At the meeting of the Sound Transit System Expansion Committee on Thursday, an order was approved to begin project development and environmental review on an inline station for I-405 BRT at Brickyard. Along with expanded HOT lanes approved earlier this year, this will allow BRT to operate in managed center lanes along almost the entire length of I-405.

WSDOT and potential Sound Transit investments in I-405 (image: Sound Transit)

The ST3 plan envisioned BRT operating in mixed traffic all of the way from Lynnwood to Brickyard, with buses only moving to the center lanes near NE 128th in Kirkland. This was a necessary outcome of the lack of direct access ramps along the northern stretches of I-405. Earlier this year, Sound Transit identified several new locations where buses could operate on the shoulder, mitigating the impact of general traffic lane congestion.

In the 2019 session, the Legislature approved funding to add a second express toll lane as far north as SR 527. This included direct access ramps at Canyon Park and SR 522, though not at Brickyard. Alone, using these stops would mean skipping Brickyard: buses would need to move from the inside to outside lanes and back to inside again within an infeasibly short distance. Adding a direct access ramp at Brickyard will allow buses to serve all stops while operating continuously in the ETL.

The order approved Thursday allocates up to $7.5 million for project development and environmental review. The eventual cost of the inline station is currently estimated at $75 million. Perhaps $30 million of that will be offset by cancelling previously planned project elements such as I-405 ramp stations and a bus-on-shoulder program north of Canyon Park. Some more savings will come at NE 44th in Renton where that station will be significantly below the representative project budget.

The station closest to downtown Bothell will now be at SR 522, which can be served relatively inexpensively by placing BRT stops on the ramps to the ETL. The off-ramp stops at NE 195th can no longer be served once the BRT moves to the ETL. The long-term vision is an inline stop at NE 195th, but that is not funded at this time. Moving the Bothell stop to SR 522 will have implications, however, for connectivity to UWB, and for the Woodinville leg of SR 522 BRT which might have connected at NE 195th.

The impact on travel times is remarkable, with a one-third reduction in Lynnwood-Bellevue travel times vs the representative project. Travel will also be more reliable. Staff estimate ridership 20% higher than the already improved estimates from phase I design shared in March.

BRT station served by direct access ramps at SR 527 (image: WSDOT)

I-405 BRT is the rare transit project that has become considerably more robust as it proceeds through design. Each successive phase in development has improved travel times and reliability while raising ridership expectations. The buses will now operate outside of managed lanes on I-405 only to access South Renton station and for a brief stretch near the I-5 interchange.

A board decision on I-405 BRT final design, including the Brickyard station, is likely in late 2020. In the meantime, work is proceeding on conceptual engineering, environmental review and cost estimating.

139 Replies to “Sound Transit may build inline stop at Brickyard, shifting I-405 BRT to center lanes”

  1. I’m still not clear how a bus stop in the middle of the 405/522 interchange is going to work? Will this stop connect to the Burke-Gilman trail (the only pedestrian connection in the vicinity)? And, would any private car/Uber/Lyft pick-up and drop-off be possible?

    The prospect of somebody missing a late-night connection and being forced to sleep under the freeway like a homeless person, not even being able to walk to a street or call for a taxi, is very concerning.

    1. Given that buses have to stop somewhere, I’m sure someone will be able to pick you up there in this sort of situation. And it’s pretty easy even now to walk down to the trail – all that area is used for WSDOT storage (and there’s even a gate in the fence). But see below for my comments on a trail connection – it would be ridiculous if they didn’t build it – it’s only 600 feet.

    2. It seems taken for granted that the stop will be there and that it will be good, and the 522 stop will be as well. But it doesn’t seem clear to me where exactly it would go. The trail seems like an obvious place, since you can walk to the stop. It would just be… a very weird thing for a trail like that. But that’s an appreciable distance from SR 522. That won’t be a great transfer experience.

      Also, it would require some new bus-only exits and stops in the space between the two directions of 405 (remember bus doors are still on the right). That seems tricky. On Google Maps, looks like there’s more space above 522 than the trail, which works out well, since an elevated station over 522 could provide good coverage to stations on both sides of 522 for buses to Woodinville and Bothell. There would probably be a walkway to the trail, which would be out of the way. But that’s not much of a problem since trails are meant to be used for walking anyway.

      Finally, the service hour savings from speeding up Stride 405 is quite large at this point. They could probably afford to extend every trip of Stride 522 to Woodinville and still have savings leftover.

      1. Agreed. With the increased distance from UW Bothell, walking is less viable, so the transfer becomes more important, and a connection that only runs every 30 minutes is not going to cut it. Once you have every 522 bus going at least far enough to connect to the 405 bus, you may as well just run them to Woodinville because it’s not that much further, and there’s nowhere to turn around the bus any sooner. It would also make for a more legible schedule if every 522 bus does the same thing.

      2. Could it work with Stride 522 (at UWB) going down Campus Way NE straight to 522, instead of going up Beardslee Blvd to 405? That should be faster, since you don’t need to deal with a crowded 405-522 ramp, and would bring Stride 522 exactly to where the theoretical Stride 405 stop is.

      3. @Alex, remember that there is a new bridge being built to carry I-405 NB over the interchange. Part of that is adding ETL ramps from 405 to 522. From the earlier renderings, it looked like the 405-522 bus stop would be at the 522 street level.

        @asdf, I don’t think UWB is further from a 405-522 stop than from the 195th stop. They’re both 0.6 miles away or so. The 522 has a stop that’s a bit closer, but that was never going to be served by the 405 BRT anyway.

      4. I agree with Alex, eastbound to right on 185th, continue onto Campus Way all the way around to the 522 interchange. it’s quicker and it allows multiple campus stops like at UW main campus.

        Westbound the opposite, though unfortunately it requires a left turn onto Beardslee. Maybe 108th NE can be made bus only for that tiny block and a bus-only light that flashes yellow for Beardslee and red for 108th except when a bus comes.

      5. Could it work with Stride 522 (at UWB) going down Campus Way NE straight to 522, instead of going up Beardslee Blvd to 405?

        You mean something like this: https://goo.gl/maps/DSzrueXhVyf5ug1j6? That works for me. The problem is that last mile (on SR 522). Almost the entire length of SR 522 will be BAT lanes. The only piece that won’t have it is the new piece that is being added (close to the 405 interchange). Given all of the new traffic lights, it seems like it would be a congested area, yet there are no plans (that I know of) to give any priority to buses on 522 there.

        It seems like there is a lot of hand waving with this plan. It looks OK from a 405 perspective, but there is no clear solution with the 522 project. This will require a fair amount of cooperation with ST and WSDOT, unless ST is willing to have a very messy tail to the 522 BRT project.

      6. You mean something like this:[522->UWB]

        Looking at this makes me even more convinced that the 405/522 interchange is a lost cause. Go to UWB using this route and then continue to Beardsley to accomplish the same thing. I’d say buses could continue across 405 and serve the large business park area on the east side of the freeway using North Creek Pkwy as the turn around loop and layover area.

      7. Bernie,

        There won’t be a 405 STRide stop for some time, until it’s funded by ST or DOT so if the 522 STRide goes to North Creek Parkway as you suggest. The 405 buses won’t be able to pull off the off-ramp, stop and re-enter using the on-ramp. One-ninety-fifth is WAY too close to SR522 to allow the buses to transition to the ETL.

        I agree that makes sense in the long term, but for now, it’s the 522/405 interchange or no connection.

        In answer to your question about turnback, Ross, why not just have 522 STRide go to Bellevue. It would add capacity and frequency to the most heavily used portion of the route and would give at least one “leg” of the multi-route proposal that several people made.

        Folks as far away as northern Lake City would have a single-seat ride in bus lanes all the way to Bellevue. It would definitely beat backtracking to I-5 and riding Link all the way around with its many stops in and around downtown Seattle.

      8. One-ninety-fifth is WAY too close to SR522 to allow the buses to transition to the ETL.

        No transition required. The bus never leaves the center ETL in what I’m advocating. Given, the new NB GP and ETL lanes the question is should the direct access be from SR522 or should it be at Beardsley. Normally you’d say the freeway would have priority. Except in this case they’re putting stoplights (three of them) on the “freeway” and destroying at least two perfectly good limited access ramps.

        Two other strikes against this 522 plan is it’s too close to Brickyard and the SB connection is straight up hill. This is going to be a big deal for heavy vehicles. In fact for freight mobility this plan totally sucks rocks. As for it being a done deal I wouldn’t be so sure. Wait until KVI gets wind of SR522 being put on a road diet so that the commies at WSDOT can force people to pay the HOT button tolls.

        It just seems so much smarter for every mode of travel to put money into quality Beardsley and Brickyard interchanges and leave 522/405 alone; other than what’s required for lane shifts related to the new bridge and ETL capacity. Look at it this way. There is zero, nada, zilch transit oriented development potential with the 405/522 interchange, And there’s nothing on 522 to transfer too unless a rather crappy route tail is gerrymandered. Beardsley has a rapidly growing academic presence and a large business park that is already a jobs center with easy potential to upzone. Plus everything between there and Bothell Landing is a potential gold mine of ridership. Brickyard, OK that’s a harder sell. But an entire existing single family neighborhood NE of the overpass was transformed overnight into apartments/condos (I think it’s all condos) virtually overnight. I don’t know how that happened but I remember walking through there when I lived in Woodinville and one day is was a ghost town of 70’s vintage deserted split level homes and the next it was all redeveloped.

      9. In answer to your question about turnback, Ross, why not just have 522 STRide go to Bellevue.

        @Tom — That would work as well. I propose something a lot cheaper, and almost as good: sending the bus to Canyon Park. (See the bottom of this page for more).

      10. Bernie, the article states clearly that there. Will be no 195th ETL station for some undefined period of time. That means that 522 STRide passengers will not be able to transfer to and from 405 STRide buses if 522 STRide goes across 195th.

        Show us the money and we’ll listen, but it sure sounds like WSDOT has ruled it out, at least for a decade or more. We need a solution in three years.

      11. I’d read that “undefined period of time” as meaning never. Fight now or give up.

        Show me a proposal for bid. I’m guessing this will be a design build contract. A WSDOT rendering means nothing other than this is what we are looking for, today, for now, maybe.

      12. @Bernie: The 522-405 interchange and Canyon Park have money committed by the legislature. I believe they’re doing an environmental review right now, but you’re not going to change the location of the interchanges without an act of the legislature.

        I’m sure the idea of a 195th ETL stop and dropping Brickyard service was floated. Between Bothell, UWB, ST, and other partners, they decided Brickyard was the better of the two to fund. That’s probably due to a combination of ridership, construction cost, and political priorities. At this point, I highly doubt you could change which one is funded. The best thing to do would be to try to make the best of an imperfect situation, because there is no perfect solution here.

        My understanding is that ETL ramps at 195th (and every other 405 exit) remain in the 405 master plan. So eventually, 195th probably will get an ETL ramp.

      13. This is what is says on the WSDOT project web page:

        The images below show the proposed design concepts for the I-405/SR 522 interchange

        2019: Legislature authorized up to $600 million to design and construct the capacity improvements between SR 522 and SR 527.
        2021: Start of construction

        The clock starts now on the actual design. Building direct access to the ETL lanes a Beardsley meets the project goal of providing direct access from 522 to 405. You take the existing exit from 522 to NB 405 and voilà; there you have access to both NB and SB ETL lanes on 405. Works beautifully for WB 522 traffic which is the only real capacity issue in the AM. PM the crunch is the opposite direction. Drivers take the ETL exit at Brickyard which is already in the plan. That puts them one traffic signal away from using the existing ramp to 522 EB. This is a significant improvement over what they would go through with the proposed signal controlled intersection on 522; they enter farther west and have a speed limit merge instead of stopping at a light and having to accelerate again from zero.

        Working through the other directions the time differential is about the same or better leaving the existing 522 interchange intact. For example, the 2nd biggest snafu is 522 EB to 405 SB in the AM. Drivers will undoubtedly use the existing GP access to SB 405 and enter the ETL lanes at Brickyard vs waiting through three lights and doing the up hill drag race required by the 522 proposed design.

        You drop the work of building the 522 redo and that funds most if not all of the funding required to build the direct access at Beardsley; a project both WSDOT and ST want to do anyway. The design build contract is going out to bid soon so now is the time to make noise and write this into the specifications.

      14. Ross,

        Going to Canyon Park is definitely cheaper, because it’s so close. But is there really much ridership between there and the northshore cities? I expect most people drive since they’re already so close. Bellevue — or even Totem Lake — would connect to a lot more bus service.

        Also, how do you do the transfer at 522/405? (This problem pertains to going south, too) If the transfer is to a “same direction” bus (e.g. eastbound 522 to northbound 405 or southbound 405 to westbound 522), everything is hunky-dory. Alight at the stop north of 522 and change to the first following bus going where you are headed.

        But the “change direction” transfers (eastbound 522 to southbound 405 or northbound 405 to westbound 522) would require crossing the northside ETL ramp. Won’t that roadway have traffic all the time? Surely WSDOT will put a right turn-pocket for westbound 522 traffic headed north on the 405 ET lanes. People are going to get run over there.

        As I said, the same problem pertains to my suggestion, only on the south side ETL ramp.

      15. Ross, apologies. You already addressed my questions here in a reply toward the end of the comments.

      16. @Tom — Yeah, one key point is that the transfer from the 522 BRT to the 405 BRT (either direction) would be better than if the 522 BRT went to Woodinville. This isn’t obvious, but pretty clear when you consider the traffic flow.

        As far as ridership goes, I think if the bus went to Bellevue, Totem Lake or Lynnwood you would have more riders. But that would cost a lot more money. The key is the connection between the two very frequent buses, and the cheapest way to do that is by going to Canyon Park. Any ridership from the Swift Green is a bonus.

    3. Agreed, this is going to be a complex piece of engineering. NB & SB 405 lanes are not spaced very far apart. I expect WSDOT will have to build a new bridge for GP lanes and then do something fancy with the center. 522 will probably be on the surface and require a set of elevators and stairs to connect to 405. I wonder if the idea of a transit center at UWB with dedicated lanes from both freeways has been considered (think NE 6th exit to Bellevue TC). It would add several minutes to each bus trip but offers much more robust transfer options. My experience with peak commute buses on 405 is they are standing room only (and sometimes very little of that) between Brickyard and DT Seattle. So if SR522 becomes a major transfer point your going to have to add more buses. At that point you might as well run express through routed buses during rush hour.

      1. Thanks, that rendering helps a lot. If I’m interpreting it correctly what they are planning is to end the limited access portion of 522 at 405 and create a traffic signal controlled intersection. I guess that’s not a huge deal since the speed limit drops to 35mph just west of there now. It’s going to be a steep ramp going SB from 522. Looks like buses will have to stop before and after crossing 522 if people want to transfer to both EB and WB 522 buses. They are also eliminating the existing flyover bridge from NB 405 to WB 522. I’ve wondered about the weird grades to the roadway that was fairly recently constructed. Maybe this plan was in the works back then.

    4. I’m still not clear how a bus stop in the middle of the 405/522 interchange is going to work?

      What isn’t clear to me is whether it will work. Here is WSDOT’s plan for the area: https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/i405/sr-522-sr-527/home. You can select the first image to make it a bit bigger, or go with this bigger one, rendered by STB: https://s3.amazonaws.com/stb-wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/11184202/I405_SR522.png.

      Based on the diagram, it looks like a bus on I-405 will essentially exit the freeway to service the stop, and then reach an intersection. This would make it more like Totem Lake, as opposed to bus stops like Evergreen Point, which have no cross traffic. The advantage is that a bus could start on 522, then head towards 405, and be in a bus lane much of the time. The disadvantage is that a bus (like the 405 BRT) has to deal with an intersection. This is no big deal with Totem Lake, as cross traffic on 128th is minor. But the cross street in this instance is SR 522. That means that either you have major backups on SR 522, or the traffic light favors it. My guess is the latter, which means that 405 buses will have to wait a while before continuing. Since this is supposed to be BRT, signal priority is essential, and should be fairly easy, since it is likely that only one bus will use that stop, and it won’t be that frequent.

      Another advantage is that switching buses should be very easy. While it wouldn’t be pleasant (sitting under an interchange) it would merely require walking a few feet at the same level.

      It also isn’t clear to me whether there will be bus lanes on SR 522. The original 522 BRT plan had the bus leaving the bus lanes of SR 522 at Bothell Way (if I’m not mistaken) and then heading up to 185th, using the general purpose lanes. This may still happen, but the bus would eventually head back to SR 522, so that it could interface with the other BRT line. Yet there is no money in the SR 522 project for adding bus lanes beyond Bothell Way. That could mean that a bus gets stuck in 522 traffic that is worse than ever (because of the new traffic light at the 522/405 interchange).

      Then you have the issue that asdf2 mentioned. There is really nowhere to go for a 522 bus, once it reaches the interchange. There is no easy to turn around, unlike stops like Eastlake and Mercer Island. It makes sense to go to Woodinville. The problem is, very few people in Woodinville will be interested in the SR 522 bus (it will continue to be a very slow way to access Seattle). Thus it is likely that the 522 BRT line will spend a considerable amount of time serving an area with very few riders (although that looks like the least of our worries).

      It looks like the 405 BRT plans are going really well, while the challenges of the 522 BRT tail look as perplexing as ever. I suppose one option is to simply live with the expensive and inconsistent tail. It really isn’t a problem when heading east — the riders who are inconvenienced are those who want that connection (to the 405 BRT, or Woodinville). Going the other direction is the issue. You don’t want the heart of the line (Bothell/Kenmore to Link) to be dragged down by buses arriving at random times because of delays close to the interchange (or in Woodinville for that matter). That problem could be solved by adding in a cushion at UW Bothell. Buses could arrive at various times, but always leave as scheduled. Since UW Bothell is a decent destination, that would be OK. Doing that would prevent bus bunching, while still providing the important connections. Doing so would cost more money, but I don’t see a great alternative.

      1. Looking at the larger rendering and zooming in I see not two but three signalized intersections being add to SR522. The cloverleaf from 405 SB to EB SR522 to eliminated. Drivers take the exist SB 405 off-ramp to WB SR522 but branch off to an intersection where they have to make a left turn to SR522 EB. What I don’t get is there appears to be an extension of that road south of SR522. Are they going to cross the bike path and tie into Riverside Drive (back way into Woodinville)?

        This plan will cause major grief on SR522. Plus both 405 and 522 buses would either have to stop on both sides of the intersection or force everyone transferring one direction to wait through another long light cycle to cross the freeway. The money question becomes how many people will actually transfer here. If 522 is rendered so bad that buses avoid it then the answer is nobody.

        What this plan really seems to be all about is making it easier for SR522 drivers to access the HOT lanes. And the backups from 522 to 405 SB in the mornings is huge so I’m sure there will be a lot of paying customers.

      2. What this plan really seems to be all about is making it easier for SR522 drivers to access the HOT lanes.

        Yes. What makes it especially strange is that it is at odds with what the transit agencies want to do. It is clear that ST is going all-in on the 405 BRT. Lots of people have argued that it is not a good approach — that a series of overlapping bus routes makes a lot more sense. But they are focused on the 405 BRT idea, and it appears like they are willing to invest in it, and make it successful. This means that unlike today, no ST bus will do go from 522 to 405. From the perspective of ST, they are simply crossing roads.

        Nor is Metro going to spend much effort in building new connecting bus routes. At this point, only the 311 and 237 are going to use those brand new ramps. That just isn’t that many buses. Neither agency if focused on routes that involve buses on both highways.

        Yet the freeway is being built for that model. It seems like a really poor design. It sure looks like there will be major backups, for the reasons you mentioned. To get from Bothell to Lynnwood will require going through three intersections (two if you are a carpool). Likewise to get from Woodinville to Bellevue. Worse yet, it requires everyone — every vehicle — to go through three intersections if they are going from Bothell to Woodinville (i. e. just staying on 522).

        That being said, maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe the idea is that 405 is at capacity now (both directions). 522 has plenty of intersections, so those don’t matter either. Maybe Bothell to Lynnwood and Woodinville to Bellevue aren’t big enough to warrant big signal priority — they will simply have to wait on 522 instead of waiting on 405. My biggest fear is that it the 405 BRT line will spend more time waiting to cross 522 than they save by avoiding the regular lanes on 195th. I also think that it makes it very difficult for a bus on 522 to avoid a big traffic snarl, thus costing ST a bunch of service money (at best) or creating bad bus bunching (at worse).

      3. Aaach. I forgot to close my italics. Only the first paragraph was supposed to be in italics, as it was a quote from Bernie. I also screwed up when I said Woodinville to Bellevue would be bad. It is Lynnwood to Woodinville that will require going through three intersections (two if you are HOV).

        Anyway, I have another comment (let’s see if I get this right).

        What I don’t get is there appears to be an extension of that road south of SR522. Are they going to cross the bike path and tie into Riverside Drive (back way into Woodinville)?

        There appears to be an error with the STB image. It seems to have a road going the way you mentioned, and I really doubt that is the plan. The WSDOT plan makes more sense.

      4. Well, it’s good if the stub south isn’t a connection to Riverside. But overall this reconfiguration has high costs to almost every other traffic pattern on SR522 just to access the Lexus Lanes. Many commercial ventures are relocating to the north end of Woodinville. Think of it as the “gritty backbone” that Bel-Red used to be. So the SB 405 to EB 522 reconfiguration is a huge looser. With the building of a new bridge of NB 405 access to SB 405 HOT lanes from WB 522 could be done the same way as the current flyover ramp functions. That’s really the only connection that warrants the investment. Brickyard is a winner and I think similar treatment at Beardsley makes more sense than a seemingly useless and time consuming 405/522 transfer point. Building more HOT lanes is going to be a contentious issue and I don’t think ripping out existing infrastructure that makes traffic worse is going to be a winner in the public opinion polls.

      5. My initial reaction to the 405-522 plans was the same. But having driven through that area a bunch since then, I’ve realized there is very little traffic between Woodinville and Bothell. It’s pretty clear if you pull up typical traffic on Google Maps and look at that interchange. In the morning, 522 is backed up from both the west and the east going onto the 405 ramps, but is fine in between.

        The point being that this isn’t a major issue. If there’s one thing I trust WSDOT to do, it’s to make sure that cars keep flowing (whether we like it or not).

      6. Yeah, I agree Bernie. This would be big benefit for toll users, a big loss for regular users, and a mixed bag for transit riders. It is hard to see this as being popular. It makes way more sense to keep the existing design, but simply add a center bus stop at 195th, like all of those on SR 520 (and the new one on Brickyard). Riders are able to get from one level to another (in all those cases) so there is no reason they wouldn’t be able to do that there. Then the 405 BRT line has all the original stops (while avoiding the regular lanes), and the 522 BRT project goes back to how it was.

        Unfortunately, this is being driven by WSDOT, not ST. I’m not sure how much influence they have on the 522/405 project — it may be too late to stop it.

      7. As to whether the signal will cancel the time savings, I highly doubt it. First of all, the lower travel time estimate is based off of this new design, and that is 8 to 13 minutes faster. Even if that difference doesn’t include the signal, what’s the worst case for the 405 Stride to wait for the signal? Maybe 2 minutes if it’s really bad? And it’ll be better with signal priority. 522 delays seem like more of a concern.

        As for 522, I’m not familiar with traffic patterns, but it will simply move the limited access freeway portion of 522 east. It’s not very far from where 522 has traffic lights and major intersecting streets anyway. Honestly I’m thinking the freeway part is more about speed than capacity but I could be wrong. It would be great to see a queue jump for the 522 Stride. Might as well since the stops would probably be bus bulbs.

        Also, worth noting that ST does plan (preliminary, of course) to still run the 532 to Bellevue at peak, mainly to have it pick up the 535 stops that the BRT will skip (same thing south; the 566 would go through downtown Renton and the freeway stops on the way to Bellevue). This direct access will be very helpful for the new 532, as well as the 311 & 237.

      8. The point being that this isn’t a major issue. If there’s one thing I trust WSDOT to do, it’s to make sure that cars keep flowing

        My initial reaction was pretty much the same. There’s a traffic signal just around the corner anyway. But if traffic is that light why isn’t WSDOT proposing one the roundabouts that they are so keen on as of late?

        Looking at this more I realized the wait for through traffic at the signal on 522 wasn’t the only impact. It screws big time the existing GP access from 405 to 522. There’s a saying, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

      9. It makes way more sense to keep the existing design, but simply add a center bus stop at 195th, like all of those on SR 520

        I’m thinking Beardsley (aka 195th) should get the same treatment as Totem Lake. One, you don’t have the expensive installation and maintenance issue of elevators and escalators. Also, like Totem Lake where Evergreen Medical Center is “a thing” so is UWB + Cascadia CC + North Creek.

        With HOV direct access at Beardsley and Brickyard you don’t even need direct access ramps at 522. The current WB 522 to SB 405 snafu in the mornings is handled by people simply exiting to 405 NB and entering the ETL lanes at Beardsley. Similarly, in the PM you exit at Brickyard and just get right back on the perfectly good access ramp to 522 EB. The big problem with this now is having to cross all the clogged GP lanes to exit. That problem doesn’t exist with the new NB 405 capacity and direct access at Brickyard.

        522 through traffic as well as 405 to 522 access is a winner. Transit opportunities are greatly enhanced. The cost has to be comparable or less than all the interchange work on 522. And it’s generally agreed that center access at Beardsley is needed anyway. Tastes great, less filling :+)

      10. But having driven through that area a bunch since then, I’ve realized there is very little traffic between Woodinville and Bothell.

        Right. That has been my experience as well — I do a lot of hiking and often drive from Seattle to Monroe (and on towards Stevens Pass). If you avoid the on-ramps (by staying in the left lane) then it is just fine.

        Except that won’t be possible anymore. Right now traffic traffic from Kenmore headed towards Woodinville is separated from traffic headed towards Lynnwood. Now those two will compete with each other. They will also compete with traffic using the HOT lanes (including the bus). It is common to have big backups all long SR 522 in the evening, caused by long light cycles so that cars can turn left (off the main highway) and head north.

        Not only do backups occur west of Woodinville, but east as well. While it is fairly easy for me to do a reverse commute from Monroe towards Seattle in the evening, I see cars backed up for miles going the other way. This is caused by relatively short light cycles, like that at Paradise Lake Road. Except now there will be additional intersections, with long light cycles, so that drivers from west of 405 (Lake City, Kenmore, etc.) can go north on I-405. This will cause backups around 405, especially eastbound in the evening. If Paradise Road can cause a big backup, imagine what the intersection for 405 will cause.

        In the grand scheme of things, it might not matter. Cars just have to deal with the traffic. It is reasonable for WSDOT to ignore those concerns, and focus on traffic on I-405, and allowing people to access the freeway using HOT lanes. As mentioned, you will get stuck in traffic on SR 522 anyway (to the east and west) so it doesn’t matter.

        But it matters to the bus. The great part about the 522 BRT project is that the bus won’t be stuck in traffic. The bus will be in its own lane for almost the entire way ( (https://s3.amazonaws.com/stb-wp/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/17225248/SR522BRTMap.png). Except now — for a significant section — it will be stuck in traffic. There is simply no easy way to connect to the 405 bus other than sending the bus into the mess. Not only does it have to go to 405, but it has to go out to Woodinville (since there is no easy way to turn around). Buses will be backed up getting to 405 each direction.

        I have no doubt that this will be better for the 405 BRT project. But it sure looks a lot worse for the 522 BRT project. I think whatever service savings come from the latter will have to be poured into the former, until they give 195th/Beardslee the same treatment they are giving Canyon Park.

      11. RossB
        There is simply no easy way to connect to the 405 bus … Not only does it have to go to 405, but it has to go out to Woodinville… looks a lot worse for the 522 BRT project. I think whatever service savings come from the latter will have to be poured into the former, until they give 195th/Beardslee the same treatment they are giving Canyon Park.

        So again, Beardsley would seem to be the most important project for transit. And as I pointed out, ETL access there at at Brickyard eliminates the need for it at 522. In fact it would be worse for HOT lane traffic because three merges in a short distance creates a slowdowns. Add to that traffic to SB 405 trying to merge while climbing that hill will be extremely tough for trucks and buses. If such a connection is deemed essential then build a parallel elevated structure to the existing GP SR 405 access as a connect to the ETL will be possible with the new NB 405 bridge lanes in place. You save the money of eliminating all the existing infrastructure.

        I suppose buses could “pull a U-turn” at the proposed intersections. If they were designed right (a big if. This could perhaps allow for an improved transfer. But this isn’t Bellevue TC. In fact it’s a pretty awful connection point which means little investment will be made; which perpetuates it as an awful idea.

      12. I agree. I think Beardslee/195th should have the same treatment as Canyon Park. That would mean that Woodinville buses (like the 311) would be shifted there, but that is a very small price to pay. Otherwise, we would have to spend a bundle to get the kind of reliability that most of the 522 BRT project will have.

        Just to be clear, that is what is being lost. Most riders won’t notice. Someone from Kenmore headed to Link (the folks who use this the most) won’t care what happens “upstream”. The problem is that it alters the way that ST manages the route.

        Bus bunching is bad, and should be avoided. It should be easy to avoid it for most of the route, because it will have off board payment, little to no congestion, and signal priority. But a bus that leaves Woodinville at 6:30 could very easily catch up to a bus that leaves at 6:20, just because the first one got stuck in bad traffic in the initial section.

        Fixing the problem is not that complicated. You simply add another layover stop. The obvious place for this at the campus. This is where the right-of-way starts, and it is a very nice layover stop. Not only do you have plenty of riders there, but it is a pleasant place for a driver to get out and stretch their legs. The problem is that it costs money. I think the best option is to treat the campus spot as the only layover stop (and make a live loop through Woodinville). That means that the tail (which is generally fairly weak) will have somewhat random timing. You don’t know for sure when the bus will arrive (and leave) Woodinville (or I-405). That is probably the most affordable option. The main thing is, you need to allot plenty of time so that the bus can leave at the specified time (not five minutes late because traffic along SR 522 was really bad). From a schedule standpoint, you would have an asterisk (e. g. “Leaves at this time. Arrives 2-8 minutes earlier.)”. Generally speaking, this isn’t “BRT”, but whatever. At this point, 405 BRT is looking more and more like closed BRT, while 522 BRT is looking like open BRT.

      13. My impression is that we’re stuck with 522-405 ETL ramps – those were already funded by the legislature as part of the 405 widening between 522 and 527. The only money ST is spending here is that for Brickyard. I’m pretty sure they don’t have enough money to fund both.

        That said, I agree that getting the 522 buses through that area is important. The question is whether a routing via Beardslee would be acceptable to UWB and ST. If it is, then we need to advocate for bus lanes along that area of 522. If not and ST stays with 405, then shoulder lanes on 405 and transit lanes through the interchange will be essential.

        As for the roundabouts, I really wonder how they’d work here. Washington drivers seem to be unable to handle them and half of drivers stop regardless of traffic. Then there’s the issue of how to get 405 buses through the interchange quickly. Assuming they do signal priority, you’d then have a roundabout, then a signal, then another roundabout. I have the feeling this would create more traffic than three signalized intersections.

      14. “You simply add another layover stop. The obvious place for this at the campus… The problem is that it costs money.”

        It may not cost much. It’s in a lower-cost area and the university probably has plenty of land for a bus parking space.

      15. @Mike — The money I was referring to was for service, not layover space. It costs money to allow for a large layover time (along with service to Woodinville, which would now become mandatory — otherwise the 522 bus wouldn’t connect with 405 bus).

      16. I think there is little value in nit-picking about how to give less service to Woodinville at this point, especially if we go forward with the stops on 522 and kind of have to. It’s 2 miles with the new straighter route, just one stop and likely the only logical turnaround place anyway. And like has been mentioned elsewhere, Woodinville P&R is underused, and if people know that they get a BRT line that can help get them to both Seattle and Bellevue that would help. I’m sure some people would be less nervous about taking the 237 since they have a good backup plan if they miss it. Obviously it’s not the optimal place for BRT service, but very little of what ST does is optimal. But especially with the massive amount of service hours being saved on 405, I just don’t see the extra two miles being super burdensome.

      17. AlexKven:
        there is little value in nit-picking about how to give less service to Woodinville at this point, especially if we go forward with the stops on 522 and kind of have to.

        Better service to Woodinville is making lemonaid. But I still think those of you ready to rollover and accept that this is a done deal (i.e. the 405/522 “proposed” design rendering) are drinking Kool-Aid. Show me 70% design drawings and I’m more willing to concede it’s an eventuality.

      18. … if we go forward with the stops on 522 and kind of have to [send the 522 BRT to Woodinville]. It’s 2 miles with the new straighter route, just one stop and likely the only logical turnaround place anyway.

        That is what I was thinking until late last night. Then it occurred to me that the best turnaround spot is Canyon Park. It is much faster, while providing a better connection between the two BRT lines (see comments below). Basically it would avoid much of the congestion on SR 522 that will surely come with the new interchange, and allow transfer riders to cross a narrower street (where the light is usually in their favor).

        Woodinville riders lose a connection that very few use. You aren’t going to fill the underused park and ride lots with trips to Bothell and Kenmore or with hour long trips to Seattle. You fill them with express buses to Bellevue or Seattle. Those making the transfer from Bothell/Kenmore to Woodinville lose out (they have to cross SR 522) but those transferring from 405 BRT to 522 BRT come out ahead (they have a shorter crossing that is usually in their favor). Even Woodinville riders come out ahead, as they would have more express buses that they would actually use.

        I just don’t see the extra two miles being super burdensome.

        In the middle of the day, it won’t be that big of a deal. But during rush hour, it will be a huge pain. Right now there are thousands of cars that do this: https://goo.gl/maps/7HmcZHEVM2jLDJ7M7. Now those same cars will come to a complete stop, wait for a light and then turn left. To prevent traffic from backing up onto 405, the light will turn left often, and let those cars through. At that point, cars will pile up, trying to get from Woodinville to Kenmore, which is exactly what the bus would be doing. But wait, there is more. You also have lots of cars doing this: https://goo.gl/maps/G6gCtF5mWZQ8pkoc8. They too will have to stop and take a left. Just like the other drivers, they will hold up through traffic on SR 522. To make matters worse, they will use the same intersection, and each one has to wait for the other. In other words, that intersection will have three heavily used cycles (northbound 405 to westbound 522, eastbound 522 to northbound 405 and 522 through traffic). That is a recipe for congestion. Congestion makes a bus route inconsistent. Inconsistency requires a big buffer, unless we want to push the inconsistency to the entire route, which would mean basically screwing up the entire project to serve a handful of riders in Woodinville.

        It isn’t worth it. I do think Bernie is right — the interchange is a bad idea, it makes way more sense to build an inline transfer station at Beardslee/195th. But if the state goes ahead and builds the former, and ST can’t afford the station, then sending the bus to Canyon Park is the best option.

      19. @Ross, I’m not convinced that this will be as big an issue as you suggest.

        For 405 N -> 522 W, traffic gets backed up onto 405 during rush hour. Most cars are going to 522 E but they get backed up because of the tight turn there. What that means is that there’s a car perhaps every few seconds going to 522 W. If the light cycles roughly every minute, you’re not going to have a ton of cars causing backup there (assuming WSDOT gets the lights right). The worst time may actually be before rush hour when 405 is still moving. It’s pretty typical for there to be a line of cars going slowly to 522 E even over the weekends when there’s no traffic on 405 (I live right next to Brickyard, so have lots of experience with this).

        I know less about 522 E -> 405 N, but I can’t find any time on Google maps when that ramp shows any traffic.

        Given they’re redesigning the whole interchange and given that WSDOT owns all that land, adding an extra bus lane may be doable.

      20. I’m not convinced that this will be as big an issue as you suggest. …

        Yeah, well, time will tell I guess. We are talking about three cycles for the eastern intersection. Even if WSDOT (or the county) gives very little priority to those leaving or entering 405, I think it is enough to backup traffic. SR 522 is backed up routinely both directions west of Bothell. The left turn lights don’t last that long, and yet it is enough to cause congestion. Often those turn lights are just heading one direction (e. g. Bothell Way) but that is enough to cause a problem.

        But even if traffic isn’t an issue, it still makes sense to go to Canyon Park. Basically Canyon Park is the new 195th. Even when there is no traffic it is much faster to get to Canyon Park than any Woodinville stop. It is simply the most cost efficient way to terminate the 522 BRT, while still maintaining the key connection (to the 405 BRT). It doesn’t make sense to weaken the key parts of an expensive and popular bus route to enable a trip that won’t be used by very many people.

  2. What is the implication for Bothell riders? The Sammamish River Trail is along the south edge of the interchange, so if the station had a path to the trail, how long would it take to walk to UWB campus and downtown Bothell? It doesn’t look like there are any local transit opportunities because there are no roads there, so the only possible transit connection would be to buses on 522. But 522 Stride is one of those, so would there be a good transfer station between them?

    (There had better be because ST is designing both of the lines right now. But that hasn’t stopped ST from being nonspecific about train-to-train transfers at Westlake and Intl Dist and completely ignoring U-District. A transfer station there should be the second or third highest priority of the project, after Bellevue TC and Lynnwood TC. That’s what Toronto would do, where the buses actually come into the fare-paid area at Lawrence West station so there’s no fare collection for transferees).

    1. I’m a Bothell resident so this is of particular interest to me. My understanding is that the station is being designed to be the main/only transfer point between 522 and 405. What that means is a good question. But that is the point of that station.

      Connecting to the trail is a no-brainer. When I first heard about it a week or two ago, I made the suggestion to one of the Bothell city council members, and it was forwarded on to ST. The response from ST was positive and it’s been supposedly forwarded to project leadership, but who knows what that means.

      In practice, this is not a bad thing for ped/bike connectivity if the trail connection is built. UWB is 0.6 miles away, DT Bothell is 1.6 miles away, and DT Woodinville is 1.4 miles away. DT Bothell is a bit further away than from 195th, but UWB is about the same distance at DT Woodinville is closer.

      Given the time savings, I think this is probably the right move.

      1. It looks to me like making a spur on the trail would be trivial once the new interchange is built. Here is a rendering of it: https://s3.amazonaws.com/stb-wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/11184202/I405_SR522.png. The trail is in the foreground, underneath everything. Unlike today, there are no cloverleafs there. It looks to me like you could run a trail spur pretty much right underneath 405, and connect to the west (left) of the 405 HOV ramps (the ones that go down to the surface). That seems really easy.

        I think the bigger question is how it would be used. A Bothell bike/scooter share could make sense. So would building a big bike cage there. Otherwise it suggests bringing bikes on the bus, which doesn’t scale at all. I suppose it could make sense as a kiss and ride for tandem bikes :)

      2. Yes, agreed. It’s ~600 feet from the interchange to the trail per Google.

        Good point on what else needs to get done there. I’m hesitant about a cage – given the location there’ll need to be some kind of security there. But Bothell has a scooter pilot program going right now, and that sounds perfect for this sort of thing.

    2. If the trail connection is made, it looks like the closest points at UW Bothell are just over half a mile, and the north end of campus is about a one mile walk. That’s not great but it’s workable.

      As someone who rides a bike along that trail most days and drives through this intersection every day I don’t ride my bike, it seems like it would be faster not just for cars getting into the toll lanes, but for most uses. The area is only congested during commutes, and most people are going either north or south on 405. I don’t think the east/west through traffic is big enough to make the extra intersections particularly slow, especially when you consider the intersections will be signal timed.

      I’m still not sure this would work for me. A one-mile walk to the 522 for a one-mile ride to this stop for a transfer to 405, and then a transfer to light rail and another walk from Overlake Transit Center is still a convoluted commute (as are two-bus alternatives via Kirkland or Bellevue), and I’m probably better off taking my bike or driving solo.

      1. The ideal thing would be to do a 2 mile bike ride to 405-522 and lock your bike there in a secure parking situation. There’s tons of land there that could be used for this. Something like this: https://bikehub.com/metro/ would be awesome.

      2. @EHeino I read your comments on this thread and on the Yakima Market thread and I’m impressed by your ideas. Yours are the kind of proposals that need to get shared more widely. There are a group of us here in Bothell working on pro-bike, pro-pedestrian, walkable, sustainable solutions. We bug City Council sometimes, but mostly geek out together. If you have a moment, feel free to check us out at : http://www.bopop.org or facebook- Bothellites for People Oriented Places . Thanks.

  3. “Adding a direct access ramp at Brickyard will allow buses to serve all stops while operating continuously in the ETL.”

    This is excellent news! Transit should run at full speed between stations. Swift Blue and the A have it right. SDOT needs to give the same thing to the E. And this is precisely what’s wrong with the Rainier Valley alignment.

    1. I agree that moving Brickyard is pretty much a no-brainer. I wouldn’t however assume that a freeway median stop design and an arterial median stop design should be considered that comparable.

    2. I agree on the general dislike of freeway stations. But Bothell has already sold its soul with a huge stroad as its main street, an isolated UW campus, and a massive interchange larger than anything on I-5. So different from the Bellevue Way and NE 8th Street I grew up with. The starting point is horrible for non-drivers, and a freeway BRT station seems like it can only be an improvement and a mitigation for all that awfulness. So I don’t compare it NE 45th Street or NE 145th Street but to how Bothell is like without it.

  4. This is pretty amazing. Especially in an environment where it would have been wise to have reduced expectations for I-405 BRT (in fact, an article with that exact title appeared on STB), it’s quite surprising to see quality going up!

    In fact, I considered that for Stride 405 north of Bellevue, there wouldn’t be significant travel time gains (other than staying on 405 through Bothell), since the ETL lanes are already in place (in contrast with south of Bellevue, where travel time savings will be huge). It’s nice to be (potentially) proven wrong.

    That Canyon Park station is an eyesore though.

  5. If someone is traveling north of UW on Link, will it be faster to get off at 145th and take 522 STRide (11 stops on artériels) or ride to Lynnwood (3 more Link stops) and use 405 STRide (two in-line freeway stops away)? While the distance is significantly further, the travel time may not be.

    Certainly the 522/405 STRide transfer is important. I’m just wondering how important a 405 connection to UWB should be and I’m wondering which transfer patterns between the two routes will predominate.

    1. I’m just wondering how important a 405 connection to UWB should be and I’m wondering which transfer patterns between the two routes will predominate.

      My guess is that the most common use of that transfer will be from Bellevue to UWB/Bothell/Kenmore. But if both buses are frequent and the transfer is OK, then it makes sense for various other trips (Canyon Park to Kenmore, Totem Lake to UWB, etc.). Trips involving Link (e. g. Northgate to Totem Lake) seem unlikely — I think people will simply stay on Link, and make one transfer, either at Lynnwood or the UW.

    2. I tend to agree that transferring there to 522 Stride to Link is unlikely. The longer the bus distance, the longer the travel time. It’s like the feeling you get transferring at UW Station for northeast Seattle, it seems like an awfully long bus ride. 522 Stride is mainly for Bothell and Kenmore residents who will have a shorter distance to Link. People north of that station will probably take 405 Stride north to Lynnwood even though it’s backtracking, while people south of that station will probably take 405 Stride south to Bellevue and transfer, or if they’re lucky and there’s an express bus from Totem Lake to UW Station as RossB has recommended they’ll take that.

  6. Has any thought been given to a 522 STRide (busway) + trail crossing from UWB to the east over 405? It might be easier to do this rather than to retrofit existing streets and trails to make STRide operate and connect better.

    1. There is already a trail connecting UWB to the Sammamish River trail. I don’t think you can build east of UWB – that’s all wetlands with contentious history. Attempting to build there would be expensive and a big fight.

      Your only real options are to go up to 195th our south to 522.

    2. I was thinking along the same lines but it would be a lengthy elevated structure and there’s already a complex series of interchange ramps to navigate around. While the 405/522 flyer project seems like a good idea on the surface when you start to think about it, at peak your probably better just creating bus routes that are through routed to where people want to go. Off peak there just won’t be many people using this. When Lynwood Link opens it might be time competitive going from say Monroe to DT Seattle by going taking 405 NB from SR522 vs trying to slog through traffic to Bellevue TC.

  7. The station closest to downtown Bothell will now be at SR 522, which can be served relatively inexpensively by placing BRT stops on the ramps to the ETL.

    I’m not understanding what exactly is proposed. Is this referring to adding ETL access ramps between 522 and 405? Even just adding lanes through this interchange seems like a costly and complex endeavour.

  8. Given that WSDOT is going to increase lane capacity I guess it’s good that at least they are toll lanes. And since whatever the configuration ends up being it will involve rebuilding the interchange at Brickyard. So I agree the “no brainer” here is creating a center stop configuration I envision as something like Totem Lake. This has to save at least 5 minutes every trip at peak. Combined with double tracking the HOT lanes north of 522 creates an impressive drop in travel time of 20 minutes. That’s going to make transit look pretty good vs $10 toll fees (plus gas, hassel, parking, etc.).

    The problem is Brickyard is already at capacity. Unless parking becomes pay to play then I’m against building a multistory garage. Increased local coverage is one solution but where should it serve. Increased 311 service is one option. Woodinville P&R has excess capacity and is flanked by multifamily housing, senior center and retail.

  9. The problem is Brickyard is already at capacity. Increased local coverage is one solution but where should it serve. Increased 311 service is one option.

    Yeah, that would probably help, although the 311 has pretty good peak service, and if the park and ride is full, then folks are driving to it in the middle of the day. My guess is between the 311 and 237, you are getting most of the folks from Woodinville that you are going to get (since that lot isn’t full).

    I would guess people are coming from the other side of the freeway. The problem is that for the most part, it is all classic, sprawling, low density suburbia. Still, there is no reason for Metro to give up. Right now the 257 terminates at the park and ride, which is exactly the wrong thing to do if the lot is full. I would see if I could work with the Northshore Community Church, or the Eastside Church and see if they could add some park and ride spots. Then extending that bus to cover the area (like so: https://goo.gl/maps/QvGhzsp6YHaLEBxy6) could make a lot of sense. That would enable some people (including some in the apartments) to be able to catch a direct but (without driving anywhere) while others could use the church park and ride. The money could come from truncating it (and other buses) at the UW (as soon as the HOV ramps to the UW are fixed).

    A similar approach could be taken to offload some of the demand at Kingsgate. There are plenty of improvements that could be made to better serve Juanita with express service (especially since Juanita has relatively high density). I would also add try and add a park and ride at the LDS church, with a route like so (extending to the U-District): https://goo.gl/maps/a4AyK2HWviL4A7sa9.

    1. Brickyard is not quite as bad as, say, Kingsgate. But I’d point out there are a few issues with your arguments:
      – The 237 is a very limited bus. There are only three runs each way and the last run to Bellevue arrives at 8:24 AM. Similarly, the last run leaves Bellevue at 5:12 PM. A lot of people aren’t going to want to chance that (or deal with a transfer), so they’ll just drive to Woodinville.
      – A number of people we know will drive from north of 522 to Brickyard so that they can skip the bus going from Canyon Park to Brickyard. Plus Canyon Park is full, so a lot of people would prefer going to Brickyard.
      – From my occasional experience riding the 257, half the people get off at Kingsgate P&R and most of the rest are at the local stops. Not many people are left by the time you get to Brickyard
      – That being said, adding P&R spots at the churches would probably be a good idea. The downside is 100th Ave and 145th have very little on them besides the Safeway (which is already served from the current route) and the churches.

      I’m not sure what a good solution is, but I do think some more data would be helpful to understand how the P&Rs are used now.

    2. My guess is between the 311 and 237, you are getting most of the folks from Woodinville that you are going to get (since that lot isn’t full).

      I think the reason more people don’t choose Woodinville P&R is because it doesn’t have decent service. The direct access ramps are a potential game change it that it would allow frequent service without the tortured round about the loop de loop and back again that’s the status quo. Make Woodinville time competitive with Brickyard for commuters and it’s instantly at capacity.

  10. Thinking out loud here…

    Suppose ST were able to run an electric cart shuttle down the Sammamish River trail serving 405/522 bus stop => UW Bothell => DT Bothell. The entire route wouldn’t take more than about 10 minutes each way, and an electric cart could turn around in tight places at the ends where a full-sized bus would not be able to. Also, utilizing the trail would put the shuttle completely out of traffic (except bike traffic), allowing it to maintain a consistent headway.

    At first glance, this seems totally doable, and such a shuttle is already running between SeaTac airport and the SeaTac Link station. You might need to widen the trail slightly in a few spots, but this, again, seems very cheap relative to the rest of the I-405 BRT project.

    Sometimes, I wonder, if such a shuttle existed, would we even need the 522 bus to go to Woodinville at all, outside of a few peak-hour trips. If a few holes could be plugged, I think it could be made to work. For example, route 311 could be truncated at UW and run more hours of the day. At the same time, a second cart shuttle could be created for 405->Woodinville that would run at half the frequency.

    I don’t see any reason why a cart shuttle every 10-15 minutes and bikes cannot co-exist in the same space, when both vehicles are going at around 15 mph. Walkers can move out of the way when necessary, and the trail could widened in a few strategic spots (like underneath SR-522) to make it easier. Even ADA compliance, I don’t think would necessarily be a deal-breaker. In principle, the cart shuttle could contain a designated area for wheelchairs, and have a retractable ramp for wheelchair users to get on and off, just like they get on and off buses.

    In this case, I think a cart shuttle has several big advantages over a traditional bus. The passenger volume is low enough that a ten-person vehicle would be sufficient. By using the trail, it would operate entirely out of traffic, in an area where parallel roads would be congested. And, a small cart shuttle would be able to turn around at the 405/522 bus stop, rather than being forced to continue on to Woodinville, the way a bus would, thereby preventing Woodinville service from messing up reliability of the rest of the 522 BRT line. If 522 BRT were truncated at UW Bothell, finding the service hours to pay for operating it would be easy.

    I realize this is thinking way outside the box, and is very unlikely to actually happen, but still interesting to think about.

    1. Interesting concept but then you pinch yourself and ask why is there a stop here in the first place? Instead, run said electric shuttle between Beardsley and Bothell Landing. Bothell has turned the old HS site around Pop Keeney Stadium into a new mini City. Stadiums require large parking lots. Without the school this lot will be unused the majority of the time. Seems like a perfect leased P&R opportunity. If the shuttle was frequent enough, DT Bothell circulator route, it might work to terminate 522 BRT there.

      1. That lot is used for McMenamin’s overflow parking during evenings and weekends. It has capacity during the day, but the evening uses (including stadium uses for evening sporting events) make it less useful as additional park and ride space.

        There is the existing Bothell Park and Ride, which is where you would probably want to terminate a shuttle like that. I don’t really see what that gets you over just running the 522 to UW Bothell, though.

      2. I’d forgotten about the Bothell P&R; it’s easy to forget. I was actually only comparing the shuttle to Bothell Landing to the proposed shuttle idea using the SRT. A small shuttle/circulator could use Main and serve a lot of useful stops. A lot that is only used after peak commute is ideal for a leased P&R. There’s also a lot of flat empty land in the area that could be converted to temporary lots.

        The SRT shuttle would/could stop at the P&R. That would be a big time savings vs an EB 522 bus having to turn into the P&R. OTOH a shuttle on Main is a short jaunt to the P&R. And since it doesn’t officially serve the P&R you wouldn’t have to meet ADA requirements (I know, sort of sleazey). Does anyone know if UWB and/or Cascadia require parking permits to use their garage?

  11. The direct access ramp at Canyon Park should cross to the west-side of I-405 so Swift Green line can easily extend across and reach Downtown Bothell/ UWB locally via 527 (Bothell-Everett Hwy). Especially since Stride-405 won’t provide direct access to UWB, the current arrangement will force Swift riders from say Mill Creek onto a three-seat ride with two uncomfortable transfers (the last one can be eliminated by a 15-min walk).

    1. The 105 goes from Canyon Park to UW Bothell so where are you getting a three-seat ride? Swift Green will eventually be extended to UW Bothell as soon as CT can find funding.

      1. All the more reason to prioritize Beardsley and abandon the idea of a transfer point at Spaghetti Junction.

      2. I got lost on all this station placement and car lane stuff. What is the Beardslee idea and how would it benefit 522 Stride and the 105?

      3. As I understand it the original idea was to create a center ETL accessible stop at Beardsley. This was before the 405/522 idea was floated. I don’t know how far along the design was taken. Some prefer an at freeway level stop like those on 520. I’d prefer a bridge level stop like they did at Totem Lake which would include access for HOV and HOT lane use (like at Totem Lake). With access at Beardsley and Brickyard the whole 405/522 remake can be whittled down to just the new NB bridge. Although it leaves open the possibility of a new flyover ramp to access 405 ETL lanes from WB522 if that proves to be needed. However, I think three access points in such a short stretch would decrease ETL performance.

        I main thing is it prioritizes Beardsley which I fear will be completely shelved if the 405/522 ramp/access/transfer is built. This forces future transfer to “no man’s land” and probably means all 522 buses will have to go to Woodinville using a roadway that may not be anywhere near as free flowing as it is today. And it means Swift/STride/ST Express/et al will forever skip serving the UWB and North Creek exit.

        FWIW, I like the idea of serving Woodinville P&R. I just don’t think the reconfigured 522 is a good way to do it.

      4. How does this relate to what David L said above: “My impression is that we’re stuck with 522-405 ETL ramps – those were already funded by the legislature as part of the 405 widening between 522 and 527… The question is whether a routing via Beardslee would be acceptable to UWB and ST. If it is, then we need to advocate for bus lanes along that area of 522. If not and ST stays with 405, then shoulder lanes on 405 and transit lanes through the interchange will be essential.”

        I looked at Google Maps to try to figure this out. So Beardslee Blvd crosses 405 north of the 405/522 interchange. Beardslee is also 195th Street that was suggested earlier for the Bothell 405 station. So we’re back to wanting 195th?

      5. A Beardslee-405 transfer station would be much better than a 405-522 station. It’s bad enough transferring on a freeway. It’s three times worse at a large interchange, because you have so many lanes to look at in all four directions, and to get anywhere you have to walk across a large part of it, which is immensely depressing. This is the transfer between our two BRT lines, which is supposed to be a big deal. ST shouldn’t just throw it away like it’s some minor station and who cares what the transfer/waiting experience is like.

      6. So we’re back to wanting 195th?

        Yes, unless we can find a way to get a bus through the 405 interchange quickly (on 522).

      7. @Ross, at this point, I don’t think it’s going to matter much. As I mentioned, the 522-405 interchange construction has already been authorized by the legislature. I’m presuming that’s not going to go away short of the legislature pulling money. And if the ramp is built and bus stations constructed, I doubt ST will not use them for at least 405 BRT.

        Given this, even if you build an ETL ramp at 195th, you’re going to have the same number of interchanges to go through whether it’s at 195th or 522. So I think that if you want to change something for the better, getting WSDOT to add bus lanes through the 522 interchange and optimizing the routing from Bothell to 522 is where things can still be changed.

      8. @David — Oh, the 522 BRT (and other buses) will use the I-405 stop at SR 522. I think that is a given. It is really a matter of what happens with the 522 BRT. It is possible that the only interface between the stations occurs there, or that it occurs somewhere else (or both, as I propose below). If that is the only interface, then you have all sorts of problems, as covered in the other comments (e. g. service to Woodinville that will hardly be used, buses stuck in horrendous traffic, etc.).

  12. I can’t help but observe that the Woodinville tail of 522 BRT would be better connected to Link by going north on 405 to Lynnwood. The 522-405 stop could also facilitate 405 south transfers from the Woodinville tail.

    This sets up the possibility that every 522 Shoreline -Bothell bus could terminate at UW Bothell and connect to 405 BRT as a less circuitous trail.

  13. OK, how about this: https://goo.gl/maps/nUxkmSMSsnhS62yLA. (The map isn’t 100% accurate, as both the entrance and exit to 405 would be via HOT lanes). There would be stops on the 522/405 interchange, the Canyon Park freeway stop, and Canyon Park Park and Ride (the terminus).

    This has several advantages:

    1) Makes for a great connection to Swift Green (and other buses). It is a two seat connection not only to UWB, but Kenmore and other places along SR 522.

    2) Great flexibility for other routing. For example, the 311 can still use the 522/405 interchange, or it can head up to 195th/Beardslee.

    3) Connects well with 405 BRT (two freeway stops — take your pick).

    4) Avoids the worst of the SR 522 traffic. Westbound, the backup will stretch towards Monroe. This puts the bus ahead of all of that. There would be no traffic lights after the turn onto 522 until it reached Campus Parkway and 180th. I don’t think Eastbound traffic will be as bad, and this again puts it ahead of the worst of it. More than anything, this minimizes the distance that a bus runs on SR 522 without a bus lane.

    5) Covers more of the campus than the representative project.

    6) Making improvements on the route requires less work (you are only dealing with a short span).

    7) Increases frequency on I-405 for this little section. I don’t expect that many riders to use this, but for someone trying to get from say, Woodinville Town Center to Thrasher’s Corner, this would be a huge improvement. It is still a three seat ride, but at least the middle seat is very frequent.

    8) Easy layover spot. (There was always a fair amount of hand waving with regards to 195th and the layover — I didn’t see anything that great or easy).

    I think this would be a much better value than trying to directly serve Woodinville. Woodinville ridership is expected to be abysmally low (100 riders — https://seattletransitblog.com/2019/05/23/woodinville-brt/). Maybe Canyon Park will be similar, but at least it would be cheaper to serve. It takes less than five minutes to get from 522 to the Canyon Park exit, and the exit would be HOT only, and feed directly to the park and ride (unlike the map I drew). In contrast, serving Woodinville would likely take twice as long (and even longer if there are backups on 522 in Woodinville towards Bothell).

    The only drawback that I see is political. This would benefit a different subarea (Snohomish County) and not Woodinville. Express buses from Woodinville to Bellevue or the UW would be an easy way to deal with that problem. My guess is that would be far more popular (especially since folks could still get to the 522 BRT fairly easily with either bus).

    1. Turning north or south would give at least some people a one-seat ride and mitigate the transfer-in-a-freeway-interchange. Lynnwood may be closer but more people are probably going to Bellevue, or Redmond via Bellevue. However, this won’t happen because the purpose of 522 Stride is to give Woodinville, Bothell, and Kenmore something for their ST taxes, and Woodinville was in the ballot measure.

      1. RossB:
        OK, how about this:

        Exhibit A of how screwed up this “inexpensive” access point transfer is a spectacular failure. In short, it does everything except what’s needed. More in depth; it pretty much screws up every plan that could possibly provide an acceptable solution to what was already a difficult area to serve.

        When I first saw the rendering (not a “plan”) I thought… that’s thinking out of the box. Sometimes, “out of the box” just is plain crazy talk. And I think ripping out significant existing infrastructure and adding stoplights on 522 (something WSDOT has been working diligently on removing) falls into the just plain crazy talk category. It really looks smells and tastes like a way to manufacture ETL revenue…. sure glad I didn’t step in it :=)

      2. The advantage of going to Canyon Park instead of Woodinville is that it is cheaper, will pick up more riders, and provide for a more consistent, faster bus ride. This isn’t intuitive. It seems like a really long way. But it is only three minutes on the freeway, in an HOT lane, with a direct HOT ramp to the park and ride (which really should now be called a transit center). That is much faster than serving any stop in Woodinville.

        The main purpose of the extension is to connect to the 405 BRT. Doing so as cheaply as possible makes sense given the very small number of riders who go from Woodinville to anywhere on SR 522.

        It is no wonder there would be very few riders, since it takes so long to get from Woodinville to Seattle that way. The only riders are those headed to places along the way (UWB, Kenmore, etc.). Since it will take an hour to get from Woodinville to Seattle that way, it makes way more sense to add express service from Woodinville to Bellevue or the UW.

        Put it this way: If they extend the line to Woodinville, I doubt very many people will be excited. They will have a two seat ride to Bellevue, and that is pretty much it. The connection to downtown or the UW would be extremely slow. Only a handful are headed to UWB or Kenmore.

        If they add an express to Bellevue, then folks have a one seat ride to Bellevue. Most of the riders who would benefit from the 522 extension come out way ahead. If they run an express to the UW, then it is a game changer for those in Woodinville, as well as those in Totem Lake and Brickyard.

        Not only is it more cost effective, but it fits in better with the mandate of Sound Transit as well as the approach they are taking. ST is about regional transit, not serving low volume, unpopular park and ride lots. Terminating at Canyon Park connects the region. It means that someone from as far away as Mill Creek can get to Bothell, Kenmore and Lake City with a simple, frequent and fast two-seat ride.

        Extending to Woodinville simply isn’t a good value — for Woodinville or the system in general. We would be better off sending the bus to Canyon Park, and then putting money into something that helps Woodinville (like more express buses to Bellevue or the UW).

      3. Extending to Woodinville simply isn’t a good value — for Woodinville or the system in general. We would be better off sending the bus to Canyon Park, and then putting money into something that helps Woodinville (like more express buses to Bellevue or the UW).

        Fair enough. But what bugs me is the constant harping on “nobody uses Woodinville P&R” so why send a bus there. The reason it has excess capacity is because existing bus service sucks. You give it bus connections equivalent to Brickyard and instantly it’s full. That said, we know a P&R doesn’t scale so for it to be a decent connection it has to be served by more than just peak commuter Express buses.

        A lot of people want to go to Redmond and Overlake. But a bus from Woodinville using 202 isn’t worth it because of traffic. When Link opens a bus to Bellevue TC becomes a viable option and Bellevue TC opens up a tone of other connections. Routing it to connect with 522 (be it 405/522 or the (intelligent) Beardsley solution opens up another huge swath of trips while adding an actual destination. Beardsley is a minor detour whereas Canyon Park is no go. I’d be tempted to skip Brickyard so that Woodinville users aren’t squeezed out by people going to Brickyard that have other good routes.

      4. The reason [Woodinville Park and Ride] has excess capacity is because existing bus service sucks. You give it bus connections equivalent to Brickyard and instantly it’s full.

        Sure. But guess what Woodinville has that Brickyard doesn’t? All day, frequent service to the ST 522. In other words, extending the 522 BRT there — which is what many think is a good idea — won’t do a thing to fill those lots. On the existing 522, ridership in Woodinville is way below that of Lake City, Kenmore and Bothell. There simply aren’t that many people in Woodinville interested in an hour long trip to Seattle, or trips to Bothell and Kenmore.

        If, as you suggest, they have something resembling Brickyard — all day service to Bellevue and Lynnwood — then ridership would go way up. Enabling that via an awkward transfer underneath a huge freeway interchange might add a few riders, but not nearly as many as if they offered direct service to Bellevue (or the UW). The easiest way to accomplish that is to end the 522 BRT as cheaply as possible, and use the extra money for what Woodinville wants (and Brickyard has).

      5. Given Woodinville P&R has the 311 providing a 40 min 1 seat ride to DT Seattle I think the key to filling the 200 odd spaces going begging is a similar route to DT Bellevue. I’d suggest a route that stops at Totem Lake, Houghton and DT Bellevue. Why Houghton? Because there are 400 of the 470 spaces going unused.

        I don’t know what it would take to get people to use Houghton but current service doesn’t cut it:
        245 – only useful connection is DT Kirkland. Most people would just drive.
        238 – ditto
        277 – UW should pick up some ridership with 255 terminating at the same place
        What’s missing is Bellevue TC. I suspect there would be more takers of free parking if the 277 service hours were all used by just going between Bellevue TC and Houghton. Question is to use 116th or 405? I lean toward 116th for more ridership/destinations + transfer to S. Kirkland P&R. Nix the service to Crossroads because from Bellevue TC you just hop on RR-B. Nix the service to Overlake because likewise you transfer at the TC. Keep/improve service between Kirkland/Redmond on Old Redmond Rd/70th because with those three destinations you have good transfer options to everywhere. Especially since Old Red Rd crosses 148th where you can transfer to RR-B (Crossroads or Redmond).

      6. Bernie,

        Woodinville has a 311-esque express to Bellevue in the 237. Granted, it doesn’t run often, but it’s there. For the times the 237 isn’t running, one could always take the 311 and transfer at Brickyard or Totem Lake for the 532, 535, or 342, the latter of which happens to be Houghton’s express bus to Bellevue.

      7. Those aren’t very attractive options. As with the 311 they only operate over a very short period of time and with long headways. Say you want to be at work in Bellevue at 7am. A 237 scheduled to arrive at 6:50 isn’t going to cut it. So you’d have to get the one that arrives at 5:59. Combine that with the limited schedule of the 311 and your adding hours to your day. Plus there’s no flexibility in the evening. You miss your connection and you might as well call an Uber. People are willing to schedule their vacation plans around an airport departure time. They’re not going to plan their life around a bus schedule.

    2. There are already lots of buses going to Canyon Park. And for me, someone who lives a mile north of downtown Bothell but only ever wants to go south (to either Seattle or Eastside destinations), that is worse than the low-ridership tail to Woodinville.

      I preferred the overlapping 405 BRT plan that would have had a tail in downtown Bothell, which would have been much better for getting to Bellevue or Redmond from downtown Bothell. But with 405 being one line with stations near the interstate, the WSDOT plan seems about as good as you can get.

      The one thing that would help me (and similarly situated downtown-area Bothell residents) would be to send 522 to Bellevue. That would save a bunch of time getting to Bellevue and Redmond, and probably make the bus a viable option for non-biking days. People who need to get to Snohomish County have other options.

      1. There’s still time to hope for multi-line BRT in ST4. Officialdom hasn’t thought about it yet, but they haven’t committed to anything else either. If 405 Stride does reasonably well and people can picture how much nicer it would be if there were lines going directly to downtown Kirkland, Bothell, and Woodinville, it might have a chance. Especially given the cost of a Link alternative. (Issaquah-Totem Lake, Ballard-Kirkland-Redmond, Northgate-Bothell-Kirkland, etc.)

      2. There are already lots of buses going to Canyon Park.

        Yes, that’s the point. It would connect a lot more riders (those using the Swift Green line) to the 522 BRT.

        And for me, someone who lives a mile north of downtown Bothell but only ever wants to go south (to either Seattle or Eastside destinations), that is worse than the low-ridership tail to Woodinville.

        Why? The main advantage to sending a bus to Canyon Lake is that it is cheaper, faster, and the transfer from the 522 BRT to the 405 BRT is much better. Why is it better to go to Woodinville?

        The one thing that would help me (and similarly situated downtown-area Bothell residents) would be to send 522 to Bellevue.

        Right, except that it would be a lot more expensive. From the 522/405 interchange, it takes about 3 minutes to get to Canyon Lake. It takes 10 minutes to get to Bellevue. That doesn’t include the extra stops along the way. Ultimately it would result in a lot of redundant and less frequent service.

        No one likes to transfer, but there is no reason to favor trips that direction. If you look at the numbers for the 535, just as many people head to UWB from the north as from the south. It doesn’t make sense to spend a bunch of money on redundant service, when that trip is no more popular than any other.

        The key here is the connection between the two BRT lines. We should find the cheapest, easiest, most pleasant way to make that connection. Sending the buses to Canyon Lake is the best way to do that.

    3. I like your idea of severing the Woodinville tail from the 522 STRide service and transferring it to the 405 STRide service. It seems advantageous.

      – That would add buses on the highest demand part of the 405 service.

      – That would mean not only direct Bellevue service with only three 405 inline stops before reaching Downtown Bellevue Link Station, but an easy eight-stop ride on a less crowded East Link train to Westlake . The 522 (11 stops west of 405) + Link (7 stops to Westlake) won’t operate nearly as fast.

      I think that an extension of 522 BRT to Canyon Park rather than Woodinville is an intriguing idea, too. It really helps eliminate a turn-around problem. However, I don’t hold rosy hopes that 522 as STRide will attract many more riders than 522 Express does today (about 5,000 average weekday) and this probably wouldn’t help. Perhaps ending at Brickyard would be better.

      1. The 522 gets way more riders than the 535 (which is basically the equivalent of the 405 BRT). The 522 competes with the 372 for many of its rides, while the 535 is pretty much the only bus doing what it is doing (all day service along that corridor). I think when the dust settles, the 522 BRT will have a lot more riders than the 405 BRT, especially if Metro truncates the 372 (and cancels some of its express runs).

  14. Ross, I gather that the eastbound 522 STRide buses would actually turn left at the ETL interchange, but I get the idea. The one thing that strikes me is that folks headed east on 522 wanting to change to 405 southbound would have to cross the northside ETL ramp. That would have right-turners all the time I would expect. It won’t be a pleasant crossing.

    Of course, the same thing is true if the bus turns south, but for the folks who want to go north. As you said, it looks like buses would have to stop on both sides of 522, because WSDOT is NOT going to put cross-walks across that street there.

    I think whoever mentioned that this is a way to get ETL access for cars at least in part on ST’s dime is spot on (maybe Al?). The ramp-based transfer is a terrible idea overall.

    1. Ross, I gather that the eastbound 522 STRide buses would actually turn left at the ETL interchange, but I get the idea.

      Yes, I mentioned that in my comments. I drew the map using “Directions” on a Google Map, and since the HOT lanes don’t exist, it wouldn’t let me draw that. Nor would it let me draw the shortcut from 405 to Canyon Park (which is a bigger deal in my opinion).

      The one thing that strikes me is that folks headed east on 522 wanting to change to 405 southbound would have to cross the northside ETL ramp. That would have right-turners all the time I would expect. It won’t be a pleasant crossing.

      Right, but that is a given. If the bus goes to Woodinville, we have the same issue, except that instead of crossing the I-405 HOT exit ramp, folks cross SR 522. Some would cross both (such fun).

      Besides, I’m not sure how many people will use that ramp and turn right. HOT lanes charge per segment. Since the regular right exit avoids not only that turn, but the intersection for the campus (https://goo.gl/maps/GgEXTQY2nm8FSY236) a lot of drivers will simply move their way to the right lane, and come out ahead while saving a few bucks.

      … As you said, it looks like buses would have to stop on both sides of 522, because WSDOT is NOT going to put cross-walks across that street there.

      I wouldn’t be so sure. Totem Lake has crosswalks, and the situation seems similar. What is clear with this change is that WSDOT is treating this part of SR 522 like the road to the west instead of the freeway to east. Cars will routinely have to come to a complete stop if they are going from Bothell to Woodinville (something they have never done before). I can’t say I agree with the approach, but it appears like that is what they are doing. A crosswalk going east-west should be pretty easy, since much of the time, the light (favoring through traffic on 522) would be green. I would expect the northbound and southbound bus stops for the 405 BRT to be just north of the intersection and going between them would be similar to crossing the street at Totem Lake (https://goo.gl/maps/goSKUPKqhoqfc94X7).

      It gets tricky for express buses from Bellevue to Woodinville (or UW to Woodinville). This means another set of bus stops, just south of the intersection (on the southbound on-ramp and northbound exit). This is less than ideal, to say the least. A rider going from Woodinville to Kenmore has to cross SR 522, on the west side of the road. Unlike the other crosswalk, this one would be infrequent. Likewise, Kenmore to Woodinville would require crossing 522 on the other side of the street. This would mean either beg buttons (with a separate part of the traffic light cycle) or splitting the left turns (drivers get a left turn signal while walkers get to cross on the other side of the street). My guess is that they would add a beg button, as splitting the left turns would further delay what is likely to be a congested intersection (although not as congested as the one to the east).

      But again, that is why it is better to send the bus somewhere besides Woodinville. If the 522 BRT bus goes to Woodinville, then we know that folks making the transfer between the two most frequent lines in the region have to cross SR 522. That is a miserable, time consuming crossing that will also interfere with bus traffic. If the 522 BRT bus goes to Canyon Park, then they cross the HOT ramps — a shorter crossing that is usually green. It is only express buses from Woodinville that make it tricky.

      But we aren’t even sure those buses will exist. To me, the crossing is an argument for a shuttle system from UWB to Woodinville, along with a set of express buses from UWB to UW. If Woodinville feels like that isn’t enough, then they can live with that crossing, which frankly, won’t be that common. There just aren’t that many people going from Woodinville to Bothell and Kenmore.

  15. Can they build this like they are going to build the 85th St interchange in Kirkland? It seems to me that this is a similar situation, and the same problems that need to be solved in both locations.

    1. Can they build this like they are going to build the 85th St interchange in Kirkland? It seems to me that this is a similar situation, and the same problems that need to be solved in both locations.

      This may be the thread that never dies :=

      1st off, does anyone have a link to a proposed design at NE85th? Full disclosure, I believe this is a project that should be abandoned too. And the reasons are similar; there’s no there there and there’s a better option. Namely, move the project to Old Redmond Rd/Houghton P&R. One similarity is NE85th like 405/522 is no mans land. Contrast with Houghton which has an under used P&R and Old Redmond Rd is a much better generator of transit trips than NE 85th. Another similarity is you don’t blow a bunch of money to rip up a existing infrastructure.

      1. Thanks, I reread the comments from that episode of Bus Tycoon.

        If NE 85th is still on the table the burning question is why aren’t transit advocates bringing out the torches and pitchforks to prevent ST from even considering this debacle? A real quick back of the napkin calculation amortized over 20 years using lowest cost estimate ($235M with no adjustment for local service… and ST never has cost over runs) the most optimistic ridership number yields over $100 per trip subside just to cover capital cost. Add a very conservative time cost of money and it’s over $150 per rider.

        A NE 85th BRT station isn’t just stuck on stupid, it’s criminal. Since the time these comments were made there has been a substantial shift; Canyon Park and Brickyard are now moved to the front of the line. Let’s hope a year from now Beardsley and Houghton are “in” and that NE 85th and 405/522 are “out”.

      2. @Bernie: I agree the 85th St station is stupid. But my feeling is they’re doing it mostly to rebuild the interchange, give Kirkland ETL access, and provide a transfer spot. If you provide enough local service there, then people going into downtown Kirkland or into Redmond/Overlake can get a much better experience (although, of course, local traffic would make the service good or bad).
        I also agree 70th would make more sense, but from what I remember of earlier discussions, retrofitting ETL ramps at 70th is extremely expensive due to the smaller roadway width there (which is exactly why it’s a better place to do it).

      3. There should be plenty of width at NE70th. on the west side the exit is a cloverleaf. On the east side it’s a diamond but the adjacent land is all P&R. Behind that is the old Houghton land fill. If they build it just like Totem Lake it only adds the with of two lane, about 30′. The challenge is if they have to shift all the lanes or if they can shift it all to one side. If need be they could just make the exit ETL access only. That would reduce rush hour back-ups and improve Kirkland Redmond RR via Old Redmond Rd. This has to be a small fraction of the cost or what they are proposing at NE85th

    2. 2019: Legislature authorized up to $600 million to design and construct the capacity improvements between SR 522 and SR 527. (This is from the wsdot info that DavidL linked to)

      I’m just thinking that if 85th is gong to cost 200+ million, and they have up to 600 million to play with t 522, that they won’t be happy with putting stoplights on 522. This is for car convenience after all and stoplights are not convenient!

      So, in the end, It may not be cost effective to do the three tier interchange at 85th, but I expect wsdot to come up with something similar at 522.

      1. $200 million is for a single interchange. $600 million would have to cover redesigning the 522-405 interchange, building a new bridge, building several miles of new lanes, and building the 527 ramp. I’m sure it’ll be a bit fancier than what they have right now, but I doubt they can spend $200 million just on that interchange.

      2. I think the $600M is for 522 to 527. Brickyard is funded by ST, not WSDOT. Any idea if it will be transit only access from the ETL lanes? Anyway, I believe the $200 million for NE85th is a jointly funded venture between ST and WSDOT. In the end it’s all paid for by tax dollars and it’s way to much money for what it is/isn’t.

      3. Yes, correct, Brickyard is ST while 522 to 527 is WSDOT. But the list I made is just the 522 to 527 work. Brickyard isn’t included in that. Just saying that it’s a lot of stuff to do and I doubt there will be a ton of cash to spare.

  16. I’ll also through this idea out there: If the Brickyard inline stop is built like the one at Canyon Park, then the 522 BRT could turn around there. This is a weaker anchor, but it is closer to SR 522. It is so close — only about a mile — that you could just do away with the freeway stop at the 522/405 interchange. People going from Bellevue to Kenmore (or the reverse) would have a pleasant transfer and a fast ride. Those going from Lynnwood to Kenmore would transfer at the same place, and only backtrack a minute or so.

    There would be a couple significant advantages. First, the 405 BRT could avoid the 522 interchange altogether. The bus would would go from Canyon Park to Brickyard without stopping, making it even faster. Express buses from Woodinville would use the same bus stop (at Brickyard) as everyone else. This means that instead of four bus stops at the 522/405 interchange, you would have none. Buses would use the 405 HOT lanes to and from 522, but they wouldn’t have a bus stop there.

    The Swift Green line could eventually be extended to UWB (a much better anchor for all day service). Until then, folks would muddle along with the various options (new Metro 230, Community transit 105 and 106). Likewise, eventually an inline stop could be added at 195th.

    I hope that ST considers having a bus ramp (not just a pedestrian ramp) with the new Brickyard inline station.

    1. After a few days of pondering it, I think a RossB is right that Brickyard transfer point is a great option and may be the best one.

      The only drawbacks:

      1. Walking to UWB becomes a problem from 405 BRT. Still, if the walking distance from a 405/522 is as far as it is, transferring to a frequent 522 BRT at Brickyard could usually be a faster way to get there (as well as be less difficult).

      2. Woodinville wouldn’t be directly connected to 522 BRT. I’m not sure if Woodinville riders see benefit to the connection though, as feeding Woodinville as a branch of 405 BRT instead would get riders directly to Bellevue and would appear to get riders to Downtown Seattle and to a 520 bus to UW faster.

      Oh well…. a nice idea but ST seems very fixated on whatever initial vision that they have. Unlike Metro, who has decades of flexibility as a practical operator, ST seems to feel bound by political decisions rather than adjusting to realistic project development adjustments. I’m skeptical that this practical idea will evolve.

      1. 1. Sure, but as you wrote, I think very few people would walk from 522/405 to UWB.

        2. No, Woodinville would not be directly connected to the 522 BRT. Neither would Brier, Canyon Park, and dozens of other places. But keep in mind, even if Woodinville was directly connected to 522 BRT, only about 100 people would ever take advantage of that connection. That is the estimate from ST, and it sounds reasonable. What Woodinville would use is a direct bus to Bellevue. That would also enable a two seat ride to everywhere that the 522 BRT goes, along with a faster connection to Seattle. It doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of effort making a direct connection to an area that will attract very few riders. It is better to give folks something they would actually use.

    2. If they don’t put in the bus ramp, that would be stupid. It would also block the 311 from using the ETL. If you look at the area though, there’s a very logical place to do it. There’s already a road separating the two halves of the P&R. You can just extend that road across 405. If you wanted to, you could extend it all the way over to NE 153rd St on the other side.

      In any case, I think giving both cars and buses access to the ETLs through the ramp would be a good thing. Get some extra support from non-transit people at little extra cost.

      1. Good point about the 311. My only concern is money. It is cheaper to build a connection only for pedestrians. But given the 311 (along with other express buses) it is likely they are focused on both.

        By the way, I don’t think it is necessary to have both at 195th/Beardslee. In that case, a simple pedestrian stop would be sufficient. The 243 is the only bus that serves the neighborhood and then gets on the freeway, and it runs only four times a day (one way).

      2. I looked again. A pedestrian-only inline station (like the ones on 520) would be OK for the 311. It gets on 405 at 522. From what I can tell there are no existing buses that serve the neighborhood and then get on the freeway there.

        But I think the 311 should change. Going from Woodinville to the Brickyard Park and Ride via Brickyard road is just about as fast, and would pick up extra riders. It could then use the new ramps. That is exactly the type of run that should be beefed up, instead of putting money into connecting the 522 BRT to Woodinville.

      3. The ramp to 522 starts at Brickyard, so a 311 going through the center and then merging to 522 is not going to work. The bus would literally have to go horizontally across all of 405 to make it to the 522 ramp.

        I agree, going via Brickyard would add minimal time and provide a lot more service. But, I have a feeling the articulated buses aren’t going to make it up Brickyard. It’s really steep. And you need articulated buses on the 311 given the ridership. Plus you’d still need those new ramps.

      4. The ramp to 522 starts at Brickyard, so a 311 going through the center and then merging to 522 is not going to work.

        Sure it will. The bus exits from the center access ETL ramp, turn right and then left onto the existing on-ramp that leads to Bothell or Woodinville. They just finished rebuilding this a couple of years ago.

        I agree that the super steep ramps from grade at 522 straight up the cliff is going to be a crawl on an artic. Making matters worse is you’re starting from a dead stop instead of a 60mph off-ramp like the current situation. Anyone that doubts how steep this is I suggest riding your bike up Norway Hill :=

      5. Going from Woodinville to the Brickyard Park and Ride via Brickyard road is just about as fast, and would pick up extra riders

        During the times the 311 operates the intersection at 175th and Woodinville/Redmond Rd is a major backup and so is the one at the sports fields. The onesie twosie riders you might pick up further delay the bus. Honestly I’d skip DT Woodinville and take the 195th exit. That’s what what Google suggests even off peak.

      6. @Bernie, I agree that works if the ramps provide direct access to 160th St as the Totem Lake ramps do to 128th. But more than likely they’ll do a similar approach to Canyon Park, where the ramp is not attached to 527 but instead is just south of it with access into the P&R over a dedicated bridge.

        I think that’s more than likely what will happen at Brickyard especially because 160th already has too many people turning left onto 405 (both directions). Right now, 160th has two travel lanes in each direction + a center lane which is split in half between the two left turns. It’s pretty common for that to be overflowing into the travel lanes. If you try to add center ETL ramps, you’d need to add at least one extra lane to handle overflow and there’s no room to do it on that bridge.

      7. If they give Brickyard the Canyon Park Treatment in should still be possible for the bus to exit onto Juanita/Wdnvl Way. Congestion issues can be dealt with by giving the buses signal priority. I was under the impression that WSDOT wanted center access for HOT lane users to reduce the weave in this area. If they add merge lanes just for transit access to the P&R then it eliminates any possibility of ETL access from 160th in the future. If they go with a Totem lake style design it would involve a complete rebuild of the bridge anyway. And with the large island built in the median it cuts the length span required in half. They could build in deluxe pedestrian access like the NE36th crossing of 520 (aka the Microsoft bridge).

      8. Honestly I’d skip DT Woodinville and take the 195th exit.

        The point of going via Brickyard is to pick up more riders. The section on Juanita/Woodinville Way manages to have one of the few apartments/condo clusters in the area. The larger point is, I can see how the ramp could be used (for more than a turnaround spot).

        That being said, I don’t think it essential that we keep adding bus ramps. It is far more important that we add inline stations — for the most part, bus ramps are just a bonus. For example, the Canyon Park bus ramp will be used by one bus route that runs six times a day. In contrast, the inline bus stop (and pedestrian bridge) will be used by a bus that runs every 15 minutes until 10 PM (and another bus that runs to Everett every so often). Far more people will use the inline stop than the bus ramp.

        I think the most important bus ramps are at 522 and 520. Both would speed up express bus service. In the long run, it makes sense to have a bus that goes from the UW Bothell campus to the UW main campus. Run that every 15 minutes and you could truncate the 372 at Kenmore, if not 145th. That bus will be able to go from 405 to 522 quickly by using the HOT ramps. I just wish we had a 405 HOT to 520 HOV ramp to go along with it.

        Otherwise, we just need inline stations (with pedestrian access). Along with Canyon Park and Brickyard, we need 195th. If we had 195th, then the 522 BRT could just end there. Likewise, it would be nice to have an inline station at Houghton, so that the 405 BRT (or other express buses) could easily serve it.

      9. we just need inline stations (with pedestrian access). Along with Canyon Park and Brickyard, we need 195th. If we had 195th, then the 522 BRT could just end there. Likewise, it would be nice to have an inline station at Houghton, so that the 405 BRT (or other express buses) could easily serve it.

        While many of us have a different take on the “reality” or “how to make lemonaid” there seems to be general agreement that as a goal, not without difficult challenges, is to create a quality node at 195th. I think it’s worth fighting the good fight for.

        I agree that the inline stations should be the goal. I’m really not understanding why, since it has a bastardized inline stop, the ramp to the P&R at Canyon Park is needed. It’s a lot of $$$, concrete and GHG emissions…. for what?

        In an SOV driver point of view it would seem that 522 and 405 transfer points would be the holy grail. But when you look at destination pairs and actual transfer potential it doesn’t work that way. Even if bus routes do cross there it will never be a hub (i.e. TC like Bellevue, Kirkland, etc.). You need to get buses efficiently to where people have the greatest number of choices. And, the KISS principle applies.

        Of all the potential points that are in play, only Beardsley/195th is worthy of becoming a full fledged TC.

      10. I’ve been a long time proponent of Houghton. But working through this I’m beginning to question it’s worth; or at least how to access it for transit. Not only “nobody goes there anymore” but nobody seems to ever have used it. Yes, partly because of the feed back loop of no riders == no service; but looking at where people want to go it’s a tuff sell to not just drive there (mainly DT Bellevue).

        So, I’m thinking using half of this lot to build the subsidized parking they built at S. Kirkland P&R would have been a better idea. You get the land for free, still have a P&R that’s not near capacity and don’t have to “mitigate the loss of free parking” by building an ultra expensive parking garage with elevators and other high maintenance costs.

        Any reports on the ROI of the S. Kirkland project?

      11. ack “using half of this lot to build the subsidized parking they built at S. Kirkland P&R”

        Subsidized parking should be subsidized housing

      12. I agree with all your points Bernie. The first priority should be building inline stops at Canyon Park, 195th and Brickyard (in that order). Bus ramps at those locations are not needed. Adding an HOT ramp between 405 and 522 is a welcome addition, but adding bus stops there is a bad idea.

        Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that is what is going to be built. I’m basically arguing for a bus route that makes the best of bad priorities. It is lemonade indeed.

      13. There must be a reason ST wants to build an access ramp. The only reason I can come up with is they want to terminate or originate some routes here. Or there’s a plan to route “feeder buses” onto the freeway. It can’t be cost saving because they are building inline stops and adding pedestrian ramps anyway. And what’s with the ped ramp to the west? On top of all that there’s the cost of building the actual bridge over the freeway to the P&R where the turn around is going to consume space.

        The only other possibility I can think of is they are planning to allow van pools or possibly HOV access from the P&R. The ramp set-up looks dangerous enough without amateur hour.

      14. As far as Canyon Lake, I don’t know if ST is pushing for the bus ramps, or even cares. They don’t have any plans for anything that would use them. On the other hand, I could see Snohomish County wanting them. They do have an express bus, and sending that bus to Bellevue would be a lot cheaper than sending it to downtown Seattle. But then again, maybe it was just the state that said “well, we are adding an inline stop, along with pedestrian access. Let’s just add a bus ramp from the park and ride”.

        This is a reasonable decision, if they knew nothing about what the agencies are actually planning. Many people (including me) have argued that we need a series of overlapping buses on 405 — not one big “spine” from Lynnwood to Renton (and beyond). But that isn’t happening. There will be no overlapping set of buses — no “BRISK”. There will be a spine, and for the most part, feeder buses. There may be a few additional express buses (like the CT 435) but even then, some of those may go away. CT doesn’t have much long term interest in long distance commuter buses — they would rather send the riders to Link stations (which means they may be comfortable sending them to connecting buses). Put it this way — would you rather extend the Swift Green line to UWB, or continue with the current 435? I think the agency would rather extend the Swift Green Line.

        I think it is quite possible that the state is simply building everything, figuring that agencies may change their mind in the future. I get that, and it is a reasonable approach. But not when it shortchanges the key elements of what people voted for. Putting aside the transfer (from a 405 bus to a 522 bus) the plan was to send the 522 bus to 195th. It is one thing to say that it won’t go farther — Woodinville was always in question, and never expected to have the sort of frequency of the rest of the line. It is another to basically say you are skipping stops with a fair number of people (who currently have access to a bus serving Lynnwood, Bellevue and UWB) while forcing riders to transfer in the middle of nowhere (522/405).

  17. I also am skeptical that ST will leave Woodinville out of 522 BRT, and I also think WSDOT won’t want to put stoplights on the highway either,. This is why I think they will design the interchange with multiple levels like at 85th, even if they have to lower the 522 roadbed to do it.

    so.. how to do it? I see a couple of ways

    1. Hwy 522 on the lowest level without a stop light. Put the 522 BRT stops on 522 with stairs and/or a ramp up to the next level where the 405 BRT station and car access to the ETL lanes is.

    2. Hwy 522 on the lowest level. A modified traffic circle up one level where the ETL access is with two bus stops. Both BRT lines go to this level. Have one of the BRT lines stop at both stops before leaving the traffic circle so that people won’t need to cross a road to get to the connecting bus they want.

    I agree with the idea of terminating 522 at Canyon Park or Brickyard, but as Al S says ST has a lack of flexibility so I think the best we can hope for is a better designed interchange.

    1. I think ST will have to be flexible. The original plans were to run the 522 BRT up to 195th. If there is no stop for the 405 BRT there, then that idea is dead. In other words, going to 522/405 is a major change from the original plan. If they are flexible enough to go there, then they should be flexible enough to end at Brickyard or Canyon Park.

      It also sounds like they weren’t committed to going to Woodinville, even before this latest update. There just aren’t enough 522 BRT riders from Woodinville. Serving those riders with either a separate “Woodinville Connector” (as described here: https://seattletransitblog.com/2019/05/23/woodinville-brt/) or a Woodinville to Bellevue express makes a lot more sense. The latter would be a bit redundant, but still quite popular. Not only would it mean a one seat ride for Woodinville riders to Bellevue, but it would make it easier for Kenmore and Bothell riders to get to Bellevue as well. They would ride the 522 BRT, and either the 405 BRT or the Woodinville-Bellevue express (whichever came first).

    2. I think they will design the interchange with multiple levels like at 85th, even if they have to lower the 522 roadbed to do it.

      It’s barely above the elevation of the SRT now. Lower it and you’re going to have to rely on pumps to keep it dry. 800′ @ 0.5% already loses 4′ and figure another 2′ at the catch basin. It’s not uncommon for the Slew to flood portions of the valley. They may be able to tie into a line to the Bright Water treatment plant. Don’t know if that’s an option but if the slew starts flooding the treatment facility you quickly get a situation like Magnolia Pt. experienced a few years back… not good.

  18. “Some more savings will come at NE 44th in Renton where that station will be significantly below the representative project budget.”

    This sentence isn’t clear to me. Someone explain?

  19. Can someone explain how this concept at Canyon Park is supposed to work?

    It seems obvious that the elevated ramp area will be buses only. The show SB buses turning left across traffic to enter/exit the P&R. So I assume there will have to be a traffic signal. But the also show pedestrian bridges going to platforms on each side. But who is going walk out there when the bus is going into the P&R? Especially the ramp that only has access from the west. Why?

    It’s not like the loop at S. Kirkland but how much time will it take a bus to exit, come to a stop (or almost a stop) to turn into the P&R, loop through the P&R loading/unloading, wait for the traffic signal and accelerate back up to speed and merge?

    1. But who is going walk out there when the bus is going into the P&R?

      Not every bus is going to go into the park and ride. For example, the 405 BRT bus won’t. It will stop at the bus stop (on the freeway) and then keep going. Riders who parked at the park and ride, or got off the Swift Green (or Community Transit 105, 106, 120) would walk out there if they are headed to Bellevue.

      On the other hand, the Community Transit 435 (Mill Creek to Seattle) would use that ramp.

      You can think of it like the Totem Lake transit center. Some buses keep going on the freeway, some buses exit.

      1. You can think of it like the Totem Lake transit center. Some buses keep going on the freeway, some buses exit.

        I think you mean the freeway stop and not the Totem Lake TC which is a rather useless layover point in front of a medical building. The freeway stop has connecting stops really close together. The P&R loop for some buses is not very common and is mostly for routes than need to layover. Even the hike from Totem Lk P&R is a short walk compared to what I see in this Canyon Park design.

        This some buses stop here and others stop there is very confusing and sucks rocks if you have to sprint from here to there (or back again if you read the schedule wrong or need to catch a different bus). I’m guessing since this is transit only and will have to be signalized there will be a pedestrian crossing between the platforms. So what’s the point of the pedestrian bridge to the west?

      2. Yeah, I meant the freeway stop (I thought they were synonymous). Sorry about any confusion.

        This some buses stop here and others stop there is very confusing and sucks rocks if you have to sprint from here to there (or back again if you read the schedule wrong or need to catch a different bus).

        I don’t think it will be an issue in this case. I think the CT 435 will stop in both places (the park and ride and the freeway). The freeway stop would allow someone from Mill Creek to easily transfer to a bus headed to Bellevue. It would also eliminate exactly the problem you mention. Someone could walk out to the freeway, looking to catch the express to downtown Seattle (the CT 435). But if the 405 BRT arrives first they take that (and transfer to Link in Bellevue).

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