Choose Your Way Bellevue Blog

Bellevue Magic Season is here! Downtown Bellevue is home to a winter wonderland of delights this holiday season, and Choose Your Way Bellevue has all the resources to help you arrive stress free. Events are peppered around Downtown and easily accessible by bus. If you do prefer to drive, remember that carpooling means more time with friends and family, holiday songs in the car and more eyes peeled for a parking spot!

The simplest transit option is to take a bus to the Bellevue Transit Center. From here you can easily walk to Ashwood Park, where the Magic Season Ice Arena is hosted this year, or Bellevue Library which is also hosting holiday events. Take the pedestrian corridor on NE 6th Street two blocks west to Bellevue Way for Snowflake Lane. Walk half a block to the Meydenbauer Center Theatre to see a beautiful production of the Nutcracker; or walk to one of the retail centers in Downtown to do some last minute gift shopping!

magic season map

Here are some routes you can take to the Bellevue Transit Center:

Find your specific route through trip planners from King County Metro, Sound Transit or Google Maps (select “Directions” and click on the transit icon) and entering “Bellevue Transit Center” as the destination. Or check out a mobile app in the next section.

Download These Mobile Apps to Help You Get Around:

Puget Sound Trip Planner: This King County Metro app allows you to find a route between your origin and destination in real time, or for a future trip. See stop details, fare information, route schedules and options.

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 arrival times so you aren’t running or waiting for the next bus. You can click on every bus stop from a map to see all arrival times.

Google Maps: Google Maps now includes real-time bus data. You can plan out your trip for transit and it will give you arrival times and even fare information. Google Maps also allows you to add your trip to your calendar so you can be t

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016 6:10 PM | by Paige Anderson | Comments Off on ‘Tis the Season for Transit

The City of Bellevue is transforming into a more user-friendly city.

With a measured approach that focuses on cooperating with local businesses and minimizing construction impacts, city officials and planners are working to enhance mobility and safety while also improving the environment for pedestrians and cyclists.

The intersection at NE 4th St and 108th Ave NE is one great example how Downtown Bellevue is transforming its streets and evolving into a more walkable and bike-friendly city. The new intersection highlights a number of improvements that are popping up all around the city:

  • New northbound bike lane
  • Wider crosswalks and curb ramps promote safer crossings for pedestrians
  • New paving designs that enhance the streetscape and ambiance

Take a look at the new designs below:

 

Images by Jacob Brett

Images by Jacob Brett

Have you tried out this new intersection? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!

 

Monday, November 21st, 2016 7:08 PM | by admin | Add a Comment

Days are getting shorter, and now that the clocks have rolled back it is more important than ever to stay ALERT, to stay DRY and stay VISIBLE this time of year. Here are some tips for keeping your commute safe and cozy on the bus, bike or on foot this winter.

bus in the rain

Image thanks to ArtBlart.com

  • ALERT: If you’re out walking or biking, be aware that drivers won’t be able to see you as well with rain and darkness as they may have in the summer months. Scan as you walk and make eye contact with drivers at intersections before crossing in front of turning cars, and try not to surprise drivers. Make your presence known and be predictable.
  • DRY: The rain can be cold while you are waiting for a bus. Bring an extra pair of shoes, rubber boots, a raincoat, scarf or rain jacket to stay dry and warm while waiting. For tips on how to stay dry while biking in the rain, check out this Seattle Bike Blog post.
  • VISIBLE: Brights matter! Neon, reflective tape or clothing can outline your figure so buses, cars, and trucks can see you when you’re crossing the street or cycling to work. Don’t take any chances this winter. If you’ve got a black rain coat that you’re in love with, spring for a neon umbrella to give you some added protection. Our local bike shops have all sorts of spoke reflectors and neon gear to make sure you are seen by your fellow road users.

Do you have a safety tip you use every year? Share it with us on Facebook or via email.

Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Augusta (Transit Rider)

Thursday, November 17th, 2016 11:33 PM | by augusta | Add a Comment

The Seahawks are poised for another great season, and they can’t do it without you! To make sure you get to the game without getting stuck in traffic or a stadium parking lot, try taking transit to the game!

seahawks busseahawks bus 2
• From the Bellevue Transit Center you can catch Sound Transit Route 550, which will drop you off at the International District Chinatown station, a short distance from Pioneer square and Century Link Field. You can also catch the 550 at the South Bellevue Park & Ride. Regular adult fare: $2.75 (each way). *Note: The South Bellevue Park & Ride may be closed as early as January 2017 for up to five years for East Link Light Rail construction.

• If you’re heading across the lake from the Eastgate Park & Ride you will enjoy 20 festive minutes with fellow Hawks fans on Sound Transit Route 554 before arriving at 5th and Jackson, which is a short walk to the stadium. The 554 departs Bay 3 (I-90 Expressway Ramp & 142nd Place Southeast) every 30 minutes. After the win you can catch the 554 for your return trip from 5th and Jackson. Regular adult fare: $2.75 (each way).

• Metro Transit will operate Seahawks game day shuttle bus service from three locations: Eastgate Park & Ride, South Kirkland Park & Ride, and Northgate Transit Center. Fares will be $4 each way, or $8 round trip. Bus service generally begins two hours prior to kickoff and ends 45 minutes prior. Please note that service is only available for weekend games. Get more info on game day transportation straight from the Hawk’s mouth.

• You can also catch Metro Route 271 from Eastgate Park & Ride or the Bellevue Transit Center to the University of Washington, where you can use your ORCA card to seamlessly jump onto Link light rail to the stadium. Sound Transit’s website has fare and schedule details.

Remember, Seahawks game days are busy for all downtown buses. A couple of things that help the offense run more smoothly are patience and an ORCA card:

• Post-game traffic can clog the streets. Please be patient and remember the bus will eventually come.

• When making the play call to ride the bus, also remember that an ORCA card will not only save you money by letting you transfer between buses, but also speed up boarding. If you will be paying your fare with cash try to have exact change ready. There are many places to get an ORCA card. You can purchase one at the Bellevue Transit Center vending machine on the north sidewalk, or at other participating retail locations, as well as by mail. Here’s the playbook on getting an ORCA card.

If you’d like help planning your route or need additional information, fill out an online commute inquiry form or send us an email. Some great resources for trip planning are trip planners from Sound Transit and Metro; Puget Sound Trip Planner App; OneBusAway; City Mapper; and Google Maps.

Friday, October 14th, 2016 8:34 PM | by Paige Anderson | Add a Comment

It’s easy to see the correlation between not exercising and looking silly on your hiking date or not flossing and emitting potent halitosis, but less obvious is the correlation between your daily commute and your health and wellbeing.

Before you go checking WebMD and discover that you need to amputate a limb, it’s important to remember that there are many variables to consider when evaluating your commute. Depending on how and how far you travel each day, your risks may be different. For example, traveling more than ten miles each direction is associated with high blood sugar; commute distance is also related to blood pressure and body mass index. Not to mention the prolonged exposure to air pollution and the risk of lung diseases, heart attack, and stroke.

Image thanks to: www.erwinwurm.at

Image thanks to: erwinwurm.at

Even depression, anxiety, and social isolation are greater risks for those driving to and from work alone. Psychologists have found that mental health issues are a result of not just earth-shattering events, but also minor emotional experiences can manifest into negative psychological expression up to ten years later.

 

 

It has also been found that a commute of more than 45 minutes is correlated with lower sleep quality and more exhaustion than those with shorter commutes. Issues stemming from of lack of sleep are myriad, including an effect on attention, long-term memory, impulse behavior, lower immunity, and other problems.

However, not all hope is lost. If you a part of a carpool, vanpool or vanshare, that social time is thought to be having a positive effect on your health and wellbeing in the long term.

He takes the bus. Image thanks to: rollingstone.com

He takes the bus. Image thanks to: rollingstone.com

If you choose to ride your bike to work you’ll not only save money, but you’ll reap the health benefits of a regular exercise regime and reduce negative impacts on the environment.

Taking the bus can also be a cost-effective and stress-free way to commute. All that time you’d be focused on the road you could be reading, dozing, or maintaining a celebrity-sized social media presence. Busing also has positive health benefits, because even though you may walk just a few hundred yards to the nearest stop, that adds up over the week. In fact, even standing and balancing on the bus is considered a core workout (goodbye belly, hello abs!).

Don’t forget that combining modes may be your best bet for your commute.

If you’d like help planning your new commute don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Thursday, October 6th, 2016 11:11 PM | by Paige Anderson | Comments Off on Commute Consequences

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