Choose Your Way Bellevue Blog

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Commute Challenger Cheryl decided she wanted to try to take the bus from Kirkland to Downtown Bellevue. She has found that commuting via alternative mode is not for her, due to her relatively short commute by car. Even though she won’t continue to take the bus, she has learned new routes that are faster to take thanks to her experience.

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August 5 – 9, 2013 – Week 1 – Bus commute between Kirkland & Bellevue

Nice morning for a short walk in the sun to the Kirkland Transit Center (KTC).  Not the best experience to start with – KTC is very dirty and the bus was old and musty smelling. There were many stops along the way to the Bellevue Transit Center (BTC). The bus ride home in the afternoon was in better condition but it was warm outside and there was no A/C on the bus.* Total commute time took about 30 minutes longer (including time waiting for the bus) than driving.  On the positive side, however, there was no traffic stress, the drivers were nice, commute is literally door-to-door, and I could sit back and relax!

*A metro representative notified DBOTM staff saying they are in the process of getting new buses:

“Whenever an old bus is taken out of our fleet and replaced with a new one—the new coach does come equipped with A/C.  But I don’t know how long that process will take, as Metro does tend to provide such good maintenance of their fleet that the buses have a long life. This probably explains the ‘old and musty’ comment.” – Pamela

August 12 – 16, 2013 – Week 2

I rode the bus twice this week due to other commitments after work.  I was accosted at BTC by a young man asking for money. After the news this week of a bus driver being shot in Seattle, I was pleased to see the great attitude and continued kindness of the bus drivers.

August 19 – 23, 2013 – Week 3

I rode the bus four days this week. Tuesday, Aug. 20 – See first picture of KTC below. Not a lovely start to the bus ride and it upsets me that Metro and City of Kirkland don’t take better care of this. Kirkland says it’s Metro’s responsibility but I think it should be shared, especially with City of Kirkland workers out and about early in the morning. Once on the bus, however, the scenery is beautiful, especially on a nice day (see second picture of the lake from the bus below). I received an email back from Metro – they say the Kirkland Transit Center is Sound Transit’s responsibility. The response from the City Manager of Kirkland says they will work with Metro. On Friday morning, it’s still not cleaned. I will continue to try to bring attention to the need for some agency to take responsibility.*

Cheryl JOnes Kirkland Transit Center 8-20-13

Cheryl JonesNice view from the bus

*Status as of 9/4/13: City of Bellevue staff determined that Metro is responsible for cleaning this particular shelter at the Kirkland Transit Center. After initial delay due to the complexity of ownership among transit agencies at this location, Sound Transit helped by contacting Metro to alert them of the need. The city followed up with Metro and learned that Metro staff have put in a work order for this shelter to be cleaned. Thank you, Cheryl, for alerting transit agencies of this maintenance need.

August 26 – 30, 2013 – Week 4

I rode the bus four days this week.  Monday, Aug. 26 – First rain since I’ve been riding the bus. I should listen to the weather report and plan ahead, which I did not, and ended up walking home from the bus stop in the rain. Tuesday, Aug, 27 – A beautiful huge rainbow arched over Kirkland this morning but my cell phone was dead, so I couldn’t take a picture.  Things you see from the bus are very different than things you see from your car while driving.  I would recommend everyone take some bus rides around their town – you’ll see things you never noticed before.

All in all this has been a good experience. I’ve learned a new, less crowded route to and from work.  The Metro bus drivers are friendly and helpful. The buses between home and work run every 15 to 20 minutes so it’s pretty convenient.  Savings calculated on the Downtown Bellevue On The Move network showed I saved $17, 3 gallons gas, 47 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, and I did 24 trips of not driving alone.  Since my commute is pretty short (less than five miles) I think the greenest thing about taking the bus is just one less car on the road and less emissions. I’ve enjoyed sitting back and relaxing, looking at the scenery and not having to be concerned about the traffic and the other crazy drivers.

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 3:31 PM | by geri | Add a Comment

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It’s always nice to have options. When we are busy, having access to multiple modes of alternative transportation is a big relief! Read on to see how Gillian mixes up her commute to tailor to her schedule!

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08.27.13

Today I had to wake up super-early (at least for me) because I have to leave work early to go to school.  I am a part-time evening law student at Seattle University and fall semester started this week.  My work hours from Tuesday to Thursday are now 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Sometimes it’s a pain getting up, but there are certainly many benefits of an earlier start to the work day.  Traffic is better, I am more productive, and I don’t get worried that I am missing an early morning meeting or conference call.  I drive in to work on days I have class.  I wish it was more convenient for me to get to school and get home using public transportation.  But for the time and flexibility, I drive.

I have to say that it is great having multiple options for my commute on any given day.  Depending on my schedule, the weather, or simply my mood, I can choose to bike, bus, or drive.  Maybe someday I will try a fourth option – by foot.  =)

Friday, August 30th, 2013 4:45 PM | by geri | Add a Comment

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Summer is drawing to an end but our challengers are finishing strong in their commute challenge!

Meet Kate. She took the challenge determined to bike from Kirkland to her work in Downtown Bellevue, and occasionally, ride the bus. Kate was thrilled to start and was even given a high-five from a passing jogger at her bus-stop. Read on to see how Kate’s first ride went!

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Bought My Gear

This commute challenge is going to be so fun. I have always wanted to bike to work, but I have been intimidated in the past. Now that I live pretty close to where I work (Kirkland to Bellevue, 4 miles.) I am close enough. This commute challenge with Downtown Bellevue On The Move is just the thing to finally convince me to give it a try.

I was lucky enough to find a sweet deal on a bike on Craigslist. It needs a little love and attention, both things I can provide! The brake pads needed to be replaced. They were cheap enough at REI- $7. I watched a few Youtube videos to learn how to install them.

KAte's Bike

(Old brake pads. Significantly worn; the indicator grooves were almost gone.)

Written on Monday, August 12, 2013

First Bike Ride!

My husband practically had to push me out the door today. I was more than a little nervous. Sure, it’s been a while, but I can ride a bike no problem. Some would say, “It’s just like riding a bike.” …bad joke, sorry. So why was I so scared to ride my bike to work? Cars. Other drivers to be more specific. Inattentive drivers can be very dangerous to all who share the road.

Kate and Her Bike

Once I got out the door and on the road most of my fears dissipated. I am very fortunate that most of my route to work has a bike lane or large shoulder that I can ride on. Drivers do give a lot of clearance to bicyclists and I really appreciate that! I was confident that I was visible to drivers since I had my sweet new bicycle lights.

Bike lights

They each have a USB port so I can charge them at work after every couple rides. I love that!

Written on Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 4:34 PM | by geri | Add a Comment

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Challenger Gillian started out riding her bike to work but changed it up last week by taking the bus. Check out how easy it was to switch modes!

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GillianMy commute by bus takes about 20-25 minutes on average each way.  The bus stop is only a few hundred feet from my front door (yes, football throwing distance).

I use the OneBusAway app on my phone to let me know when the bus will be arriving.  I usually wait between two and five minutes, although these days the weather is so pleasant that I really wouldn’t mind waiting longer (it would be a different story in the winter).

Overall, my bus commute is pretty low-key.  Sometimes I put my iPod in, sometimes I just sit and stare out the windows, noticing all the construction going on in the area.  The most notable for me is the construction of the South Kirkland Park & Ride.  I remember when this place would get backed up with buses around the U-shaped driveway.  The design seems much better now, and there is already one parking garage up (not sure if it is open yet).  It looks like there will be at least another garage across the way.  I can’t wait to see this place after it is complete.

–Gillian 8.12.13

Friday, August 23rd, 2013 10:45 AM | by geri | Add a Comment

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The Summer Commute Challenge has kicked off and we have four challengers who are determined to ride out one month the greener way. Join Downtown Bellevue On The Move and our challengers as they document their experiences.  Make sure to wear a helmet, there might be road bumps!

Today we have an entry from Gillian, who works at Skyline Tower and commutes from Kirkland. She has chosen to bike and bus to work. Read on to see what her commute by bike was like this morning!

The nice cool breeze this morning really made my ride.  Bike paths brought me about half the way, then through the urban streets of downtown Bellevue, to my building, Skyline Tower (currently a construction zone).

There is nice spot on my floor where we can park bikes, which beats having to lock it up on a bike rack.  The hard part is getting it there.  Building management is very strict about not allowing bikes on the elevators.  We can use the freight elevator, but the wait is too long for me to handle.  Luckily, I am on the 3rd floor, so carrying my bike up the stairs is no sweat.

And, we have arrived.

-Gillian, 8/8/2013

bike parking - skyline gillian

Friday, August 9th, 2013 12:27 PM | by geri | Add a Comment

Summer Commute Challenge

Downtown Bellevue Residents & Workers:

How did you get to work today? If the answer is you drove alone (again) then this is your chance to try a new way to work!   Downtown Bellevue on the Move is looking for a few challengers, who live or work in downtown Bellevue, to try a new, greener commute and to tell us about it!  Trying a new commute can seem a little daunting at first, but our staff wants to make it as easy on you as possible. That is why Downtown Bellevue On The Move will pay for your green commute for a month (some restrictions apply) – and are even throwing in a reward. So what are you waiting for? 

August could be the month that you leave your car at home, sit back and relax during a bus ride, dust off that old bike, or call up that friend on the 6th floor to see if he or she wants to try carpooling for a month.  Downtown Bellevue On The Move staff will help you plan your commute and can walk you through the process. All we ask in return is that you document your experience and share 4 weekly journal entries, paired with videos or photos to be posted on our blog or other social media sources. We want to hear about how it goes!

Those who are eligible and successfully complete the challenge will receive a gift card for participating (while supplies last). At the end of the year challengers will be entered to win a grand prize of a Kindle Fire, iPad Mini, iPod Touch, or Microsoft Store gift card.

Fill out an application today! Take on the challenge. 

If you already commute by a greener mode – refer a friend or two!  They will thank you later.

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Downtown Bellevue On The Move Staff

425.453.0644 | DBOnTheMove@cywb.org

Join the Downtown Bellevue On The Move network! Learn how at www.DBOnTheMove.org

Monday, July 29th, 2013 8:58 AM | by admin | Comments (2)

6thStreetFair

It’s almost that time of year again!

In just two weeks (Friday July 26 – Sunday, July 28) more than 500 artists and about 300,000 people will flock to Bellevue’s city center to experience the arts fair weekend. What many people don’t know is that the event actually comprises three separate fairs:  The Bellevue Arts Museum artsfairThe 6th Street Fair and Bellevue Festival of the Arts.

If you’re planning on attending this year, do you have your travel plans set? Read on for Choose Your Way Bellevue’s arts fair weekend transportation tips below!

Enjoy the arts and crafts in downtown Bellevue without sitting in traffic! Let Metro or Sound Transit do the driving for you. Simply park your car at a nearby park & ride, and then take the bus to a stop near the fair. Or better yet, visit metro.kingcounty.gov or soundtransit.org to plan your entire trip by bus!

Tips for riding transit to downtown Bellevue:

  • Carry your exact fare in cash: Bus drivers do not have change. You may pay your fare, and the fare for others traveling with you, using any combination of paper and coin currency. ORCA transit passes are also accepted provided they have a value equal to or greater than the required fare (if not, a cash supplement may be required).
  • 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.
  • 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 are posted at each bay to assist you.

Suggested Park and Ride Options for Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28:
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; however, parking will be severely limited 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 metro.kingcounty.gov or 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 NE

Overlake 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
Metro 235 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

*Weekday service only
**No Sunday service

Planning on carpooling? Parking will be extremely limited in downtown Bellevue so plan ahead and visit each fair’s page to learn about parking information: The Bellevue Arts Museum artsfairThe 6th Street Fair and Bellevue Festival of the Arts.

Bike racks are available throughout downtown Bellevue, check out our Bike Rack Map to find one near the fairs.

If you have additional questions about arts fair weekend and getting there, please post a comment to the blog below. We’ll do our best to provide an answer as soon as possible.

Plan ahead and enjoy the art!

Friday, July 12th, 2013 7:37 AM | by admin | Add a Comment

Join the City of Bellevue and fellow bicycle riders on June 15 for an adventurous and fun ride in Bellevue! The Lake to Lake Bike Ride, which benefits the City of Bellevue youth camp scholarship fund, starts and finishes at Lake Hills Park (1200 164th Avenue SE) and winds through some of Bellevue’s award winning parks and trails.

There will be two routes for the ride. Both routes utilize a  combination of low traffic roads, bike lanes and gravel trails.  One route is mostly flat,  and is the shorter of the two at approximately 8  miles (roundtrip). It’s  perfect for a family or less experienced cyclists.  The longer loop is 22 miles with some challenging climbs.  We have tweaked the courses from last year to offer more trails and a better route through downtown Bellevue on the longer loop. A bike that can handle a variety of terrain is recommended for either route.

After the event, there will be refreshments and a prize give-away.

Pre- entry is only $12, day of event,  $17.

This ride is NOT suggested for children under 8 years old unless riding in a trailer or tag-along.  All participants receive a Pace brand custom bike hat, and goodies.

The first 150 to register will receive custom event socks by SOS socks!

Pre-registration is recommended since the City is limiting the number of riders. Register online at: www.myparksandrecreation.com and use activity code 75029. You can also find the Lake to Lake Bike Ride on Facebook!

What are some of your favorite trails in Bellevue?

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 9:40 AM | by admin | Add a Comment

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This is a guest post by Ted Mittelstaedt, an avid bike commuter and City of Bellevue employee. Ted organizes the Lake to Lake Bike Ride which is on June 15. Check back next week for details on the ride.

Pet peeves. We all have them. Mine? I absolutely despise sitting in traffic. It’s the one thing that drives me crazy. That’s why I love riding past long lines of cars sitting in traffic. But I have to admit, I even feel a bit smug when doing so.

But that’s not why I started riding to work.

In college, like many undergrads, I rode to class and for fun. In 1983, I started riding to work and immediately fell in love with it. I’d strap my briefcase to my bike rack and off I went. I started riding to work for pure economics. I was a newlywed and my wife and I shared one car.

The only costs associated with my commute were an occasional tube and tire and a bike light I had to purchase after being pulled over for riding home at night without a light – dumb I know. The officer told me I could have the citation and fee waived if I came to the police station and proved I bought a light and installed it. It’s hard to now say that bicycling to work saves money, since I have multiple bikes and there are so many cool bike products that I really “need.”

After awhile, I noticed other benefits of riding to work. When I started to ride to work more frequently, I enjoyed the physical effort involved. Bicycle commuting combined a work out and a way to get to work. As I was riding even more, I found it was great to help get ready for an occasional race or bike event. Since I was able to get my workout in my commute, bicycling became a time efficiency tool for me.

Bicycling also helps reduce my carbon footprint. I live in Maple Valley and it is 26 miles each way to work. In my younger years, when I was bike racing, I rode the entire route on a regular basis. I now bus or drive about half way and then ride in.

When I ride to work I see things I would not normally see. It’s easier to take in your surroundings at 18 mph than it is at 60 mph on the freeway. I’ve seen deer, rabbits, bald eagles and other wild life on my bike commute, as well as some amazing sunrises and sunsets.

As a dad and supervisor of youth programs, I hope I’m setting a good example for my children and youth.

I’ve found that riding to work breaks down inhibitions and puts you in close contact with a wide cross-section of people: executives and doctors to people barely getting by.  Most bike commuters are pretty nice people.

I am starting to see an alarming trend with increasingly distracted motorists. I ride by people texting, talking on the phone, eating a bowl of cereal while driving. I’ve even encountered motorists who don’t think bikes belong on the road. I just wave and smile and try to be a good ambassador of bicycling. It’s hard to be mad at a middle age guy on a bike who is waving and smiling.

Thanks for sharing, Ted! Next time you’re stuck in traffic think how great it could feel to speed by on a bike! If you’re not sure how to get started check out our Bike page. Or send us a commute inquiry for a custom commute plan.

Do you ride your bike to work? How about the bus? Carpool, Vanpool or walk? Tell us why and we’ll spotlight your commute!

Friday, May 10th, 2013 12:30 PM | by admin | Add a Comment

Happy Bike to Work Month! If you’re new to bicycle commuter or even a veteran rider, you know there are many different components to a great bike ride: a safe route, nice weather, and tires pumped with just enough air. But there is one important and essential item we all need: a helmet that fits. Often times we take our helmet for granted, but making sure your helmet fits properly can make a huge difference in an accident.

Here are some steps to fit your helmet properly:

  1. Make sure your helmet is snug around your head. It’s not a hat, so it is not something you can just put on. Adjust the fit pads or rings so that your helmet sits on your head leveled and snug. Most helmets come with extra foam fitting pads with a top pad that can be removed or replaced with a thinner pad. Removing this pad will lower the helmet on the head to protect further down the sides of your head. Use thicker pads on the sides if there is still some space.
  2. The next step is to adjust the side straps. After leveling the helmet on your head, adjust the rear (nape) straps, then the front straps to locate the Y fitting where the straps come together. Where the straps come together should fall just under the ear.
  3. Then, adjust the chin strap until it is comfortably snug. If there is a rear stabilizer, adjust that as well.
  4. Now test it: Shake your head vigorously. The helmet shouldn’t move too much. Then push the front of the helmet up and back. If the helmet lifts more than an inch from being level then you must tighten the strap in front of your ear. Second test— reach back and pull up on the back edge. If it moves more than an inch, tighten the nape strap.

Your helmet should be level and feel snug, not too tight, on your head.

Helmet fitting is not easy and it can take a few tries, but it is worth it!

To find out more about helmet fitting, please visit: http://helmets.org/fit.htm. To find out more about commuting in and around downtown Bellevue visit: http://www.chooseyourwaybellevue.org/

And don’t forget to join us this Friday for Bike Appreciation Day! Downtown Bellevue On The Move staff will be handing out gift cards to people on bicycles throughout the day.

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 2:48 PM | by admin | Add a Comment

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) recently announced that the 2013 construction season is starting now! Along with the City of Bellevue, crews are starting to gear up for lots of work in and around Bellevue.

What does that mean for Bellevue commuters? Here are the projects you should know about:

SR 520 – I-5 to Medina Bridge Replacement and HOV Project (WSDOT)

What’s happening: Crews are replacing the aging SR 520 floating with a larger and more efficient floating bridge.

Why: The 50-year-old bridge is often backed up with traffic and is vulnerable to windstorms and earthquakes.

When will construction take place: Construction is under way and is expected to last until late 2014. For specific project timing affecting the Bellevue area, please visit WSDOT’s website.

I-405 NE 6th Street to I-5 Widening and Express Toll Lanes (WSDOT)

What’s happening: Crews will be adding one continuous northbound and southbound lane between NE 6th Street in Bellevue and SR 522 in Bothell. Combined with the current HOV lane, the lanes will serve as a dual express toll lane system similar to the High Occupancy Toll lanes on SR 167.

Why: Crews are improving I-405 to reduce congestion for commuters heading to and from Bellevue and adding additional carpool capacity.

When will construction take place: Construction is currently under way beginning in Bothell, and will be completed by 2015.

I-405 Concrete Pavement Rehabilitation (WSDOT)

What’s happening: Crews will completely replace the concrete pavement on all lanes of northbound I-405 from SE 8th Street to just north of Main Street in Bellevue.

Why: The concrete in this portion of I-405 is 40-50 yeas old and is crumbling faster than crews can patch it.

When will construction take place: Late spring 2013 to fall 2013

West Lake Sammamish Parkway: I-90 to SE 34th Street, Phase 1 (City of Bellevue)

What’s happening: Crews will widen the shoulder on the east side of the roadway and create a multi-use path on the west side. There will also be sidewalk and ADA ramp upgrades as wells as pedestrian crossing at key intersections. Two-way pedestrian and bicycle access will remain throughout the corridor during construction, although southbound automobile traffic will be detoured onto SE 34th Street.

Why: The project will improve West Lake Sammamish for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists.

When will construction take place: Construction is starting now and will last until October 2013.

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 10:28 AM | by admin | Add a Comment

There may not be a red carpet or paparazzi, but two award ceremonies were recently held recognizing businesses that have made an impact with their company commute programs. Choose Your Way Bellevue wants to give a big shout out to the 2012 award winners for helping make Bellevue a better place to live and work!

In November, the Washington State Department of Transportation recognized Washington companies for their commitment to reducing drive-alone commute travel through the annual Governor’s Commute Smart Award ceremony. This year’s winners included Deric Gruen of Bellevue College who received the Commute Smart Employee Transportation Coordinator Leadership award and Microsoft Corporation which received a Commute Smart Legacy award. Read more about the 2012 Commute Smart Awards here.

In addition to Commute Smart awards, Commuter Solutions, an initiative of enterpriseSeattle, recently awarded several Bellevue businesses who went above and beyond with programs to reduce commute trips among their employees. The 19th Annual Diamond Award winners include:

2012 Diamond Ring for Outstanding Leadership

CH2M Hill
Group Health

2012 Diamond Award for Organizational Leadership

City of Bellevue

2012 Diamond Award for Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC) Leadership

Deric Gruen, Bellevue College

2012 Diamond Award for Special Achievement

Microsoft Corporation for Outstanding Commute Innovation focused on Bicycling

2012 Pacesetters (King County companies recognized for their commitment to commute trip reduction principles):

The Boeing Company
City University of Seattle
Kemper Development Company
MulvanneyG2 Architecture
Printed Circuits
Puget Sound Energy

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 3:58 PM | by admin | Add a Comment
Starting on September 29, downtown Seattle’s Ride Free Area will be eliminated, and riders will be required pay on entering the bus for all trips in King County.
The Ride Free Area has been in place for the last 40 years. One of its benefits has been to keep buses moving through downtown Seattle by helping riders load quickly, instead of waiting for everyone to pay. The City of Seattle has paid King County Metro about $400,000 a year to cover the costs of the ride free zone, but that cost isn’t enough to cover the 29,000 rides used each day in the zone.
Metro is planning on sending employees to downtown Seattle streets and the transit tunnel to assist in loading to avoid delays, which are currently expected to be two to four minutes crossing downtown.
In addition to eliminating the Ride Free Area, Metro is discontinuing 18 routes and significantly revising more than 50, but no major changes are coming to downtown Bellevue routes.
For more information, visit Metro’s service change website.

Starting on September 29, downtown Seattle’s Ride Free Area will be eliminated, and riders will be required pay on entering the bus for all trips in King County.

The Ride Free Area has been in place for the last 40 years. One of its benefits has been to keep buses moving through downtown Seattle by helping riders load quickly, instead of waiting for everyone to pay. The City of Seattle has paid King County Metro about $400,000 a year to cover the costs of the ride free zone, but that cost isn’t enough to cover the 29,000 rides used each day in the zone.

Metro is planning on sending employees to downtown Seattle streets and the transit tunnel to assist in loading to avoid delays, which are currently expected to be two to four minutes crossing downtown.

In addition to eliminating the Ride Free Area, Metro is discontinuing 18 routes and significantly revising more than 50, but no major changes are coming to downtown Bellevue routes.

For more information, visit Metro’s service change website.

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 11:22 AM | by admin | Add a Comment

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City of Bellevue employee Ted Mittlestaedt rides along the Lake to Lake Bike Ride Route. Photo courtesy of City of Bellevue.

When was the last time you rode your bike? Find where you put your bike and pump up the tires because this is a great time to be out on two wheels.

If you’ve never considered commuting by bike, we talked to Ted Mittelstaedt with the City of Bellevue. He’s an avid bike rider and is helping plan this year’s Lake to Lake Bike Ride on September 22. Every day, Ted rides the bus from Maple Valley to Renton and then rides his bike into downtown Bellevue.

Choose Your Way Bellevue: What advice would you give a new rider?

Ted Mittelstaedt:

  • Practice!  If you are unsure of anything, ask a fellow cyclist or take a class.
  • Make sure your helmet fits, your bike works well, you know the basics of how your bike works, and can perform basic repairs.
  • Start out on parks, trails, bike lanes and low traffic roads.
  • If you plan to ride to work on a Monday, try out the commute on weekend.
  • Just in case, carry a cell phone, keep a taxi company’s number programmed in your phone, know bus schedules nearby your commute route.
  • Respect vehicles by riding defensively, like you are invisible/unseen.

CYWB: What are the benefits you’ve seen in riding your bike to work?

TM: There are the obvious benefits: one less car on the road, less pollution, less money spent on gas, and lower insurance rates. But when I bike to work I feel better mentally and physically. Commuting helps me get ready for the occasional weekend bike event I like to participate in. I think it makes me a better driver since riding your bike forces one to be more aware of your surroundings. And lastly I love passing lines of cars waiting in traffic!

CYWB: What are some common misconceptions people have about riding to work?

TM: The first misconception is that it takes too much time. Whether I drive alone, bike/bus and ride or ride the whole way, it takes about the same amount of time. Also, since I get my commute and workout in at the same time, I don’t need to exercise in the evening. The other main misconception is that it’s dangerous. I feel I am just as safe as other forms of transportation, when I plan ahead and bike in bike lanes, trails or on low traffic roads.

Still not sure if you’re ready to try commuting? The Lake to Lake Bike Ride on September 22 is a great opportunity for you to brush off the cobwebs and give riding another try.

There’s two routes on the bike ride – the Greenbelt Loop is 8 miles and mostly flat; the Lake Loop is a bit more challenging at 20 miles with some elevation gain. Make sure you bring a bike that can handle a variety of terrain including some gravel. A bike mechanic from Gregg’s Cycle will be on hand to assist with safety checks and minor repairs. Check out this YouTube video the City made for the event.

Space is limited so make sure you register soon! You can register online at myParksandRecreation.com using activity code 67033. For more information call 425-452-6885 or email bikeride@bellevuewa.gov.

Monday, September 17th, 2012 10:43 AM | by admin | Add a Comment

Commuting to work just got a little greener for residents and workers in downtown Bellevue. On July 4, 2012, the City of Bellevue, King County Metro and TransManage will launch Downtown Bellevue On The Move, a new online commute incentive program that provides rewards and travel assistance to downtown residents and workers who try a commute mode other than solo driving.

The Downtown Bellevue On The Move program offers downtown Bellevue residents and employees the following incentives for trying a greener commute such as riding the bus, carpooling, vanpooling, biking or walking to work:
  • $50 Get Started: Eligible participants can earn a $50 gift card after 25 days (round trips) of logging a commute by bus, carpool, vanpool, bike or walking to work – anything but driving alone.
  • $50 Monthly Drawings: Continue to log your commute trips and you’ll be entered into a monthly drawing for two $50 gift cards. All you have to do is log 12 days (round trips) of using a green commute mode.
  • Information on other promotional incentives through King County Metro, Wheel Options and enter-to-win drawings available through the www.DBOnTheMove.org website.
Interested commuters can sign up at www.DBOnTheMove.org. The website also provides access to a variety of travel resources such as vanpool and carpool partner matching, a transit trip planner, commute cost calculator and more. For assistance commuters can contact a program representative at 425-990-3098 or DBOnTheMove@cywb.org.
Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/DBOnTheMove
Friday, July 13th, 2012 11:22 AM | by admin | Add a Comment

This Sunday, tolls on State Route 520 will increase 2.5 percent. That increase means the current peak Good to Go! pass rate will increase from $3.50 to $3.59. If you don’t have a Good to Go! pass you’ll now pay at most $5.13 to cross SR 520. Peak times are 7-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m.

Why the increase?
“Debt payments are the single most important consideration when setting the new rates,” According to Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) Toll Division Director, Craig Stone.

Every year, the state’s Transportation Commission reviews traffic and revenue data to determine if an increase in toll rates are needed to cover the debt costs. This is the first of four annual 2.5-percent rate increases for SR 520 planned through 2015. In 2016, there is a planned 15% increase that is based on forecasted traffic levels.

Source: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Tolling/TollRates.htm

Source: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Tolling/TollRates.htm

If this news has you worrying about the cost of driving to work, it might be time for you to reconsider your commute. If you drive back and forth across the bridge every day of the week, you’re already spending between $1,820 and $2,600 a year on tolls alone (assuming you drive during the peak travel time, five times a week).
This 2.5 percent increase will add up to $45-$65 to your annual costs. If toll prices continue to rise as predicted, by 2016 you’ll be paying $2,310-$3,300 a year to cross SR 520.
All you need to do to save money is rethink your commute. Here are just a few ideas on how to cut your commute costs; you can find more at www.ChooseYourWayBellevue.org. All the figures below assume you’re using a Good to Go! pass. Purchasing a Good to Go! pass saves you $1.50 each way.
Jump on the bus: You don’t pay a toll when you take the bus across SR 520. Sound Transit’s Route 550 runs every 10 minutes during peak travel times and has stops in downtown Bellevue and in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel. Even if your employer doesn’t provide you with a free or discounted ORCA card, you’ll be spending $2.50 a trip instead of up to $3.59. Over a year, that will save you up to $566 during peak travel times.
Find a carpool buddy: Use the Bellevue Commute Club to find someone to carpool with. Not only will you save time using the HOV lanes, you’ll also cut your toll bill in half!
Change your schedule: Not everyone is able to compress their work week – work four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days, for example – but if your employer allows you to change your schedule you could save up to $193 a year.
Work from home: Just like a compressed work week, not everyone is able to telecommute, or work from home, but it may be possible if most of your work can be done remotely. Imagine not having to drive to and from work. No commute = no tolls!
You may have an unpredictable work schedule, errands to run after work, and many other reasons why these options wouldn’t work for you every day of the week, but you can save money by doing them as much as once a week. Every little bit counts.
Not sure how to plan an alternative commute? Contact us and we’ll plan it for you!
How else have you saved money on the tolls?

If this news has you worrying about the cost of driving to work, it might be time for you to reconsider your commute. If you drive back and forth across the bridge every day of the week, you’re already spending between $1,820 and $2,600 a year on tolls alone (assuming you drive during the peak travel time, five times a week).

This 2.5 percent increase will add up to $45-$65 to your annual costs. If toll prices continue to rise as predicted, by 2016 you’ll be paying $2,310-$3,300 a year to cross SR 520.

All you need to do to save money is rethink your commute. Here are just a few ideas on how to cut your commute costs; you can find more at www.ChooseYourWayBellevue.org. All the figures below assume you’re using a Good to Go! pass. Purchasing a Good to Go! pass saves you $1.50 each way.

  • Jump on the bus: You don’t pay a toll when you take the bus across SR 520. Sound Transit’s Route 550 runs every 10 minutes during peak travel times and has stops in downtown Bellevue and in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel. Even if your employer doesn’t provide you with a free or discounted ORCA card, you’ll be spending $2.50 a trip instead of up to $3.59. Over a year, that will save you up to $566 during peak travel times.
  • Find a carpool buddy: Use the Bellevue Commute Club to find someone to carpool with. Not only will you save time using the HOV lanes, you’ll also cut your toll bill in half!
  • Change your schedule: Not everyone is able to compress their work week – work four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days, for example – but if your employer allows you to change your schedule you could save up to $193 a year.
  • Work from home: Just like a compressed work week, not everyone is able to telecommute, or work from home, but it may be possible if most of your work can be done remotely. Imagine not having to drive to and from work. No commute = no tolls!

You may have an unpredictable work schedule, errands to run after work, and many other reasons why these options wouldn’t work for you every day of the week, but you can save money by doing them as much as once a week. Every little bit counts.

Not sure how to plan an alternative commute? Contact us and we’ll plan it for you!

How else have you saved money on the tolls?

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012 9:42 AM | by admin | Add a Comment

2012_0530_BLINE

Look out Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja! King County Metro, along with 4Culture and Hornall Anderson, recently released a new game for riders on RapidRide B Line buses connecting Bellevue and Redmond.
The B Line PULSE – part game, part infographic and part community-wide art project – collects responses as well as data including time, location, and speed of response, to create a visualization of statistics and numbers. This information is transformed into ever-changing real-time art allowing participants to see the “pulse” of the B Line community as it develops over the course of the day.
“B Line PULSE was designed to push the boundaries of what a game is and to explore the relationship of transit, information and art in this digital age,” said Joseph King, Design Director of Hornall Anderson (the design team hired by 4Culture to create the game).
As a frequent B Line rider, I knew I had to try this art project and game a try. This past Wednesday I rode the B Line from my home in Redmond to my office in downtown Bellevue.
Each week has a different theme; this week’s being “Go Redmond” Wednesday’s question was “Redmond has a population of 55,000 people. How much will that grow over the next 10 years?”
To answer, I slid a bar across a scale that ranged from “little” at one end to “10-20,000” in the middle and “over 20,000” at the other end. I locked in my answer at the “10-20,000” mark.
Here’s a screen shot of how the app took the data and turned it into art:

Look out Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja! King County Metro, along with 4Culture and Hornall Anderson, recently released a new game for riders on RapidRide B Line buses connecting Bellevue and Redmond.

B Line PULSE – part game, part infographic and part community-wide art project – collects responses as well as data including time, location, and speed of response, to create a visualization of statistics and numbers. This information is transformed into ever-changing real-time art allowing participants to see the “pulse” of the B Line community as it develops over the course of the day.

“B Line PULSE was designed to push the boundaries of what a game is and to explore the relationship of transit, information and art in this digital age,” said Joseph King, Design Director of Hornall Anderson (the design team hired by 4Culture to create the game).

As a frequent B Line rider, I knew I had to try this art project and game a try. This past Wednesday I rode the B Line from my home in Redmond to my office in downtown Bellevue.

Each week has a different theme; this week’s being “Go Redmond” Wednesday’s question was “Redmond has a population of 55,000 people. How much will that grow over the next 10 years?”

To answer, I slid a bar across a scale that ranged from “little” at one end to “10-20,000” in the middle and “over 20,000” at the other end. I locked in my answer at the “10-20,000” mark.

Here’s a screen shot of how the app took the data and turned it into art:

2012_0530_MetroBLine
A few hours later, it looked like this:
2012_0530_BLINE_Q
Look out Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja! King County Metro, along with 4Culture and Pretty impressive for some statistics, right? I would have a hard time interpreting the data, but it’s a creative way to display what you and your fellow riders are thinking.
Why focus this art project on the B Line? Metro’s General Manager Kevin Desmond explains: “RapidRide offers a frequent and reliable connection between two Eastside communities with a lot of people interested in the latest and greatest in technology.”
“We think our riders on the B Line can have some fun with B Line PULSE and increase their connections with the community along the way,” Desmond added.
Want to give it a try? For the full experience, catch the B Line bus at the Bellevue Transit Center in Bay 7 and on your mobile phone visit www.blinepulse.com to answer your first question. Don’t worry, you can answer the questions even if you don’t ride the B Line, the results track your location and plot it differently than those riding on the B Line. You do need to log on using a mobile phone or tablet though to be able to answer the questions.
Anyone else answered a question on PULSE? What has been your favorite result/art piece so far?
Friday, June 8th, 2012 10:19 AM | by admin | Add a Comment

Contributed by Choose Your Way Bellevue Guest Blogger: Sherwin Lee,

As Bellevue grows ever more diverse, city planners and policymakers will need to start thinking of creative ways to accommodate the growth and mobility of our new residents. For the many non-native immigrants that come from abroad, adjusting to Bellevue’s way of life, particularly relying on a car for daily affairs, can be tough. Luckily, the City has made progress in this arena – neighborhood sidewalk projects are springing up across Bellevue, a collaborative agreement to build light rail has been made, and plans to increase transportation options downtown are in full swing. Downtown Bellevue’s wayfinding kiosks, for example, are a notable step in the right direction, helping pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users navigate through busy city streets.

But for many of Bellevue’s diverse communities that reside outside downtown, planning for neighborhood transportation improvements can often seem ignored. Money, after all, is tight as the City must make the difficult decision of prioritizing the projects most beneficial to Bellevue’s long-term future. Often times, this means placing costly capital improvements, like building new sidewalks, repaving roads, or striping bicycle lanes, lower on the priority list. While there isn’t much money for laying new pavement, we can look at more cost-effective methods of improving neighborhood mobility, like providing and facilitating information for travelers, whether in the form of bus schedules, neighborhood maps, or clearly-marked bicycle routes. Without clear information, mobility can often be restricted, particularly for non-English speakers or immigrants unfamiliar with Bellevue’s suburban landscape.

Just last Fall, a Chinese-speaking woman approached me at the Bellevue Transit Center and asked for directions to a salon in the Lake Hills neighborhood, for which she had the address on a business card. I was able to interpret for her and directed her to take the proper bus route, only to discover half an hour later, that I had misread the address as “NE 4th Street” when it was really located on SE 4th Street. Being able to find your way to a destination with just an address in hand (and without a smartphone!) may seem like a challenge, but becomes less so when there is clear and robust information to help facilitate mobility across the city’s neighborhoods.

Wayfinding, defined as any system of tools used to help individuals physically navigate through a space, is just one example of both harnessing and communicating this kind of information. While the term may sound new to many, wayfinding is a strategy not unfamiliar to Bellevue. Look no further than downtown, where a system of wayfinding and information kiosks help travelers literally “find their way” across the city’s central business district on a daily basis. Yet the use of wayfinding doesn’t have to be restricted to downtown alone. Many of Bellevue’s other neighborhoods have similar needs, particularly in Crossroads, where the population is rapidly diversifying and transit ridership is already high.

The Crossroads wayfinding plan, Go Bellevue, aims to fill in these very gaps by exploring how wayfinding, as a powerful communication tool, can be used to improve the quality of pedestrian and bicyclist mobility in neighborhoods outside downtown. Developing the wayfinding system, however, encompasses decisions that must be judiciously made– how do we both design and site wayfinding elements to best meet the needs of the Crossroads neighborhood community?

To help the wayfinding plan take shape, you can weigh in on these very decisions by taking a brief online survey or attending a community open house and workshop next Tuesday evening from 6:30pm to 8pm inside the Community Room at Crossroads Mall. By providing input, you will not only help improve local travel in Crossroads, but also help to inform the next generation of budget-conscious transportation planning for all of Bellevue’s neighborhoods.

Thursday, April 5th, 2012 11:54 AM | by admin | Add a Comment

Click to view flyerHave you ever wanted to share your experience of being a pedestrian in Bellevue? Well, here’s your golden opportunity!

Pedestrian advocacy nonprofit Feet First is joining forces with the City of Bellevue to bring you two walking audits of downtown Bellevue on Thursday, December 1 & Saturday, December 3.

Each walk will take about 90 minutes and will begin with a short presentation by Feet First to describe the purpose of the walk and how to contribute ideas.  If it’s raining, bring a poncho or umbrella as the walks will go rain or shine!

Along the way, attendees will be encouraged to provide feedback and make suggestions to city transportation planners as they begin updates to the Downtown Bellevue Transportation Plan with the intention of improving the pedestrian experience.

The lunchtime walk on December 1st will begin at 11:45 a.m. in the Key Center Building lower lobby (601 108th Avenue NE), and last until approximately 1:15 p.m.

Saturday’s walk will commence at 9:00 a.m. at Top Pot Doughnuts (10600 NE 9th Place) and last until approximately 10:30 a.m.

The City can’t adequately plan without your input, so please join for what will be fun and enlightening afternoons! RSVP to Kevin McDonald, senior planner at the Bellevue Transportation Department at kmcdonald@bellevuewa.gov.

The Downtown Bellevue Transportation Plan Update is a focused, 18-month planning effort just getting underway, intended to update transportation plans and projects that will accommodate the growth that is expected in our city between now and 2030.  As part of their outreach efforts, the City of Bellevue recently hosted a series of bicycle rides, as well as an open house at City Hall. For further information visit www.bellevuewa.gov.

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 2:29 PM | by admin | Add a Comment

rick williamsRick Williams is somewhat of a rockstar in the transportation, parking and land use arena. Between 1989 and 1995 he served as the Executive Vice President of the Association for Portland Progress, a business association representing the 75 largest employers in downtown Portland. While at APP Rick was responsible for the management and operation of the City of Portland’s municipal visitor parking system, Smart Park, comprised of seven parking structures and 3,500 stalls.

In 1995 Rick established his own consulting firm through which he focuses on parking management and transportation demand management programs (TDM) for business districts. He has since created comprehensive parking and TDM plans for over 50 cities. Rick also currently serves as the contract Executive Director of the Lloyd Transportation Management Association which provides parking management, transit, bike, ridesharing and outreach programs to 85 Lloyd District businesses and their 10,000 employees.

We chatted with Rick briefly about economic development, parking garages of the future, and whether any of his congestion-reduction strategies might work in Bellevue. Here’s the manuscript:

CYWB: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Rick. Would you mind talking a bit about the evolution of the Lloyd District and the development of the Lloyd TMA?

RW: The Lloyd District is a neighborhood across the Wilamette River from downtown Portland that recruited me to work with them on their transportation and access issues in 1996. At the time, Lloyd was an emerging business district that was facing serious traffic and congestion constraints because of its geography and relationship to the freeway. Through a grant, we created the Lloyd TMA, the first ever TMA in Oregon, made up primarily of business owners in partnership with the City of Portland, and Trimet, the local transportation agency.

As stakeholders we realized that to achieve our job and housing growth goals, a key economic development strategy for the district would be to enact policies to encourage transit, biking and walking.  The Lloyd District was heavily auto-oriented at the time—80% of people drove to work, and there was an overabundance of surface parking lots and minimal pedestrian and bike infrastructure. We adopted fairly aggressive goals to reduce drive alone trips, and were able to get buy-in from the community by quantitatively demonstrating that congestion would eventually limit our ability to grow jobs.

What’s unique about the Lloyd TMA is that from the beginning, the business community was in charge of making the transition occur. A lot of TMAs were formed in response to state mandates, but our TMA was formed as a forum through which an economic development plan was delivered, with many sustainable byproducts. We were able to create an economic argument for why trip reduction is good for business, and it has paid off.

CYWB: Did you encounter push back throughout the process?

RW: Of course there was opposition, but we’ve always been clear that our mission is to support economic development through sound transportation planning—we’re not just doing these things to feel good. We made the decision to prioritize existing parking for customer and visitor trips instead of work related trips, which meant eliminating the majority of free parking in the district (particularly commuter parking). Of course that was contentious. But we negotiated with the City of Portland to meter the on-street parking in exchange for a significant portion of the net meter revenue. This revenue comes to the TMA and helps support our programs that promote biking, walking and taking transit. Businesses have control of the resources and see the benefit. We also negotiated with Trimet to sell transit passes, and to correlate the number of transit passes sold to the addition of new bus routes or frequency improvements, which was a new concept at the time, and added value to the community as well.

CYWB: How are you measuring your success?

We like to tout that in 1997 about 80% people traveled by car to the Lloyd District, and we’ve gotten that number down to 43% in 2011.  We’ve affected a huge shift in how people move around.  Another measure of success is to disprove the oft-repeated claims that if you take free parking away, you’re going to hurt business. We have a 4-6% vacancy rate, which is an indication of a healthy business district. We’re not anti-car in the Lloyd District, we’ve just become more efficient in how we use parking. We’ve priced it at a rate that favors biking, walking and transit. And we’ve been able to convince property owners that there’s simply more leasable space with less parking.

When we started there were no parking maximums in the area: in 1997 developers were building about 3.5 parking stalls per 1000 square feet. The partnership plan the Lloyd business community took to the City Council in 1997 supported the establishment of maximum parking ratios and a prohibition on new surface parking lots, which was successful. Developers are now building closer to 1.8 spaces per 1000.

CYWB: Given that installing parking spaces IS so expensive, why do so many developers continue to gleefully add parking to the mix? Does the cost remain invisible to people?

RW: I attribute this phenomenon to what I call “underbuild anxiety” and a couple of things play into this. Oftentimes the local building code actually requires it, and they build it because it is a condition of development. Or developers will look at another property and say “I have to do it because they are.”

There’s also a pervasive urban/suburban cultural divide, and oftentimes developers don’t see where they’re at. When you live in a suburban area, you probably should have more parking, but what works in an urban area is often quite different, as are the economics of parking development.

We’ve shown that we can make a surplus of parking profitable by using existing facilities in multiple ways. A lot of our structures in the Lloyd District were overbuilt because they were constructed in the 1970’s. We’ve removed a lot of employees out of those facilities by encouraging non-drive-alone modes. We’re now giving the surplus parking back to attract ground level businesses, and create short term parking for new customers. We have great partnerships with developers, and have found that they’re not afraid to be flexible and diverse with the parking packages they offer new tenants.

CYWB: What’s the bicycling situation like in the Lloyd District?

RW: In cooperation with the partnership we set the goal of achieving a 10% bicycle mode share by 2015, and as such, determined that every building should have parking stalls to allow for 10% of their employees to bike to work. We have used revenue generated through our parking meter funds to cover the cost to purchase and install parking racks, lockers and bike cages in private buildings, up to our 10% goalthe individual building just had to provide the space. In 1997 there were only 239 bike parking spaces in the district, and today we have 2,000. It was a tough sell in the beginning because when we began there was less than a 1% bicycle mode split and no bike infrastructure to speak of. You often heard “there’s no way I want bike racks here; no one would use them.” However property owners eventually bought into the 10% bike parking goal because they started to buy into the economic equationtranslating less parking built into more leasable area, more efficient use of existing parking and more attractive, marketable, cost-effective options for tenants and their employees.

Underscoring this is our partnership with the City, who played a crucial role in making investments in bike infrastructure in the public right of way (e.g., bike lanes), which supported and leveraged the investments we were making in bike infrastructure on private property.  In 1995 there were no bike lanes in the Lloyd District and today we have bike facilities on five streets, making it safer for people to bike around. The TMA also organizes and hosts around 15 bike events each year in the district, which continues to educate and assist people who make the decision to bike and further complements our bike infrastructure.  You have to have all three legs of the stool in place, or it won’t work (bike spaces, bike lanes and education).

CYWB: Do you see any similarities between the Lloyd area and the city of Bellevue?

RW: I see many similarities between the two. Lloyd was a very suburban district when we started and very much the “other downtown,” for the City of Portland. We’re the east side, you’re the east side. We have Oregon’s largest mall, a convention center, lots of hospitality and a sports arena. Much like Lloyd, Bellevue is a commercial center with newer construction, a fair amount of residual surface parking, and relatively low ground floor residential where there’s a lot of potential to bring the drive alone rate down.

CYWB: You’ll soon be coming here to speak with property owners, developers, and parking lot operators. What strategies have you found to be effective when talking to these groups about rethinking their parking strategies?

RW: There are a lot of changing trends in the parking market, particularly with regard to what customers want, which is not to have an “either or” choice. We need to break that cycle, and I always encourage property managers to look at offering transit and parking products that would grant their users a degree of flexibility.

There’s a relatively new concept called the Half Pass that allows for 11 days of parking during the month, which recognizes that there are people who still need to drive but don’t want to have to choose between parking and a transit pass. You’ve got tolling soon coming to the Seattle area, and the Half Pass would be a great way for people to avoid having to pay $7 for tolls every single day.

Pricing things in this way takes into account changes that are occurring in the region, or nationwide. Furthermore, people are rational economic creatures and you can have the best transit system in the world, but if you have a transit pass that costs more than a parking pass, people are going to continue to drive! People think the parking equation is difficult, but it’s really quite simple. Look, 30% of people who are 18 years old don’t even have a driver’s license! That’s an astounding statistic, and is indicative of where things are headed. We can help properties add components to their toolbox in order to better reflect these changes in the market.

CYWB: How do you demonstrate the added value of the work you do at the TMA?

RW: We are an organization that values sustainability, but our primary purpose is to grow jobs, add tenants and create new development. The byproduct is the feel good sustainability stuff. That’s the story of our TMA, and I think is the reason why we’ve been so successful.

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 5:40 PM | by admin | Add a Comment