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This is an open thread. 

35 Replies to “News Roundup: Non-MVET Edition”

  1. And this is why you should build your schools in neighborhoods, rather than off a highway like SR 522 where every school bus needs to sit in long-distance traffic.

    1. In what neighborhood would you put a middle school in that district? You really think a school bus on Hywy 9 or Hywy 527 is going to have that much of a different traffic experience?

    2. As someone who grew up in that neighborhood, I can tell you that the options were where the middle school is, at Paradise Lake road and 522, At Echo Lake/Fales Rd. and 522 or downtown Monroe. In all of those cases, traffic on 522 will cause issues.issues for students arriving on time. For the record, 522 has been causing students to be tardy for at least the last 40 years, and probably longer.

      1. As far as the school location, it serves residents of the surrounding rural areas, and doesn’t really include any urban areas of any kind, unless you count Maltby as urban. Also, the area around 522 itself is pretty much empty, with the destinations at either end (Monroe and Woodinville) feeding all the traffic. It also serves some long haul traffic, such as Seattle-Wenatchee.

        As far as 522 casing delays, it hasn’t even been close to 40 years. I also grew up in the area. In the 80s, 522 was pretty much deserted, with a mere 2,000 in Monroe. It was around the mid-90s that the highway started causing problems, initially with safety problems, including school-bus involved wrecks. Backups started becoming a problem around 2000

        The mid 90s was also the start of Monroe’s building boom. Hmmmmm…

  2. If they have $500 million for a stadium, maybe we could get them to chip in private funds for more exclusive ROW transit to the stadium?

    1. Part of their solution to the traffic issue is to have everyone use way finding aps. Got to love that. And they suggested using the monorail. Ya, like that really worked 9 years ago when we actually, you know, had the Sonics at the Key.

      And don’t look now, but they just floated the idea of $250M in public bonds as some sort of short term aid to financing the whole thing.

      1. Actually getting the monorail to accept ORCA will make a big difference. Also, as Link builds out, the Monorail’s connection to Westlake becomes more and more useful, especially once East Link opens as most non-downtown traffic will come from East King. So yes, I think it will work very differently than it did in the past.

      2. If they won’t do it without public bonds, it shouldn’t be done. I support a privately-financed stadium, but not a single public dollar should be spent on it.

      3. On the Seattle Growth Podcast, the rep said they were floating the idea of public bonding, but said if that was rejected they would go all private funding. Frankly, it seemed like a political miscalculation to even attempt to suggest it, the city politics very clearly oppose it.

      4. Accepting Orca cards will help with Monorail use, but also the Monorail getting it together to run every 5-10 minutes or so instead of sitting in Westlake or LQA for 25-30 minutes. But even with the improvements, I’m not sure if the decrepit Monorail is capable of handling thousands of passengers within the space of a few hours on game nights.

        That being said, I believe that the Key Arena is an inferior site to Chris Hansen’s privately financed SODO site for the NHL/NBA due to its lack of transit infrastructure and the increase in LQA density which has subtracted many of the parking lots in the area. Further up-zoning in addition to the present densification of LQA will make it a bigger headache for those who may find it convenient to drive into LQA to see sporting events, e.g., Snohomish County residents. SODO Arena–multiple transportation outlets within close reach–link, I-90, WA99, I5, and Sounder.

    2. Yeah I think having them pay for some BAT lanes for the D line on QA Ave and 1st Ave would be reasonable.

      Not sure if they can do anything to improve Denny for the 8, though maybe this effort can help facilitate moving the 8 off of Denny (along with street grid rebuild once the old Viaduct closes)?

      1. Moving the 8 off of Denny once the SR 99 project is complete (and you can cross Aurora between Mercer and Denny) is pretty much a given. My guess is they add bus lanes in there, as unlike a lot of bus lanes, you aren’t really “taking” a general purpose lane (since you can’t cross there now anyway).

  3. Amazing, traffic is an issue when it affects a wealthy neighborhood. I’m sure someone will bring out the lawyers and make Google make an exception in their algorithm. What’s the point of being rich if you have peasants clogging up your streets?!?!

    1. I’m taken that shortcut many ties – if you time it right you can save a solid 15 minutes, even with low speed limit, stop signs, and speed bumps. It’s a very pleasant drive! I’m not sure how they can fix it without making their neighborhood streets even slower.

      1. Clyde Hill’s current proposal is to not just limit speeds (irrelevant when traffic is all backed up) but to prevent certain turns during rush hour – see This plan would aim to force traffic from Bellevue to stick to 8th/12th and not use 20th/24th when heading west to 84th. Of course, this would also mean many Clyde Hill residents would have to take the long way to 520, so this proposal may not pass.

    2. The 84th Avenue entrance has been a “nuisance shortcut” ever since it opened. There’s a tradeoff between getting on 520 earlier (further east) vs avoiding 520 traffic. Naturally that calculation reverses depending on the time of day. The 271 and previously other buses go that way, getting on 520 at the last possible entrance. For cars the two ways to get there were the same as the bus (8th and 84th) or via Northup Way/Points Drive. But Yarrow Point put a stop to taking Points Drive by erecting a stern billboard and later a concrete barrier. That leaves the Medina way. I only take the 271 occasionally now, but when I do I do see traffic back-ups on 84th at rush hour. (Now that UW Station is opened, I take either the 550 or the 271 from Bellevue to Capitol Hill, whichever one comes first.)

    3. This really isn’t a new issue. I’m guessing it’s finally got to the point where people won’t put up with it though. This also isn’t a unique issue for Clyde Hill. How do you think people feel when they want to get from Belltown or QA to Capital Hill by car but have to get around Mercer St or Denny St grid lock? What about how people in Kirkland feel if they want to get to Redmond and go under 405?

      I feel bad for the locals but I currently live in the north end of the eastside and I have a hard time getting to the local grocery stores because there’s people who get off of 405 and use the north/south arterials as a way to skip the freeway. I know this because I’ve meant people who are like, oh ya I use 100th Ave to get from DT Bellevue to Shoreline. The difference is I don’t have live in a rich neighborhood with people who can just dial in the city council of Kirkland or Bothell to have them kick out the non local cars. I don’t even know how Clyde Hill can do that anyways without affecting locals via side effects that will still not fix the problem.

      Another example, 99/Aurora before you hit downtown. Any time they close the Battery Street tunnel or just a bad day in traffic, Queen Anne becomes isolated as people can’t escape the grid lock that is created as people turn right and try to get off of 99 going south.

      1. Can’t believe Sound Transit Blog missed obvious Clyde Hill solution. Also whole Evergreen Point neighborhood.

        Just turn all your streets into linear parks and your yards into woodlands, and make SR520 express transit stations only way anybody can get into your neighborhood.

        Also great for schools. Ease of escaping to Seattle (important for Seattle-haters to see how many kids run away to Issaquah) when skipping school great means of creating transit loyalty at an impressionable age. However, important that no part of the vehicle can be same shade of repulsive traditional yellow .

        Mark Dublin

    4. The only way to prevent cut-through traffic is to physically prevent it with something this. Half-ass mechanisms like speed bumps don’t work. Clyde Hill is a wealthy neighborhood and can easily afford it, so they have no excuses. (Just make sure that the vehicle barriers don’t impede bike/pedestrian traffic).

      I can think of several places in Seattle that are in need of some very similar treatment.

      1. For Seattle’s own sake. might be good to couple barrier plan step by step with transit improvements so people will be able to visit and do business here without having to bring their cars with them.

        With each exchange offering one more proof of how much easier and cheaper it is to leave the car home. And to the city that both customers and businesses profit when street space is used for transit-reserved lanes instead of parking.

        The math should be with us.


      2. When I was a kid I remember diversions like this were installed on capitol hill between 19th and volunteer park. I think they’ve all been removed by now.

      3. The diverters in Capitol Hill are still there. But there are many other Seattle neighborhoods, such as Green Lake and Greenwood that need them, but don’t have them.

        Back in the olden days, you could rely on secrecy to keep the thru-traffic out because only the locals knew the way the streets worked. With 21st century mapping technology, that’s no longer the case.

        I do with the routing algorithms, in general, played better citizens avoided recommending people to cut through neighorhoods to save extremely trivial amounts amounts of time (and sometimes, nothing at all). I’ve seen this firsthand. A few months back, when I was in a Lyft over in greenwood, and the driver started cutting through the neighborhood to avoid the intersection at Greenwood Ave. and 85th St. He did this for no other reason than because his phone told him to do it. And this was in spite of the fact that the congestion at the 85th/Greenwood light the software was having us avoid was entirely imaginary – I could see with my own eyes that there was no backup there.

        It should also be noted that, in the specific case of Clyde Hill, cut-through traffic is not just about rich locals, but it also affects transit, as the 271 takes the same path between DT Bellevue and the 520 bridge as all the cut-through drivers trying to avoid the traffic. The result is a route 271 bus that spends 15-20 minutes sitting on 84th in a long line of cars. At least the 555/556 take a pathway to the freeway with better transit priority to avoid that mess, but they don’t run nearly as frequently as the 271 does.

  4. “One of the speakers said he would use the Strait Shot to commute from Clallam County to the Bellevue area”

    Ayayay! I’ve hard of people commuting from Victoria and Cle Elum to Harborview, but not from the penninsula to Bellevue. (The nurses don’t commute every day. They work a compressed 3-4 day week and stay with somebody in town, then go home for a long weekend.)

  5. The thing about 522, is that it’s not local traffic along the highway itself creating the mess. It’s Monroe-Woodinville traffic.

    As a kid in the 80s, I remember that highway being empty pretty much always. But, of course, back then the population of Monroe was about 2,000, not the nearly 20,000 it has today.

    If Monroe still has 2,000 residents, 522 wouldn’t be a problem. Everett and Lynnwood certainly always had the space to accommodate those extra 18,000 people that Snohomish County planning sent to Monroe instead.

  6. Don’t speak too early… Mukilteo just took the title back this morning after another landslide… :-0

    1. “Eugene is seeking $30 in lottery-backed bonds to build a new EmX Bus Rapid Transit Line.”

      As I suspected, ST3 is way over budget / funded. Now we can prove it, Eugene can build a new bus line for $30! We need to get Eugene to lead our Sound Transit.

  7. SUV discussion always misses owners’ real motivation to buy them. So here’s your syllabus:

    1. What your Metro Driver is really thinking:

    2. Modern SUV owners’ grandfather’s SUV:

    3. Minimum Washington State Requirement for SUV license:

    4. Secret plans for first Ballard/UW line:


    1. In original Dave Dudley song, “Little White Lines” read “Little White Pills”- in days before methamphetamine became a lot of former farming states’ present major product.

    2. A “Georgia Overdrive” meant cresting a five-mile long downgrade and shifting into Neutral. Thereby making sure the truck engine found in same wreckage as you would show no signs of excessive wear.

    3. First young woman Swedish truck driver in video with her fists on her hips is ideal instructor for SUV drivers undergoing above correct training. Also transit supervisor. And police officer. And any other field where need to be told twice means termination.

    Which is one too many reminders about tailgating with an SUV. Which are second only to everything rear-bumper attachment anywhere south of Federal Way.


    1. It is completely stupid to use short-term fluctuations in gas prices to decide what kind of car to buy that you’re going to be stuck with for the next 10/15/20 years. But, stupid aside, people definitely do it.

  8. Legislature got you down? Cheer up, you can still stop a douchebag. (Nice edition. 0:44 understanding driver. 2:27 short thanks from pedestrian. 4:30 long thanks from pedestrian. 6:20 bus in background. 7:20 very sympathetic driver. 7:44 types on trikes. 8:34 thanks from peds. 9:29 belligerent driver.)

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