Mercer Island Transit Interchange

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The Mercer Island Transit Interchange is the integration of bus transit service from the Eastside with East Link light rail. When East Link opens for service in 2023, some bus routes from the Eastside to Seattle will terminate at Mercer Island Station, where passengers will transfer to/from light rail.

Learn more by reading the articles below, as well as the FAQs and studying the Document Library; use the tools below to Ask a Question or Post a Comment. [Note: FAQ's not updated after Oct 2020]

The Mercer Island Transit Interchange is the integration of bus transit service from the Eastside with East Link light rail. When East Link opens for service in 2023, some bus routes from the Eastside to Seattle will terminate at Mercer Island Station, where passengers will transfer to/from light rail.

Learn more by reading the articles below, as well as the FAQs and studying the Document Library; use the tools below to Ask a Question or Post a Comment. [Note: FAQ's not updated after Oct 2020]

  • An Update on Sound Transit's Land Use Petition Act Appeal

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    Earlier today, the Superior Court issued an order granting Sound Transit’s Motion to Strike the City’s Notice of Supersedeas. This means there is no stay in place of the Court’s earlier order in the Land Use Petition Act appeal directing the City to issue Sound Transit permits to construct bus layovers on the north side of North Mercer Way. Consequently, the disputed permit has been issued to Sound Transit in compliance with the Court’s order.

    Fortunately, the Court’s decision is not a ruling based on the terms of the Settlement Agreement or the remedies that it may later provide. The City will continue to litigate its 2020 lawsuit against Sound Transit for breach of the Settlement Agreement which is unimpacted by today’s decision.

  • An Update on the City's Lawsuit with Sound Transit

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    On Friday, September 3, King County Superior Court issued an order in the City’s 2020 Settlement Agreement Lawsuit with Sound Transit clarifying and confirming that the costs awarded to the City for Sound Transit’s discovery misconduct include expenses incurred by the City to review Sound Transit’s document dump. The clarification and confirmation was sought by Sound Transit. The City will be recovering $58,985.05 from Sound Transit.


  • An Update on Sound Transit’s Land Use Petition Act Appeal

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    Earlier today, the City filed a Notice of Appeal to the Court of Appeals, and a Notice of Supersedeas Without Bond, which stayed the Superior Court’s decision to allow construction of a Sound Transit’s bus layover on the north side of North Mercer Way. These were filed after carefully evaluating all options in response to the decision from the Superior Court denying the City’s motion to dismiss Sound Transit’s Land Use Petition Act appeal and granting Sound Transit’s motion for Summary Judgment. More information on the appeal and stay will be forthcoming.


  • An Update on Sound Transit’s Land Use Petition Act Appeal

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    Last June, Sound Transit filed a Land Use Petition Act (LUPA) appeal in Superior Court challenging the Hearing Examiner’s decision on permits related to construction of their bus-rail integration facilities on North Mercer Way. This appeal is separate and distinct from the City’s 2020 lawsuit against Sound Transit for breach of the 2017 Settlement Agreement. The Court held a hearing on Friday, August 20 to consider a motion filed by the City to dismiss the LUPA appeal and a motion filed by Sound Transit for partial summary judgment.

    Unfortunately, the Court denied the City’s motion to dismiss and granted Sound Transit’s motion for partial summary judgment to construct a bus layover bay on the north side of North Mercer Way. In granting Sound Transit’s motion, the Court opined that the terms of the mutually agreed upon Settlement Agreement could not be the basis to condition Sound Transit’s permit, even if the resulting permit violates the parties’ Settlement Agreement.

    The Court, however, made it explicit that it was not ruling on the terms of the Settlement Agreement or the remedies that it may later provide to either party. This leaves all options open for the City to continue to litigate its 2020 lawsuit against Sound Transit for breach of the Settlement Agreement unimpacted by today’s ruling.

    The City is currently evaluating all of its options for responding to Friday's decision. A written order/decision of the rulings was issued by the Court on August 25 and can be viewed here.

  • An Update on the City’s Lawsuit Against Sound Transit

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    As part of the City’s lawsuit against Sound Transit, the City was forced to seek relief from the Court due to Sound Transit’s discovery misconduct and pattern of delays. The City requested this relief after Sound Transit significantly delayed producing documents and dumped more than 100,000 unreviewed documents on the City, requiring the City to expend considerable time and resources sorting through a large number of irrelevant documents. The Court granted the City’s motion in full and ordered Sound Transit to produce all documents requested by the City within a month. The Court likewise ordered Sound Transit to reimburse the City for fees and costs relating to Sound Transit’s misconduct. The City is pleased that the Court granted its motion and looks forward to finally receiving all requested documents so that the City can pursue its claims.

  • An Update on Sound Transit's Appeal to Hearing Examiner

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    July 29, 2021 - On August 20th, the Court will hear motions from the City and Sound Transit as part of Sound Transit’s litigation to appeal the Mercer Island Transit Interchange permits. The City is asking the Court to dismiss the issues involving City rights-of-way and the 2017 Settlement Agreement disputes from Sound Transit’s Land Use Petition Act appeal. These issues are already properly before the Court in the litigation filed by the City in October of 2020. Sound Transit’s motion asks the Court to bypass the October 2020 case, ignore the 2017 Settlement Agreement between the City and Sound Transit, and require permits be issued that violate the terms of the 2017 Settlement Agreement.

    Meanwhile, in the 2020 case the City is pursuing to enforce the plain terms of the Settlement Agreement, the parties are proceeding in discovery. The City has been working to address Sound Transit’s failure to properly produce documents in response to the City’s requests. Although the City has begun depositions, Sound Transit’s actions have delayed this work. In light of delays related to Sound Transit’s production of documents, the Court has agreed that the trial date should be moved to Spring of 2022. The City anticipates seeking further relief from the Court related to these issues as appropriate. The City continues its work to prepare its case for trial.

  • An Update on Sound Transit's Appeal to Hearing Examiner

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    June 10, 2021 – Sound Transit filed litigation in King County Superior Court on June 9, 2021, appealing the Hearing Examiner’s decision regarding permits for the Mercer Island Transit Interchange. Sound Transit’s claims focus on decisions the Hearing Examiner made to defer to the courts regarding interpretation of the 2017 Settlement Agreement between Sound Transit and the City. In this new case, Sound Transit is asking the Court to order permits be issued for a new bus layover on the north side of North Mercer Way before the litigation regarding the 2017 Settlement Agreement is resolved. The City will vigorously defend its position in this new appeal as well as continue forward with its October 2020 case filed to have the terms of the 2017 Settlement Agreement enforced.

  • Hearing Examiner Issues Revised Order

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    May 21, 2021 - After reviewing the Hearing Examiner’s May 3rd decision, the City filed a motion asking the Hearing Examiner to revise portions of the decision. Sound Transit filed a response opposing the motion. The Examiner granted that motion almost entirely on May 20, 2021, issuing an Order Revising a Decision After Reconsideration.

    The changes correct the factual record regarding the City’s actions and positions taken during processing of the Mercer Island Transit Interchange permitting review. They do not alter the substantive outcome of the appeal.

  • An Update on the City's Lawsuit Against Sound Transit

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    May 19, 2021 - The legal process for the City’s lawsuit against Sound Transit that was filed in October 2020 continues to move forward. Previous letters from the City related to discussions with Sound Transit and also background on the lawsuit are available here on Let's Talk.

    For more than a year ahead of the City filing suit and despite the City's repeated warnings, Sound Transit pushed forward with plans for the Mercer Island Transit Interchange that violated the terms of the 2017 Settlement Agreement between the City and Sound Transit. The limitations in the Settlement Agreement that were agreed to by both the City and Sound Transit were designed to address significant concerns over, among other things, the safe movement of pedestrians and bicycles along and across North Mercer Way while also mitigating adverse impacts to traffic on that critical corridor.

    Sound Transit's insistence on violating the Settlement Agreement left the City with no other choice but to file suit to ask for enforcement of the 2017 Settlement Agreement. The City continues to cooperate fully with the process and is confident in the merit of its position.

    The City will continue to keep the community updated as the lawsuit moves forward.

  • An Update on Sound Transit Appeal to Hearing Examiner

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    May 3, 2021 - The Hearing Examiner issued a decision today in Sound Transit’s appeal of permit conditions that the City imposed on construction of the Mercer Island Transit Interchange (MITI). At the moment, the City continues to evaluate the decision in detail, however, the following is a summary of the three main issues appealed.

    “Decision of New Curb Cut on North Mercer Way”

    The Hearing Examiner ruled that the new curb cut on the north side of North Mercer Way that Sound Transit testified will be used for a bus layover should be left for the Superior Court to decide because it is part of the 2017 Settlement Agreement. He repealed the City condition denying the curb cut based on City code provisions but held that it was “subject to resolution of the implications of the Settlement Agreement by and in another forum.” This leaves the bus layover dispute for resolution in the City’s Superior Court case filed in October 2020 to enforce the Settlement Agreement terms.

    “Decision on Conveyance of Property by Sound Transit to the City”

    In terms of the conveyance of property by Sound Transit to the City as rights-of-way, the Hearing Examiner held that this could wait until construction of the MITI is complete. The Hearing Examiner acknowledged that the City had been consistent in its interpretation of the City’s code since it began review of the MITI, but he disagreed with the City’s code interpretation that the stormwater vault used to collect and treat stormwater from public rights- of- way is a public facility requiring either the conveyance of property to the City or a conditional use permit if constructed in residential zones.

    The Hearing Examiner gave Sound Transit the option of either conveying the property to the City before construction or applying for a Site Development Permit for all MITI improvements that are not located in existing rights-of-way. This would include a portion of the roundabout, sidewalk, retaining walls, and the stormwater vault. Given Sound Transit’s testimony about the difficulty and restrictions on it to convey property, the Hearing Examiner left Sound Transit with four options on what to do with any property left over that is not being used for MITI improvements. The Hearing Examiner also acknowledged that Sound Transit did not disclose any of these claimed restrictions on conveyance to the City prior to the hearing.

    “Decision on Operations and Maintenance Agreement”

    In regard to an operations and maintenance agreement (O&M agreement), the 2017 Settlement Agreement provides that Sound Transit is solely responsible for all costs to operate the MITI improvements (stormwater vault, landscaping, irrigation, etc.). The City conditioned the permit on execution of an O&M agreement whereby Sound Transit would reimburse the City for all these operation costs. The Hearing Examiner ruled that the dispute regarding the necessity of an O&M agreement would also be resolved in Superior Court.

    For more information on the Mercer Island Transit Interchange project, including a copy of the Hearing Examiner Decision, please visit Let’s Talk.

Page last updated: 23 September 2021, 15:23