Correction: The Woodinville connector service is recommended to operate at 20 minute headways at peak and off-peak, not 15 minutes at peak as originally reported. Updated text in paragraph 7.
A transit hub northwest of a rebuilt SR 522 and I-405 interchange will serve as the eastern terminus for Sound Transit’s planned SR 522 BRT. It will connect Stride BRT on SR 522 to Stride BRT on I-405. Sound Transit is dropping plans for some BRT buses to serve Woodinville, and replacing those with a Sound Transit Express branded connection.
These, and other updates to SR 522 BRT plans, are shared in a Sound Transit online open house that runs through August 23.
With expanded express toll lanes on I-405 between SR 522 and SR 527, the Stride BRT on I-405 will be accessible at SR 522 from BRT platforms on new direct access ramps. The SR 522 BRT, meanwhile, will terminate at a bus loop and layover area just to the northwest. That makes for a straightforward connection between the two services and to other buses operating in the area.
The transit hub resolves several other tricky issues in Bothell that Martin explored last year.
SR 522 Stride will route through downtown Bothell with stops at UW Bothell/Cascadia College. This routing improves transit access in growing areas of downtown Bothell. I-405 Stride will still miss downtown Bothell, but the latest plans mean it is one frequent connection away via 10-minute service on SR 522 Stride. Alternately, sidewalks from the transit hub will connect to the North Creek trail and Campus Way, so walking access to the south end of campus will be more direct.
There are revisions to the BRT plan for Woodinville too. The ST3 representative project envisioned half of BRT service terminating to UW Bothell, and the other half continuing on to Woodinville. The last 3.5 miles nearest Woodinville were not to see any capital improvements and the BRT would operate in general traffic, potentially reducing reliability along the entire route. Ridership estimates were very low, with recent estimates as low as 100 daily boardings in Woodinville in 2042.
The solution for Woodinville (as briefed to the Woodinville Council in April) is an ST Express branded service that appears better matched to riders’ needs. At peak, it would operate between Woodinville and the Bellevue transit center, making several stops in Woodinville and connecting to the BRT lines at the Bothell hub. At off-peak and weekends, it would operate only between Woodinville and the Bothell transit hub. At comparable operational expense to the original BRT, this would be a rather speedy direct connection to Bellevue and to East Link,
and operate more frequently at peak (15 minutes vs 20 minutes in the representative ST3 project). The connector would operate at the same 20 minute headways as the representative ST3 project, peak and off-peak. It would be 10 minutes faster to Seattle (50 minutes + 1 transfer, vs 60 minutes + 1 transfer).
The open house describes several more revisions elsewhere. Most notable are added stations at 61st Avenue NE in Kenmore and NE 165th Street in Lake Forest Park, and the deletion of a station at 25th Avenue NE in Shoreline/Seattle. There are street changes including new roundabouts in Shoreline. There are other other design changes of more local significance.