King County Metro Transit urges riders to prepare for snow

December 17, 2012

NEW — 10 p.m. Dec. 17, 2012

Snow is in the forecast overnight and into the morning commute Tuesday, so King County Metro Transit is reminding bus riders to plan ahead for getting around during winter weather — especially since many changes occurred on bus routes earlier in the fall.

Though major snow accumulation is not expected, riders should plan ahead, because minor snow and icy conditions could delay buses. The mass transit agency offers tool to help riders stay informed during inclement conditions. If necessary, Metro Transit can reroute buses around closed roads, add chains to bus tires or switch to snow routes.

Metro Transit riders can receive up-to-date information about route changes at the Transit Alerts website, http://1.usa.gov/5c064v.

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City Council could delay part of Central Issaquah Plan

December 12, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 12, 2012

City leaders recommended Tuesday to delay the implementation of important development rules in a long-term plan to transform the business district from strip malls and parking lots to a dense urban hub.

In the last public meeting for the proposed Central Issaquah Plan before the document reaches the City Council for consideration, a council committee called for more time to refine and review the design and development standards outlined in the 30-year blueprint for redevelopment.

The design and development standards set rules for buildings, community spaces, landscaping, signage and more.

Overall, Council Land & Shore Committee members forwarded to the full council the four pieces of legislation to enact the Central Issaquah Plan. The full council is scheduled to consider the legislation and listen to public input Dec. 17.

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Central Issaquah Plan proposes shift from suburban to urban in business district

December 11, 2012

Issaquah, circa 2040, could sport a skyline.

The central business district is on the cusp of change, as city leaders plan for redevelopment on about 1,000 acres stretched along Interstate 90.

Nowadays, suburban sprawl dominates the landscape — traffic-clogged streets unfurl next to strip malls. Residents live elsewhere and climb into cars to reach the area’s amenities. Underfoot, 75 percent of land in the area is encased under parking lots.

Imagine, instead, buildings up to 125 feet tall, storefronts and residences arranged along tree-lined sidewalks, and perhaps decades in the future, a station on the regional rail network.

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Crews gird for snow removal before flakes start to fall

November 27, 2012

The mercury dips a little lower as November turns to December, winter starts in mere weeks, and the agencies responsible for ensuring roads remain passable in ice and snow readied removal plans for the months ahead.

Issaquah, King County and the state prepare detailed ice and snow response plans long before the flakes start to fall. The agencies face challenges in Issaquah and the surrounding area due to steep terrain, narrow roads and limited funding.

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Holidays alter King County Metro Transit schedules

November 20, 2012

King County Metro Transit bus riders should prepare for reduced service in upcoming weeks.

The transit agency operates on a reduced weekday schedule on several holidays through January — including a full week of reduced service at the end of December. Thanksgiving and the day after the holiday include reduced bus service.

The planned reductions arrive during a slow period, as Metro Transit experiences a reduction in weekday riders — estimated to reach 15 percent or more systemwide.

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King County Metro Transit buses carry safety reminder for drivers

November 20, 2012

King County Metro Transit joined the state Department of Transportation, King County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol and other organizations Nov. 1 to remind motorists to move over or slow down in emergency zones.

Through the public safety campaign, buses bear posters to remind drivers to “Move Over or Slow Down,” because state law requires motorists to yield or move — or else. Under state law, motorists face a $248 fine for exceeding the speed limit in the 200 feet before and after a stopped emergency vehicle with its lights or siren engaged.

“The importance of drivers being attentive while approaching and traveling through emergency zones cannot be overstated,” Capt. Chris Gundermann, Washington State Patrol district commander, said in a statement.

Sound Transit alters Issaquah bus route

November 13, 2012

Sound Transit bus riders on Route 554 between Seattle and Issaquah should prepare for a route change in downtown Seattle.

The regional transit agency rerouted buses on Route 554 and other routes to a bus stop at Fourth Avenue, just north of Pike Street and adjacent to Westlake Park. The change went into effect Nov. 5 to help speed evening rush-hour trips.

Officials closed the former bus stop at Fourth Avenue and Union Street to accommodate a change on Route 522 between Seattle and Woodinville.

Transit planners said the change should save several minutes getting out of downtown Seattle during evening rush hours.

King County Metro Transit holiday schedule starts on Veterans Day

November 9, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Nov. 9, 2012

King County Metro Transit bus riders should prepare for reduced service in upcoming weeks, starting Nov. 12, as the nation observes Veterans Day.

The transit agency operates on a reduced weekday schedule on several holidays through January — including a full week of reduced service at the end of December.

The planned reductions arrive during a slow period, as Metro Transit experiences a reduction in weekday riders — estimated to reach 15 percent or more systemwide.

The mass transit agency uses a Sunday schedule for several of the upcoming holidays. The reduced weekday schedule features more bus service than on weekends, but less service than on regular weekdays. Officials estimate the limited schedule saves Metro Transit about $1 million per year.

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Sound Transit alters Issaquah bus route to speed rush-hour trips

November 3, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 3, 2012

Sound Transit bus riders on Route 554 between Seattle and Issaquah should prepare for a route change in downtown Seattle.

The regional transit agency rerouted buses on Route 554 and other routes to a bus stop at Fourth Avenue, just north of Pike Street and adjacent to Westlake Park. The change goes into effect Monday to help speed evening rush-hour trips.

Officials closed the former bus stop at Fourth Avenue and Union Street to accommodate a change on Route 522 between Seattle and Woodinville.

Transit planners said the change should save several minutes getting out of downtown Seattle during evening rush hours.

The change is a result of changes to Regional Express Route 522. Planners said Route 522 buses should turn right onto Pike Street from Fourth Avenue, and use the Pike Street entrance to the Interstate 5 express lanes in the afternoon.

The route’s last stop downtown is on Pike Street just west of Sixth Avenue.

King County Metro Transit offers tickets to homeless riders

October 23, 2012

King County Metro Transit is poised to offer more than 41,000 additional subsidized bus tickets to community service groups.

Officials said the human services bus ticket program offers critical support for homeless people by providing a means to get to jobs, medical appointments, shelters and other services.

Funding for the program came in a mass transit package approved last year by the King County Council. The package imposed a $20 vehicle-tab fee to forestall a 17-percent reduction to mass transit countywide.

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