Transportation Issues Wrap-Up

Trains (aka Light Rail)

The Bellevue Reporter has a good article on the options for the light rail routes on the East Side. Mostly the article concerns where the train will go in Bellevue and Redmond,  since the decision on Mercer Island is trivial. If you plan to be traveling to Bellevue in 2023 when the East Link is complete, read this.

Light-rail-over-I90

Sound Transit’s simulation of Light Rail over I-90.

Buses

In more near-term news, Mercer Island’s own Fred Jarrett argues in Crosscut for a more metric-driven approach to planning transit: basically, cut service where it’s not working and don’t cut where it is. (The fiscal reality is that Metro has to cut somewhere.) The current system promises quantity of service by region: 20% Seattle, 40% East Side, and 40% South King County.

In Fred’s own words, why to shift Metro away from regional allocation:

“Measuring effort by neighborhood benefits no one moving between neighborhoods. Further, it has created a system that measures effort rather than performance and results in unacceptability high costs by almost every measure. The Municipal League has documented the agency’s high cost per mile. While that figure is troubling, the high cost per rider is cause for even greater alarm as it clearly indicates that the system’s routes aren’t as productive as they should be.”

Nicely said, Fred.

Cars

250px-The_Alaskan_Way_Viaduct Island-Crest-Way-2

So different, yet so much the same.

A bubbling issue relevant only on our own Island is whether Island Crest Way should go to 3 lanes south of 40th or stay at 4 lanes. We’ve been debating this so long it’s becoming our very own Alaskan Way Viaduct. For those who don’t follow city politics or drive, the Alaskan Way situation has been debated since it was damaged in the 2001Nisqually Earthqauke until finally a resolution was reached in 2009– a resolution since reopened in the Seattle mayoral race.

What’s driving the Island Crest Way issue is the intersection at Merrimount, which had been the Island’s most dangerous intersection and now has temporary traffic control. This issue deserves its space– watch for a post soon.

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