Archive for August, 2015

WSDOT0140_ZFold_Toll_Map_Starting September 27th, The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will start tolling the HOV lanes along the I-405 corridor.

Have you ever tried to use the HOV lanes on I-405 during peak commute times? If so, you may have noticed that they don’t move any faster than the general purpose lanes. Under state and federal law, all HOV lanes need to be moving an average of 45 miles per hour to ensure a reliable commute time. By implementing the toll lanes between NE 6th Street in Bellevue and 405 in Lynnwood, WSDOT hopes to increase the reliability of the average commute by giving commuters a choice to get to where they are going as quickly as possible.

The HOV lanes will be converted into pay-per-use toll lanes similar to those along the State Route 167 corridor. You may use the HOV lanes for free if you have a qualifying carpool and a registered and approved Good To Go! Pass. All of the general purpose lanes will remain free of charge at all times.

WSDOT has started a campaign to educate drivers along the 405 corridor on how the toll lanes work. When you drive alone on I-405 between Lynnwood and Bellevue, you’ll have the opportunity to use the lanes for a fee. Electronic signs above the lanes will give you the price for the toll based upon the time you enter the lanes.

Learn how to qualify for a free flex pass. Switchable flex passes are different than the standard Good To Go! sticker on most vehicles. These flex passes have the option to convert from a standard setting to a HOV setting when you have the appropriate number of passengers in your vehicle.

Under state law, the money raised from the collection of tolls will go back to paying for the tolling infrastructure and future projects along the 405 corridor.

These lanes will directly impact commuters coming to and from Bellevue and beyond. To learn more about ways to enhance your commute contact the Choose Your Way Bellevue team.

Check out this video on how the toll lanes will work:

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer, Ariel

Monday, August 31st, 2015 5:13 PM | by geri | Add a Comment

All trips! All ways! All days! It’s not unusual to hear that statement in our office—while commute trip reduction is a big part of our mission, we are also focused on helping people reduce drive-alone trips for personal travel. We are not trying to end all drive alone trips, but our mission is to increase the number of trips taken by alternate modes, such as walking, biking, carpooling, vanpooling, transit and telecommuting. To get on board, Transportation Choices Coalition’s June campaign, Ride Transit Month, was aimed at getting people to ride transit and to help give people a “fare” startChoose Your Way Bellevue offered $10 ORCA Cards to new transit users.

We delivered 96 ORCA Cards and tasked participants with “capturing their commutes” and sharing their experiences. For giving transit a try and sharing their story, eligible participants were also given a $25 TranBen voucher, good toward future transit trips. An additional five entries were randomly chosen and each was awarded a $50 gift card to be used toward additional travel expenses. Thank you to all who participated and congrats to our gift card winners Cliff D., Bob H., Amanda B., Carol S. and Tricia W.

There are so many great places accessible by transit—our staff enjoyed reading the stories and hearing about your experiences. Some participants rode transit to work, others took the Sounder Train to a Mariners game and one family rode the Sound Transit 560 to the airport on their way to Disneyland.

Cliff D_ferry_commute

Cliff’s photo of his ferry commute.

Cliff D. doesn’t have the shortest commute, but as you can see from his picture the views on his Poulsbo to Bellevue commute are incredible. Cliff begins his day riding Kitsap Transit to the Bainbridge Island Ferry dock where he walks onto the WSF to Seattle. Once in Seattle, Cliff catches a Sound Transit bus to his Bellevue office. Cliff is able to use his ORCA Card to pay for all three trips, and since he uses his ORCA Card he gets a transfer credit between the two bus trips, meaning he only pays the higher of the two fares.

Amanda B. describes herself as a county girl who has never lived in a big city—and until recently has never worked in a big city. Amanda had some trepidation regarding transit, but she decided to take the Capture Your Commute challenge and what she learned surprised her.

Amanda B_My Commute - Amanda Bowen (1)

Amanda made a new friend on her commute.

First, Amanda learned that the interactions with other commuters were pleasant. Second, since she has a short walk from her office to the bus stop she was able to get her steps in for the day—“a struggle for someone who sits at a desk for 8 hours.” Finally, Amanda avoided fighting the I-405 and SR-167 traffic and she even stumbled across “an adorable, curious, perfect little bunny, who was also out enjoying the early afternoon sun.” Amanda arrived back at her car with “exactly zero built-up traffic stress, a full Fit Bit, and a smile brought to me by a furry little friend.” She says her experiment was a huge success. Welcome to low-stress commuting, Amanda!

Tricia W. found that the Sounder Train is an easy way to get the family to the Mariners game, and she was also excited to find the station in Auburn has a weekend farmers market. We love riding transit to community events. It’s convenient, reliable and there are no parking fees! Go M’s!

Tricia W_image

Tricia makes her way to a baseball game via transit.

Monday, August 10th, 2015 2:05 PM | by geri | Comments (2)

Tell us what you think!

The City of Bellevue is developing a 2015-2023 Bellevue Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Plan. The public review draft is now available.

What is this plan and why does it matter?


You may be wondering: What is TDM? In the transportation industry, TDM refers to “managing” the demand side of roadway vehicle capacity, rather than the “supply” side by building extra lanes. It involves working with you—workers, residents, students, employers, and property managers in Bellevue—to increase the use of transit, carpool, vanpool, bike, walk, telework and compressed work weeks (beyond usage that would happen merely by these modes being present). We do this in multiple ways:

• We operate the On The Move Bellevue trip logging and incentive program in which you can receive incentives for trying a new mode if you log those trips, which can offset the immediate cost of trying that mode.
• Need help planning a trip or even learning how to ride the bus? Request help through our trip planning assistance form.
• We also offer to help employers with providing employee commute programs such as transit passes and teleworking.

What TDM is not: The City’s TDM function does not supply or operate transit service (which is in the purview of transit agencies such as King County Metro); nor does the City TDM group plan for or build pedestrian and bicycle facilities. But we can coordinate with the City’s transit and pedestrian/bicycle planning functions, and help people navigate those modes by distributing transit maps, printing pedestrian/bicycle maps and guides.
Why do a TDM plan?

In order to conduct effective TDM programs, we need a plan to guide us. Plans include looking at how we’ve done in the past, what worked best, what lessons we can learn, what we should aim for, and what environment we’re operating in. The City’s last TDM plans were created in 2008 and 2010 and are in need of updating.
Bellevue is facing many challenges over the next eight years: growth and construction (of buildings, roadways and East Link Light Rail); a South Bellevue Park-and-Ride closure related to East Link construction, starting in spring 2016; I-405 changes to add express toll lanes; and other challenges. Relieving pressure on roadways can help, and TDM performs: A 2010 analysis by the Puget Sound Regional Council showed that if trips avoided through the Commute Trip Reduction TDM program were added back into the transportation system, delay across the region would increase by 9 percent.

Input we’d like

We’re interested in knowing your thoughts on our best plan. How can we best encourage people to try out or increase the use of transit, carpool, vanpool, walking, biking, telework, and compressed work weeks?
Here are chapter descriptions and some questions to consider in your review (in italics):
Chapter 1, Introduction: Why we’re doing TDM in Bellevue, and what the plan is about. What are your thoughts about why we should do TDM?
Chapter 2, Status of Existing Plans: This reviews previous and existing TDM plans with performance metrics and lessons learned from those plans. Did we capture results that help guide future work?
Chapter 3, Demographics and Market Conditions: This provides some demographics on population and employment that are important to know when conducting TDM programs. Anything important to add?
Chapter 4, Survey and Market Research: Learn about TDM-related survey research in recent years, both informal and scientific. What are your observations about our observations?
Chapter 5, Measurement: Includes vision, goals, objectives and targets so that we can best measure the impact of our work. Are these measures helpful in understanding the impact of TDM?
Chapter 6, Strategies and Implementation: Existing and new ideas such as enhanced outreach using technology/mobile apps; school-based trip reduction; and parking cost “cash-out” for employees. What are your ideas? How can we make the most of our available TDM resources?

How to comment:

• Blog: Post your comments below.
• Email: Send your comments to
• Phone: 425-452-7896
• Comment on our Facebook page

The deadline for commenting on the plan is Monday, August 31, 2015.

And if you’re interested in other TDM planning activities at the City of Bellevue, visit the City website TDM page and the Choose Your Way Bellevue plans and activities page.

Thank you for sharing your perspectives on making our TDM work more effective. We anticipate finalizing the plan in September.

-Kate Johnson, Associate Transportation Planner, City of Bellevue

Monday, August 3rd, 2015 4:27 PM | by admin | Comments (15)




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