Aerial image of the Downtown Redmond station (image: Sound Transit)

Now that Redmond Link has officially broken ground, significant construction will be beginning in the Spring along the 3.4 mile extension from Redmond Technology Station to Downtown Redmond. Two new stations will be added in Downtown Redmond and just across the freeway at Southeast Redmond. The station designs are making their way through design review. The scope of the review is limited and most structural elements of the line are excluded. But it is an opportunity for the rest of us to see what the stations will look like.

The Downtown Redmond station sits astride 166th St (image: Sound Transit)

The downtown Redmond station is an elevated structure in the Redmond Central Connector corridor (once part of a spur line from the Eastside Rail Corridor) and spans 166th Ave NE. There will be bus stops on either side of the station along Cleveland St and NE 76th St. The station will have entrances on either side of 166th and will parallel the Redmond Connector trail which is being relocated very slightly to the north.

Downtown Redmond station interior (image: Sound Transit)

At the west end of the station is a 400′ tail track for storing trains overnight. The tail tracks will be screened with an architectural expression. It’s not large enough to block the view of the tail tracks, but it ensures the line does not appear unfinished or ended abruptly.

Art work at the tail track in downtown Redmond (image: Sound Transit)

The Southeast Redmond station is a fairly simple grade level station. The dominant architectural feature will be a 1,400 car parking structure just to the east of the station. The station area is bounded by SR 520 to the north, but the neighborhood around the station is otherwise expected to urbanize. Indeed, several apartment projects are now in review.

Southeast Redmond aerial view (image: Sound Transit)
SE Redmond station with parking in background (image: Sound Transit)

Trains will run through the ground level of the garage which will also accommodate bus bays and bike parking. The parking for cars will be on the upper floors.

The lowest level of the parking structure accommodates buses and walk/bike access (image: Sound Transit)

While the city is looking for a design that minimizes visual impacts from the neighborhood, the garage will nevertheless appear rather large from the freeway.

The SE Redmond station parking structure as seen from SR 520 (image: Sound Transit)

An entrance ramp for cars at the east end of the garage will keep most auto traffic away from the more pedestrian-friendly area immediate around the station, and also avoids P&R traffic driving through very much of the new neighborhood.

With the ground level of the parking structure serving buses, cars will enter from the east to the second level (image: Sound Transit)

Lots more detail in the design packets (PDFs) for Downtown Redmond and Southeast Redmond.

91 Replies to “A look at the Redmond Link stations”

  1. Has ST ever made artwork to cover the tail track before? I wonder if that implies that the tracks aren’t being extended sometime in the future?

    1. Given the route (turning around and going west into Downtown Redmond), I don’t think there’s anywhere else to extend it to. This is the last station on this line, ever.

      1. On the contrary, given Kirkland’s opposition to using their rail ROW for transit, this will likely be the only line that can be extended to Totem Lake, Bothell, and other points north.

      2. What rail ROW does Kirkland not want to use for transit?

        I seem to remember Kirkland leaders being in favor of bus service on the CKC, but it being shot down by Sound Transit.

      3. In certain circles, @RossB, only trains to the middle of a wetland half a mile up the hill are considered transit. Buses to downtown are not.

      4. If the light industrial area along Willows Rd could be upzoned, an additional station to the NW of the downtown station could have a lot of potential. It might make the odd alignment worthwhile.

      5. Even without rezoning, it probably will warrant a station pretty soon. A number of large tech employers are opening offices in that area, and they tend to employ young people who are likely to live in upzoned areas elsewhere along Link. Even in 2024 they will not have much choice but to drive since it’s a long walk even from the downtown Redmond station.

      6. Wouldn’t the tech companies just run a shuttle between the station and the office park?

        The city of Kirkland clearly wants further extension, it’s just local opposition that should fade as east King urbanizes and people get to use east Link and discover how useful it is.

        I’d wager both Kirkland and Redmond link are modestly extended in “ST4” but connecting them is probably a very long way off.

      7. From the perspective of Kirkland to Seattle, Redmond is in the opposite direction, so any such Link extension would produce travel times vastly inferior to just riding a bus down 520 to UW Station. Even DT Bellevue, Kirkland->Bellevue via Redmond would take quite a bit longer than just riding the STRIDE bus down I-405.

        That’s not to say absolutely, it will never be worth doing, though. It would provide a congestion-free connection between Kirkland and Redmond, which has some value. Today, there really isn’t enough people in Kirkland or Redmond demand to justify the cost of a rail line between them that would not be useful for Kirkland->Seattle. But, who knows – maybe 100 years from now, there will be massive growth, allowing such a line to make sense.

        As to the buildings along Willows Road…of course any large employer would likely provide shuttle service. There should also be a regular Metro route there – not just for those buildings, but also to provide a connection between Redmond->Woodinville->Bothell, which travels in a straight line and doesn’t take an hour and a half.

        The Sammamish River trail is also a great last-mile connection option. Since it’s so flat and only a mile or so, even a very cheap bike (e.g. cheap enough that replacing it once per year when it gets stolen won’t bankrupt you) will do, which makes it feasible to actually buy an extra bike to lock up at the station overnight and ride it back and forth to work.

      8. “From the perspective of Kirkland to Seattle, Redmond is in the opposite direction,”

        That’s my concern too. In the dominant suburban mindset, the primary role of rail is to get people to downtown Seattle within 30 minutes (for Kirkland’s distance). Bellevue is starting to get that draw too but it’s far behind. Redmond is an overgrown small town at this point; it’s still trying to establish regional attractions. Microsoft skews this somewhat because people will take Link to it, but that’s relevant only to Microsoft workers.

        405 Stride is unusual because it doesn’t go to/toward downtown Seattle; it’s completely crosstown. Because of that it will have a fraction of the ridership, and because of that it’s BRT instead of rail.

        So for a Willows Road/Totem Lake/Woodinville extension, the two questions are:
        (1) Will it be a reasonable way to get to Seattle from these areas?
        (2) Will ridership from these areas to Redmond/Microsoft/Bellevue be enough to give an additional justification for this line?

        People complain all the time about South Sounder’s detour via Auburn/Puyallup to Tacoma. But that decision was made a hundred years ago under very different conditions. Tacoma was a small town, Tacoma-Seattle commuting didn’t exist, and cities sensibly located along the line (Auburn and Puyallup). Federal Way grew after I-5 bypassed Auburn and passenger rail was considered obsolete. Then in the 1990s Tacoma-Seattle commuting grew and along with it the demand for a faster way to get between them than 60-minute Sounder. This was never met and won’t be under current plans.

        A northwestern Redmond extension would have a similar dilemma as the Auburn/Puyallup Sounder detour. Would we build it and then people would say it’s ineffective for its primary purpose? Will there be enough people in northeast King County to even create ridership? The area has a couple planned urban centers and office parks in a sea of low-density housing that’s lower than Seattle or inner Bellevue. Will this change? (“Not over my dead body,” says one resident.)

      9. A westward extension (Kirkland, UW) would have a different dynamic. It would function as two lines from Redmond to different parts of Seattle, similar to Toronto’s Yonge/Spadina U-shaped interline. Some people would go “around the bend” to Microsoft or, if they’re close to Redmond, to Bellevue. But if they’re going from Kirkland to Bellevue they’d take a north-south bus.

        This line is really the same as ST’s 2014 study of a Ballard-Redmond corridor. Alternatives include a 520, Sand Point, or around-the-lake crossing, and splitting it into independent projects (Ballard-UW, UW-Kirkland, UW-Redmond), and whether to include downtown Kirkland. But they all converge on the same concept as this western extension. And the study’s conclusion of the Redmond third of it was negative: it’s too close to East Link and would cannibalize riders rather than generating new ones. (This isn’t New York City or Toronto.:) The other two thirds (Ballard-UW, UW-Kirkland) are still under long-term consideration. Another factor is Issaquah-Kirkland Link. Should it go north+west to Kirkland-UW, or north to Totem Lake and eventually Bothell? Or is an arround-the-lake line worthwbile (UW-Bothell-Kirkland). That would be another U shape with the same questions: is it a reasonable way to get from Kirkland to UW? Remembering that a grade-separated train would take 20-30 minutes, not a hour like it might look like.

      10. Even though there may be “what if” scenarios, I don’t see a strong case to extending much further for at least 20 years. The choices are along the existing track which doesn’t have much density right now, or push through a new corridor and I don’t see that as a popular idea. I guess it would be nice to go further to another station around Willows and NE 90th but I don’t see that happening without an ambitious upzoning plan. There are plenty of other Eastside needs that instead probably need to be addressed — especially Renton as well as Kirkland on top of strategizing how to make the Issaquah line productive.

      11. I think y’all are being much to Seattle-centric with your analysis of further extension of East Link. Political leaders in the suburbs care about connections within their subarea, not just connecting to Seattle. Redmond, Bellevue, and Issaquah all have higher daytime populations than nightime, meaning more people commute in than out. Kirkland, Bothell, and Renton all have vibrant job centers, they are not bedroom communities. 405 Stride and Kirkland-Issaquah Link are both manifestations of this logic (522 Stride is still Seattle centric, because Lake Forest Park and Kenmore don’t aspire to be more than healthy bedroom communities)

        Yes, connections to Seattle are more important – that’s why those were funded first in ST2 and ST3. But for future investments, East King is more interested in improving connections within their subarea. A 2nd Lake Washington crossing only make sense insofar as transit on our existing 2 bridges have capacity issues
        A Willows road extension would be analogous to the Paine field detours – it’s about connections within the subarea, not connections to Seattle. While it might be hard for Seattlites to understand,

      12. @Mike Orr
        “405 Stride is unusual because it doesn’t go to/toward downtown
        Seattle; it’s completely crosstown. Because of that it will have a fraction of
        the ridership, and because of that it’s BRT instead of rail.”

        —————————————–it’s BRT instead of LIGHT rail.

        Fixed It For You

      13. It would function as two lines from Redmond to different parts of Seattle, similar to Toronto’s Yonge/Spadina U-shaped interline. Some people would go “around the bend” to Microsoft or, if they’re close to Redmond, to Bellevue. But if they’re going from Kirkland to Bellevue they’d take a north-south bus.

        Yeah, which is why it will never be worth the money. The bottom of the U-Shaped line in Toronto serve different parts of downtown Toronto. Places like this (https://goo.gl/maps/Gi5XaDSK4tnsbJGH9) or this (https://goo.gl/maps/d3BmFsH9q829uanV8), not this (https://goo.gl/maps/rjdxyyzD1LxoVJhw8) or even this (https://goo.gl/maps/X6F2fpygStHz7kJ68). The Toronto ‘U’ has downtown as the center of activity. A Redmond ‘U’ would to do the same for Redmond.

        There simply aren’t that many people headed to Redmond from anywhere, let alone the west (Kirkland). The most frequent bus from that direction is currently the 248. It runs every half hour — a level of service that Alon Levy considers “no transit”. A hyperbolic charge, perhaps, but you get the idea. The demand is so low, that Metro can barely afford to run buses every half hour. Yet folks think we should spend billions making that connection faster?

        As Mike mentioned, some of the most popular trips just won’t occur on the train, despite it serving those stops. More people from Totem Lake are headed to downtown Bellevue than Redmond. Yet that trip would be faster with a bus. Is there an analogy anywhere within our system, or for that matter any other system? Not really. There are plenty of crosstown trips that are better with a bus, or streetcar. But the main set of trips (e. g. to downtown Toronto) are served well with the train. In this case, Kirkland riders wouldn’t even have a direct ride to downtown Bellevue, let alone downtown Seattle.

        As for that part of the plan, it just isn’t worth the money. You don’t have the demand to justify the train. Furthermore, the increase in speed would be minimal if you ran on 520. If you ran from Sand Point to Kirkland, you would have a much faster trip, but only for small handful compared to the enormous cost.

        Neither option makes sense for an area that suffers most not from lack of rail, but from lack of decent bus service. Holy cow, if I want to get from Totem Lake to anywhere in Seattle after 8:00 AM, I have to sit on a bus that slogs its way through Kirkland, then finally uses the freeway, even though my initial bus stop was right on the freeway. That is level of service for the area — infrequent and poor, with obvious fast connections to Seattle lacking from relatively densely populated areas (Totem Lake, Juanita).

        In contrast, if I’m in Fremont, Greenwood or Lake City and want to go to the UW or downtown, I’m looking at buses that typically run every 10 minutes (give or take a few minutes). In every case they take the same basic route I would take if I’m driving. Does that mean that those three areas are going to get train service anytime soon?

        Of course not. There are areas that make sense for rail, and there areas that don’t. There is no shame in taking a bus.

    2. There has never been a final terminus before. All the others are stubs for planned extensions. And there hasn’t been an aboverground terminus in a pedestrianizing downtown area before.

    3. It’s just an artistic “shell”. It can be removed should there be a move toward a northern extension.

    4. I don’t know sammammish traffic, but I assume that buses get stuck in traffic getting off of the plateau, so maybe they should consider a gondola with one terminus at the SE Redmond station, seeing as the train will never be extended in that direction. Don’t ask me where the terminus on top of the plateau should be though.

    5. Most renderings have more cars than people. That’s pretty accurate. Redmond, the village with 4-lane ramps to SR-520. Why are we building this again?

      Is everything going to be upzoned and become an urban village?

      1. While the SE Redmond station location is currently a car sewer, downtown Redmond is rapidly densifying and that’s a good station location. There is certainly plenty of land that is still older 1-2 story buildings ripe for redevelopment, but there are also many ~6 story residential buildings within easy walking distance of the station. The former BNSF right-of-way through downtown is a great walking trail and park that extends for miles and Redmond recently turned the former one-way, high speed streets through the town into two-way, lower speed streets.

        There are plenty of things to justifiably criticize with Link, but a downtown Redmond station isn’t one of them.

    6. with stations stains fairly straightforward extension that could be done is to extend it west along Redmond Way, with a station between 132nd and 140th avenues, I-405 (with Stride BRT transfer), Kirkland TC/downtown Kirkland.

      Then it could continue via a Sand Point crossing, with stations at Magnuson Park, Children’s Hospital, University Village, and U-District.

      Then Ballard-UW, with stations at Wallingford, Woodland Park Zoo/Aurora Avenue, central Ballard, west Ballard.

      Given how difficult ease-west travel is both within Seattle and across Lake Washington, wrapping a bunch of these travel scenarios into a long east-west line would make it very useful for many types of trips.

      1. Given how difficult ease-west travel is both within Seattle and across Lake Washington …

        Across Lake Washington is probably the easiest corridor for transit. There are HOV-3 lanes that pretty much eliminate all congestion. There are freeway stations, that allow for transfers. A train would reproduce this corridor, with no appreciable improvement in speed, and an unnecessary increase in capacity. Riders would be asked to do another transfer, likely in a low value area (e. g. South Kirkland) instead of taking a bus directly to a high value area (UW). This would essentially remove an express, but with no quality stops along way (in contrast, the 41 will be eliminated, but the riders forced to transfer will go by Roosevelt, the UW and Capitol Hill).

        These are areas that currently have half hour service (a level so low that Alon Levy calls it “no transit”). Maybe we should provide a decent level of bus service for the area before worrying about spending billions on a train.

      2. In the case of Lake Washington, I meant that in the sense of that there are two choke points, which is slightly different from the east-west challenges within the city (though in some ways similar, as you could consider some corridors choke points).

        I’m not arguing for light rail on 520 (in fact I’ve argued for better bus service in lieu of light rail because bus access is so good), but rather this is a new bridge connecting Kirkland to Sand Point. This third bridge would be available exclusively for light rail and provide transit users a third crossing of Lake Washington that might work better for them.

        Obviously it would be a hard sell, but the main selling point would be the conglomeration a large number of transit trips that would be made possible or improved in a way that a Ballard-Kirkland bus could not. This would also make using transit a normal mode in Kirkland, and many people would be fine with taking a bus to the train and want those buses to be more frequent.

        Obviously this is far in the future, and also quite redundant. But it might be a good future goal to work toward.

      3. OK, yeah, except you are talking about spending an enormous sum for very few riders. This would save those riders a lot of time, certainly, but the cost per rider (and even the cost per rider time saved) would be gigantic.

        It is roughly two miles across. In comparison, the East River is less than half a mile across (and that doesn’t count Roosevelt Island). It would be a massively expensive project that could be justified if you had Brooklyn to Manhattan or Queens to Manhattan numbers. But you don’t. You have just Kirkland, basically, a city of less than 100,000. Many of those residents would have no interest in such a subway. If you do happen to live close to South Kirkland Park and Ride, then you are just going to take the bus to the UW. That is because the only significant destination on the other side is the UW*. That is also true of Totem Lake — you are right by the freeway, you might as well take the express bus to the UW. Again, this is an area (Totem Lake) that doesn’t have an all day express to the UW, let alone an all day express running every ten minutes. Yet we think that a massively expensive rail project (involving a chunnel? a floating bridge?) would pencil out. Sorry, I just don’t see it.

        *OK, Children’s would generate some riders, but not that many. It is similar to the V. A. Perhaps worth a stop, but not the main revenue generator (ST didn’t even bother with a detour serving it). You aren’t going to get 20,000 riders a station, yet you would probably need twice that to justify the cost.

    1. Long story. There were two paths into Redmond, from the west and from the east. The advantage of approaching from the east is that it allowed the line to extend to the Redmond TC. In the end, they didn’t do that, but it was already quite far along and ..

      Josh Benaloh wrote a guest piece about this in 2017.

      1. lol another sad joke along east link, this whole route should be studied by planners in the future as how not to do things

      2. Political and technical. ST mainly defers to what the subareas want, and the subareas defer to what their largest cities want.

      3. and the largest cities defer to the wealthiest individuals in them who will sue those cities to keep the unwashed masses out of their backyards.

        Political and political

    2. I imagine the conversation at Sound Transit went like this … “So boss, when Link gets to about the W Lake Sammamish Pkwy exit, we’ll run it above Leary Way to downtown Redmond?” Boss: “What did I tell you, boy? Run Link next to freeways whenever possible. Even if it means we’re going the wrong way. It’s less thinking and work for us. We’ll tell the public it was the only way to get to the Redmond TC or something.”

      1. More like, “Hey putting the station there doesn’t really make sense now that we have to redesign the entire approach”… “Should we redesign the station then too? We’ve got 5 years until construction begins” … “teehee no! don’t be silly ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      2. I think I also remember, but don’t quote me, that Redmond also wanted to connect the walking/biking trail and doing so at the same time as putting the tracks under 520 was convenient for them.

    3. From Microsoft the construction costs were far less to remain in the WSDOT ROW and then use the old RR ROW to get to DT/Redmond Center. Coming from the west would have involved extensive elevated guideway along a steep hillside and the entire route would have to been purchased displacing existing business and residential.

      The Station at Marymoor is a bonus for large events hosted there. While I don’t think ST dollars should have been used to build an Eastgate scale P&R I’m quite sure that end of town including all the existing single story industrial and self storage will become just as dense as the existing DT over the next 20 years.

      It’s already a high traffic area which is good and bad. Good in that there is substantial ridership potential. Bad in that bus access ain’t great. That said, once East Link opens there is no reason any 520 bus should go any farther than RTS. Buses on 202 or East Lk Sam will save several minutes, maybe a 1/2 if you consider turnaround time. Bear Creek P&R remains an orphan but if there were at least 15 min frequency provided by metro from Avondale (Cottage Lk & Redmond Ridge).

      1. I’ve gone to Marymoor Park for Cirque du Soleil and rugby matches and just to visit. In the 80s I used to bike from the U-District to a software store in the east Marymoor neighborhood where the station is. I’m glad Link will have a station near the park. It’s the largest multipurpose park in the Eastside, and having a station will make it as transit-accessible as Cal Anderson Park or Seattle Center or Lincoln Park or Northgate Mall (R.I.P.).

  2. Please tell me that Southeast Redmond is not the final name of the station. It sure seems like the obvious name is Marymoor Park.

    1. I think they’re going to go through a naming process like they did with a bunch of the other stations. Marymoor Park does seem like the best choice though. Anyone else here infuriated over the whole ‘Union Street / Symphony’ thing?

      1. That whole USS constraint should have been discussed before the survey! To mention it only now is pretty disturbing. I’d also think that major revisions to every manual will be needed anyway because there will be many more new stations.

        I think more people are just frustrated with the management who doesn’t take sincere input and does what they want. The whole Red Line thing is another case in point — where ST took no input on using colors or picking colors then decided it needed to be changed after rolling it out.

        These are pretty major indicators that there is an arrogant and stubborn seed at ST. Sadly, they’ve convinced many that this is ok or unimportant.

    2. It will be called the “Southeast Redmond and Marymoor Park Station” or SRAMPS for short. Catchy, don’t you think?

    3. The station design packet even calls the station area the “Marymoor Sub-Area”, so there’s an argument in its favor. Is Redmond calling this the Marymoor neighborhood? That would be another factor we could leverage. We don’t really need a “southeast Redmond” station; there are no northeast or east or northwest Redmond stations to confuse it with. And if anybody wonders whether it’s in Redmond or Renton, they can see that downtown Redmond is just one station away.

      1. The City of Redmond is calling the area “Marymoor Village” so I expect them to pressure ST for that specific station name.

      2. It will be sandwiched between 2 stations with Redmond in the name, so I don’t think you also need Redmond here. Just “Marymoor” is the most likely outcome.

  3. I know it’s not going to change anything, but again ST is choosing to have no down escalators in Downtown Redmond. They really hate any riders who have trouble with stairs — forcing them to Wait for elevators which may not be working.

    At least SE Redmond has pedestrian crossings. It may seem unsafe — but since trains are stopping the train speeds will be pretty slow. Let’s hope they don’t add visual blockages so that drivers don’t see pedestrians — the situation at a few RV stations.

    1. Where are the pedestrian crossings for the SE Redmond station? I hope they have them, because otherwise people not parking in the garage will be forced to go up a level to cross over and descend to the platform, which is not optimal if you walk, bike, or bus to the station.

  4. Looking at the map, it seems like the city of Redmond is completely neglecting the pedestrian environment crossing SR-202 to get between SE Redmond Station and the retail on the other side. There’s a Fred Meyer and Home Depot about 1,000 feet from the station Site, along with a Target, just a couple hundred feet beyond that. But, that distance is as the crow flies. Along the street grid, the route is about 0.6 miles, all adjacent to heavy car traffic, with an inevitably very long light to cross to the other side of SR-202.

    The result is that people living in the so-called transit-oriented development next to the station are going to be expected to get in their cars and drive to go grocery shopping, even though the grocery store is physically close enough to be within an easy walking distance, and walking the direct route (if it were possible) would take less time than driving the street grid.

    The lack of crossing points also means that any bus which serves SE Redmond Station will be require to actually go into the station, rather than simply travel down SR-202 and stop and open the doors at the closest point.

    Thinking about what this means for bus routes, we most likely see route 269 (to Sammamish) simply ending there (replacing Bear Creek P&R), and route 248 undergoing a double-detour, going Avondale->Bear Creek P&R->SE Redmond Station->Redmond Transit Center->Kirkland. Such a scheme prioritizes access to the train to Seattle, at the expense of making travel to downtown Redmond from either Avondale or Sammamish quite cumbersome, in spite of being a straight line down a major road.

    A pedestrian bridge over SR-202 near the station would solve a lot of problems.

    1. Looking at the map, it seems like the city of Redmond is completely neglecting the pedestrian environment crossing SR-202 to get between SE Redmond Station and the other side.

      Yep. The location is bad because it abuts 520 and it abuts SR 202. Oh, and it is close to a giant park.

      Thinking about what this means for bus routes, we most likely see route 269 (to Sammamish) simply ending there (replacing Bear Creek P&R), and route 248 undergoing a double-detour, going Avondale->Bear Creek P&R->SE Redmond Station->Redmond Transit Center->Kirkland.

      I don’t see any of that, and neither does Metro. I don’t think you will have a bus serving it. I think those buses will simply go to downtown Redmond. This station will be all about the Park and Ride (as I wrote in the next comment).

    2. There’s already a Whole Foods on the west side of 202. That should be a easy walk from any new apartment build in the new Marymoor Village.

      For access to downtown Redmond, there will be a new trail under 522 west of 202 … or you just take Link one stop?

  5. I’m having trouble understanding the South Redmond station. There are three main sources of ridership, for every station:

    1) Walk-up riders. This looks very poor. The freeway blocks about half the potential walk-up riders, while SR 202 blocks some more. You also have a large park there as well. Even if every bit of industrial sprawl is eliminated and replaced by apartments, there won’t be many people walking to the station.

    2) Park and Ride users. This has got a big one.

    3) Bus connections. This is where most of the ST3 ridership will come from (at stations like Lynnwood, 185th, 145th, 130th, Delridge, etc.). The thing is, I don’t see how this station fits into the future transit network. If you are on the other side of 405, you go to the main downtown Redmond station. To the west, it is very difficult to access via West Lake Sammamish (https://goo.gl/maps/5taNkTFqtw6QYkQw5) so if they did add a bus in that neck of the woods, it would just keep going to downtown Redmond (https://goo.gl/maps/EQrYFR1rHxMfbtoP8). Likewise the northeast — (https://goo.gl/maps/pksrtEtyV1GeoNXZ8 versus this https://goo.gl/maps/uaUW1mMy7UP9G9x6A).

    So that basically leaves a bus going along East Lake Sammamish (https://goo.gl/maps/v9zJEfGpQNTirh1f9). But wouldn’t you just keep going, and head into downtown Redmond? It isn’t much further, and it is a real destination (not a park and ride lot). I really don’t see any buses serving the station, and neither does Metro (in their long range plan).

    This seems like nothing more than a huge parking garage. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to just build a bigger park and ride lot at one of the other stations? This just seems like a giant invitation to sprawl — to create low density areas far enough away to never justify a bus, but tempting for someone to drive. I can see the realtor now: “Buy your new home in North Redmond Ridge, Just twenty minutes to the light rail park and ride”.

    I also think this could be the lowest ridership station within our system. The park and ride lot is big, but not that big. You won’t have that much turnover in the lot (assuming it fills up). You might a few hundred more from the apartments, kiss and riders, DART and Van Pools, but I think you are still looking at less than 2,000 riders a day. Am I missing something?

    1. without a bus the station ridership can’t scale. I was assuming this would be optimized as a bus intercept for sammammish. Doh!

      It sounds like there will be park and ride commuters, and maybe event/goers on evenings there are events in the park, and that’s it? What a waste. A travesty.

    2. The purpose of the station is to be closer to Sammamish and the east Lake Sammamish cachement area. It’s role is like a terminus even if it’s technically the second-last station now. And it keeps the P&R out of downtown Redmond, an important point.

      The role of bus routes is different. People want to go to Link, but it doesn’t make much difference whether it meets it at this station or the next station one traiin-minute away. But it makes a big differences for pedestrians going to downtown Redmond — another major role for bus routes, and one everybody hopes the new transit network will strengthen.

      “It sounds like there will be park and ride commuters, and maybe event/goers on evenings there are events in the park, and that’s it? What a waste. A travesty.”

      The sprawl is already there. We’re building it because the sprawl occurred twenty years ago and is now a significant percent of the population. In any case, we didn’t extend Link twenty miles just for this station. It’s a small add-on to a line serving Redmond, Microsoft, and Bellevue. And political dynamics in the early 21st century require a P&R at the end of every line.

      1. Yes, the sprawl is already there. But there will be more sprawl, when you build a station whose only purpose is to encourage people to drive to the station. If you live in an apartment, you walk to the downtown station, or take a bus there. If you live in a sprawling new subdivision, though, then there is no bus service — density is too low. So you drive to the giant park and ride lot. That encourages sprawl and more driving.

      2. So you only serve downtown Redmond and not the area beyond it? It’s the same miles of track either way. The argument that it enables sprawl makes sense only if the houses would remain empty or wouldn’t be built if the station weren’t there. That’s clearly not the case; the demand for housing dwarfs one P&R, and for most of them transit is a small-to-nonexistent part of their decision to live n that area. The way to deal with sprawl is to have laws that prohibit it. Letting people move there and then denying them transit doesn’t make sense; it just makes then drive everywhere and become hostile to transit and transit taxes.

      3. And it only has a limited number of parking spaces so it can’t enable much sprawl. The population of east Redmond, Sammamish, and Duvall is several times higher than the number of spaces, so all spaces will effectively go to existing residents. There will be no spaces for those future developments you’re so worried about.

    3. This will be a popular station for those coming from Sammamish and Novelty Hill and maybe Duvall. It will have 1400 parking spaces so that’s over 1400 boardings from that alone. I’d also expect about as many getting dropped off or picked up.

      I could see the station being a waste if the others around it were in a similar function — but they aren’t. I think it’s good to have different things going on at different stations on a line — housing, jobs, parking, bus intercepts, drop-offs, event venues, hotels.

      Redmond is developing a denser Marymoor Subarea Plan. The plan is discussed here:
      https://www.redmond.gov/573/Marymoor-Village

      I do find it unfortunate that better circulation across 202 isn’t discussed, or that there isn’t a convenient drop off for those on 520. It’s too bad the station is in a corner rather than in the middle.

      It’s great Redmond is planning ahead, but I don’t think the nuances of station access are fully fathomed as of now.

      1. This will be a popular station for those coming from Sammamish and Novelty Hill and maybe Duvall.

        Yes, exactly, this is nothing more than an invitation to sprawl. These are areas that are poised to get much bigger — to sprawl a lot more.

        I could see the station being a waste if the others around it were in a similar function — but they aren’t.

        It is still a waste. It is still a lot of money spent on something with very little social benefit. It is quite possible that it will be a social detriment. Sprawl will accelerate because riders from the newly bald foothills get to use a giant park and ride lot for their trips into the city. Whatever benefit that you get from the fact that they avoid driving for the last bit of their trip is more than offset by the loss of habitat and extra driving that comes from additional sprawl. They should have just saved the money, and skipped that station (regardless of how they got to downtown Redmond).

    4. I’m bullish on the walk-up potential. Redmond has good plans for redeveloping the station area. Yes, the walkshed is limited by the freeway, but that’s the tradeoff for substantially cheaper ROW. It might end up the lowest ridership station in East Link, but it won’t be anemic.

      Why would you want to put the P&R somewhere else? You won’t want to put it in downtown Redmond, it would ruin the urban environment. I think ST has been smart with placement of the P&Rs: most East Link stations don’t have them, and it’s really only the 2 stations with minimal development potential -South Bellevue & SE Redmond – that are bearing the brunt of the P&R garages. If you accept that we ‘need’ to build X number of parking spaces somewhere in East Link, they really are in the best spots.

      Finally, this station also exists to serve Sammamish, which is in the ST taxing district. Yes, a fixed route bus could connect just as well in downtown Redmond, but for other modes SE Redmond is much better location for people driving, biking (strong trail connections), or taking whatever micromobility solution we have in the future. Like Mercer Island, Sammamish has a built environment where a fleet of driverless shuttles may be better than fixed route.

      Think of SE Redmond as analogous to South Bellevue. You only have a station because it’s “on the way.” South Bellevue will be a very useful bus transfer for I90 buses, but those routes don’t actually connect south Bellevue to the station. In both cases, the low density cul-de-sac environment is probably best served by building parking. It’s not great, and perhaps some would argue we should just not try to serve those neighborhoods

      1. Well said, AJ!

        I sometimes even think that there was an unstated fear that if SE Redmond was put on the end, the station and extension may have never been funded.

      2. Thanks!

        Yeah, that’s interesting – if you approach Redmond north of 520, is the use-case still as strong? Probably yes, as then SE Redmond is more clearly just trying to pull the terminus activity (Parking, etc) away from Redmond’s town center.

        Talking Headways had a podcast with some French engineers talking about TGV station design, and how TGV explicitly has both urban and suburban stations, because they serve different purposes and different riders; suburban TGV stations almost look like airports from an access standpoint, with taxi stands, bus layover space, and lots of parking. So think of SE Redmond as the suburban terminus for a line that is overwhelming urban (7 of 11 stations)

      3. I’m bullish on the walk-up potential.

        Oh come on, dude. It is hemmed in on all sides. Yes, there will be a handful of new six story boxes there. Big deal. That will result in very few walk-up riders.

        Why would you want to put the P&R somewhere else? … most East Link stations don’t have them, and it’s really only the 2 stations, South Bellevue & SE Redmond

        Really? So when East Link is all done, those are the only two stations that will have park and ride lots? I didn’t realize that. Well, in that case, I simply would have skipped the station and the lot. Save the money and put into things that are a much better value (like bus service).

        Yes, a fixed route bus could connect just as well in downtown Redmond, but for other modes SE Redmond is much better location for people driving, biking (strong trail connections), or taking whatever micromobility solution we have in the future.

        The fixed route *will* connect to downtown Redmond. As for micro-mobility, it is the same thing. Either you waste money going to the other station (where there are very few people and destinations) or you go to downtown Redmond. The time savings are too small to be worth going to the inferior location.

        As for biking, it seems to me that people want to go to downtown Redmond on the bike. Are you saying it is very hard to get to do downtown Redmond by bike, but easy to get to the other station? If so, wouldn’t it have been much easier and cheaper to build a good path to downtown Redmond? Oh well, too late for that. I look forward to the big (and free bike facilities). I suppose it will handle a thousand bikes as well.

        You are right about driving — that is what this is designed for. It is all about people who live in areas with extremely low density who can’t bother to drive to the nearest bus stop. They have to have a big parking lot, otherwise, who knows what would happen — ridership on the feeder buses might increase, and the bus would run more often, making for a better transit network.

        Sorry for the snark, but I really see nothing good coming out of that station. It is a huge waste of money to placate those that can’t imagine taking a bus to the train, as well as an agency that wasn’t flexible enough to realize it no longer made sense.

      4. “So when East Link is all done, those are the only two stations that will have park and ride lots?”

        And a small surface lot at 130th. I talked to an ST rep about this at an open house. He said it’s only there as a placeholder until development reaches that area. I said I was worried that any parking added would be impossible to remove later, but he said it’s temporary. There’s nothing at 130th now, just a few industrial buildings.

        “Well, in that case, I simply would have skipped the station and the lot. Save the money and put into things that are a much better value (like bus service).”

        That would be ideal but it’s not the political climate we live in. Eastsiders expect parking and their governments expect parking, and they’re the ones with clout. East Link was never going to be built without P&Rs. We should be glad the P&R is not next to Downtown Redmond Station at least. The garage itself costs a lot of money but the surface station does not, so don’t blame the station. And maybe the area will eventually get denser so there are more things to walk to.

      5. “It is all about people who live in areas with extremely low density who can’t bother to drive to the nearest bus stop.”

        It’s for people who don’t have a bus stop within walking distance. We can’t prevent people from abusing it but that’s not its primary purpose. It’s purpose is to avoid running bus routes on every outlying residential street.

      6. I thought Overlake Transit Center had a park and ride lot. Were they able to get rid of it, and eliminate it for good?

      7. It’s for people who don’t have a bus stop within walking distance. We can’t prevent people from abusing it but that’s not its primary purpose. It’s purpose is to avoid running bus routes on every outlying residential street.

        Why can’t they drive to the nearest bus stop? Why do we need to build a gigantic park and ride lot to avoid making a transfer?

        Look, I get it. There are places that are too remote to justify bus service. But according to Metro, every corridor will have bus service. There will be bus service from Duvall and Carnation. There will be plenty of buses running along Redmond Fall City Road, Sahalee Way and similar streets. For many of those people — those that live in very low density areas — it would be much easier, and faster, to simply drive to the nearest bus stop. You would be cutting across traffic, not joining all your neighbors as they head towards the freeway.

        It is just very poor planning. It encourages sprawl, because it perpetuates the myth that it doesn’t matter where you live (just drive, baby). It leads to poor transit. The folks who actually bother to buy a place close to a bus line find that it doesn’t run that often — people drive to the station instead. It costs a bundle, since we aren’t talking about a cheap empty lot — but what is instead now prime real estate (right next to a train station) along with a multi-story building. It doesn’t scale — it is the opposite.

        Everything about gigantic park and ride lots are a bad idea. It is seen as a last resort, but it obviously isn’t. You could have smaller lots — as well as de-facto park and ride places — along with better bus service. Doing so would be a much better value, providing better transit to a lot more people for a lot less money.

      8. I missed RTC, sorry about that – there will be a 300 stall parking garage. Still, much smaller than the giant garages we are building at SE Redmond, Lynnwood, Angel Lake, etc. Roughly the same size as the Northgate garage?

        I’m not defending investing in parking – I’m saying that if it’s a requirement to build parking, this a better outcome than canceling the station and putting the parking elsewhere. MI will have no added parking and 130th/Bel-Red will have a surface lot, which is small and easily redeveloped in the future.

        And Mike is right, the station itself is a surface station with no vertical conveyance. Remove the parking and the station cost is tiny … given the stop spacing, removing the station seems silly.

        For bikers coming from the south and east, I’d assume they will want to go the same destinations as other riders – namely Msft, Bellevue, and Seattle more than downtown Redmond.

        Now to defend parking – ” to placate those that can’t imagine taking a bus to the train” – or those unable? All of the parking on the eastside is full. Many people are not within walking distance of a bus stop, or they are served by milk runs that would take 40 minutes to get to a Link station. Yes, future growth is focused on TOD and the proportion of east siders who can walk/roll/bus to Link will steadily increase, but SE Redmond is an investment for people who will still not have good access to transit otherwise. I’m not interested in telling those people to just pound sand.

      9. So when East Link is all done, those are the only two stations that will have park and ride lots? I didn’t realize that.

        S. Bellevue P&R, 130th in Bel-Red, Overlake Village, RTC, SE Redmond and DT Redmond all have P&Rs.

      10. All of the parking on the eastside is full.

        Bullshit. First of all, you are assuming that you have to park in a park and ride lot. You don’t. Second of all, according to the latest data (https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2019/01/09/PT-Map-ParkRideUtilization-19Q2.pdf) the park and ride at Sammamish Hills Lutheran is 31% full. They don’t have data for the other Sammamish lot (for whatever reason).

        Many people are not within walking distance of a bus stop

        So drive to the nearest bus stop! You do realize you don’t have to park in a freakin’ park and ride lot, right? You can actually park on the street, close to a bus stop. Here is an example: https://goo.gl/maps/627sDgz6oJCqf7sR8. You can see that the white car is clearly parked in a legal parking spot. There is no time limit, no restriction. There are also parking spots up the street as well as even closer to the intersection. It is only a two block walk to the bus stop — a bus served by three buses (before the inevitable enhancements due to East Link). Yet that place is not special. There are dozens of similar roads that connect to the main road (the one that has the bus).

        Or if you really prefer park and ride lots, then contract with churches and other organizations willing to share their parking lot. A quick search finds that there are a ton of them in the area — my guess is Metro hasn’t bothered to work with them because the most northern lot is largely empty.

        or they are served by milk runs that would take 40 minutes to get to a Link station.

        Guess what — bus routes can change. Of course they will change when Link gets here. Furthermore, the park and ride lots make it *more* likely that service will suck. Think about it. That milk run is a milk run because hardly anyone in the area uses transit. They all drive to their destination, or drive to a big park and ride by the freeway. If you provide dozens of smaller park and ride lots, then you can justify more frequent service. Again, just to be clear, I’m not saying you would have frequent service to every side street — I’m saying that if the people on the side street are willing to drive to a closer park and ride lot (or, Gasp, park on the street) then the transit network will be better for everyone.

      11. “Why can’t they drive to the nearest bus stop?”

        Because there aren’t enough parking spaces for all the additional cars. Yes, they’ll be distributed among several bus stops, but even a small outlying street will have ten or more houses on it that are all closest to the same bus stop.

        “Everything about gigantic park and ride lots are a bad idea.”

        The only thing worse than a large garage is a large surface parking lot. At least the garage layers the cars to make it more compact, and to pedestrians it’s like an irrelevant multistory building. What makes surface parking lots so bad is the amount of space per car they gobble up.

      12. “if you really prefer park and ride lots, then contract with churches and other organizations willing to share their parking lot. A quick search finds that there are a ton of them in the area”

        That’s a good idea, and Metro has been on top of this for a couple decades. I assume there will be such P&Rs when it all shakes out. I’ll leave others to determine which ones because I don’t know the area. The first question is, is there a bus stop near the church, and does it have an all-day route. Some churches are located in as out-of-the-way places as the houses we’re taking about.

      13. I missed RTC, sorry about that – there will be a 300 stall parking garage.

        OK, yeah. My point is, isn’t that enough? If not, wouldn’t it be cheaper to just build it higher, since we are (presumably) talking about a multi-story building anyway. You are simply assuming that the station itself is free, yet I don’t see that at all. Graham Street Station is a surface station, and it will cost 73 million to build. Second, it may have been cheaper to just go the other way. Without a gigantic park and ride lot, there is no reason to have a station, and without a station, the current routing looks stupid. Alright, with a station the current routing looks stupid — my point is that it is quite likely that they would have saved quite a bit of money without that station, and even more if they then decided that park and ride lots at … hold on a second … “S. Bellevue P&R, 130th in Bel-Red, Overlake Village, RTC, and DT Redmond” was enough.

      14. For bikers coming from the south and east, I’d assume they will want to go the same destinations as other riders – namely Msft, Bellevue, and Seattle more than downtown Redmond.

        You are missing my point. With a reasonable investment in biking infrastructure — far less than the station at Southeast Redmond costs — they could have both. Now riders will ride and park their bike in the middle of nowhere — assuming they even bother. Meanwhile, getting to downtown Redmond (the main destination in the area) remains no better.

        Sorry, but this is just another mistake made by Sound Transit. It has all the usual excuses. “Well, we were originally thinking … and then well, you know … besides, without something similar, we wouldn’t get the support of those folks (who obviously voted against ST3 anyway) … and, and, it doesn’t cost that much, and isn’t that bad.”

        Yeah, I hear you. It isn’t that bad. It isn’t that big a waste of money. It is by no means the worst mistake made by Sound Transit (the screwing over of First Hill is still tops). But this is still a stupid station — not worth the money and overall probably worse than nothing — and it should have been avoided. The fact that it is paired with a perfectly decent station (Downtown Redmond) is a bit like Sonny and Cher. (Although Sonny Bono was a decent song writer — so maybe that analogy does him wrong).

      15. “S. Bellevue P&R, 130th in Bel-Red, Overlake Village, RTC, and DT Redmond” was enough.

        You’d think… but from what Bellevue staff has told me the stub extension to S. Kirkland P&R is pretty much a sure thing. This seems like a dumb idea because that P&R is already at over 100%. Having the stub will just be a greater incentive for early-birds that just want to avoid paying to park in DT Bellevue. Note that most of the ridership from there is already taking a bus to Husky Station and a bus ride to BTC is only 10 min (albeit 15-30 minute headways).

        And just to remember, the expensive detour from B7 just to serve S. Bellevue, which was referred to by one pro-transit council member as “magical”, cost as much as building another parking garage.

      16. Bike access to Redmond will be improved, b/c ST is paying for WSDOT to raise the 520 ramps so Link and the paved path can cross under 520 with zero vehicle conflict. That’s unrelated to the station but a benefit of the routing. I’ll hang my hat on at least that, eh?

        I think Graham street is going to be elevated? Also construction costs would include all the nonsense of having to build on an operating rail line.

        So what I’m really saying is – would Cher be Cher without Sonny?

      17. “the stub extension to S. Kirkland P&R is pretty much a sure thing.”

        What does this mean? The South Kirkland P&R station on the Issaquah line was specifically mentioned in ST3 as the northern terminus of the Issaquah line. It will be there unless the line is truncated or deferred for budget reasons, but that applies to all of ST3.

    5. My thoughts about buses are mostly extrapolating from what the 248 and 269 do today. The 248 currently takes a detour to Bear Creek P&R on the way between Avondale and Redmond. I used to live up on Avondale several years ago and found that detour incredibly obnoxious, and rode the bus far less as a result. For the 248, it’s probably best to skip SE Redmond entirely and have the bus just connect Avondale to DT Redmond directly. But, I am somewhat skeptical that Metro would be able to actually push such a change through. I heard they actually tried to do it during the last eastside restructure (the one which created the B-line), but a few people complained, and the Bear Creek P&R detour remained.

      For the 269 – for better or for worse, the SE Redmond Station is the most direct way for people coming from Sammamish to access Link. To skip the station and move on to DT Redmond would easily add another 8 minutes on the bus (it’s a lot of stoplights), plus another 2 minutes on the train, adding an additional 10 minutes to total trip time to either Microsoft, DT Bellevue, or Seattle. For people making the commute everyday, this gets old fast, and many will choose to drive to the P&R as an alternative. It would also leave the TOD next to the station without any bus service.

      Then, there’s the thorny issue of Bear Creek P&R and the surrounding area. If the 248 and 269 both skip it for the sake of directness, that leaves the area without any bus service, unless some new route comes in just for them, which would cost additional service $$ for very low ridership. Having to sit through a Bear Creek P&R detour on the 269 on the way to a Link Station, every trip, would be intolerable. Overall, the path of least resistance seems to be to have the 269 serve SE Redmond Station’s bus bays, then add a small loopy tail at the end for Bear Creek P&R, so Metro can say the area still gets some service. This would allow the 248 to take the direct route to DT Redmond and skip it. Riders from Sammamish to DT Redmond would just have to suck it up and switch to the train to go the last mile. Not ideal, but I can’t think of a better solution without loss of coverage.

      1. You can see what Metro has in mind with their long range plans: http://www.kcmetrovision.org/wp-content/themes/kcmlrtp/LongRangePlan/#. This isn’t set in stone, by any means, but a few things seem clear.

        1) They have no interest in directly serving Southeast Redmond Station.
        2) They will have lots of service to downtown Redmond.

        This makes sense, for the reasons I mentioned. There are some changes to the areas you mentioned. For example:

        The 248 has become RapidRide. The eastern end has changed. Instead of going up to Avondale, it keeps going east once it gets to 76th, then down to 185th.

        Avondale, on the other hand, has a couple buses. One looks straight forward, and just goes straight down Avondale to downtown Redmond (it is considered “frequent”).

        There are four buses on Redmond Fall City Road. They are a couple expresses that go straight to downtown Redmond. I would assume that these don’t stop at the stop close to the freeway (https://goo.gl/maps/KzEF7k1v9pRSXUnJ9). Skipping that stop allows the bus to move into the left lane earlier, and avoid the traffic close to the freeway. The other two buses (marked as “local”) would get close to that stop, while stair stepping their way to 76th, on their way to downtown Redmond.

        Thus the area to the north (between Union Hill and Redmond Way, which includes Bear Creek) is fairly well served. It has the tail of a RapidRide route, along with several local buses, and one express (which starts in Duvall).

        All buses lead to downtown Redmond, while Southeast Redmond is ignored. Overall, I think it is a good approach. Even from East Lake Sammamish, you might as well keep going right to the station that has something besides a big parking lot.

        Worth noting is that places like Sammamish (one of the few places where going to Southeast Redmond Station might be faster) tend to be very peak oriented. There are express buses running during rush hour. Thus if they try and go to Southeast Redmond, they would have to deal with hundreds of cars on their way to the big parking lot. It may take several light cycles to make that turn, making the straight route to downtown Redmond the better option.

  6. I expect an informal drop-off and maybe pick-up areas will naturally evolve where the tracks and trail will cross the 520 ramps with a signal. If I lived in Novelty Hill and wanted to drop off my spouse, I’d probably think about pulling off the highway on the ramp, letting my spouse out, and getting right back on 520. The extra time to get to and from the SE Redmond station is a huge disincentive for dropping people off.

    1. If I lived in Novelty Hill and wanted to drop off my spouse, I’d probably think about pulling off the highway on the ramp, letting my spouse out, and getting right back on 520.

      You mean like this: https://goo.gl/maps/3KEjtd8wHq81fUXy9? That looks like a nasty walk — be prepared to sleep on the couch. Seriously though, I agree with your main point — it is very hard to drop-off people at SE Redmond Station. It is the same way with buses. It is out of the way from most directions, with nothing of substance there. (The addition of a few apartments won’t change that). Oh, there will be people who use it, but if I was doing the same thing, I would just drop my wife off like so: https://goo.gl/maps/15bPUQDAwr8AN1vt7. Yes, it is a bit of a detour for me, but not that bad, really (easier than getting really close to Southeast Redmond). Meanwhile, she has a shorter and much more pleasant walk.

  7. I wonder how many of the commenters questioning the location and usefulness of the SW Redmond station actually live in the area.

    As someone who does, and regularly walks to the nearby Whole Foods, Fred Meyer, Target, or Safeway, the location is definitely within reach by foot, and the access points from all directions, by foot or bicycle, are pretty clear to me. There are lots of apartments in the area, and more springing up, particularly in what will be Marymoor Village. I suspect that the garage will mostly be used by people further afield.

    What isn’t clear is how this will affect the bus routes, such as the 268 bus or 545, for commuters to Seattle. It would be nice to see some advanced thinking about what will become of these options.

    1. The 545’s almost certainly being deleted once East Link is up and running. A lot of the service hours will likely go into bolstering the 542, but exactly how many and whether that route might pick up the 545’s Bear Creek tail isn’t clear at this point.

      That said, the area badly needs more bus service. I was staying essentially at the Redmond TC and needed to go to Safeway for some things, and while I managed to get most of the way there with the 545, getting back via bus proved longer and more onerous than just walking down the car sewer that Redmond Way is over there, which I usually don’t do because I have problems with loud noises.

  8. How complete is Redmond’s urban vision? What bothers me most is the number of low-slung office parks with surface parking west of the transit center, and the strip malls and supermarket plazas between it and Southeast Redmond Station. These just scream “We’re not interested in pedestrians” and push things apart. Redmond’s urban, mixed-use area is really only a few blocks. How long until this changes? I keep hearing that Redmond has great plans, Redmond is doing the right things, Redmond is the densest city in the county, but where is it? Are those office parks zoned mixed-use or does the downtown zoning end before them? I could see Redmond becoming like the U-District or Capitol Hill/First Hill with a large 2-dimensonal urban area, and I’m wondering do I just have to wait and it will take a decade, or are there structural problems hindering it, or are developers just not interested in Redmond that much yet, or are the lot owners stuck in the past?

    1. Give it time. Most of the new 1+5 vertical mixed use buildings downtown were built in the past few years. Northgate was a 1950s era mall until last year, so I wouldn’t get too worked up about Redmond still in transition. Check out the city’s major projects websites if you want to get an idea of the projects in the pipeline.
      Bellevue helpfully organizes everything into one PDF with pictures:
      https://bellevuewa.gov/sites/default/files/media/pdf_document/lu_MajorProjects.pdf
      Redmond is a bit harder to navigate, but a few examples of 1980-ish office parks being redeveloped:
      http://esterrapark.com/
      Replacement of Sears & giant parking lot: https://www.redmond.gov/595/Seritage

      Plus MSFT’s campus refresh.

      Rents, both commercial and residential, are much lower on the east side than in Seattle’s core. A project that would be slam dunk in Cap Hill may not pencil out in Redmond. Downtown Bellevue is the only place where office tower construction pencils out, and 1+5 only pencils out a few other locations – downtowns of Kirkland and Redmond, for example. Bothell has had some nice development recently, but the city did the hard work of assembling the parcels. In Issaquah, when I was on the planning commission the staff walked us through analysis where developers basically said that under current rental growth rates, we were 10 years away from VMU projects being viable.

  9. A relatively cheap extension would follow the old Woodinville Subdivision ROW up the west side of the valley. Whether it makes sense to put another station in Redmond N of the DT transit center depends on how that area develops. My guess is not because the Sammamish River preclude development on one side and the other is a steep hill with no street grid. It’s a push for Metro to even run buses up Willows. Woodinville however in 20 years will likely have density similar to DT Redmond and Bothell do today. There’s already a large P&R there which is a natural place to intercept buses from 522. Beyond that a turnback/Y going into DT Bothell makes as least as much sense as the stub track planned from the OMF-E to S. Kirkland PR. Besides rail to Bothell it would also intercept 405 buses and the planned “flyer” stop which would likely be a plus for all riders except those headed to Totem Lake and DT Kirkland.

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