Ranting about Bellevue, Washington

I had thought that literally nobody cared in the city of Bellevue. It’s a super dystopian vertical suburbia that is super creepy from anything other than the wheel of a car. Even then however, it’s pretty myopic in it’s worldview. I was super surprised at this twitter thread however and the great new material to sleuth through!

What transpired from that included a few gems from @theboobla. Then a bit later, after I was frustrated by needing to weed through stopped auto traffic through inclement environments I ranted again while I waited in some cartopian dystopian crossing.

…which led to…

Then the sleuth work actually got underway! Here’s some starter material on what looks like prospectively amazing infrastructure heading for Bellevue. This city could absolutely turn around it’s car-dependency dystopian myopic worldview with this and open the place up to a better future!

Which leads me to two of the leading blogs on all things transit & bicycle transpo ->

http://www.seattlebikeblog.com and https://www.seattletransitblog.com ! Both excellent sources of great information and news for the area.

 

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Redmond Routes 545, 542, 248, and 221 (Seattle, Greenlake, Kirkland, and Eastgate)

I’ve been exploring a number of routes and locations. The core focus of my explorations centers around several different criteria.

  • Cohacking Establishments: Finding places that are good for meetings, where others work, cohacking (kind of like coworking, but actually writing code or working on a project with others), or related activities related to my technology and software development occupation and interests.
  • Scenic routes and ends points that resolve in parks or other locations that I’d want to frequent.
  • Routes that connect me to other key routes or geographic locations (i.e. Connectors)
  • Just figuring it all out, i.e. Exploring the area to see what is in the area.

From Redmond there is the 542, 545, 248, and 221 routes that I have found myself using with various levels of frequency. The 545 and 542 I use on an almost daily basis, where as the 248 and 221 I have used at least a weekly basis.

Route 545 – I’ve previously, and will probably again, write about this route. It’s the core backbone transit service from Redmon, to Microsoft (at Overlake TC), and downtown Seattle. It connects a number of specific other areas too. Along the east side it also makes 520 Highway stops at Evergreen and at Yarrow. Both of these have gone from merely being little dirty stops on the side of the highway with steps up to the respective neighborhoods to elaborately planned, well constructed, middle of the highway stops protected from traffic and rain with overhead overpasses that have park like paths to enter and exit the stops. I’m planning to write more about these later. They’ve gone from what I considered completely nutty ideas that perpetuated a low standard of transit quality to what I’d now consider a somewhat innovative approach to making use of a primarily auto-dependent infrastructure element – highways.

References:
Schedule: http://www.soundtransit.org/Schedules/ST-Express-Bus/545
Map: http://www.soundtransit.org/schedules/ST-Express-Bus/545/map68809A8E-D505-43BD-96C9-D3B7060A63CB.png

Route 542 – The 542 is almost the same route as the 545 on the east side, starting in Redmond core vs. the Park & Ride like the 545 does. It travels from Redmond TC along the same path to Overlake TC, Evergreen & Yarrow Point and the other stops the 545 makes. It differs as it exist from the 520 Bridge on the west side in Seattle and turns north from Montlake onward to University District and then to the Greenlake Neighborhood area (and Greenlake itself). I’ve used it primarily to get off at University District stop, transfer to the Light Rail, and travel onward to Capital Hill. It’s much faster to do this than it is to actually take the 545 downtown and then bike, walk, take the bus, drive, or use a car share to get to Capital Hill. The light rail connection here is awesome.

References:
Schedule: http://www.soundtransit.org/Schedules/ST-Express-Bus/542
Map: http://www.soundtransit.org/schedules/ST-Express-Bus/542/map140221E3-3405-42D4-9158-78432B4E3768.png

Route 248 – The 248 is basically a connector between town centers. It connects Redmond to Kirkland (More on Kirkland also coming up soon). I’ve had a couple of meetings, that over the last few weeks has led me to board the 248 up over the spine of the hill between Redmond and Kirkland. Biking is almost out of the question as it has two giant issues: One is the higher speed and reckless traffic along the actual routes between Redmond and Kirkland, with little to no decent bicycle infrastructure between the two towns. Second is the fact there’s a giant hill that would require biking up going either direction. This leads to a less than appealing bike route between the two towns, but the 248 perfectly bridges the gap perfectly and quickly. The trip time, at least in my experience, has been between 13-18 minutes depending on traffic. Bringing the bike, that leads me to connect with any point on either side within just a mere 2-3 more minutes within the town center areas.

References:
Schedule: http://kingcounty.gov/depts/transportation/metro/schedules-maps/248.aspx
Map:6DC2D138-49E3-456C-9910-ECD11EE14501.png

Route 221 – The 221 is an odd route, at least from where I am. It leaves Redmond and returns to Redmond in the morning and then a somewhat circuitous route across the east side to Eastgate Park & Ride. More notably however the bus stops at Bellevue College where a large percentage of riders disembark to attend school there. I’ve taken this route riding with my wife to Microsoft but also to get over to Bellevue to bike into that city.

References:
Schedule: http://kingcounty.gov/depts/transportation/metro/schedules-maps/221.aspx
Map:0A0E3123-D4B5-4028-98F6-EC89BEC6D986.png