Route 200 bus could expand to Squak
June 29, 2010
By Kirsten Johnson
Metro bus service may finally be coming to Squak Mountain.
At a City Council committee meeting May 27, King County Metro Transit proposed a plan to the committee that would expand the Route 200 bus that services downtown Issaquah into two separate routes. One of the routes would service Squak Mountain residents. The routes would be added by late 2011.
Council Transportation Committee Chairman Joshua Schaer said the proposal looks promising.
“It solves multiple problems in one,” he said. “Not only is it a creative solution to solving the concerns of the residents of Squak Mountain, but also the concerns of providing adequate transportation to the newly opening Swedish Hospital and expanding Route 200 to better serve Talus and the Issaquah Highlands. It will essentially be two different routes for the price of one.”
Details about potential bus fare and neighborhood routing will be discussed at upcoming budget meetings.
Schaer said he believes most Squak mountain residents will be pleased with the solution.
“It really addresses the issue,” he said. “Whether it addresses it enough, residents can tell us. But it is certainly better than nothing.”
Paul Winterstein, a Squak Mountain resident and chairman of the City Human Services Commission, and a group of Squak Mountain residents brought forth a petition last year to a Transportation Committee meeting asking for bus service to be added to the mountain.
Since receiving the petition, the council has considered a wide variety of possible solutions. But many that were suggested, such as adding private services and carpooling options, were simply too expensive to fund or weren’t practical with the topography of Squak Mountain.
Winterstein is optimistic about this most recent proposal.
“The idea of a main route that serves at least some would be a real benefit to the community,” he said. “I’m totally in favor of getting what we can.”
The idea is a step in the right direction.
“We are addressing the issue in a way that we don’t have to spend extra dollars and Metro doesn’t have to change around its existing routes,” Schaer said. “They can just add this route and expand the 200. It’s just a great way to go.”
Kirsten Johnson: 392-6434 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.