Public Comment on Metro Long Range Plan

 
                                      Kirkland, WA

                                      Kirkland, WA

King County Metro Transit Kirkland, WA
401 5th Avenue, Suite 800
Seattle, WA 98104

Dated: May 31, 2016

Subject: Public Comment on Metro Long Range Plan

Dear King County Executive Dow Constantine and Deputy General Manager Victor Obeso,

We represent a group of concerned citizens in Kirkland whose main goal is to protect our 5.75 mile Cross Kirkland Corridor Trail from mass transit. We are also proponents of transit on I-405, using shoulder for bus only lanes and enhancing bus transit stations along the main arterial. The plans for BRT on I-405 are more economically feasible, serve many more riders on the East side and can be completed in a much shorter timeframe – a ‘quick’ win.

In the May 17, 2016 letter written by the Kirkland City Council, they requested consideration for refinements to the Metro long range plan as it is finalized, including 1) more connecting routes running along 520 to the S. Kirkland P&R and 2) using the Cross Kirkland Corridor for Metro service if BRT is selected as the mode of choice in Sound Transit’s study.

We agree that increasing connecting bus routes along 520 to the S. Kirkland P&R would be beneficial and cost efficient to Bellevue, Redmond, Seattle, and Kirkland. However, as this stop is often overcrowded during peak hours, we would also encourage Metro to enhance bus service on other major street routes between Kirkland, Google, Totem Lake, and Redmond that connect to stops along I-405. See our list of projects we support (Attached) and sent to the Sound Transit Board in an April 25, 2016 letter.

In that same letter, we made it clear that we are against:

  • Any HCT proposals on the Cross Kirkland Corridor Trail;
  • The Environmental Study (decision document of HCT options if only on the CKC); and
  • Light Rail or Any Mass Transit extension from Bellevue to S. Kirkland P&R.

Per the public comment surveys summarized recently by Sound Transit, the comments from East King County show BRT on I-405 as a top priority and also a priority of Snohomish County. Tax payers would be more inclined to vote for a package that includes integrated services which supports the top priority of BRT on I-405 and not transit on the Cross Kirkland Corridor Trail.

Sincerely,

Save Our Trail Leadership Team

David Greschler, Santos Contreras, and Jan Young

Cc:  Chris O’Clare, Manager of Strategy and Peformance


Attachment – Projects We Support

Re-direct the offered funding towards bolstering transit use of I-405 and other existing main arterials by adding the following:

  • Early deliverables such as bus only lanes on I-405 shoulder
  • Conduct an HCT study of light rail on I-405
  • Conduct an HCT study of extending light rail from downtown Redmond to Totem Lake (buses along this route would also serve the growing urban center of Totem Lake)
  • Additional in-line stop at NE 112th Street
  • Additional stop at NE 70th Street, instead of costly NE 85th Street station, and extending bus service to Google and to Microsoft
  • Transit oriented development at Kingsgate Park and Ride
  • Transit oriented development at Houghton Park and Ride (NE 70th Street)
  • Adding BRT route similar to popular 255 KC Metro route
  • Consider other possible parallel North-South street routes East of I-405 (116h Ave. NE, 132nd Ave. NE, 140th Ave. NE and/or 148th Ave Ne, with East-West bus lines to further link Kirkland to I-405 and Redmond
  • Add in-city circular transit routes on existing main streets to connect key areas within the city, such as other transit modes along Lake Washington Blvd, Central Way, Market Street, to Juanita Drive and/or 100th Ave. that connects East to major I-405 intersections.
  • Improve bicycle and pedestrian access to I-405 BRT

Sound Transit Board member and Mayor of Redmond John Marchione had expressed an interest in the NE 70th Street stop and the enhancement of routes connecting to Redmond.