Archive for the ‘Traffic’ Category

Ride Transit Pledge

June is Ride Transit Month in Washington State—a time to celebrate transit riders, showcase the benefits of riding transit, and encourage people who don’t normally ride to give it a try. Transit agencies, Transportation Management Associations, transportation advocates, and employers across the state partner together to celebrate transit riders with events, prizes, and encouragement.

Ride Transit Day is the flagship event on June 7th and transit partners across the region host celebration stations near transit stops to show rider appreciation. Look for a Celebration Station at the Bellevue Transit Center on the afternoon of June 7th.

Stations will provide resources for new riders and a pledge card that enters riders in prize giveaways. Riders can also enter to win prizes all month long if they log their trips on RideshareOnline, take the pledge, complete weekly actions, and/ or use the #RideTransit hashtag to share their transit stories.

Whether you’re a regular rider or new to transit, thank you for helping Washington State lead the nation. Now it’s time to celebrate YOU, our community of transit riders! Just choose your favorite mode—bus, light rail, train, ferry, vanpool, or water taxi—and enjoy the ride.

 

Sign up!  www.RideTransitMonth.org

 

Need some convincing? The benefits of transit are already well known, but here’s a refresher:

Reducing Congestion
One full bus carries the same number of people as 60+ cars. Transit’s impact on reducing congestion has also resulted in significant savings for drivers and their communities. Public transit saves Americans 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually!

Savings in Your Pocket
Individuals who switch from driving to taking public transit can save, on average almost $9,986 a year, and up to $828 a month.

Happier & Healthier
Public transportation tends to increase physical activity, since most public transit trips involve walking links and transit systems often provide amenities such as bike racks on buses and lockers at stations.

Although Americans only walk an average of about 6 daily minutes overall, public transit users spend a median of 19 daily minutes walking, which nearly achieves the target of 22 daily minutes of moderate physical activity.

A Cleaner Planet!
Transit is reducing energy consumption and harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) greenhouse gas emissions that damage the environment.

See you on the bus!

 -Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Friday, June 1st, 2018 6:00 AM | by Tim Kelley | Add a Comment

Enjoying Washington DC’s Cherry Blossom festival by bikeshare.

My name is Tim Kelley and I am the new Transportation Program Director at TransManage. We operate the Choose Your Way Bellevue outreach program on behalf of the City of Bellevue.  This is my semi-serious response to the question, “Why do you ride a bike for your commute?”

I ride my bike because I am lazy.

Okay, hear me out:  Walking takes too long. My three mile commute to work (downhill in the morning!) would take an hour if I walked it.  It’s barely 12 minutes by bike and I can just wear my normal work clothes.

The bus can be really great (it’s the best way to get into downtown Seattle in the morning) but I like the independence of leaving on my own schedule.  My bike is always waiting for me and is ready to go and I never have to worry about when the next bus will arrive.

Driving is pretty easy, but I don’t want to pay for parking in a garage and who has time to circle the block looking for a spot?  Biking is basically free and there is bike parking everywhere.  Besides, I can literally ride right up to office’s front door and take my bike inside. Oh and when was the last time you saw a bicycle traffic jam? The bike lanes are always clear!

Sure, biking is great because it’s super fun to feel the wind in your hair, it saves money, it’s good for the environment, and it means I don’t have to feel guilty about not going to the gym, but really when it comes down to it, riding my bike is the easiest option.

Did you know? Choose You Way Bellevue has tons of biking resources available to you!

-Choose Your Way Staffer, Tim

Tim recently relocated to Bellevue from the East Coast where he was with local county government, encouraging people to try bicycling for transportation. Tim has enjoyed experiencing the Seattle region’s bike lanes and trails from his handlebars.

 

Monday, October 2nd, 2017 9:49 AM | by Tim Kelley | Add a Comment

From the City of Bellevue: On Sept. 5, the city began a three-month pilot traffic mitigation program that is intended to discourage commuter traffic from using some neighborhood streets during East Link light rail construction.

Traffic studies show that commuters often access Bellevue Way in the evening commute hours via neighborhood streets. In response to concerns about the increase of this traffic since light rail construction started on Bellevue Way and 112th Avenue Southeast this summer, temporary turn restrictions are being piloted and enforced.

The pilot includes two restrictions that are in effect Monday through Friday, 4-7 p.m. At 108th Avenue Southeast, a no-through restriction prohibits through travel (southbound) at Southeast 16th Street; if motorists travel this stretch when the restrictions are active, they will have to turn right (west) onto SE 16th St. The turn restriction on Southeast 16th Street at Bellevue Way will prohibit travel (westbound) on Southeast 16th Street and left turns (southbound) travel to Bellevue Way. The restrictions do not apply to people bicycling or to transit vehicles, including public and school buses. The pilot utilizes signs and flashing beacons to call attention to the locations where turns are restricted.

Downtown employees are asked to plan their commutes in advance due to light rail construction occurring south of Main Street. If you are interested in taking the bus but have been hesitant to do so, consider a $25 ORCA card through Choose Your Way Bellevue. In addition to the bus, there are many other ways to get around Bellevue.

To read a detailed flyer about the pilot, go to www.bellevuewa.gov/ELtraffic.

Traffic monitoring is being conducted throughout the pilot and the results will be shared with the Neighborhood Traffic Mitigation Committee (NTMC). The NTMC was formed in 2016 to work with the City on recommending traffic mitigation that would discourage commuter traffic on neighborhood streets during East Link construction on Bellevue Way and 112th Avenue SE.

Let Choose Your Way Bellevue know if you have questions and don’t forget to check out these other East Link resources:

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Thursday, September 28th, 2017 1:13 PM | by admin | Add a Comment

A South Bellevue Park & Ride Alternative Story

The South Bellevue Park-and-Ride will be closing on May 30th, 2017. We would like to provide those who are affected by this closure some ideas for exploring a new commute, provided through our fictional commuter, “Caffeinated Carey.”.

Caffeinated Carey’s New Morning Commute

Current Route – 23 min from South Bellevue Park-and-Ride to King County Courthouse in Seattle

New Route – 44 minutes from Wilburton Park-and-Ride to King County Courthouse in Seattle

Every morning, I wake up, grab my cup of coffee and hop into my car to start my morning commute to the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride. This park-and-ride is usually full, but I can normally find parking if I get there before 8:30 a.m. A few weeks ago, a sign was posted alerting bus commuters that it was going to close for at least five years due to construction of the new East Link light rail station. I was slightly comforted in knowing that the future South Bellevue Station will include bus and paratransit transfer facilities and a 1,500-stall parking garage (almost 1,000 more than current stalls). But all I could think about was what about how my current commute was going to change during those five years.

I figured now is as good a time as any to try my new commute so I could be prepared for the closure when it happens.

I started researching the new park-and-ride lots Sound Transit has secured, as well as those park-and-rides with existing capacity, to help with the displacement of cars from the lot.

Sound Transit’s resources include a web page about the closure and their East Link Replacement Parking Interactive Map.  I located the nearest park-and-ride to me on the interactive map, the Wilburton Park-and-Ride, which is only an additional five-minute drive from the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride. This trip did require a transfer, but according to Google Maps, it looked like the best option.

The following morning, I packed everything a few minutes earlier and headed to the new station to catch the 8:04 a.m. King Country Metro 240. Parking was relatively easy, though I made a note to remember the parking lot is much smaller than the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride. I walked about 5 minutes to SE 8th St & 118th Ave SE. I wanted to make sure I head I got on the quickest route, so I used my One Bus Away app that showed me arrival times of neighboring stations and bus stops. This bus then dropped me off a few minutes later at the Eastgate Park-and-Ride where I walked I caught route King Country Metro 212 dropped me off about two blocks away from my destination, and in less than five minutes I was at the Courthouse. Heading back home I had a few options, but I found that taking the Sound Transit 550 gets me faster to Bellevue in the evenings. I exited at the Bellevue Transit Center, and caught the King County Metro 246, or King County Metro 240, whichever came first since both buses travel to the Wilburton Park-and-Ride.

For now, this is a good substitution while I wait for the light rail to come across to the Eastside; and I still have time to grab my morning triple shot latte on ice before jumping on the bus!

-Sincerely, Caffeinated Carey

********

To those who can relate to Caffeinated Carey’s story due to the closure of South Bellevue and Park-and-Ride, Choose Your Way Bellevue is here to assist with making the transition to your new commute an easier one. The 550, 555, and 556, 241 and 249 will continue to serve Bellevue Way in front of the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride when it closes. There will not be a park-and-ride in that vicinity; however, I would encourage you to plan ahead and look for an alternative park-and-ride that may work for you. (Note that you may need to transfer buses from your alternative lot in order to get where you need to go.) Or, try sharing the ride!

In fact, your new route may turn out to be faster than your old one. Recently, a commuter discovered that parking at the Newport Hills Park-and-Ride and taking the King County Metro Route 111 was 15 minutes faster than her current commute parking at the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride and taking the Sound Transit 550!

Try checking for a new route from home, rather than the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride; you may be surprised what you find! Some other helpful resources for planning your route include:

If you are having trouble figuring out your new commute, we are here to help! You may request Choose Your Way Bellevue custom commute assistance at any time. Also check out our East Link and Travel Options page for resources and updates.

Stay tuned to our blog for more examples in the future of how people are adjusting their commutes regarding the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride closure.

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Sandee

Thursday, May 4th, 2017 4:23 PM | by Sandee Ditt | Add a Comment

Mariners opening day is fast approaching and now that I’m working in Bellevue, I wanted to get a jump start on my commute to the night games. I started by weighing my advantages and disadvantages of driving to the game. Dealing with rush hour traffic AND game day traffic sounded dreadful. I decided to test out my game day route when I came across some Sounders tickets. I jumped on Google Maps, adjusted the “arrive by” time, and saw the 550 from Bellevue Transit Center would get me to the game by 7:00 p.m. Along the way, I was surprised to see so many fans boarding the bus in Bellevue.

Mercer Island Park ‘n’Ride Sounder fans boarding the bus.

Most of the major transit hubs like Mercer Island Park and Ride have open spots after 5 p.m. Getting on and jumping off with the rest of the Sounder’s crowd was great, and getting dropped off 8 minutes from the stadium was even better. Not only did I arrive in time to have a drink before heading into the stadium, I even beat the friend I was meeting who was coming from downtown Seattle!

When leaving the game, I was glad that I wasn’t one of the cars stuck at the traffic lights or dodging fans in the parking lots. Jumping on the bus and heading home was a breeze. I live in Seattle, so it was a much quicker commute from the stadium on route 5, but I witnessed many people heading to the International District/Chinatown station to catch their bus and/or train out of Seattle.

Traveling home alone on the bus after the game at 10:00 p.m. also wasn’t very intimidating as there were so many fans on the street. A nice perk of taking a Metro bus home was being able to ask the bus driver about a block in advance to stop a bit closer to my house on the normal route. Metro’s program called Night Stop that runs between 8:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m. allows you to ask a Metro driver to stop somewhere nearer your destination, if it is safe for the bus to do so. It was a nice bonus at the end of the night!

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staffer Sandee

Friday, April 7th, 2017 4:58 PM | by Sandee Ditt | Add a Comment

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