This is part of a series of posts looking at Sound Transit’s candidate projects for ST3.

ST3 Concept for BRT along SR 522 and NE 145th St
ST3 Concept for BRT along SR 522 and NE 145th St

The communities on the North end of Lake Washington have been in an unfortunate no-man’s land when it comes to regional transit discussions. Straddling Sound Transit’s North and East King subareas, and used by plenty of Snohomish County residents, SR 522 has often played second (or third) fiddle to the I-5 and I-405 corridors.

The cities and neighborhoods along SR 522 – from Lake City to Kenmore to Bothell – realized somewhat late in the game that getting organized is the key to getting on Sound Transit’s radar. But organize they did and ST has responded with a proposal (pp. 70-83) for connecting SR 522 to Link via NE 145th St as part of ST3.

The plan comes in two parts. Part one is a BRT project along SR 522 that fills in the gaps in existing HOV lanes along the corridor. For $311M, ST would acquire property and conduct the capital projects necessary to keep buses on SR 522 running smoothly from the Seattle city line to Bothell, with a possible extension to I-405 BRT. A separate project would then connect those buses to the Link station at 145th.

The 522 segment is straightforward. As we know, any gap in bus lanes can screw up reliability for the whole route, so closing the gaps helps make transit a more viable option for commuters. To entice these folks out of their cars, ST could also build three 300-space parking garages along the route, in Kenmore, Lake Forest Park, and Bothell. That’s kind of a shame, since all three of these towns have plenty of nice lakefront transit-oriented development (TOD) potential along the route. Bothell is already transforming its downtown along these lines.  Hopefully the towns along the route choose TOD over parking near the stations.

Along 145th, Sound Transit presents two options. A $75M, lower capital alternative would provide queue jumps and occasional bus lanes, while a $135M higher capital version would provide BAT lanes for the route and stations at 15th, 20th, and 25th Aves NE. Both assume that the 145th St Link station has BRT access (hurrah!). Ridership is 3-4000 riders for the first version and 3500-4500 for the second. While ST would be responsible for the construction, maintenance would be left to the municipalities themselves.NE 145th BRT Alternatives

As I noted in my last piece on 145th St, the right-of-way is very constrained. There are currently 4 lanes of traffic and very narrow sidewalks. Thus, the higher-capital version assumes significant property acquisition along the route. Additionally, ST would not build BRT enhancements West of the Link station, leaving that to a consortium of agencies led by the City of Shoreline.

For residents of Seattle’s Lake City neighborhood, however, the picture is more mixed. While some would benefit from 522 enhancements, 145th is a bit too far north for the core of the neighborhood. They’d benefit more from a Link station at 130th St, which is also under consideration but seems far less assured.

For SR 522 riders north of the Seattle city line, the 522 project + the high-capital 145th St project, $446M combined, would provide reliable access to Link from the North end of Lake Washington while at the same time speeding up all Metro and ST buses on 522.  Ridership is estimated at 3-4000 for this portion of the route.

All in all, these are worthy bus capital projects that will improve both East-West and North-South mobility while feeding riders to Link and I-405 BRT.  Evaluated in terms of cost per rider, the high-capital alternative looks quite attractive, cheaper than I-405 BRT or any of the light rail “spine” projects.  522 BRT also gives several North Shore communities another reason to vote for ST3.

As the region grows, land on either side of 145th and 522 is only going to get more expensive, so the sooner it’s acquired for transit use, the better.  Getting the funds, however, may come down to accounting, not ridership. Considered as a North King project, SR522 is less attractive than Ballard-West Seattle. As an East King project, it’s more viable. In a small way, this project shows just how hard it is to adhere to strict subarea equity when building a truly regional network.

116 Replies to “ST3: BRT on SR 522 and NE 145th St”

  1. I’d like to see a strong 145th transit corridor both east and west of the station utilizing SR BRT. Building a network of strong transit connections, particularly to improve our terrible east-west connections, only benefits riders and ST’s ridership. Shoreline will redevelop and upzone 145th to the west which brings in more riders and TOD potential. The city has invested heavily in Aurora redevelopment, is rolling out the red carpet for Link, and spearheading 145th reconfiguration; they should be supported with strong connections to the stations.

    Personally, I’d like to see this BRT line head west on 145th then north on Aurora and possibly Shoreline Community College. Aurora north of 145th has full-time BAT lanes and TSP(?) which work great for Swift and RapidRide while 160th is a low-volume side road. This would help tie together 145th Station, RapidRide E Line, Shoreline’s development, connect to growing areas along Aurora, and serve students at SCC.

    1. I think there is potential in having it go west of the 145th station. Shoreline CC would be a great western terminus.

    2. Ideally we have 2 routes crossing 145th from LCW. One heads north on Aurora up to the 192 street park and ride. Yes this duplicates with Swift and a Redline, but it provides one seat options for a significant chunk of the new Aurora to rail access.

      The other goes over to Greenwood and up to Shoreline CC. There is a King County Housing Authority near Greenwood that needs regular transit.

    1. Mark, any insight into how much ridership would come from services other than the Sound Transit BRT?

      All the BRT studies are missing Metro ridership that would use the lanes, but it’s not easy to figure how much that is across corridors.

      1. Implicitly, there must be some assumptions, but they’re certainly not spelled out anywhere.

        Hopefully, there’s enough inter-agency cooperation going on to get accurate cross-agency numbers into the decision-making process.

      1. If 130th is also going to be in ST3, it makes no sense to leave a 130th alternative out of the BRT study.

      2. I’ve been involved in the 130th project and the people I’ve talked to (who know the people in ST) all say that 130th is inevitable. It wasn’t a year ago, but it is now. It isn’t clear when it will happen over even who will pay for it, but it will happen (it is like Graham Street Station a few months ago).

        While I am quick to point out the many flaws of Sound Transit, I think it is possible that either one side of the planning department isn’t talking to the other, or they simply prefer a 145th street alignment. I can understand the latter. Sound Transit has a suburban focus (always has) so it is consistent for them to simply skip over the most urban route (the one that is the best from a network standpoint) and instead simply focus on moving the handful of suburban commuters as quickly as possible to the nearest Link station.That means 145th.

      3. Well, Seattle will have to pay for it and provide the buses serving it. Because ST certainly won’t pay to operate a BRT line entirely within the City. The loons would go Ballistic!

      4. ST certainly won’t pay to operate a BRT line entirely within the City.

        But they will a streetcar. Hmmm, I guess BRT just isn’t expensive enough for the board to consider election vote worthy.

      5. While I am quick to point out the many flaws of Sound Transit, I think it is possible that either one side of the planning department isn’t talking to the other, or they simply prefer a 145th street alignment.

        I don’t think it’s that hard to understand. Shoreline and the Northshore cities specifically asked to look at this corridor and they’ve gotten what they asked for. Shoreline wants to build up the 145th station area and good bus service to feed it makes sense, as well as being faster for people in Kenmore, etc.

        It doesn’t mean Lake City Way won’t have a bus, but the extent of Seattle’s ask for that area was a 130th st station, without a lot of embellishment of what would connect to it.

      6. OK, I understand. So this is just preliminary planning. I get it. At some point we will see the alternatives that include extending this to Aurora and Greenwood as well as using 125th/130th. I look forward to those reports.

      7. 522 HCT has been in Sound Transit’s long range plan since the beginning. Last December they added the 145th stub to the LRP. So they were clearly anticipating this alignment, because the stub is too short for its own line or as part of any other conceivable line I can think of. I raised the alarm them that it looks like ST is heading toward yanking the 522 out of Lake City.

      8. it looks like ST is heading toward yanking the 522 out of Lake City.

        You say that like it’s a bad thing?

    1. Which street would be easier and less expensive to convert, 145th or 125th/Roosevelt? Keep the WSDOMA angle in mind in your answer.

      I hope Lake City remains organized enough to send a continued message to Sound Transit that while 145th BRT is one thing, it is no replacement for a 130th station, to the point they would advocate for BRT on Northgate Way if they can’t get it.

      1. Hard to say, but I would guess that 125th would be cheaper. The bridge has to be redone anyway, so making it wider and adding a bus lane would make sense. The station and the bridge should be designed to work together, since that is the main purpose of the station.

        Along Lake City Way I believe there is a fair amount of BAT lane mileage already, and if not, there is parking. It gets tricky right around 125th, as it has been narrowed (on purpose) to help quiet the street.

        There is no parking along the 125th/130th corridor, so you have to take a lane or expand the street. 125th from Lake City Way to 15th had a road diet, and went from four lanes to three. So unless you went back, there is no lane to take. Making the street wider through there wouldn’t be that expensive, especially if you moved the bike lane (five lanes instead of the old four). The bike lane is not that popular, because it is very steep through there so moving the bike lane to side streets would be fairly easy. If you just went the cheap route (and kept the streets the same width) then you would go back to four lanes, with BAT lanes on the outside (presumably). Traffic might be a mess with people turning left, so you might need to ban those (in most intersections).

        From 15th to Roosevelt it is tricky. It is also three lanes and the bike lane actually makes sense through there (since it is flat). It is a bit congested, too. You would probably have to buy up land and widen the street and hope that the bikers don’t mind moving over to 123rd or just bite the bullet and make a very wide street.

        Roosevelt is all four lane (no bike lane). It is also congested through there (but again, nothing like 145th). You could take a lane or go with the the 145th proposal and just make it six. East of the freeway to Linden (east of Aurora) is all like this as well (four lane without bike lanes). This is a tricky section.

        Linden to Greenwood is two lanes plus parking and bike lanes. You could go back to the way it was (four lanes, but give a couple of them over to the buses), move the bike lanes and traffic would be no worse. It wouldn’t be that hard to move the bike lanes over to 127th, since that would connect to the bike path there. The city would have to pave a small grassy section.

        The most expensive part of all of the current proposal (which skips Lake City) is actually the 522 section (not 145th). But 145th is not cheap, and adding BAT lanes through Lake City all the way to Greenwood (as I envision) wouldn’t be cheap either. But half ass measures would lead to much better results here. 145th is very congested, while 125th and 130th are not. They have some congestion, just not as much. The fact that the bridge has to be redone changes the nature of things as well. Spending a bit of extra money on that (so that you don’t have congestion there) would make a lot of sense.

    2. Continuing the SR-522 improvements to 125th was my first question too. I know it’s faster to zip over on 145th but the additional ridership from Lake City, keeping in mind that 125th is the northern end of Sand Pt. Way, should definitely be considered. It’s been many years since I lived in that area and I understand that it’s very different today but my recollection from days gone by is that 125th/130th is a much more pedestrian friendly corridor.

      1. Yes, it is more pedestrian friendly because there are a lot more pedestrians. There are simply a lot more people along that route. If Sound Transit is sincerely interested in moving as many people as well as possible (and as cheaply as possible) then they will focus on 125th/130th.

        I have no idea if that is their interest, though.

      2. Well, it’s good to hear my perception of the place isn’t all that different from when we lived there in the early 80’s. The more things change the more they stay the same. 145th = Suck : 125th & Lake City Way ≠ Suck. Of course, IMHO the whole place went to hell in a hand basket when JP’s Market closed. I have fond memories of living there. We tried to buy our first house in that neighborhood but even back then as first time home buyers were priced out of the market and had to move out to Woodinville and live with the cows. Turns out property in that area became a cash cow but who’d a thunk it. The irony is people living out there now are dependent on SR-522.

        Oh, and did I mention 125th is the extension of Sand Point Way which leads to a small school along the shores of Portage Bay? I hear they have a good rowing program that persuaded ST to put a LINK station there.

      3. Used to walk to JP’s when I was young, and eventually bought my first home in the neighborhood. It’s improved a lot and will continue to do so as long as it is seen as an affordable in-city location. The population in this area will continue to grow.

        LC has gotten the shaft far too often from far too many levels of government, and this willful skipping of the most populous/dense area north of the UW is simply another reason to vote NO on anything ST brings to the table. ST is a suburban organization tasked with bringing suburbanites to and from DT Seattle and the UW without giving a damn about anything in between (their station placements–or lack thereof–is more than sufficient evidence of this, as is the fact that the 522 until now has not stopped south of 125th, even where it intersects major Metro routes).

        LC, due to topography, street capacity and mall congestion, is not served well by the station at Northgate. Perhaps it would have been a little better had the planners sited the station with something other than the express lane on-ramp in mind, but they couldn’t manage that and stuck the station in a place that means every possible route from LC has to traverse the entire mall zoo to reach it. Nobody in LC except at its far northern end is going to backtrack to 145th to ride the Suburban Express to the station there. The 130th station is not funded in ST3 at this point. With this plan ST ensures that Metro is LC’s only hope for reasonable service, and voters in that area will be better served by spending their tax dollars on Metro rather than ST…and that’s a shame. This area has consistently voted for ST in large numbers and will never have anything to show for it.

      4. “the 522 until now has not stopped south of 125th”

        That’s what makes it fast to Lake City.

        “The 130th station is not funded in ST3 at this point.”

        Nothing is funded in ST3 at this point. It’s all just potential projects and alternatives. And 130th Station is one of them.

  2. Any possible way for ST to strike a deal with some of the businesses along 522 near the stops, creating a series of mini-park and rides?

    As I ride the 522, its struck me that some business, set back from 522, have large parking lots. The close-in parking to the business is desirable to customers while the parking facing 522 is desirable to a BRT rider.

  3. If we’re advocating for a 130th st station, we should advocate at least studying that as a route option. It would be a waste to build the station and not connect it to frequent bus service (especially because that’s the only way the station makes sense – the density/TOD are severely lacking).

    Lake city looks like a much more valuable destination now, although the 145th redevelopment potential looks quite promising as well. It’s not unreasonable to have ST serve 145th, and Metro serve 130th – but that’s more cost, more opposition to lost parking, and in all likelihood, lower service on each route than if ST BRT used the 130th station.

    All I’m saying is, I hope a 130th st. option makes it into the studies.

    1. What do you mean by 145th redevelopment potential?

      Seattle is looking at converting the Pinehurst area (close to the new station) into another urban village. Meanwhile, the entire greater Lake City area (within several blocks of 125th-145th and Lake City Way) is growing like crazy. But the growth north of there (beyond the city border) is limited, to say the least.

      What should be built is half ass BRT (RapidRide style) along this corridor (145th to 522). High quality BRT should be built from 145th and Lake City Way to 130th and Greenwood (via Lake City Way, 125th and 130th). The latter should run way more often than the former. That does mean a two seat ride from Lake City to Bothell, but so be it. Almost every other combination would be much better and this wouldn’t cost a fortune.

      1. Shoreline has a pretty bold 145th station area upzone plan (though we will see fi they can pass it), and they are also looking at major ped/bike/transit improvements to 145th. Northacres park and Haller lake both impede redevelopment at the 130th station area (as does jackson park, but it affects both). The area around fifteenth and 145th, where a stop would likely be, ought to be easy to upzone, as it’s already commercial, whereas along 130th things are more residential, and we know how hard it is to get that to change in Seattle (meanwhile 130th upzone? Don’t count chickens before they’re hatched)

        I’m not saying I prefer 145th – I’m advocating for studying a Lake City/130th routing, after all – but I’m saying I’m not 100% sure that it’s will have much higher ridership than 145th. Lake city is way bigger than anything in shoreline, and still has potential to grow, so I suspect that’s the best choice, but 145th, given that it also saves time for all of the people coming from the SR 522 part of the line, could be the better choice.

      2. Yeah, I don’t buy into the area around 130th and the freeway becoming a new urban village. I think the city is silly when it comes to the130th station. There are parks and lots of freeway land. But compared to 145th, 130th/Roosevelt/125th is Manhattan. Jackson Park cuts into the potential walk share for a 130th station, but it literally cuts it in half for 145th. Lakeside is as big as Northacres. Twin Ponds is similar to Haller Lake. Ingraham may not grow, but it is still a public high school, which means the students don’t get their own private bus to it, like Lakeside.

        But the dreams of either area someday being huge misses the point. The area along a 125th route is simply way denser now. That is part of the reason I think the plans are silly. There are very few houses there. Most of it already apartments. You aren’t going to tear down a 3 story apartment building to put up a six story one, so what is the point of the rezone.Meanwhile, the area along Lake City is much, much bigger (and the growth there is happening now, and will continue to happen). The only bit of even moderate density along 145h is right by Lake City Way (an area served by either route).

        But, like I said, let Bothell and 145th have the infrequent, less popular, less dense, long haul route. But at some point you need high frequency trips with the high density, high destination areas, and that means a line from at least 145th and Lake City Way to 130th and Greenwood (via Lake City).

  4. Wow. Even when Sound Transit looks at BRT projects, they still make the same mistakes. Amazing.

    To be clear, I’m all for bus improvements along the north side of the lake and of course along 145th. That makes sense and is a good value. But let’s be clear here: BRT, real BRT, is fairly expensive. It means buses going back and forth quite often. It means expensive things like off board payment. If you don’t have those, you end up stretching your system too thin. You end up with something like RapidRide. The best way to get the best bang for the buck is to run a very short BRT line through an area with high density, and/or high transit connectivity. That is why Madison stops at MLK. If it went to Madison Park you would greatly increase the capital costs (a bunch of extra off board payment stations) as well as the operating expenses (more miles equals more money).

    The best route for BRT is 145th and Lake City Way to 125th, then over on 125th/130th to Greenwood Avenue. This provides much better connectivity for buses. That includes a bus route like the one proposed (from north of the lake to the station at 145th). It also includes buses coming from the southeast (Sand Point Way, 35th) as well as Aurora and Greenwood to the west. As a high speed connector, it is much closer to the next logical connector to the south (85th). Northgate Way can’t work for that purpose because the transit station is so far away from the thoroughfare. That’s just for connecting.

    There is also the issue that density along that much shorter corridor (145th and Lake City Way to 130th and Greenwood via Lake City) is several times more populous than the route proposed. There is not a single census block on 522 outside the city that has more than 6,000 people per square mile (or ppsm). In contrast, Lake City varies from around 10,000 to 30,000, and is growing rapidly. Oh, and this would skirt Pinehurst, a moderately dense area (around 10,000 ppsm) while 145th skirts a golf course.

    I suppose I shouldn’t care what Sound Transit does along the other corridor. It will help (of course) no matter what they do. A RapidRide along there would actually compliment the other service (providing a decent connection for those headed from Lake City to Bothell). As long as Seattle isn’t expected to chip in much for the cost, I don’t care. Seattle can build its own BRT (of much higher quality) when it passes yet another transportation levy in a few years (in response to Sound Transit failing to do much for this town).

    1. The advantage is SR 522 has all sorts of nodes throughout the entire line which attract people whereas Madison BRT gradually drops off as the line heads east to the Lake. The problem with a short line like Madison is outside a couple of specific places in our region, such short lines don’t do much to help overall connectivity. Our system would suck if we had piles of closed, 2-mile-long, $120M BRT lines ($60M/mile which is as much as streetcar!) since people couldn’t go all that far and burn lots of money doing it. If Madison BRT were a longer and more open system, like ST’s SR 522/145th proposed system, it could benefit many more routes and attract many more riders.

      Swift is a great example of what this BRT line could and, realistically, should look like. Simple off-board payment systems (which isn’t that expensive), nice but reasonable stations that are all the same to keep costs down (this won’t happen with ST at the helm), good yet easily expandable headways, and logical measures taken to speed buses up that many routes can benefit from (think Swift + 101 overlay). Swift did a lot to boost transit usage on a 16-mile corridor in an area where transit is far from king.

      1. The biggest problem with Madison BRT is that Madison is a diagonal street. As it heads north, it heads towards the edge of the big, broad, high density area that is Capitol Hill/C. D. Making things tougher, a lot of the streets that intersect, don’t go through or end as residential streets even through the high density area.

        With all that, though, it still works. The 48 feeds it quite well. This means that folks in Montlake will once again have a fast way to get downtown, even when the 43 goes away. Buses will run frequently on Broadway, which will serve it for folks who want to go to the south end of downtown (Link will work for everyone else). A bus route could be go along 15th and 14th, from at least Yesler to Thomas, giving those people the same sort of option. Right now that trip (from Swedish Cherry Hill to Group Health) is a very long bus ride. This would cut that time down by about 15 minutes. In short, it would enable more of a grid. I don’t want to oversell Madison BRT as a connector, though, because it won’t be great for that because the street grid is a mess there. It will get most of its riders from people who want to it. It will be way more successful than any streetcar we have built so far (and probably more successful than any we build in the future).

        The BRT line I mentioned is much more of a “sea to sea” run. It connects with every bus route in the area (certainly the high volume ones) the 522 to 145th does not. It connects to the other bus routes better than the alternative because it is farther south. Of course it would be great to extend this out to the hinterlands, but just as it isn’t a great idea to do that with our light rail line, it isn’t a great idea to do that with a BRT line which will obviously serve way more customers directly or indirectly along its core. Both make sense. A RapidRide, medium frequency run along the 522 and 145th corridor (which are relatively sparsely populated, with or without feeder buses) and a very high frequency run along the core (145th and Lake City Way to 130th and Greenwood via Lake City).

        If the two could be combined and you could promise me five minute headways from Lake City to Bitter Lake (and two minute headways during rush hour) then I would be all in favor. I just don’t think that is practical. Swift is 12-20 minute headways, which is way less frequent than what a Lake City rider has right now (with the various buses that go by).

    2. Oh, and just to be clear, the most important thing is high frequency. If you can justify sending buses out to Bothell every couple minutes (and have them avoid bunching up) then I won’t mind. But I doubt you can. A good example of a high frequency bus operation in a high density area is the 99 B-Line in Vancouver. From what I can tell, it doesn’t have complete off board payment, but it does run quite frequently (2-minute headway peak, with a 4.5 minute day base headway). The line is much longer than the one I propose (about 8 miles) but density and connection points are good enough to justify the high frequency. It manages to carry 54,000 people per day (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/99_B-Line). It also runs very efficiently — it actually makes money (http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2014/09/99-b-line-numbers-just-busy-bus-route-2/).

      We shouldn’t expect that sort of ridership, of course, since that would exceed our entire light rail system. But it does show the value of high frequency service in an urban environment.

      1. I’ve been a rider on the 99 B-Line in Vancouver. It needed to be Skytrain to start, and it only got more out of hand from there. Kits fought a Skytrain expansion _tooth and nail_.

        Bothell Way right now has every-few-minutes bus service single-direction during peak hours. Those busses are _always_ SRO during peak. Anna will have to wait past busses on the way home from downtown because there’s just no room.

        And part of this is because UWB and Cascadia College. (And to a lesser degree, Bastyr.) Once rail connects UW and 145th (or 130th, but probably 145), UW and UWB are going to want that linkup. Metro 372 is already a very busy connector route, and I’m pretty sure lots of that – if not all of it – will be offloaded onto rail+BRT if it can be. I don’t even know if Metro 372 would be retained in that scenario.

      2. I think you’d pretty much have to retain the 372. Otherwise, Bothell and Kenmore become cut off from Lake City and north Seattle in general.

      3. I agree, the 99 B Line should be a train. What blows me away is the 55,000 number. That is more than our light rail line, despite the fact that our light rail line goes twice as far.

        There are a lot of buses that are standing room only during rush hour. The 41 is always packed, for example. The 372 carries about 5,100 people a day. The 552 carries 4,500. Those numbers include Lake City. The 41 carries 9,700, or about both of those put together. It isn’t clear how many people this would carry if it skipped Lake City but ran faster and maybe more often. 10,000 maybe? Over 300 million for 10,000 a day is expensive, but not crazy if the time savings are huge. I’m just not sure they are. How many trips are stuck in congestion (and how much time does that cost)?

        That is why it is tough to compare projects like this without more data. If those buses are packed, yet stuck in traffic, then there is a strong argument for it. Ridership, while not impressive, is being hurt by that. This is why the 8 or 44 only carry around 10,000, and not 15,000 or 20,000. Simply improving 522 would help everyone if they didn’t change the routes. Those in Lake City headed north would have a faster ride, and those headed south would have more frequent buses (faster buses means more frequency). If we are going to do anything on this project, I think I would start there, and not worry at the moment where the buses go.

      4. I don’t think I understand what is being proposed with 145th. Are they talking about a new dedicated shuttle between LCW and LINK along 145th or are they talking about rerouting all the commuter buses that run on SR-522 up 145th and terminating at the LINK station? The later makes more sense. As already mentioned, nobody is going to want to transfer to a shuttle bus and then a train. If they can make the whole trip no longer than the current one seat ride to DT then it’s a winner. Not only is the time factor important to ridership it’s also a major component of operating cost. Remember it’s dollars per hour that bus service is denominated in. Improving traffic flow and significantly shortening the route is going to have a huge payback in operational cost for ST and Metro.

        Also, skipping LC has some benefit for LC residents; namely it eliminates a bunch of peak hour traffic and diesel buses going through the neighborhood. Bottom line is that without numbers for 125th/130th and a firm decision on the 130th LINK station it’s impossible to make an informed decision.

      5. @asdf2 — Or you could transfer. Imagine a very fast, very frequent line from 145th and Lake City Way to 130th and Greenwood (via Lake City). That would be a major hauler — connecting a lot of people to other buses (along Greenwood, Aurora, farther out on 522) as well as Link.

        The 522 to 145th route would not be very frequent in the middle of the day (neither the 522 or 372 is). But transferring from an infrequent to a frequent bus (or vice-versa) is not that bad. It is when two infrequent buses mix (as with most of our system) that you start to give up.

        That being said, there would probably be some overlap. I’m not sure about the 372. According to the schedule, it takes about a twenty minutes to get to the UW campus, and about 30 minutes to get to the U-District. I think if you are coming from Kenmore, then you are better off taking this bus and transferring to Link at 145th. So it would make sense to truncate at Lake City, but I’m not sure if that is enough of a destination. Better yet, keep going, but head to Northgate instead. That is a bigger destination than Roosevelt, and much closer than the UW. It takes less than 15 minutes to get from Lake City to Northgate, and you will need that bus connection anyway. So basically take the 372 and head it off to Northgate (like the 75). Change the 75: From Sand Point, it takes the same route as now up to Lake City. but instead of heading southwest (towards Northgate) it heads west (towards 130th) or north and then west (towards 145th).

        The new 372 would not be as popular as the 522 to 145th bus, but I think it still be popular. In the middle of the day, folks would take it instead of waiting for the next 522-145th bus, even if they don’t want to go to Lake City or Northgate. But I think there would be plenty of people taking it, even if they aren’t headed to Link. Outside of rush hour, both the 75 and 372 run every half hour, so that would be a starting point (hopefully that could be upped).

      6. Bernie, ST hasn’t been clear and calling part of 145th an “HCT corridor” is confusing, but it’s clearly too short for a separate route so it can only mean rerouting the 522, and BRT replacing the 522.

        The 372 is a side issue; it will still be needed south of 145th, although 10-minute BRT or timed transfers could obviate the need north of it. Another option would be for the 372 to turn west to 145th Station and terminate. That would contribute to Lake City – Link mobility, although it alone wouldn’t be sufficient. But it and the 330 and 41 could possibly overlap there. What if the 41 went from Northgate Station to 145th Station? Then Metro wouldn’t have to choose whether to favor one station or the other for Lake City transfers: people could choose either one on a trip-by-trip basis.

        Scott Stidell: “Nobody in LC except at its far northern end is going to backtrack to 145th to ride the Suburban Express to the station there.”

        I only shop in Lake City so I don’t have experience living there, but I would take it because it’s shorter and less congested so you’d get to Link significantly quicker than going to Northgate. It just needs to be frequent to make that feasable. At least north of 125th. South of 125th you might as well go to Northgate.

      7. Oh, don’t mistake my thoughts about what will happen with the 372 eventually with what I _want_ to happen. I’m often on the 372, and I want to keep it. With the 372, we have no worse than every 15 minute bus service all day on weekdays between Lake City, LFP, Kenmore, and Bothell. That’s a _huge_ asset that I do _not_ want to lose. I’m just speculating about what they might do.

        I also take it to the U. District on a regular basis. But the 311 is how you get to Shoreline CC from Kenmore. We have a lot of SCC students here; I went there for a year myself. (Intro bio sequence is a _lot_ cheaper at SCC and credits transfer 1:1 to UW. Plus: no waiting list!) The 311 isn’t a good candidate for any sort of express service, though, because the student body is really heavily distributed around. And, also, not Sound Transit or Seattle proper. But I guess I digress.

  5. If we are going to use ST money to widen 145th, let’s at least consider a median busway! Having two refuge medians is safer for pedestrians (riders) and the bus speeds are going to be much better.

    I’d also add that the.145tg station bus access is horrible, and fixing that may be more costly than using 130th with a new station.

    We need to examine many alternatives here before deciding on one.

  6. I don’t really get it…seems like a lot of money (and in the case of condemnations along 145th, political will) in pursuit of not very many riders…I don’t know that I would favor it with North King money unless it was necessary politically. I’d much rather see the ridership return on similar investment if made through Lake City, on the 44, or elsewhere.

    1. Best I can figure:
      1) They want to avoid Northgate at all costs (understandable by bus)
      2) They assume that 130th may or may not be built

      Given that it seems logical to go to 145th, despite its problems. Its still a lot of money for very little gain though.

      I would hope that if 130th is also going to be in the project list they would also consider moving this project to the 130th alignment instead. If we go for a big enough ST3 plan, they might even be able to get a Northgate to Bothell/Woodinville in roughly the same amount of time it would take to build a BRT.

    2. 3) 145th is a state highway so it’s the “obvious choice” for regional transit.
      4) It has a P&R.
      5) It serves both Shoreline and Seattle so that’s more cities benefiting from it.
      6) It gets Bothell, Kenmore, and Lake Forest Park to Link faster.
      7) Lake City is not essential for regional transit; it only got the 522 as an extra because it happened to be along the way.

      1. And (7) shows why Sound Transit’s priorities are crazy. There’s no reason to call Kenmore “essential for regional transit” and Lake City not, just because the more dense place happens to be within the city limits of Seattle.

      2. “Region Transit” means equal weight for each square mile in the ST district, not equal weight for each person. So, Kenmore is at least 20 times as important as Lake City.

    3. Thanks everyone. If I ever want to explain to people why Sound Transit functions so poorly, I’ll just link to this thread. Sound Transit focuses on giving the park and ride commuter a fast trip to downtown. Nothing more, nothing less.

      I’m with Booth, I see no reason to chip in for such a dubious exercise (unless it is really cheap).

      Seattle will have to do the heavy lifting when it comes to transit.

  7. I think skipping NE Seattle so of 145th/130th is a mistake for these routes. LCW/522 needs better trainsit its whole length as it is the only large arterial through much of the area. Those of us between LCW and UW want transit access too.

    1. Not to mention that Lake City is actually a destination. People actually go there.

      There isn’t much of any consequence along 145th street… one small shopping center and a school?

      Its kind of amazing any of our current buses stop there at all, really.

  8. I don’t see the widening of a street from 4 to 6 lanes as an “improvement”. Keep the same street width, and have 1 BAT lane and 1 GP lanes in each direction.

      1. Well, then, I gather you don’t care if ST3 passes, either. Because it can’t with just Seattle votes.

        And though I personally despise the loudmouth caucus of transit-haters that encircles Seattle, the North Shore suburbs are some of the most loyally pro-transit cities in the region. Pro-transit forces need them to vote in large numbers for ST3 to counterbalance the “antis” of South King and Pierce.

        I believe that Seattle can and should finance its entirely urban subway system itself, in particular the “Metro 8” ring around the CBD core and Ballard-UW should the proposal to improve the 44 prove insufficient. Ditto the 44 and six other new “Rapid Ride Plus” corridors. They mostly don’t benefit suburban riders much at all and Seattle is about to receive a gusher of new property tax revenues when all the towers in and around downtown are completed. The City can do that much itself.

        What it can’t do is those seven Rapid Rides plus two cross-town subways and Ballard-Downtown and West Seattle-Downtown. At least, not without tax freedom from the Republican dominated Washington legislature. Which is not going to happen.

        P.S.

        Yes, yes, Ross, I know about your hypothetical four-seat Mill Creek-To-Fremont rider. Ballard-UW were it built would indeed benefit all three of them.

      2. Yep, just like folks from New Jersey benefit from New York’s subway system and folks from Naperville benefit from the “L”, and suburban residents of Toronto, Vancouver, D. C. and many other cities benefit when the city follows the smart, historically successful path of building from the center out.

        Of the various projects, the two in Seattle that would benefit suburban voters the most are a Metro 8 subway (connecting to Uptown, South Lake Union, First Hill and Cherry Hill) and a Ballard to UW subway (connecting riders to the hospitals, growing number of offices and entertainment in Ballard directly and the businesses in greater Fremont indirectly). WSTT would be the next most beneficial (connecting to Expedia and the handful of employers around there). West Seattle light rail would benefit suburban voters the least, and Ballard to downtown no better than the WSTT.

        Your point about taxation is a good one, though. Without authority, Seattle is stuck. The set of projects that Seattle is embarking on are relatively cheap. 166 million for the corridors. In contrast, just the SR 522 section of this (which would not include Seattle) would about double that. West Seattle rail, Ballard rail (of any sort) is way more expensive.

        I’m not sure what any of that has to do with Chris’ idea of closing off a lane and giving it over to transit. Do you think if they do that then ST3 is toast?

  9. >>If it went to Madison Park you would greatly increase the capital costs (a bunch of extra off board payment stations) as well as the operating expenses (more miles equals more money).<<

    Just do what Vancouver does now with it's buses (or at least some of it's buses – I saw them myself this past summer when I was up there), and what Toronto does with it's new streetcars, and put payment machines onboard the vehicles. That way not every stop needs a payment machine.

    1. Having a mix of off board and on board payment means that the on board riders slow down everyone else. Sometimes it makes sense, but often it just isn’t worth it.

      1. No, the onboard riders don’t slow anyone down. You clearly don’t understand what I’m talking about. I mean machines in the middle/back of the bus where you can buy your ticket after boarding. I’m not talking about standing in line and paying at the front before the bus starts to move.

      2. OK, you are right, I don’t know what you are talking about. Tell me more. So it is proof of payment, but you can buy your ticket by boarding from any door and paying once on board? Interesting. For the 99 B-Line it looks like you have to board from the front if you are paying cash (look for “payment” on this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/99_B-Line). I’m not sure if that slows things up — sounds from your experience that it doesn’t or maybe they use a different system for a different bus (ow the Wikipedia info is out of date).

        I really have no idea if off board payment systems are very expensive. My guess is that it is the curb work, rewiring and that sort of thing that adds up with something like Madison BRT. Center running isn’t cheap, especially if you add bus stops there. I think my concerns over off board payment being too expensive may be unwarranted and probably a moot point in this case. I don’t think this project even includes that.

        It sounds like most of the money is to buy right of way so that the buses can run in BAT lanes the whole way. This isn’t cheap. $311M for just 522 north of 145th. In contrast, the 145th section is $135M. It is just a lot more land. So, while my concerns over capital costs with off board payment may be unwarranted, the general rule of thumb is the same: more distance is more expense. This is certainly true with the operating expenses.

      3. @RossB

        >>OK, you are right, I don’t know what you are talking about. Tell me more. So it is proof of payment, but you can buy your ticket by boarding from any door and paying once on board?<<

        Yes, that is exactly what I'm talking about. I was in Vancouver in July. I didn't use such a method of payment myself (and I only rode two buses my entire trip). But I definitely saw machines towards the middle/back of the buses, so I assumed that's how it works.

        That is DEFINITELY how it works on Toronto's new streetcars though (Spadina line for now, but in a few years it will be all the streetcars on all the lines). You can either buy a ticket from an offboard machine, or buy a ticket from the same type of machine onboard. The machines are placed towards the middle of the streetcar.

      4. That’s how it works on the SLU Streetcar right now. There are ticket machines in the center of the streetcar. You board and while the streetcar’s on its way, you buy a ticket. That’s how it worked from the start. The curbside ticket machines were added later because the onboard TVMs didn’t take credit cards.

      5. It was free if you had an ORCA card because it didn’t have ORCA readers. It wasn’t free to everybody.

      6. Nobody used the SLUT so it didn’t really matter where/what the uber expensive fare collection equipment was that nobody used. SLUT has to make the top 10 list of most stupid transit spending projects in the entire Seattle Metro area.

  10. This is the stupidest proposal I’ve ever read.

    311 million to bypass Lake City? WTF?

    I’m too angry and disgusted to even dignify this POS with a response.

    1. I use to think that Sound Transit was reasonably smart and independent, and any bad positions or planning was due to outside influence. If they are really floating this as a legitimate idea, bypassing the 2nd most dense community in the state because – “regionality!”, no funding for you.

      1. This is basically exactly what the 522 transit advocacy group brought forward. It was added to the project lists pretty much as-is. Sound Transit did not determine the routing specifically here, but there has been a strong local push (outside Seattle) to skip Lake City and go straight for the spine.

      2. It is absolutely amazing that ST is planning on spending billions on 2 lesser deserving neighborhoods with inflated ridership numbers and LCW gets something only trailer parks could be proud of.

      3. A big part of adding 145th instead of trying to go further south is to get Shoreline onboard. From what I’ve seen by attending these meetings is that Kenmore is the biggest single driver in getting 522 back on the map – don’t get me wrong, Bothell is onboard, and Lake Forest Park is finally coming around, but Kenmore _really_ wants it, which is why the whole city plan has been improving-transit-and-walkability since incorporation.

        (And if you come up here, you’ll see about a block north of Bothell Way all the new higher-density construction that’s underway – some of which is open. We’re not sitting on our asses on quarter-acre lots, we’ve been upzoning and trying to make plans happen for 15+ years. Heck, who seems to want an added park-and-ride most? _Bothell_, more than us. I mean, sure, we currently have a huge full-every-day flat-car-park P&R; we’d rather that be structured for more capacity _and_ so we can do more TOD on Bothell Way. But the structured P&R is Bothell, particularly for UWB students.)

        But we aren’t the largest fish, and Bothell’s attention is diverted between this and 405, and Lake Forest Park is, like I said, _only now_ starting to come around. Fixing 145th gets Shoreline on our side, and that matters. That is a _lot_ about why. We were left out of ST2 entirely, and barely in ST1. And Bothell Way is _hammered_ now with diverted eastside commuters avoiding 520 tolls. We need a round of transit improvements here.

        I mean, don’t get me wrong, there’re a whole lot of us who would prefer BRT to Northgate and to catch the spine connector there. I’m not hating on Lake City, I _shop_ in Lake City. And we aren’t unaware of the NE 130th Street option either. But, again, Shoreline wants a station, Shoreline is _actually getting_ a station – which we aren’t, not for a couple of decades at least – and we need their weight.

        (And “inflated ridership numbers,” les? Clearly you haven’t commuted by bus downtown from Kenmore or LFP. They’re SRO for hours, with skipped pickups because sometimes there’s just no room. We legit need more service than we have. Will we get it? I dunno, but we need some help, if nothing else because eastside commuters are crushing us.)

      4. Thanks, Dara, for standing up for your town. Kenmore is apparently an “outlier” along with Bellevue (in places) in trying to create actual spaces people want to live in with one another, rather than retiring behind a gate and shrubbery.

        I agree that this should be highly prioritized in North King’s project list: it’s relatively inexpensive; it leverages an existing transit investment (the BAT lanes where already implemented) and it serves as a good reminder to suburbs that having a train isn’t the only solution to their transportation problems.

        But, support from Seattle depends on you folks in Kenmore being willing to pull for the 130th Street Station even if ST decides that your buses should connect at 145th. I think that’s a pretty good solution if the line goes on to Shoreline CC via Aurora and 160th.

        Seattle should create its own RapidRide Plus BRT from 145th and LCW to 125th, 130th Street Station and on to Greenwood/Bitter Lake.

      5. “Kenmore is apparently an “outlier” along with Bellevue (in places) in trying to create actual spaces people want to live in with one another”

        And Redmond?

    2. This is the stupidest proposal I’ve ever read.

      In the annals of stupid ST projects this doesn’t even make the top 10; not by a long shot.

      Along 145th, Sound Transit presents two options. A $75M, lower capital alternative would provide queue jumps and occasional bus lanes, Ridership is 3-4000 riders

      That’s 10% of the cost for the same projected ridership as The Tripplet BRT (S. Kirk. P&R/Kirk. TC/Totem Lake). I think they should just build stables at Lake Forest Park and Bothell Landing and give everyone a pony to ride the Burke Gilman :=

    3. Yeah, $446M for the whole thing, and maybe 3500-4500 for ridership (this from folks that are known for inflating suburban ridership numbers). Oh, and that doesn’t count operations. Metro pays for that. So, basically, almost a half billion dollars for a bus that carries well under half the riders of the 41. The high end (4500) is a pathetic number compared to most of the buses we run: http://stb-wp.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/01141338/METRO-AND-ST-RIDERSHIP.png
      to say nothing of expensive, high end BRT systems. Madison BRT, the system everyone here is complaining about — the very short line that people keep saying is being watered down — should carry around 15,000 people.

      But this goes really far. I really think that should be the Sound Transit motto. Hey, ST, why didn’t you build a system that mimics every successful system in North America, and focus on dense urban areas and connections to buses? How come your super expensive system doesn’t carry that many riders?

      I don’t know, but it goes really far.

      1. “Hey, ST, why didn’t you build a system that mimics every successful system in North America, and focus on dense urban areas and connections to buses?”

        Maybe my fear of nobody being able to fill d.p.’s advocacy shoes was unfounded. This is brilliant; you could almost fit the slogan on a T-shirt.

    4. This is the stupidest proposal I’ve ever read.

      311 million to bypass Lake City? WTF?

      This is a bizarre response. A grassroots group and a bunch of city governments got organized and asked ST to study this. And ST has done so.

      1. Well that’s what happens when you don’t engage the biggest city government.

        Lake City has a very level of immigrants as well as groups with very high level poverty. Those groups traditionally don’t have a tremendous amount of time or understanding of “process” to know what to do to not get completely left out of said process.

        If it isn’t blindingly obvious, 522 is a transit corridor, and should be treated as an integral corridor.

        Just because the most essential part of that corridor is also not terribly politically astute or well-connected, doesn’t mean you bypass them.

        It means you engage them.

        Not doing so is idiocy bordering on criminal.

      2. And that’s really not the main reason it’s totally stupid.

        We clearly want to connect the riders along 522 with Link (ignoring for the time being the other total stupidity of “The Spine that Ate Sound Transit’s Brain”).

        That’s a really hard, expensive connection. You need to traverse 2-3 miles of very challenging terrain.

        Why in Allah’s name would you do even ponder or waste time creating a proposal that would force you to do it twice?

        Ultramaroons.

  11. Let’s say 130th doesn’t happen, and this line avoids the bulk of Lake City by using 145th.

    Would it be OK to connect Link to Lake Cty proper with a Rapid Ride+ along the current 75 or 41 route to Northgate?

  12. It should stay on SR522 through Lake City then connect to Link at Northgate via Northgate Way (and one of the two Link lines should terminate so there will be empty trains for all these BRT users to transfer to).

    1. That’s really slow due to Northgate traffic congestion, as well as the longer distance on 30mph roads (soon to be 25?) and going up a hill. The worst-case scenario is if Lake City riders have to take a bus to Northgate Station. If 130th Station doesn’t materialize, it would be best to reroute the 330 to 145th Station and make it frequent. (It currently stops ten blocks away at 155th, less than hourly.)

    2. Lake City to Northgate works as an elevated train route because it would escape the congestion and go straight along the existing corridor. As Mike Orr suggests, the congestion makes it a less than ideal BRT routing.

      Not only is Northgate itself severely congested much of the time (especially around the mall and Northgate Way), but the primary connection between Northgate Way and Lake City way narrows to three lanes, creating a permanent bottle neck.

      1. I doubt that elevated rail would ever work for the area. Most of Lake City is big and noisy, and people wouldn’t mind. But as you get into Lake City proper, you have a neighborhood that has fought hard to be friendly to pedestrians. Just as Rainier Valley didn’t want elevated rail, neither will Lake City. Elevated rail is fairly rare in our system, and pretty much limited to areas next to the freeway.

      2. I should have said most of Lake City Way is big and noisy, while the area close to 125th — or Lake City proper — is not.

  13. Can you build a BRT loop through 145th AND 130th/126th? Keep the proposed BRT on 522 north of 145th to Bothel, and then build a loop that goes 145th-Aurora-130th-125-Lake City Way?
    This would interface with 1 or both Link stations, depending on what gets built. Coming from 522, you’d catch buses that would alternative clockwise & counterclockwise through the loop, and then run a 2nd line on the same BRT infrastructure that serves just the loop, to make up for the less frequent headways. The “loop” would be great for the denser neighborhoods of Lake City, Pinehurst, Bitter Lake & south Shorline, and you would have great service for Kenmore & Bothell commuters, whether they are going downtown or to jobs on the north side.

    This BRT investment would be used by other lines like the E and 41.

    The operating cost of this bigger line might be too much to overcome, though?

    1. Can you build a BRT loop through 145th AND 130th/126th?

      That’s an interesting idea. Lots more capital and operating money so it would fall into the long term plan category but if it’s “the vision” it might affect whatever segment is built first. My other question which is sort of related is what happens with all the buses that “stop?” at 145th and SR-522/Lk City Way. Layover at Déjà Vu ;-)

    2. What Northshore wants to avoid is two busses to a train station. Realistically, one bus to train is the goal. (Don’t get me wrong, we’d love a rail line. We aren’t getting it for decades, but.) Once you get out of downtown Kenmore – particularly all the upzoned areas that’re _finally_ being built out now – you’re going to be looking at people who drive to a P&R, then catch a bus, then catch a train. That’s workable. It’s tight, but workable. But If they have to do _two_ busses and then a train… I don’t think anybody’s going to do that.

    3. Dara, so what about a bus from Kenmore that goes down to 125th and then over to 130th Station. Is that OK with Northshoreians? Because that would make Lake Cityans and Seattlites very happy.

      That could be combined with rerouting the 372’s northern end to LCW – 145th – Shoreline CC to serve 145th and the college.

      1. I’ve been pushing with going all the way down to Northgate, myself. But what I’ve been hearing is that Sound Transit thinks going through Lake City proper (and 125th) is a nonstarter because Reasons, most of which have to do with the downtown Lake City bottleneck (no transit lanes, no way to add transit lanes without destroying Lake City, which I obviously oppose) _and_ what still seems to me to be a nonsensical allergy to Skytrain-like solutions.

        Would _I_ be okay with a 130th Street connector, instead of a 145th? Yeah, if we can get transit lanes down that far. Northgate would be even better! But, of course, I’m just speaking for me.

  14. One of the reasons Kenmore’s plans have taken so long is that we finally got through The Interminable Seattle Process – and I’m from the U. District, I know Seattle Process when I see it, even if Kenmore isn’t in Seattle city limits – just in time for the market collapse in 2007-8. We had multiple competing bidders for TOD-friendly development on both sides of Bothell Way collapse with the stock market, and then everything sat idle until two years ago, when new developers finally started stepping forward, and parking lots have been being converted – finally – into higher-density development around Kenmore’s downtown.

  15. I notice that there are only seven “station areas” north of 145th. Will there continue to be “stops” as well as stations, a la RapidRide? They’d have to be “stop-dieted” to be sure, but just having one or two per town seems too few.

    I gather this will be an “overlay” express routing but the 522 or some successor local will continue, but not to Downtown Seattle.

    This needs to be considered when evaluating the financial viability of the operating costs of this plan; there will still need to be fifteen or twenty minute headways on the shadows, too.

  16. Does anybody at Sound Transit do studies about where people will live in the future? Pretty easy to look at a map and draw squiggles to design a system to meet today’s population needs compared with designing a system to meet the population needs 20 years from now. So I give you a little historical perspective.

    When I first moved to Seattle in 1952, there were 500,000 people living in Seattle and about 250,000 people living in King County outside Seattle. Today there are 650,000 people living in Seattle and 1,300,000 people living in King County outside Seattle. Most newcomers located out at the ends of the highway in the ever-expanding suburbia.

    We are expecting another 1,000,000 newcomers in the next 25 years. They will follow the last 1,000,000 newcomers out to the edges of the urban growth boundary – unless we do something NOW.

    We are currently spending $4.5B on a new SR520 bridge that will have exactly the same capacity as the last bridge built 50 years ago. And we are taking away the center bridge on I-90 giving us the same capacity that we had in 1948. Despite huge expenditures, I-405 through Renton has the same capacity as it did in 1970. And SR522 Bothell throu Lake City is still the same 4 lanes wide as it was before 1975.

    No one at the county level is doing anything to restrict outlying community growth. Yarrow Bay corporation is building an enormous new housing/business project in Black Diamond. Issaquah/Hobart is growing like hotcakes. Carnation/Fall City/Duvall are going to grow like Woodenville and the Sammamish Plateau did.

    The main arterials of Lake City, including 145th, are the same as they were in 1950.

    ST3 needs to be more than just a new choo-choo route to serve communities that have not changed in 50 years. It needs to be holistic and address existing 1950’s chronic bottlenecks AND plan for the future. Fuse the transit plan with land use planning. Use the future transit infrastructure to guide high density urban zoning. And for God’s sake, stop allowing new huge developments in the hinterlands.

    I suggest using our existing transportation infrastructure to guide new development. We own a railroad right-of-way called the Burke-Gillman. Rezone all the land around Sand Point to high-rise high density housing. Extend the rail line on the existing rail bed all the way to Bothell/Woodenville. Allow major high density housing development along the trail in Lake Forrest Park/Kenmore/Bothell.

    Use the existing BNSF Eastside Rail Corridor for the same thing. Realistically, you could put either BRT or Link Light Rail on this existing rail bed in a matter of 24 months. Ask BNSF how they put down new track – at a rate of 1.5mph rather than Sound Transit’s current 20 feet per year.

    Let me end with one more observation and a challenge. Get that lunkhead Dow Constantine to sit in a wheel chair and try and go down the sidewalk along NE 145th. Bet he can’t get two blocks without being squished by a car. That sidewalk has not been improved since the late 1940’s. There are TELEPHONE POLES in the center of the sidewalk from Lake City to Aurora.

    1. Do you mean to build transit Beyond the City… , with subways Below the Streets … , the same way New York City grew?
      (if anyone knows their history, or at least can read)

      The Puget Sound’s model is to grow like Los Angeles.
      Let density occur “organically”, then connect the dots, but not spend money on rail, since it will always be more expensive than whatever incarnation of BRT the Better-Bus crowd can proffer.

      Better yet, if you can get Sound TRANSIT to pay for a roadway expansion (i.e. what this topic is all about), why…

      We can be Wet LA !! (A pedestrian mecca!)

    2. “a new SR520 bridge that will have exactly the same capacity as the last bridge built 50 years ago.”

      It will have two additional HOV lanes and sidewalks. So we can put any BRT on it you want.

      “And we are taking away the center bridge on I-90 giving us the same capacity that we had in 1948.”

      And adding a high-capacity light rail line, plus bidirectional HOV lanes. (The current express lanes, and the reversible lanes in the 1970s, are unidirectional, which is failing badly as the reverse commute is now as large as the traditional commute.)

      We’re trying to get as much as possible built in Seattle, but single-family interests have so far succeeded in blocking development on 60% of the city’s available land.

      ” Carnation/Fall City/Duvall are going to grow like Woodenville and the Sammamish Plateau did.”

      The urban growth boundary ends at Woodinville – Redmond – Issaquah – Renton – Kent – Auburn.

      ” Yarrow Bay corporation is building an enormous new housing/business project in Black Diamond.”

      I wouldn’t know since so few buses go to Black Diamond. Is it more enormous than Snoqualmie Ridge?

  17. Is there a breakdown of the costs for the 522 section? 311M is a lot of money. If the Kenmore section was cheaper, then I could see doing just that. That would benefit everyone in Kenmore and Bothell the day it is done (which might be before Lynnwood Link is built). It might also increase frequency for Lake City buses coming from there. I think that is a moderate proposal that would get at least grudging support by everyone (assuming it isn’t too expensive). Put off the question of 145th versus 130th for another day.

    Meanwhile, Seattle can make sure that Lake City Way between 145th and 125th runs fast.(and to a lesser extent 125th). That would help gain political support. I’m sure one reason that people on the north side of the lake prefer 145th is that they assume that Lake City Way will always be slow.

    1. It’s not clear whether they prefer 145th or they just haven’t considered 130th because it wasn’t a definite station. Dara says above that they mostly just want a one-seat ride to Link.

      1. Right, and as Martin said, they were asked to study this route, so they studied it. I’m fine with all of that. Process and all.

        But that doesn’t get to the heart of my question (or proposal). How much does the Kenmore section of 522 improvements cost? If the answer is “not that much”, then how about we just do that? It’s not perfect, but it would be essential for most of the riders, regardless of which way the bus goes once it hits 145th.

        $311M is a huge amount of money. That is about double the cost of all the recent corridors that Seattle will look at. I’m all for bus based improvements, but that seems a bit out of proportion for the number of people this would likely serve. I see no reason why we shouldn’t start small and then move up from there (assuming the Kenmore improvements are small).

      2. It wasn’t just reactionary. As I just wrote above, ST has been anticipating this alignment for at least a year because it added 145th to the long range plan last December.

    2. 10 blocks of Lake City Way from 120th to 130th (at least) should, and will always be, slow. There are a ton of pedestrians, retail, turns, and all that goes along with a dense neighborhood.

      That should be celebrated. It’s a destination in it’s own right, and a dense community doing it’s part to curb sprawl.

      And what do they get for their efforts, when it comes to transit services – bypassed and ignored and degraded. In a neighborhood loaded with urban poor and elderly that actually need and rely on transit.

      What lesson will other urban villages that aspire to increase density take from that?

      We should be showering Lake City with transit goodies. Unfortunately there is little in the way of political connections and “Seattle Way” savvy, and what little there is general is ambivalent or hostile to transit.

      1. I agree it should be slow, but if it can avoid congestion, then it would be great. Just keep moving, even when moving ten miles an hour. That really is the key in the city. For example, the Madison BRT will not go very fast through downtown. If it did, it would get air :) Seriously, though, it can’t go very fast because it stops every block or two, and the streets are very steep. But the difference between 10 miles and hour and 2 is huge.

      2. Agreed.

        You can’t really take a GP lane through the center to give transit priority.

        There is a half-hearted attempt at queue jump in front of the Breakfast Club, but it doesn’t really help. I think it was poorly designed. Much of the backup is caused by buses themselves, as boardings and deboardings take a long time. There are a lot of elderly and disabled vets with walkers and wheelchairs. Something a fancy bus, off-board payment and a platform could fix, if Metro or ST would invest in… oh never mind.

      3. Maybe get the buses out of the GP lanes for boarding (I know, not best practices) in front of the Value Village, then give them a queue jump at the light so that aren’t stuck sitting there with their blinker on. It would probably work, but cost 2 parking spots, so – uproar!

      4. Too bad we weren’t doing this 30 years ago, when the governor, mayor and county exec were all from the 46th LD. :)

    3. IIRC, 522 has bus-only (or BAT; but there are very few intersections) lanes most of the way from Kenmore to NE 145th already. The bulk of the widening on 522 would have to be done in Seattle, which should be on the near-term agenda regardless, and should at least extend as far south as Ravenna.

      $311M seems rather high for a segment that already has most of the lane width existing and used for buses, and if most of that is for the 145th segment, perhaps that’s a good sign of that route not being cost-effective.

      1. The bulk of the widening on 522 would have to be done in Seattle …

        That is not what the article says. To quote:

        … For $311M, ST would acquire property and conduct the capital projects necessary to keep buses on SR 522 running smoothly from the Seattle city line to Bothell, with a possible extension to I-405 BRT.

        So none of the 311 million dollars would be spent on an inch of Seattle property.

        Did you guys read what I wrote? Seriously — I don’t mean to be rude, but it was pretty straight forward. I am asking about improving the segment in Kenmore as shown on the map. How much does that cost? Anyone have any idea? What do think of that idea (simply fixing that part)?

    4. The Kenmore section is dirt cheap. At least, in Kenmore. _We’ve already done most of it_. The last section is underway now – we have upgraded transit-only lanes all the way across city limits, or will, as soon as the last segment of construction is finished.

      Lake Forest Park is where that part of the bottleneck lies. Right now, it’s on-and-off bus-lane, which is _the_ worst option. We _really_ need that filled out, and LFP is finally moving from opposing to supporting that kind of action – the huge, dramatically-worse-than-predicted traffic spillover from 520 tolling forced that reconsideration, I think.

      Bothell also needs some work, but they’ve improved things a lot in this latest round. We’re the only town on the route with edge-to-edge transit lane at the moment, tho’.

  18. It gets tricky right around 125th, as it has been narrowed (on purpose) to help quiet the street.

    There is no parking along the 125th/130th corridor, so you have to take a lane or expand the street. 125th from Lake City Way to 15th had a road diet,

    I’d completely forgotten about the road diet. The idea of tearing that out and making this the default north lake commuter path would be a kick in the teeth to all the LC residents that fought to limit the cut through traffic by slowing it enough to make people find another route. Add to this that there is no funding for a 130th station, the operational costs will be less using 145th and I have to believe just on pure miles required cheaper to construct and it looks like it’s either 145th or nothing.

    As others have suggested LC can do better by having “right sized” bus service. Of course Metro has yet to impress anyone but a handful of special interest groups when it comes to reroutes but we can hope that by the time LINK gets to 145th they will have improved the process. I just don’t know the area well anymore but it would seem to me a route that went from SCC to UW via 130th and Sandpoint Way would be a valuable service although using 145th gets you the LINK transfer. That’s probably more important to people coming from Shoreline but it also gives LC residents a decent option for travel to Bothell. I’m guessing for people in LC that want to get DT it would be faster to transfer at Sun Dodger Station. Forget about LC to DT Seattle. Buses have to feed LINK stations. The bus tunnel got stolen by the trains and there just isn’t room on the surface streets. Ah, that’s why they built the bus tunnel in the first place and it’s gotten far more congested since then. LC to Ballard via Northgate would seem to make sense even though you have the mall traffic slog. But hey, after LINK is built all those shoppers will ride the train instead of drive, right?

    1. “there is no funding for a 130th station”

      There’s as much funding for it as there is for the BRT. It’s all coming from the ST3 pool which has yet to be defined or assigned.

      1. There’s as much funding for it as there is for the BRT. It’s all coming from the ST3 pool which has yet to be defined or assigned.

        The take home point being that 145th is a done deal. 130th LINK station isn’t funded and isn’t getting much luv. The SR-522 connection to feed LINK (that all defining spine that all $$$ revolve around) is a done deal. It seemed when first looking at this that 130th should have been considered as an option. But everything I’ve read in this post’s comments and the fact that NOBODY asked for a 130th option tell me 145th is it if there is any hope of being included in this next ask of dollars.

        I have to add, this “next ask of dollars.” is a stretch. ST got the authority to ask for more money and sent out the memo “who wants a new pony”:. If you want to pass a tax increase it seems to me you’d have your ducks in a row and ask for that authority based on a vote for options you’d already vetted and determined as what’s best and what will pass at the ballot box.

      2. They’re both on the same project list. Where are you getting that one is a done deal and is funded but the other isn’t and isn’t?

      3. The take home point being that 145th is a done deal.

        Trains will run along the I-5 corridor from Northgate to the Lynnwood Transit Center with stations at Northeast 145th Street, Northeast 185th Street and the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center at 236th Street Southwest. A trip from Lynnwood to downtown Seattle will take 28 minutes.

        130th at this point doesn’t have any support other than being identified as “a potential future station”. Under risks for the project is ” ridership gained with the addition of this station could be offset by ridership reductions at closest stations”. It’s obvious why the supporters of SR-522 bus improvements wouldn’t pin their hopes and timeline to a hypothetical when the faster and cheaper route is already on the books.

      4. The BRT line is in the same list as 130th Station. ST can decide to do both and integrate them. If ST goes low budget it won’t do either one.

  19. I like the circulator from 125th and LCW up to 145th over to Aurora and down to 130th and back to LCW. It can run both ways and helps with residential pickups if it uses 30th and Ashworth instead of the highways.

    Metro 372 would be a good candidate to start on the North Shore or 145th/130th come through Lake City and turn on Sandpoint Way. Heading down to the Udistrict and Stadium station including Children’s and what ever happens at the old Navy base.

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