Archive for the ‘Traffic’ Category

Planning of Commute – Anxiety Level 6/10

I would consider myself an intermediate Seattle bus traveler. I used to ride the bus every day to get to work in South Lake Union, or to neighboring areas like Capitol Hill and Queen Anne, but never one to take me across multiple cities. So in regards to intercity public transportation, I’m a novice at best. So the night before my second day at my new job in Bellevue, I decided to map out my path of travel and outline any red flags such as road closures and “what if” scenarios if buses were late. Using this time resting my eyes, meditating, maybe actually having breakfast – sounded a lot more tempting than driving during rush hour to get back home in Seattle. I used every source I could think of: Google Maps, One Bus Away, Metro Trip Planner – anything that could give me a good sense of timing.

Morning of Commute – Anxiety Level 7/10

I found that I could take the bus right outside my door down to the University Street tunnel station and transfer easily to a bus that came about every 8-15 minutes to downtown Bellevue. As I waited, I noticed I didn’t have reception down in the tunnel station. I glanced across the way and saw a sign that said free Wi-Fi on the platform! PERFECT! I quickly logged in and checked my One Bus Away app and notice that my bus was running behind. If I had checked before I could have made it in time for the bus ahead of it, but after getting a little confused with which way to head off of the bus, I just barely missed it. A gentleman next to me mentioned that usually this bus is right on time, so I’ll count today as an anomaly. Once it arrived a few minutes later, the bus was a bit crowded, but I was able to get on. As we were cruising swiftly by traffic on I-90 I realized that we were quickly making up time for the late departure. I arrived at the Bellevue Transit Center and at work a few minutes late, but not bad for a first timer.

Week 2 of Commuting to Bellevue– Anxiety Level 1/10

Two weeks later – When I wake up, I quickly check my One Bus Away (an app a fellow bus rider suggested to me), to see when my bus is arriving, I keep it on hand as it updates regularly and I can easily walk out my door about 2 minutes beforehand. I now have a routine down and can sometimes catch an extra wink or two in the morning due to how consistent my travel time is now into work. The 550 has been on time (give or take 2-3 minutes) every day, and I’ve always scored an open seat.  I’m glad I didn’t let one hiccup deter me from trying the route again, but it comes by so often that even if you do miss a bus, you know the next one is just right around the corner.

Tips:

  • No “Cutsy’s”! –Unspoken protocol for commuters traveling to and from the Eastside, make sure to wait in whatever line is forming for the bus at your platform. When your bus arrives, some may get on, others won’t, just step forward and make sure not to jump ahead of anyone that is getting on the same bus! On day 1, this formal line was a foreign concept to me as it’s usually a free for all on Seattle downtown buses, but I quickly learned that you either get in line, or wait until the end of it to get on.

Overhead space for extra items

  • Have extra bags or books? The Sound Transit buses have overhead space compartments for just those things. Another plus was overhead extra lighting, so make sure to bring that book or set of notes to review!
  • Stand clear of the back doors or they won’t be able to close.
  • Have your fare ready!
  • Also, make sure to enjoy the view!

    View off the I-90 bridge

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 9:59 AM | by Sandee Ditt | Add a Comment

ChooseYourWaySchoolPool

The changing of the seasons ushers in many things such as pumpkin flavored treats, nature’s parade of colors along your commute, and this year, SchoolPool!

The City of Bellevue and the Bellevue School District are collaborating to bring SchoolPool to the desktop of families at select pilot schools longing for a way out of the traffic woes generated during the commute to and from school. SchoolPool not only brings relief to families and the communities that support the schools, it also saves time and money. You can access Bellevue SchoolPool via the Choose Your Way Bellevue website.

What is Choose Your Way Bellevue SchoolPool?

CYWB SchoolPool is a free program that includes an online platform, open only to families at participating schools, to help them form ridematches with other families at their child’s school or participating nearby schools. Ridematches aren’t just for carpools; they are also for biking and walking groups with an adult leader.

SchoolPool Pilot is happening at the following schools:

  • Puesta del Sol
  • Somerset Elementary
  • Stevenson Elementary
  • Odle Middle
  • Tyee Middle
  • Newport High
  • Sammamish High
  • Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart

Our vision is to utilize SchoolPool to mitigate traffic congestion around schools make the commute to school easier, and help make our city more sustainable!

If you have children in one of the participating schools listed above and would like to participate, visit our SchoolPool webpage. To get started, fill out this form!

Friday, September 23rd, 2016 3:57 PM | by Paige Anderson | Add a Comment

Construction has begun on East Link’s downtown Bellevue Tunnel. Starting June 13th, contractors will close a portion of 110th Ave. NE to replace the soil under the roadway. The current substrate consists of loose fill which it is not adequate for the tunneling operation. The loose substrate will be replaced with a concrete like material and the roadway will be restored, allowing full access during tunnel construction.

Phase one of the closure will last approximately five weeks (June 13th to late July).

110th closure Phase 1

The initial closure will block all lanes in both directions of 110th Ave. NE from NE 6th St. to the loading dock of City Center Plaza. The 110th Ave. entrance to City Center Plaza will be closed during this phase of construction, but there will be limited access via the loading dock. Please contact property management for more details. Both the City Hall visitor entrance and the Skyline garage will continue to be accessible via 110th Ave. NE, but drivers will have to access it from the south.  Vehicle access to Skyline Tower, City Center Plaza and Bellevue City Hall will be restricted to a right turn only from westbound NE 4th St.. The sidewalk on the western side of  110th Ave. NE between NE 4th St. and NE 6th St. will be closed. The sidewalk on the east side will remain open.

 Phase two of the closure will continue for an additional five weeks (Late July-early September).

110th closure Phase 2

During phase two, the western-most lane will be reopened to southbound traffic. At this point, vehicles traveling southbound on 110th Ave. NE will have access to the City Center Plaza and Skyline Tower garages, but vehicles exiting the garages must exit southbound on 110th Ave. NE.

Although the construction site is relatively small, traffic impacts are expected to spread beyond the immediate area. Diversion is expected on NE 8th St., NE 4th St. and NE 2nd St. as well as 112th Ave. NE and 108th Ave. NE.

Customer and visitor access to Bellevue City Hall remains available from northbound 110th Ave. NE and westbound from NE 6th St.

 Transit access to the Bellevue Transit Center will not be affected and all bus service will continue as scheduled.

Choose Your Way Bellevue wants to help you find other transportation options.

  • Contact us for custom commute plans and carpool/vanpool matching.
  • During the 110thAve. NE closure, Choose Your Way Bellevue is offering new transit riders* ORCA cards preloaded with a $10 E-purse, to get you started.
  • King County Metro VanPool is offering five days of free rides in operating vanpool and vanshare commuter vans.
  • Contact info@cywb.orgfor more information on the ORCA and VanPool promotions.

Offer

To help you get through construction, we are inviting new transit riders* to apply for a preloaded $10 ORCA card (while supplies last) or five free rides in a KC Metro commuter van. Whether you want to commute to the office, ride to the Bellevue Collection for shopping and dining, bus to Seattle for a Mariners game, or if you want to try the Sound Transit 560 or light rail to the airport, we have your first trips covered.

We will review your application, and if approved, will mail you an ORCA card within seven business days.

Eligibility

  • *A new transit user is anyone who has not used transit more than three times in the past three months.
  • Participants who have previously received an ORCA card from Choose Your Way Bellevue are not eligible for this promotion.
  • If you are already taking advantage of your employer’s ORCA benefit, you are not eligible for this promotion.
  • For more details contact Choose Your Way Bellevue, please email info@CYWB.org.
  • Limit one per person and one per email address.

Our team is also available to help you plan a transit trip through our online commute inquiry form.

 How it works

  • Submit a request for a preloaded $10 ORCA while the promotion is available here.
  • The ORCA cards will be mailed out by Choose Your Way Bellevue staff weekly.
  • Limit one per person.
  • Limit one per email address.
  • For the KC Metro commuter van promotion find a van with a seat or for tips on finding a van, contact info@CYWB.org. Once you find a van complete this form.
Friday, June 3rd, 2016 9:38 PM | by Jason Hampton | Comments (1)
0150-BellevueICEskate-12-5-14Small

Photo by Mike Penney

Magic Season is here once again bringing residents and visitors together for six weeks of special holiday events! Warm yourself up with a hot cocoa while enjoying the ice arena, Garden D’Lights, local dining and shopping! Avoid the delays of traffic and the hassle of trying to find parking by following our transportation tips to help you find alternative ways for your commute while enjoying the holidays.

What’s more, Choose Your Way Bellevue will be at the Bellevue Downtown Association Magic Season Ice Arena presented by Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card from 3 to 9 p.m. Monday Dec. 14. Stop by our table to say hello, spin our prize wheel and learn more about getting around town during this busy season.

In addition we’ll be giving away free ice skating tickets on social media. us on Facebook and Instagram to participate in our Magic Season ticket giveaway. What exactly do you have to do? There will be multiple opportunities and chances for you to be entered into the drawingand here’s how:

  • We will post a weekly trivia question on Facebook or Instagramand if you answer correctly you will be entered to win.
  • Tag @chooseurwaybell on Instagram showing us how you’re commuting to work (if you are a carpool or vanpool driver, make sure you are parked before you snap a photo!)
  • Guess where we are! We’ll post a picture, and tell us where we are in Bellevue to be entered to win.

Three fun and easy ways to be entered to win ice arena tickets while learning about your different travel options during the holiday season. We hope to see you around Downtown Bellevue these next few weeks. Be on the lookout for our social media updates! The first trivia question will be on Monday, December 7!

Magic Season Commuting and Transportation Tips

Ride the Bus: More than 20 King County Metro and Sound Transit bus routes travel through the Bellevue Transit Center. You can park your car at a park-and-ride lot such as South Bellevue, Eastgate or South Kirkland and hop on a bus the rest of the way. Visit tripplanner.kingcounty.gov to plan your trip.

Try the B Line: King County Metro’s RapidRide B Line goes from the Redmond Transit Center through Overlake, Crossroads and several stops along NE 8th Street to the Bellevue Transit Center.

Bring Friends: Carpooling can save you time when you take high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on I-90 and east of Lake Washington on SR 520. The I-405 Express Toll Lanes can make a short trip to Downtown Bellevue. With a group of two or more in those off-peak times you can avoid the toll with a GoodToGo FlexPass. You need three or more to drive in the express toll lanes for free during peak hours. Three or more in your carpool is required for using the HOV lanes on SR 520. The HOV direct access ramp at NE 6th Street will get you into Downtown faster. Find out more at goodtogo405.com.

Photo by Mike Penney

Photo by Mike Penney

Park near the Park: Parking is available at the Bellevue Downtown Park if you are heading to the Bellevue Downtown Association’s Magic Season Ice Arena presented by Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card. Doing a little shopping in Old Bellevue? Two-hour, limited on-street parking is available around Old Bellevue and on Main Street.

Download These Mobile Apps to Help You Get Around:

One Bus Away: Take the bus and save money— for more holiday shopping! Download the app for iPhone, Android and Windows phones to access up to date bus arrivals times so you aren’t running or waiting for the next Metro or Sound Transit bus.

Waze: Is the community-based app where you can share with fellow driver’s real-time traffic alerts and road information in your area, helping to save you time and money.

Inrix Traffic or WSDOT: Both of these apps will keep you up to date with instant traffic and travel alerts in and around the Eastside. Be sure to download either of these apps and save yourself some time by avoiding backups! InrixTraffic.com and WSDOT.gov.

Other apps to try: These multimodal real-time trip planning app such as Google Maps, The Transit App, Ridescout, or King County Metro’s Trip Planner app can also tell you the time, duration and cost of your trip using various modes such as transit, walking, cycling, and driving.

And as always – if you need any assistance planning your trip, feel free to contact Choose Your Way Bellevue or fill out a commute inquiry.

Friday, December 4th, 2015 10:41 PM | by admin | Add a Comment

CIM Logo trimmed
King County Metro recently launched the I-405 Communities In Motion (CIM) program that rewards $25 to those willing to make some changes to their commute. If you live or work in Bellevue you are invited to participate via On The Move Bellevue. We’re here to help you find alternative modes of travel, whether it be by bicycling, walking, taking public transportation, or finding a rideshare alternative. On The Move Bellevue has plenty to offer local commuters – and this fall there are even more incentives and rewards available due to the I-405 Communities In Motion campaign. There has been a lot of progress since the program launched in 2013. Read on for more about how joining On The Move Bellevue and taking the I-405 Pledge can support you in your non-drive-alone goals!

The first Metro Community in Motion program was developed in 2013 and has been widespread for residents across 13 cities in the King County region. Here’s CIM by the numbers:

  • 6,500 participants have pledged to reduce to two drive-alone trips per week.
  • Through been logging their trips.
  • 3 million miles have been eliminated by non-drive-alone trips.
  • An estimated 341,242 gallons of gas have been saved.
  • 5 pounds of carbon dioxide has been prevented from entering the atmosphere.
  • $2,548,661 in travel costs has been saved.

So how do you pledge, you ask? Here’s how it works:

CIM-RSO-icon pledgeStep 1: Pledge and earn $25! Join the movement and register online through On The Move Bellevue to record your weekly progress. You can access the pledge once you’re registered under your “Rewards” tab under “Incentive Programs”. (Look for the little icon on the right.) It’s a pledge to change some of your drive-alone trips, log your reduced trips for three months and then take a follow up survey.

Can’t reduce your trips because you don’t own a car? Or do you just want to spread your love to your friends and colleagues? Become a Car-Free Champion or Program Ambassador to earn your $25. Take the pledge as normal and then email your story or your recruit to getinmotion@kingcounty.gov.

Step 2: Join the I-405 Diamond Club: Within your On The Move Bellevue account, you can join The Club once you’ve completed the pledge. And trust us; The Club has its benefits. Just for completing the pledge you will receive your first Emergency Ride Home code for a taxi ride home in case of an eligible emergency.

Step 3: Log those trips! Calling all Diamond Club Members: Every month that you log eight reduced days on your calendar through June 15, 2015, you will be eligible to request another Emergency Ride Home code to have in your back pocket for those emergencies. Another bonus for logging? Each month 25 win $25 (REI or a TranBen transit or vanpool voucher) just for logging those eight days! You can back-log up to 28 days.

What’s MORE? On The Move Bellevue trip loggers have another chance to win 25 win $25 just for those who live or work in Bellevue.

The Pledge and the survey period will close to Bellevue commuters 1/31/16. Better boogie – all rewards are only available while supplies last. More information is available at kingcounty.gov/getinmotion or get started now! Email any questions about the I-405 Communities In Motion Program or On The Move Bellevue to info@onthemovebellevue.org.

 

 

Saturday, November 14th, 2015 12:36 AM | by admin | Add a Comment

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