15-day closure of eastbound Interstate 90 ramp to Bellevue Way starts tonight

September 8, 2014

NEW — 6 p.m. Sept. 8, 2014

Beginning at 9 tonight, crews will close the ramp from eastbound Interstate 90 to Bellevue Way around the clock for 15 days to lower the elevation of the ramp.

During the closure, all traffic heading eastbound on I-90 to Bellevue Way will use the HOV ramp.

Drivers should expect minor delays during the closure, particularly the first few days as drivers adjust to moving left and using the Bellevue Way HOV ramp. A detour will also be available via Richards Road and westbound I-90. The ramp is expected to reopen the morning of Sept. 23.

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Issaquah Transit Center pilot program ends with no conclusion

September 2, 2014

Sound Transit’s parking pilot program has ended and officials do not yet know what it could mean for the future.

The Issaquah Transit Center was one of four locations chosen for the parking permit program due to its high number of transit commuters and limited parking availability.

Commuters interested in attaining reserved spaces could apply for either a single-occupancy vehicle pass or a high-occupancy vehicle (more than one person per vehicle) pass. Drivers had access to reserved spaces until 10 a.m. on weekdays, and were allowed to park as long as they wished. If they didn’t park before 10 a.m., the spaces were open to anyone.

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To the Editor

April 22, 2014

Post office

Poor service, long lines really need improvement

On April 14, I entered the Issaquah Post Office at 9:26 a.m. and placed myself at the end of a long line of people. I noticed there was only one clerk working. I finally reached that clerk at 10:05 a.m., the same time the second clerk showed up, finally.

I wonder why the second clerk was not placed into service earlier. There are many cameras in the place that show the numerous people desiring U.S.P.S. service.

The U.S.P.S. has a monopoly on the letter business and just recently raised the cost of mailing a letter, so Issaquah Postmaster, why the poor service at the Issaquah Post Office?

If the Issaquah Postmaster does not intend to improve the service, how about providing some benches to accommodate the people who are waiting in line?

Ken Sessler

Issaquah

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Permit parking begins Feb. 3 at Issaquah Transit Center

January 28, 2014

Sound Transit will begin to provide parking options and limitations for the Issaquah Transit Center soon.

Decided upon last year by the Sound Transit board of directors, a pilot project will launch Feb. 3 reserving 183 parking spaces for vehicles with permits purchased through the regional system. It will leave 636 spaces unchanged.

“Because parking fills up quickly at many Sound Transit facilities, riders often tell us they are frustrated,” Sound Transit’s website reads. “To help regular transit riders have more certainty about finding a parking space during busy morning commute hours, in 2014 a permit parking option is being introduced at four of Sound Transit’s busiest stations.”

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Issaquah mayor reappointed to Sound Transit board

January 14, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 14, 2014

Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler has been reappointed to the Sound Transit board of directors.

The board chairman, King County Executive Dow Constantine, reappointed Butler to a four-year term through Dec. 31, 2017. The reappointment is subject to confirmation by the King County Council.

Butler has served as a Sound Transit board member since 2003.

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Sound Transit wants public input on long term plan

November 2, 2013

NEW — 9:29 a.m. Nov. 2, 2013

Sound Transit wants help to decide where regional transit services could expand after current voter-approved projects are complete in 2023.

The effort to update the region’s long-range plan will provide the vision for transit expansions many years into the future and the regional authority will host several public meetings to gather opinion.

Voters in Central Puget Sound approved the formation of Sound Transit to develop a high-capacity transportation system for our region, where about 40 percent of the state’s residents live. Updating the plan will address how to respond to rising demand and congestion as the regional population grows approximately 30 percent by 2035.

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Issaquah mayor, school board candidates face off in first forum

September 19, 2013

NEW — 11:22 a.m. Sept. 19, 2013

Differences became apparent between candidates in the Sept. 17 candidate forum.

The Issaquah Chamber of Commerce welcome the two mayoral contenders and the two seeking a school board position to Blakely Hall for the kickoff of campaign season.

City Council President Fred Butler and Councilman Joe Forkner met each other for a first public appearance directly related to seeking November votes.

Moderated by Erin McCallum, of the Strategic Campaign Group, the forum allowed candidates 90-second answers to a variety of questions asked by McCallum and the audience.

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Paid reserved parking will come to Issaquah Transit Center next year

August 13, 2013

Sound Transit’s new pilot program will bring reserved parking to the Issaquah Transit Center.

During its July 25 meeting, the Sound Transit Board of Directors decided unanimously to further a pilot program, meant to gather information about and possibly alleviate the continued problem of overcrowded parking facilities. The plan allows for 10 to 20 percent of parking spots at four locations, Issaquah included, to be set aside for those who buy parking permits. Priced at $33 per quarter for single occupancy vehicles and $5 per quarter for carpools with at least two people, the permits will guarantee a spot.

“As of May 2013, 13 of 23 Sound Transit-operated customer parking facilities were at or above 90 percent capacity,” state board documents. “Demand for park and ride spaces will continue to increase as transit service expands and regional population and employment grow.”

The board’s hope is that this program will provide information on how to manage existing and future parking facilities, as well as to promote ride sharing.

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City’s bus routes may be on the chopping block

April 9, 2013

Metro Transit released a report April 1 that revealed the possibility of cutting Issaquah routes should legislative funding dry up.

With 65 bus routes throughout the county in danger of being canceled and another 86 having their services reduced, the report essentially served as a reminder for the eventual expiration of the car tab tax passed as a stop gap measure to continue Metro Transit support. The 2012 Service Guidelines Report measured and analyzed transit service based on measures of productivity, geographic value, social equity and ridership. It determined that the current cost model was unsustainable.

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Fred Butler enters race for Issaquah mayor

January 22, 2013

Fred Butler, a City Council stalwart for 13 years and a voice in important debates about the future of Issaquah, entered the race for mayor Jan. 17.

Fred Butler

Fred Butler

The contest could hinge on the vision for the decades ahead, as city leaders seek to position Issaquah for redevelopment and attract more jobs to the community.

Butler, 72, served on the council at major junctures in recent history, as members debated the defunct Southeast Bypass road link, how to preserve forested Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain and, late last year, a 30-year redevelopment blueprint called the Central Issaquah Plan.

“We are in the process of evolving from a small town to a small city, moving from suburban to urban,” he said in a Jan 17 interview. “Because I’ve been involved in a lot of the planning and the development of the urban villages and the Central Issaquah Plan, I believe I’m in a pretty good position to help implement the direction that we are going in.”

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