance Center in downtown Kirkland, one short block from Kirkland Transit Center, from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.  Frequent Metro bus routes 234/235, 245, and 255, as well as other routes 236, 238, 248, and 540, all serve the location, with one-seat service from throughout the north Eastside as well as downtown Seattle.

Attending this meeting is critical because the city of Kirkland needs to hear support for rapid transit service along the Eastside Rail Corridor (ERC) between Bellevue and Totem Lake, which is the only realistic option for fast and frequent transit that will serve Kirkland communities. Full background below the jump.

One of the key open questions in planning for the upcoming ST3 ballot measure is what projects, if any, will be built on the Eastside north of Bellevue. Sound Transit is considering three projects in its ST3 planning:

  • E-06: Bus rapid transit in dedicated right-of-way along the ERC between Bellevue and Totem Lake, likely with a deviation to serve downtown Kirkland
  • E-02: Bus rapid transit along I-405, including stops at Bellevue, Totem Lake, and Bothell
  • E-03: Light rail between Issaquah and Totem Lake, using the ERC between Bellevue and Totem Lake

These projects vary radically in how effectively they would serve Kirkland residents. I-405 BRT, an excellent project for residents of other cities like Bothell and Renton, barely serves Kirkland at all. It totally skips South Kirkland, Houghton, and downtown, and has only a faraway freeway station to serve Totem Lake. The ERC alternatives would both serve South Kirkland and Houghton, with BRT possibly serving the heart of downtown and light rail stopping within about 1/4 mile of downtown. Both ERC alternatives would also serve the center of Totem Lake and allow for easy bus transfers to neighborhoods such as Bridle Trails, Rose Hill, and Juanita, none of which would significantly benefit from I-405 BRT. ERC BRT could further allow for use of the ERC by buses serving non-ERC neighborhoods, such as a revised version of the current 255 from Juanita. Both ERC alternatives would include a permanent bicycle and pedestrian trail along the ERC to replace the current interim gravel trail.

Use of the ERC, though, has proven controversial among residents near the corridor. Some residents fear loss of the quiet atmosphere of the current interim trail, and others object to frequent buses or trains running adjacent to their property. These residents have argued for I-405 BRT as an alternative, or even running frequent bus service along congested local streets such as 108th Ave NE in Houghton and 98th/100th Ave NE in Juanita. But none of the alternatives advocated by these residents would significantly improve transit in Kirkland. I-405 BRT, as noted above, does not serve Kirkland in any meaningful way. Even if stops were added at NE 85th and NE 70th — which Sound Transit and WSDOT have found to be unrealistically costly, and not included in any plans — the stops would be unwalkably far from the major ridership centers in South Kirkland, downtown, and Totem Lake. Service along local streets would continue to be slow and uncompetitive with driving, particularly at peak hour when there is heavy congestion among most of the streets accessible to buses.

Please show up tomorrow, and show your support for rapid transit in Kirkland!

Full disclosure: I’m a Kirkland resident, in the Central Houghton/Everest area.  ERC rapid transit would most likely include a stop within three blocks of my residence, which I’d use all the time.

58 Replies to “ACTION ALERT: Attend Kirkland’s ST3 Open House!”

  1. My vote is with erc brt so I can sale some double wides for along the route. it would spur some class A trailer park developments.

  2. Let’s destroy even more nature so commuters who live in spawlville can get to work a few minutes quicker.

    1. If Sprawlville didn’t already exist, I’d back your comment 1000%, Sam. But it does exist and is at least in spots “growing up” into a more responsible community, but current bus service gets overwhelmed in the river of cars it produces. There aren’t enough roadways in Kirkland to put reserved bus lanes everywhere, but the 2/3 of a mile to make the pretzel to downtown in Kirkland’s plan is not inconceivable.

    2. Keep in mind these are backyards or industrial lots for most of the route totally about 5 acres of ‘nature’.
      Habitat needs buffers from people, dogs, pollution, etc. You’d do nature a much bigger favor by preserving a 5 acre parcel that wasn’t a few feet wide either side of an old railbed.

      1. totaling
        sorry for the typos, but the font in comments shows as light grey, and is very difficult to see on my monitor. When posted, it turns black and without a way to edit, it looks ridiculous.
        Rant over – fix font or get an edit function. Please. Pretty Please.

      2. You’re right. Parks should be big and square like zoos, and something we have to drive out to to walk around in every once in a while to get our nature fix. Besides, we’ll still be able to walk along the ERC after ST gets done with it, but instead of feeling like a walk in nature, it’ll feel like walking on the shoulder of a freeway. My god you ad homs are shortsighted.

      3. You’re mostly correct about the section of the ERC very close to Totem Lake, but from Crestwoods Park on south, the area around the trail is residential, and there is fair amount of real vegetation there, not just blackberry bushes. The areas that are overgrown with weeds should be replanted with native trees and shrubs, not paved over with concrete.

        By urban standards, The Cross Kirkland trail, as it stands today, is unusually quiet, with the sounds of cars passing down nearby streets almost inaudible. This makes it actually possible to take a quiet stroll while getting somewhere – be it Google or south Kirkland P&R.

        The atmosphere would be completely different with diesel buses zooming by every couple of minutes. I don’t buy the argument that nearby 108th Ave. has enough congestion to warrant selling out the trail. I’ve walked to Kirkland after work a few times. Even at 6 PM on a weekday, 108th Ave. is mostly empty. While the light at 68th Ave. is somewhat annoying, it’s still just one light, which could be given transit priority if there was will to do so.

        Another thing one has to consider is the effect that BRT would have on places to access or cross the trail. When the trail is just a trail, you can access it or cross it just about anywhere. But, throw in a busway and, now, safety requires that crossing be limited to a small set of well-defined crossing points with high visibility. Many informal crossing points used today would have to be fenced off (the existing fence that one can easily climb through doesn’t really count as a fence). This would affect not only access to the trail, but also general east-west pedestrian mobility.

        Ridership numbers on buses today don’t indicate a compelling need to do something this drastic. If we want a faster route between downtown Kirkland and downtown Bellevue, we should simply create a new ST express route that runs between downtown Kirkland and downtown Bellevue via I-405. If we want to speed things up between Kirkland and downtown Seattle, we should focus on adding a bus lane to the Montlake exit ramp so that we can leverage the U-Link and avoid bus congestion around downtown. On weekends, the walkership of the trail actually exceeds the ridership of parallel bus routes.

      4. Would using electric trolley buses be cost effective along the corridor? If so, that might be an effective way to keep the noise down.

        Monday’s post was a bit unclear on the proposed frequency of BRT along the corridor, but it seems there’s enough routes interlined in the middle that ETBs might be cost-effective. I also noticed that the linked ST3 Kirkland City Council briefing mentioned the possibility of electric coaches.

      5. Ridership numbers on buses today don’t indicate a compelling need to do something this drastic. If we want a faster route between downtown Kirkland and downtown Bellevue, we should simply create a new ST express route that runs between downtown Kirkland and downtown Bellevue via I-405. If we want to speed things up between Kirkland and downtown Seattle, we should focus on adding a bus lane to the Montlake exit ramp so that we can leverage the U-Link and avoid bus congestion around downtown. On weekends, the walkership of the trail actually exceeds the ridership of parallel bus routes.

        I was going to “me too” respond in detail but asdf2 covered it really well. There’s obviously an alternate agenda going on here with David. I can’t figure it out. It’s not April so the only thing that seems to make sense is to get this on the ballot to poison ST3. Maybe I should jump on board but I just can’t be that intellectually dishonest.

      6. “On weekends, the walkership of the trail actually exceeds the ridership of parallel bus routes.”

        This is one of those talking points that’s going around. The basis seems to be that there are more trail users than riders on ST 540.

        It’s a silly comparison.

      7. This is one of those talking points that’s going around. The basis seems to be that there are more trail users than riders on ST 540.

        ST doesn’t even run the 540 on weekends because it is solely a peak commute mostly leaving Kirkland route. So, your conceding that this CKC busway to nowhere with no ridership save what might be stolen from the 255/540/234/235 (but probably not) for a few hours on weekdays would be a success?

      8. Just citing the reasons that were voiced by others. What’s the relevance that it is “leaving” Kirkland, anyway?

        It doesn’t really matter that the transit ridership on the corridor exceeds trail usage. The City’s plan is to improve both. But as a matter of record, the transit ridership on routes that would be improved by BRT are far more than an order of magnitude larger than the trail usage.

    3. Today I learned that “nature” is a 50-foot-wide bunch of weeds.

      There is actually real nature by the section of the ERC south of Totem Lake. It would be unaffected by building a busway (which, by the way, looks more like a narrow two-lane road than a freeway).

      1. In generations to come, it would have been considered nature, and they would have been grateful had we preserved it rather than using most of it to shave a few minutes off a Snohomish county’s resident’s commute.

      2. Did you read the post? The whole reason to use the ERC is because it serves Kirkland residents, unlike I-405. The Snohomish County residents will all still be using either I-405 BRT or the current 532/535 even if transit is added to the ERC.

      3. You can go with the Seattle Transit Hikers to the Issaquah Alps if you want nature. The sprawl has been there for fifty years and it destroyed nature in Kirkland then. Sprawlvillites are a large percentage of the population so we can’t just write them off and say “Drive! We won’t give you an alternative.” And they’re a large percentage of the taxpayers and are demanding better transit; somebody voted for ST2 and asked for these proposals. The existing buses that get caught in congestion and often run half-hourly or hourly are not a solution; they’re a stopgap to give lifeline service and a step toward something better.

      4. Actually Sam, there is some good science behind favoring larger buffers over narrow strip buffers (ref: DNR – Natural Area Preserves). Some fauna will not nest or feed when predators scent and sound is within 100′, which is why DNR will not grant NAP status if dogs (predators) are allowed on trails in certain sensitive areas.
        Much better to mitigate the loss of some blackberry bushes to buying 5 more acres adjacent to the zoo.

      5. There are nicer and less nice areas of the ERC. South of 112th St it is very nice and almost feels remote. Some areas in South Kirkland are also quite nice and most of the rest could certainly be rehabilitated.

        What about doing a busway similar to the one in Cambridge that just has two concrete “tracks”? The rest can be allowed to grow in with grass, making it even more “natural”? Then create gravel/asphalt paths as bike/pedestrians demand.

      6. David (Lawson), thanks again for another great post.

        I am only tangentially familiar with the ERC having visited the area occasionally, and obviously the vegetation is different, but if I recall correctly a good portion of the cycle/ped track between Perth and Fremantle in Western Australia is adjacent to a busy commuter rail line in some low density residential areas, and it still manages to be rather pleasant and well-used. If you do things like David’s proposal above, referencing the Cambridge busway with its concrete “tracks” rather than a full roadway, it could still be relatively “natural” while still serving a very useful transportation function.

    4. Mark my words, the same way you people curse generations past who built highways and freeways all over the place, so will you be cursed by future generations in centuries beyond living in a oppressively dense hellhole. They’ll be all … “wait, there was a tranquil greenbelt corridor extending all the way up the eastside, and they used most of it for a busway? What da’s”

      1. Not if there’s a good transit line they’re using. They’ll be saying, “How could we ever live without this?”

      2. There are all sorts of greenbelt/HCT (mostly rail) corridors around that work just fine.

        What makes this proposal so onerous?

        Is it the buses? Is it that they are frequent buses? Someone suggested trolley buses, would that be better?

        What is the actual complaint?

        or do I just draw what seems to be the obvious conclusion?

  3. ERC opponents have raised three issues that don’t seem to be adequately addressed.

    1) How close is the ERC to pedestrian clusters like the South Kirkland P&R, Carillon Point, Northwest College, Houghton Village, Google, downtown Kirkland, and Totem Lake? Bernie gives a pretty damning assessment in the last article, and even asdf2 agrees with a lot of it. I like the ERC conceptually but I’m not sure these are being fully addressed by the pro-ERC side.

    2) What speed will it run? 55 mph? 35 mph? 30 mph? At what point does it become too slow to absorb the all-day service from Bothell and Lynnwood? If a high speed is promised, will it actually be delivered? Will the express buses continue to run all-day or peak-only? Is ST willing to continue the express buses? What kind of access will people from Bothell and Lynnwood have to Kirkland? “It’s not enough people to matter” is not a solution; we’re trying to improve north-south transit in general to all the population centers.

    3) Will the busway form a barrier to walking across it? The freight railway has been a long-time barrier, and residents have been glad to get their access to the west side and east side back. If it is a barrier, where will the crossings be? Only at stations? Is that too far a detour for pedestrians? Or will be there non-station crossings every five or ten blocks? How wide should the space between crossings be?

    1. 1) Bernie’s assessment is considerably off-base. I don’t have time to refute it point by point but I should note the following:

      -ERC travels directly above S Kirkland P&R. It would be trivial to build a walkway from the top level of the P&R garage to the ERC.
      -ERC travels directly west of Houghton Center, and the city is currently trying to buy property (against very silly homeowner opposition) to ensure they are connected. The likely stop location is a bit further north, but it’s a 3-minute walk.
      -ERC travels *through* Google.
      -ERC does miss downtown Kirkland, but if it is BRT it would be very easy and probably worth the time cost to include a downtown Kirkland deviation. Deviate at ERC/6th St S on the south end and ERC/7th Ave on the north end.
      -Bernie acts as though there is no possibility of building any infrastructure to accompany a Totem Lake ERC stop, which is just silly. The distance between the likely ERC stop location and the Totem Lake retail area is about 1/4 mile depending on where you’re going, and could easily be covered with a dedicated pedestrian walkway running north/south. Nothing is in the way of building such a walkway. South of the ERC, it’s a bit trickier because NE 124th St is in the way — but the distances are reasonable, and pedestrian infrastructure is still a thing you can build. It also would be smart to have buses leave the ERC and terminate at Totem Lake Freeway Station, which would take care of the north-side issue.

      2) Current busways typically run at 35-40 mph. Much faster than that doesn’t save much time. The travel time savings is in avoiding congestion, traffic lights, and backtracking. Look at current routes 234/235 and you’ll see just how much faster a 35-mph ERC would be.

      There’s no reason to move the Lynnwood buses to the ERC. The I-405 express toll lanes were built for them and work well for them. ERC HCT would exist to serve Kirkland and Woodinville. North-end transfers to ERC buses would be possible at Totem Lake Freeway Station if the buses went there.

      3) The current trail, oddly for a trail, is a pedestrian barrier. It would be ideal not to have the busway be any worse than the current trail, except at Google where the trail is more permeable. There should be ped/bike crossings at all of the places where there are non-grade-separated trail crossings now — that is, 52nd, 60th, Google, 6th St S, 8th St S, NE 87th, 110th Ave NE, and the various cross streets in the Totem Lake area.

    2. I think the general agreement is that if done right (for various definitions of “right”), then the ERC can be very successful. My main worry is that if those extra amenities (e.g., pedestrian bridges, good access at Totem Lake, etc…) are not included. Totem Lake can easily be done well if the new developers work with ST. Provide a dedicated busway along the road there and/or through the complex and transit will be even more useful. Have it terminate at the freeway station and/or simply send off-peak buses up the 405. Maybe it can be sent over 124th using a bridge.

      However, I don’t agree with running the buses through DT Kirkland unless priority is given to buses. The whole point of the ERC is bypassing traffic, and DT Kirkland is where the worst of it is. There is unfortunately no good way to do this.

      1. The primary purpose of the ERC is to connect downtown Kirkland to downtown Bellevue and East Link, as a substitute for a north-south light rail line.

      2. I agree connecting downtown Kirkland to Bellevue is one of the main purpose. I just don’t think dumping the buses into mixed traffic is going to make this a reliable route. It has taken me 20 minutes to drive 1 mile between 68th St and 85th St and that seemed normal. If you want buses to have any ridership, they need to be faster, so they need to avoid mixed traffic.

      3. In this case, the deviation into the KTC is justified. It’s only an extra 6/10th mile in total extra distance over staying on the rail ROW, but using some creative routing could keep the extra time well worth the extra riders, and network effects with all the local buses that pass through there.
        Turning off the corridor at 7th and returning via Kirkland Ave/6th isn’t too bad if the city gives signal priority just below what an ambulance gets.

      4. There is only one portion of a KTC deviation that would be really problematic: northbound 6th St S from the ERC to Kirkland Way. There is room for a center-running bus lane in the northbound direction, although you would probably need to remove parking on one side of the street.

      5. Kirkland Ave is shorter, but Kirkland Way is probably the easier way to get to the TC because of the turns and narrowness of Kirkland Ave. The one really problematic turn from 6th onto Kirkland Way is getting fixed in the next several months (including some property acquisition to make the turn wider.

        But the City is also thinking about having the BRT stop on 6th rather than go down to 3rd. Eliminates a lot of turns, and time off-busway. A little further from historic downtown, but still plenty close to where most Kirkland development is going. That’s still being modeled out, I think. The usual obvious tradeoffs apply.

        To David’s point, there’s still a short stretch of 6th that’s not great – from the ERC up to Kirkland Way. I think it’s workable with signalization and TSP.

      6. Wouldn’t be suitable for buses without a total rebuild, which would not be popular with the neighbors, and wouldn’t save more than a few seconds.

      7. “…which would not be popular with the neighbors, and … “

        And isn’t that what’s really important…
        The neighbors….
        After all, having that corridor active would offend their sensibilities.

        Regional planning via NIMBY just makes you proud to live here, doesn’t it?
        ….wait,.. what’s that noise…??? It’s a weird whining sound…
        Oh, it’s coming from I-405 !!
        Why it’s all the commuters complaing about the tolls..!!

        Time for bigger noise walls !!

      8. “having that corridor active would offend their sensibilities.”

        It’s downtown. It’s supposed to be active. They supposedly live there because they like a wide choice of activities within walking distance, and those activities need the customers that come on transit. Some people aren’t going to Kirkland as often as they might because the waterfront parking lot is full and charges money and the buses are slow and sometimes infrequent. With BRT they’ll come to Kirkland anyway and they won’t bring their car.

      9. Some people aren’t going to Kirkland as often as they might because the waterfront parking lot is full and charges money and the buses are slow and sometimes infrequent. With BRT they’ll come to Kirkland anyway and they won’t bring their car.

        You are absolutely correct. Some people with cars aren’t going there because it’s too crowded. What makes you think “those people” will come to Kirkland and where are they going to be coming from? It’s not like DT Kirkland really has anything unique to offer to people that are choosing their destination based on parking. There’s no major league sports franchise, no symphony orchestra or opera. You’re not going to lure away the Bell SQ crowd for shopping because they can park at S. Kirkland or Totem Lake and take a bus. DT Kirkland has a lot of good restaurants. Those restaurants are already full because the parking lots are full and there is a large and growing population that already live there. What I think you’d actually see is more people that live there, especially those that don’t have the option of driving use BRT to leave the bubble.

  4. I would really like to see the use of 108th/6th studied as a BRT corridor. The ERC serves the South Kirkland P&R, built there because there isn’t anything else there. The ERC misses Northwest College. It skirts the edge of Houghton, maddeningly close but inaccessible. It has to run on the street from 6th to downtown to 7th anyway. I’ll grant that the ERC is the most direct route to Totem Lake from downtown, but it’s not actually that close to Totem Lake, either.

    If we run all of the buses down the ERC, does that mean we leave 108th (including Northwest College and other schools) entirely without bus service? Or do we split the corridors, which, as I’ve learned from this blog, is bad transit planning? There is nothing on the ERC that is not also served by 108th.

    108th is just not that congested south of 68th. North of 68th, there’s street parking! Kirkland just last night adopted their Transportation Master Plan, which theoretically prioritizes transit over “motor vehicles.” I’d like to see something better than the ERC for Kirkland. The streets are where the people want to be, so let’s put the transit there, too, or at least get enough information to actually evaluate the tradeoffs.

    1. That makes a lot of sense. You’ve almost convinced me, though I’m not quite sure whether bus lanes made out of the street parking on 108th/6th will let buses regularly go at 40 mph during rush hour. Those parking spaces are narrow!

      1. Hmm… From Google Maps, the GP lanes are 9 feet wide, and the street parking is 6 feet. (Which completely aligns with my memories of taking the bus through there.) You just might be able to squeeze in a bus lane, but I think you’ll have to encroach on the center left turn lane or widen the road. And, now that I think about it, either one of those would probably be worth it if it would solve the problem.

        Which, based on David’s comments below, I’m starting to doubt…

      2. There’s no way the lanes are that narrow. Nobody puts in 9 foot travel lanes. I’d guess that the GP lane is 12 feet (because that seems to be the standard around here) and the parking lane 8.

    2. I have to say that I’m skeptical about your claim that “108th is just not that congested south of 68th,” because I spend 10+ minutes in traffic on that section of 108th two to three nights a week. Sometimes it’s smooth, sometimes it’s backed up all the way from 68th past 45th. And the ROW is too narrow for bus lanes.

      Curb bus lanes north of 108th will also run into the same problem of BAT lanes everywhere: buses frequently having to slow or move into the GP lane because of turning traffic.

      1. Fair enough. I was going off of the city’s traffic data, but I will yield to your “eyes on the ground.”

        I keep seeing this claim that the ROW is too narrow for bus lanes, but I haven’t seen any data. I am not a transportation planner, but if the three lanes (2 plus center turn lane) are each 12 feet and the two bike lanes are 5 feet each, that would be plenty of space for a mile-long backup of cars and a bus lane (which, yes, has the BAT problem). Would this be worth it? That’s a conversation worth having, if we have some actual data. With the CKC down the hill and an excellent greenway candidate on 110th-ish, maybe it would be. I’m certainly more likely to (and do) ride either of those than the painted bike lanes on 108th (which I’ve never ridden).

        I don’t know that transit lanes on the street will work, but if it will, it’s clear to me that it will be better than transit on the CKC. We can keep the CKC like a park, and have transit that serves more destinations more directly. And if we, as transit advocates, don’t ask for it, who will? Certainly not the save our trails folk, as they don’t want transit in Kirkland. Indeed, they don’t seem to want much of anything in Kirkland.

        (as an aside, why on Earth is a mile-long backup of cars in Houghton a status quo worth saving?)

  5. This is a really misleading post. I don’t know how anyone could say “BRT on 405 barely serves Kirkland at all” when no one has seen what ST is proposing in any detail yet. We know BRT on 405 will serve downtown Bellevue via th existing HOV ramp into the downtown transit center. We know Federal Way is served by buses the same way. Why is there an assumption out of the gate that you couldn’t serve Kirkland in a similar way? I’d rather see buses moving quickly east-west to and from the 405 HOT lanes to other destinations, than see a new road built on the trail.

    1. Because Kirkland is a lot farther from 405 than Federal Way or downtown Bellevue are from their respective freeways. A bus can dodge off into the Bellevue Transit Center, go through a block or two of traffic, and then get right back on the freeway. The Federal Way Transit Center is even faster to serve. Downtown Kirkland isn’t. The cost of going there and back would be prohibitive to any through trips even if the roads were clear, and they aren’t.

    2. Fed Way is a bad example to use. By the time you get off I-5, and travel the 1/2 mile to the FWTC, circling the bus bays, and then head back to I-5, you’ve lost 10 minutes. There’s a reason all the Tacoma – Seattle buses don’t make the grand loop.
      Snohomish buses looping through KTC would be even more painful for those riders. Two different markets, two different routes, Double the pleasure – double the fun.

      1. Good memory Jim. We’re all saved from Bart II ver 3.1
        Link gets to maybe Alderwood Mall and FedWay TC with a message to both those counties.
        “Well buy you all the paint you want, and traffic signals by the truckload,
        you can use that money to put a down payment on a rail extension and do it yourselves.

    3. There are no ramps from the ETLs to downtown Kirkland, so even if you wanted to serve downtown Kirkland from I-405 you couldn’t, at least not without having buses stuck in traffic in the GP lanes.

      If a new interchange with ETL ramps were built (at $billion expense), it could be done quickly with dedicated bus lanes and absolute signal priority. I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance we’ll see those two things. Without them, you are talking about a 10-minute deviation.

  6. I-405 BRT, an excellent project for residents of other cities like Bothell and Renton

    I was actually surprised to learn that unlike Redmond and Bellevue, Kirkland is still a bedroom community <a href=”Daytime population change due to commuting: -5.1%” So maybe the poor stepchild syndrome is in play here to get money diverted to something, anything, that is Kirkland centric. Sad that this focus is on the CKC which the Kirkland City Council did an admirable job of securing (unlike it’s rich sister to the south) and and actually funded removal of the rails and creating a city defining trail. Close is actually good enough when you’re riding a bike.

  7. ERC alternatives would also serve the center of Totem Lake

    Yes, the center of the swamp that on a map you might find as Totem Lake. Well, actually that’s not quite true. It’s south of center of swamp. Reality, it runs behind several tire stores.

    1. Don’t be obtuse. The stop would be west of the “swamp” and would be right between the two major developed areas. Buses could also leave the ERC and travel through the mall area to terminals at Totem Lake FS or Totem Lake TC.

      1. It’s also worth taking into account that Totem Lake Mall is soon to be demolished and replaced with mixed use development. That will certainly increase the demand for transit in that neighborhood.

      1. That’s not a map, it’s a cartoon. It shows “stations” like the Spring District which is nowhere close to the ERC and Carillon Pt as (Potential). The disconnect is that everywhere this project is supposed to serve like DT and Totem Lake requires a deviation onto city streets. Those same streets you claim can’t possibly be improved to make transit viable. The same streets that already connect all the destinations; Carillon Pt. 234/235, NW College, Houghton, Google 255/540; ParMac industrial park 236, Totem Lake Kingsgate, Evergreen Hospital 235/236/238(Lk WA Tech/255/532/535. Do the streets occasionally back up. Of course they do. But the vast majority of the time it’s 8-10 minutes from S. Kirkland to the DT TC. Getting from DT to Totem Lake is a slog in the peak direction. Building a 3 mile busway just to shuffle a handful of people into DT for a few hours 5 days a week is crazy. Once a 255 driver on the route that “stops” at DT let us ride with him to Totem Lake. The phantom 255 that terminates at the TC actually goes up 405 to start a return trip to DT Seattle. It was glorious for the 4 of us that didn’t care about any of the normal stops the 255 makes. Just run a peak hours shuttle on this same route and problem solved.

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