Archive for July, 2014

scaled Commute Challenge image

It’s time to un-buckle down and by that we mean un-buckle your seatbelt and leave your car at home! The 2014 Commute Challenge kicks off Aug. 1 and we are looking for commuters that currently drive alone to try a new and greener commute by bus, bike, carpool, vanpool or walking. 

Last year, challengers tried switching their commute from drive-alone to a greener way of traveling for a month. In an effort to invite more people to try the Commute Challenge, CYWB is challenging commuters to try a new commute for a week. Challengers are required to try the new commute for one week (but are encouraged to continue that new commute if it works for them!) Approved and agreed upon transportation costs for the first week will be covered by Choose Your Way Bellevue in exchange for creative photos and blog posts from the challengers to be posted on our website. 

Upon completing the challenge and documenting the experience, challengers will be entered into a drawing to win an iPad Mini, Microsoft Office Store gift card or Amazon Kindle Fire, to be drawn on November 10, 2014. 

In addition to the challenge, CYWB is putting on a Commute Story contest that will invite challengers as well as current non-drive-alone commuters to participate in a biweekly Commute Story contest by submitting their experiences on our Facebook page for a chance to win one of five $25 REI gift cards. A biweekly prompt will be announced on the Facebook event page and commuters can submit their stories. The person with the most “likes” and “shares” will win the REI gift card for that prompt or question. We encourage creativity! 

Applications for the Commute challenge will be accepted weekly from Aug. 1 to Oct. 1. If you or someone you know is interested in taking the Challenge, click here

The Commute Story contest runs from Aug. 11 to Oct. 3. If you want to participate in the Commute Story contest, like us on Facebook and join the Commute Story event on the page or click here.

Monday, July 28th, 2014 4:39 PM | by geri | Comments (1)

 

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6th Street Fair, 2013. Photo from the Bellevue Downtown Association.

Bellevue’s nationally renowned arts fair weekend begins this Friday July 25 until Sunday, July 27, in Downtown Bellevue. Three art fairs make up this inspiring event: The Bellevue Downtown Association’s 6th Street Fair, the Bellevue Arts Museum artsfair and the Bellevue Festival of the Arts. Artists have traveled from across the nation to showcase their original creations. But you won’t be traveling that far, so let King County Metro, Sound Transit or the HOV lane get you downtown!

Fair information:

The BAM ARTSfair, Bellevue Square and Bellevue Arts Museum
Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m., and Sunday, 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The 6th Street Fair, Bellevue Galleria (Northeast 6th Street and 106th Avenue Northeast)
Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Bellevue Festival of the Arts, Cost Plus World Market parking lot (10300 Northeast Eighth St.)
Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Traffic updates:

If you are planning to carpool, expect the following closures provided by the City of Bellevue:

  • 100th Avenue Northeast will be closed southbound from Northeast 8th Street to Northeast 10th Street (Thursday, July 24, 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; and Sunday, July 27, 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.);
  • Northeast 10th Street will be closed westbound between 108th and 106th avenues. (Thursday, July 24, 5-10 p.m.);
  • 106th Avenue Northeast will be closed in both directions between Northeast 4th and Northeast 6th streets (Thursday, at 6 p.m. until Sunday, at 11 p.m.);
  • Northeast 6th Street will be closed in both directions from Bellevue Way to 106th Avenue Northeast (6 p.m., Thursday, until 11 p.m., Sunday); and

102nd Avenue Northeast will be closed in both directions between Northeast Eighth and Northeast 10th streets (7 a.m., Friday, until 11 p.m., Sunday). Businesses will be open and accessible.

Tips for riding transit to downtown Bellevue:

  • Carry your exact bus fare in cash or your ORCA card loaded with a either a pass or e-purse. Bus drivers do not have change. You may pay your fare, and the fare for others traveling with you, using any combination of paper, coin currency and/or transit pass equal to or of greater value than the required $2.25 fare.
  • Free fares for children: Up to 4 children ages 5 and under always ride free with a paying adult on Sound Transit and King County Metro buses. On Sundays, up to 4 children ages 18 and under may ride for free on King County Metro routes with an adult paying a $2.25 fare.
  • All buses are wheelchair accessible.
  • Return trip to park and ride: Plan ahead by locating the bay where you will wait to catch a bus back to the park and ride, as well as determining when the last bus leaves to get you there. Schedules will be posted at each bay to assist you.

Suggested Park and Ride Options for Saturday, July 26 and Sunday, July 27:

The information below is specific to Saturday/Sunday operations. If you plan to utilize a park & ride lot on Friday you can expect more frequent service, an increased fare and fewer available parking spaces due to heavy commuter use. All suggested routes serve the Bellevue Transit Center for incoming and outgoing trips. For specific bus schedules and more detailed information, please visit http://metro.kingcounty.gov and enter your preferred route number in the “Get a Timetable” box in the upper right corner. For Sound Transit routes (535, 550 and 560) visit soundtransit.org.

Park and Ride Most Direct Route Departure Information Return pick-up at the Bellevue Transit Center Fare Additional route options
South Bellevue 
2700 Bellevue Way SE
Sound Transit 550 Bay 1, departs every 15 minutes on Saturdays and every 30 minutes on Sundays Bay 9 $2.50 Metro 241*
Metro 249
ST 555*
ST 556*
ST 560
Eastgate 
14200 SE Eastgate Way
Metro 271 Bay 1, departs every 30 minutes on Saturdays and every hour on Sundays Bay 5 $2.25 Metro 240
Metro 241*
Metro 246*
ST 555*
ST 556*
Mercer Island
8000 N. Mercer Way
Sound Transit 550 Departs every 15 minutes on Saturdays and every 30 minutes on Sundays Bay 1 $2.50 n/a
South Kirkland
10610 NE 38th Place
Metro 234 or 235 Bay A, departs every  15 minutes on weekdays, every 30 minutes on Saturdays and every hour on Sundays Bay 10 $2.25 Metro 249
Overlake Park and Ride
2650 152nd Avenue NEOverlake Transit Center
15590 NE 36th Place
Metro B-Line Bay 7, every 15 minutes during peak travel times Bay 3 $2.25 Metro 249
Kingsgate
13001 116th Way NE
Metro235 I-405 Totem Lake South Bound Freeway Station, departs every hour on weekends Bay 4 $2.25 n/a
Sound Transit 535** I-405 Totem Lake South Bound Freeway Station, departs every hour on Saturday

 

*Weekday service only
**No Sunday service

BIKE

Bike routes will change depending on where you are coming from. Please check this bike route map for routes in the Bellevue area or get in touch with us to plan a bike plan for you, email: info@onthemovebellevue.org or 425-990-3097. Bike racks are available throughout downtown Bellevue, check out our Bike Rack Map to find one near Bellevue Arts Fair Weekend venues.

 

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 11:01 AM | by geri | Add a Comment

I_90Echannel_joint_replacement510

Photo from WSDOT



At 9:30 p.m. on Friday, July 18, westbound Interstate 90 will close all but one lane just before Bellevue Way SE around the clock for seven days. As the day of closure approaches many commuters are anxious about their commute over I-90, but much is being done by WSDOT, King County Metro, Bellevue transportation officials and Choose Your Way Bellevue (CYWB). Below are some solutions and resources to help you plan for your commute from July 18-25 (sources: WSDOT, King County Metro and City of Bellevue). CYWB staff are also available to plan your commute; submit a commute inquiry here.

I-90 lane closure details

Quick reference:

Contractor crews are working to replace two 33-year-old, 92-foot-long expansion joints on the East Channel Bridge just west of Interstate 405. The original expansion joints were built in 1981 and at 2014 they have reached the end of their useful life. WSDOT crews have seen water leaking into both expansion joints and water leakage can deteriorate the steel and concrete underneath the bridge. Expansion joints on a bridge are needed so that the bridge can expand and contract depending on traffic load and temperature change. Without proper maintenance the bridge could can bend, crack or even collapse.

Questions have been circulating of why the bridge can’t be repaired on weekends. According to WSDOT several reasons amount to why it can’t be done. The expansion joints are more deeply embedded in the bridge deck than other expansion joints commonly found on Interstate 5. Thus, more concrete will need to be chipped away in order to take out the joints. A weekend would not be enough time to accomplish this.  There are also several other projects that will require weekend closures happening this summer, specifically on State Route 520 bridge. Weekend availability is limited because both bridges can’t be closed at the same time and holiday closures must be avoided.

When WSDOT took into account the amount of work needing to be done, the nature of the work and the available weekends, it was determined that a seven-day closure of multiple lanes was the best option to get the job done safely and quickly.

Solutions to keep traffic flowing

Quick reference:

  • Seattle Transit Blog – showcasing solutions and transit impact
  • King County Metro – rewards for filling empty Vanpool seats
  • KIRO – features Bellevue Transportation officials, resources for traffic planning
  • www.ChooseYourWayBellevue.org – one-stop resource for using transit, carpool, vanpool, walk, bike, telework and alternative work schedule options

There are a few things you could do to ease your commute over I-90 or avoid it altogether:

  • Bike across the bridge. The pedestrian and bike path will be open during the closure but pedestrians and bikers should expect delays. More bikers are expected to use the ped/bike path. According to WSDOT, pedestrian and bike path work will occur weeknights from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Cyclists may be required to stop and dismount. Both cyclists and pedestrians will be escorted through the work zone and flaggers will be present to hold bike/ped traffic until it’s safe to proceed.
  • Join a Vanpool temporarily. King County Metro is rewarding existing vanpool groups a $50 MasterCard rewards card (one per van) for filling an empty seat with a temporary rider, and the rider rides for free. If you’re looking for a ridematch visit www.OnTheMoveBellevue.org and find an open vanpool or carpool. Current vanpoolers are encouraged to use OTMB as well to scope out commuters that are looking for a pool to join.
  • Telecommute. Talk to your employer to see if you can work from home for the week of the closure.
  • Take a vacation. Get out of the city, state or country to avoid the closure completely. It’s summer time and you deserve a vacation :).
  • Carpool. If it takes one more car off the road, it will help ease traffic. Share the ride with a coworker or find a ride share partner by going to www.OnTheMoveBellevue.org.
  • Bus. Transit will experience delays so transit riders should consider catching an earlier bus. Bus routes that will be affected: 111, 114, 210, 211, 212, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, 550, and 554, and to a slightly lesser extent 241, 555, and 556.
  • SR 520. The State Route 520 bridge will be open. You can purchase a short-term Good To Go! pass that only lasts for 2 weeks.You can find rates and pass description under “How do I pay the tolls?”
  • Delay or reschedule discretionary trips. Choose your trips. If it can be pushed back, wait until after the closure. Travel before or after peak times.
  • Leave early. If you are going to brave the traffic, leave early. Commute times over the bridge can be an hour or more in the morning and afternoon. Stock up on coffee, CDs, audio books and gas.

Additional advice: If you are planning a different route, try it on Friday and on the weekend. Plan out your commute before Monday. Make sure your bus route or bike route is not affected. Talk with your co-workers today about carpooling.

As you’re traveling over I-90 next week, keep in mind three things:

  • Safety
  • Maintenance
  • Preservation

After the project is completed we will reap the benefits of pavement improvements that will lessen the risk of vehicle damage and fewer emergency repairs resulting in better flow of traffic and newer, stronger expansion joints to extend the life of the roadway.

 

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 4:17 PM | by geri | Comments (1)


Photo by Colin Walker


Celebrate the Fourth in red, white, blue and travel in green! If you’re planning to celebrate America’s Birthday in Bellevue try taking a greener mode to your destination. The Bellevue Transit Center is basically the heart of the city and is only blocks away from Bellevue Downtown Park and Ashwood Park. There are plenty of bike racks and options for parking if you are planning to carpool. Check below for all your traveling options so you can enjoy the Bellevue Collection Bellevue Family Fourth presented by PACCAR and Puget Sound Energy, and the Acura of Bellevue Four on the 4th Dog Jog and Walk!

Traffic forecast for Independence Day in Bellevue

Some streets in downtown Bellevue will close before the spectacular fireworks show! At approximately 9:30 – 9:45 p.m., Northeast Fourth Street, from 100th Avenue to Bellevue Way; and 100th Avenue Northeast, between Northeast First to Northeast Fifth streets will close. After the fireworks, the following road restrictions will be implemented to streamline traffic leaving the city:

  • Right turns will be prohibited from 100th Avenue Northeast to Northeast Eighth Street; drivers may turn right on Northeast 10th Street.
  • Right turns will be prohibited from eastbound Northeast 10th Street to all side streets between 100th Avenue and Interstate 405. Access to I-405 from 10th will be via 116
  • Left turns will be prohibited from southbound Bellevue Way to eastbound Northeast Fourth Street. Drivers headed to I-90 or I-405 may continue south on Bellevue Way.
  • Various other lane closures and turn restrictions, as needed, to move traffic quickly out of the downtown core. When traffic volume decreases, roads will reopen and turn restrictions will be lifted.

BUS

Buses will still operate on the Fourth of July, but transit service will follow a holiday service schedule. Both Sound Transit and King County Metro buses will follow a Sunday schedule. Please click on the alerts below to see if your bus will be affected and to check other transit agencies besides Sound Transit and King County Metro.

Tips for taking the bus

  • Carry exact change in fare; bus drivers are unable to give change back. You may pay in any combination of coins and paper American currency.
  • Free fares for children is available; up to four children ages 5 and under always ride free with a paying adult on both Sound Transit and King County Metro buses.
  • Buses are wheelchair accessible.
  • If you are making a return trip by bus, make note of the bay (bus stop at the Bellevue Transit Center). They are usually different from the bay you arrived at.

CARPOOL

Make use of the HOV access ramps on I-405 at NE 6th Street, open only to vehicles with two or more occupants. Find directions here.

PARK-AND-RIDES

There are several park-and-rides that provide free parking and accessible to direct buses to Bellevue!

All suggested routes serve the Bellevue Transit Center for incoming and outgoing trips. For specific bus schedules and more detailed information, please visit metro.kingcounty.gov or soundtransit.org.

For Sound Transit route 550: from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Route 550 will not stop at 110th Ave in either direction due to the Four on the 4th Dog Jog. Riders should wait to get off at the Bellevue Transit Center. Also see ST Route 550 reroute information here for the Bellevue Family 4th .

Park and Ride Most Direct Route Departure Information Return pick-up at the Bellevue Transit Center Fare Additional route options
South Bellevue 
2700 Bellevue Way SE
Sound Transit 550 Bay 1, departs every 15 minutes on Saturdays and every 30 minutes on Sundays Bay 9 $2.50 Metro 241*
Metro 249
ST 555*
ST 556*
ST 560
Eastgate 
14200 SE Eastgate Way
Metro271 Bay 1, departs every 30 minutes on Saturdays and every hour on Sundays Bay 5 $2.25 Metro 240
Metro 241*
Metro 246*
ST 555*
ST 556*
Mercer Island
8000 N. Mercer Way
Sound Transit 550 Departs every 15 minutes on Saturdays and every 30 minutes on Sundays Bay 1 $2.50 n/a
South Kirkland
10610 NE 38th Place
Metro234 or235 Bay A, departs every  15 minutes on weekdays, every 30 minutes on Saturdays and every hour on Sundays Bay 10 $2.25 Metro 249
Overlake Park and Ride
2650 152nd Avenue NEOverlake Transit Center
15590 NE 36th Place
Metro B-Line Bay 7, every 15 minutes during peak travel times Bay 3 $2.25 Metro 249
Kingsgate
13001 116th Way NE
Metro235 I-405 Totem Lake South Bound Freeway Station, departs every hour on weekends Bay 4 $2.25 n/a
Sound Transit 535** I-405 Totem Lake South Bound Freeway Station, departs every hour on Saturday Bay 4 $2.50

PARKING

Complimentary event parking is offered after 6 p.m. at the Bellevue Collection (Bellevue Square, Lincoln Square and Bellevue Place). Using Lincoln Square or Bellevue Place allows for a much quicker post-event exit. Free parking also is available in the visitors’ lot at Bellevue City Hall (450 110th Avenue NE) – and a much quicker way to exit downtown post-event if you are willing to walk a couple blocks.

BIKE

Bike routes will change depending on where you are coming from. Please check this bike route map for routes in the Bellevue area or get in touch with us to plan a bike plan for you, info@onthemovebellevue.org or 425-990-3097. Bike racks are available throughout downtown Bellevue, check out our Bike Rack Map to find one near Bellevue Downtown Park.

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 12:06 PM | by geri | Add a Comment

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