Mercer Island Transit Interchange
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, a few bus routes from the Eastside to Seattle will terminate at Mercer Island Station, where passengers will transfer to/from light rail.
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, a few bus routes from the Eastside to Seattle will terminate at Mercer Island Station, where passengers will transfer to/from light rail.
Sound Transit and Metro staff will provide the Mercer Island Transit Interchange Operational and Configuration Study results to City Council in a Study Session at the March 19, 2019, City Council meeting (5:30pm at City Hall, and also viewable live or archived online).
Do you have a question? Please see the FAQ page for more information regarding future Metro operations and the Study. If you have additional questions that you would like addressed, please submit here and we’ll forward to the relevant agency. Answers will be posted here, but some information may not become available until after the March 19 Study Session. [NOTE: Questions do not appear publicly until answered]
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Sound Transit and Metro project 4,200 boardings at MI Station. What assumptions are behind that number? Please confirm this number is a one-way number and does not count return trips in the evening. How many riders are projected to be boarding at South Bellevue?Jon Hanlon asked about 2 months ago
Sound Transit has provided the following information about daily boardings (i.e. number of people getting onto light rail) at the Mercer Island Station: “The 2011 FEIS included a projection of 1,500 daily boardings at the Mercer Island station in 2020 and 2,000 daily boardings in 2030. A more recent projection from 2016 included an approximate 4,200 daily boardings for the current year (this is an estimate of the ridership if East Link was operational in 2016 and all ST2 projects were complete). This number does include passengers transferring from buses.”
Sound Transit notes that “While Metro does not estimate future bus ridership at the individual bus trip or route level, the best estimate stems from the pre-Settlement Agreement East Link FEIS Addendum (April 2017) that states the following: ‘With the 77th Avenue SE Configuration, approximately 1,300 pedestrians in the busiest AM peak hour, (1,050 from bus transfers and 250 from the park & ride lot) would cross N. Mercer Way between the I-90 bus route stops located on the north side of N. Mercer Way (NMW) and the light rail station. This equates to 32 pedestrians per signal crossing cycle in the busiest AM peak hour.’” *Note the busiest AM hour is projected to fall between 6-9am on weekdays.
Sound Transit emphasizes that it’s important to remember these are projections that fluctuate as more data and information become available. Sound Transit projects ridership using various assumptions that reflect best available information such as regional employment and population forecasts, which provide information about a specific period in time. While this information gives ST a rough idea of what it can expect in terms of ridership, there are other assumptions that can affect these numbers.
In addition to transit integration at the Mercer Island Station, Sound Transit will also connect bus passengers to light rail at the S. Bellevue Station. While it does not yet know the exact routes and number of buses at that location (just like at Mercer Island, Metro and Sound Transit will undertake a public outreach process 18-24 months in advance of East Link opening to determine the exact route configurations), it has stated that there will be 6 bus layover spaces, 3 active bus bays and a paratransit zone.
Please reply: How are you overlaying "MI freeway access to WB I-90" with the Sound Transit station area planning? 80th & NMW are the access routes for many vehicles on the morning route to Seattle since the Island Crest on-ramp went away for most vehicles, requiring us to route through downtown. Please consider which route you will encourage south & central MI residents to use to access WB I-90 (in light of transit interchange planning). A planned route to minimize friction on that route will decrease stops/starts/idling & emissions.teampoor asked 5 months agoThank you for your question and comments. Yes, the City has evaluated the impacts to a number of intersections in Sound Transit station planning area, especially in accessing westbound I-90 following the closure of the center roadway in June 2017. Staff continue to monitor traffic patterns to ensure safe access through and around the Town Center. Currently, the most direct route for south and central Islanders to access westbound I-90 is along North Mercer Way. If conditions change along this route due to congestion at intersections, operational changes (such as signal timing) can be made to reduce delays and idling. Other solutions, if necessary, may require capital dollars and would be evaluated and proposed in future capital improvement programs.
Could the corner of 78th Ave SE and SE 24th St include an entry into the proposed roundabout? It seems like that could be a way to help mitigate the traffic on North Mercer Way between 80th and 77th by providing residents living north of NMW with an option to access Westbound I-90 and/or the town center that doesn't force them to traverse through the bus area.PatrickAllcorn asked 5 months agoThis is an interesting idea, though it would likely have some unintended consequences. Adding a north entrance to the proposed roundabout at 77th Ave would require upgrading the nearby residential streets, and perhaps trigger the need for additional property acquisition. Providing this option would likely create significantly more traffic on SE 24th Street, with drivers using this route to get to/from the Community Center and Luther Burbank Park. And any additional work outside the scope of Sound Transit's proposed configuration would need to be funded by the City.
I'd like to revisit the question, "Why can't overpasses be constructed for pedestrian and bike traffic that will interrupt vehicle traffic?" The response poste here seems to refer to an overpass over I-90. I'm not sure if that was the intent of the question or not. I will ask a similar question in hopes the answer may be different! It seems some safety and aesthetic mitigation is in order for a) the surge in north/south foot traffic across N Mercer Way, b) the 80th in-lane bus stop, and c) the ongoing aesthetic disturbance of bus layovers on N Mercer. I can't find these items addressed wholesale in the EIS but I am happy to be corrected. As mitigation for these items, could we have a pedestrian north/south overpass at N Mercer Way? This would keep the thousands of transit pedestrians going north/south across N Mercer Way safe and well-directed to the light rail. It is also an opportunity to appease the many residents that are legitimately concerned about the erosion of our small town aesthetic at an important point of entry to our town. This crossing is the gateway to walking to Luther Burbank Park for many mid-islanders. We have a substantial senior population relative to surrounding areas and those folks are out walking a lot with their pups! They need safe passage as do the transit users. (Full disclosure: I am a dog walker and transit user, but not quite a senior yet!) While the plantings would not need to be as ornate as the I-90 crossings, a barren concrete and metal overpass would not cut the mustard to mitigate aesthetics. Some sculpture and landscape plantings to match the sculpture park aesthetic could go a long way. Microsoft got an extraordinarily fancy pedestrian bridge, why can't our island of 25,000 residents get a low key version of that? If we could get a pedestrian bridge I can get behind the optimal solution. Otherwise the juice isn't worth the squeeze aesthetically and I think we should look beyond Metro for our last-mile solution. This has been a blend of comments and questions so I will close by asking, 1. What is the total estimated number of current and future pedestrians crossing the street at North Mercer Way at 80th? How about 77th? 2. Can we have an aesthetically pleasing pedestrian bridge across N Mercer Way at 80th to direct all of that foot traffic to a safe and aesthetically pleasing route?Kate A asked 5 months ago
Thanks for your comments. In response to your two questions:
1) There will be an estimated 4200 boardings (people getting on the train) during commute days. Some of these people will come from the Park-and-Ride, some will be MI residents walking, biking or getting dropped off at the station, and some will arrive by bus from the Eastside and transfer to the East Link station. Those people arriving by bus and from the P&R will cross North Mercer at 80th to catch the train. On the return trip from Seattle, those passengers transferring back to buses will be picked up on the south side of N Mercer Way, and will not need to cross the street again. The main group of people making afternoon crossings at N Mercer Way will be those walking over to the Park & Ride. The greatest impact to the crosswalk at North Mercer Way/80th Ave SE will be in the morning peak hours between 6-9am.
The 77th Ave SE entrance to the MI Station is designed to serve pedestrians, bicyclists and local drop-offs, and crossings at North Mercer Way will likely be from local foot and bicycle traffic. Bus passengers will disembark near 80th and would reasonably walk the shortest distance to the 80th Ave entrance, and are not anticipated to walk the extra distance to reach the 77th Ave entrance to the station.
2) Staff has preliminarily explored the possibility of a pedestrian bridge across N Mercer Way. Pedestrian bridges get mixed reviews in terms of requiring usage by the public and other considerations, so this is not a simple solution. The City continues to explore options to address community safety concerns in this area.
Why wasn't Metro at the table when the 2017 Settlement Agreement was signed, and how does that give them a "pass" to deviate from the terms of the agreement now? Thank you.AshleyHay asked 5 months ago
Metro was not a party in the lawsuit between the City of Mercer Island and Sound Transit over the closure of the I-90 bridge center roadway. As a result, Metro is also not a party of the Settlement Agreement that resolved the lawsuit. The only parties to the Settlement Agreement are the City and Sound Transit.
Metro operates buses for Sound Transit, and Metro is currently claiming that the 77th Ave SE Configuration (that the City and Sound Transit agreed to in the Settlement Agreement) will not work for Metro’s operation of Sound Transit buses. Metro has asked for changes to the 77th Ave SE Configuration. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the City and Sound Transit are required to consider modifications to the agreed-upon Configuration based on Metro’s operational needs.
I have read through most of the documentation provided, and I read what appear to be references to a bus "station" but can't seem to find anything more definitive. Can you clarify whether a bus/transit station is being proposed or if any kind of sidewalk pedestrian shelters or rain screens are part of the bus interchange plans? If that is indeed the case, will more info be posted here?First Hill Jim asked 6 months ago
There isn't going to be any new structure that can be defined as a "bus station." The transit interchange is basically just curb space where buses will pull up in front of the existing Park & Ride to allow passengers to connect to the future light rail service (opening in 2023). A roundabout will be constructed to allow the buses to turnaround more easily at 77th Ave and North Mercer Way. There may be a few additional bus shelters added. The major construction that you see in this area today at street level is to build the entrances to the East Link light rail station. As design work advances on the roundabout, more details will be posted here.
Why don't Sound Transit and KCM simply skip Mercer Island on the route into and out of Seattle with nearly all the buses except for one every 10 minutes that stops on the island for those that want to get off or on there.bill asked 7 months ago
Mercer Island Station is an important part of the East Link light rail system. Metro has already planned to completely fill the capacity for bus transfers at South Bellevue Station and cannot plan for additional routes there. Additionally, direct service to Mercer Island avoids out-of-direction travel for Issaquah/Eastside buses, and provides safer, quicker connections to/from the I-90 HOV lanes, resulting in faster bus travel times and discouraging Eastside drivers from parking on Mercer Island to reach Link light rail.
Will you have to demolish some houses on North Mercer Way to make the bus round about?k2moonka asked 9 months ago
The 77th Avenue SE Configuration as approved in the Sound Transit Settlement Agreement includes the construction of a new roundabout at the intersection of 77th Avenue SE and North Mercer Way, replacing the current three-way junction (or T-intersection) at this location. The roundabout construction will require Sound Transit to acquire two private properties to the north of the roundabout. Learn more about its property purchasing policies and procedures.
I am concerned about the impact of the roundabout and the increased bus traffic on the neighborhood north of the Park & Ride, especially to the houses that are across the street from and next door to the houses that will probably be torn down. Here are my questions: --What are the neighboring houses going to see--what is it going to look like from the neighborhood side--once the roundabout is constructed? --Is the current pedestrian cut-through going to remain? --What is the planned use for the remainder of the two lots and what will they look like? (I'm talking about the lots where the two houses are--the houses that will be torn down) --What will be done to reduce the impacts (sights, smells, sounds) of the roundabout and increased traffic? --Will there be a sound wall and/or replacement landscaping? Assuming there is a sound wall, where will it be in relation to the two lots? --How many buses will be laying over during the afternoon peak period? Where will they be laying over? --Please confirm that there are no plans to use part of the two lots as a bus parking or layover area. Thank youEmmy Lane asked 9 months ago
1. What are the neighboring houses going to see--what is it going to look like from the neighborhood side--once the roundabout is constructed?
The transit interchange is still in the early design stage and the design of the interface between the proposed roundabout and the neighborhood to the north has not been determined. For reference, the houses adjacent to the North Mercer Way and 77th Ave intersection are much closer today than any house will be to the future roundabout.
Although the existing shrub hedges in the landscaped areas north of the North Mercer Way/77th Ave SE intersection would likely be removed for construction activities and revised ADA compliant trail connections, new landscaping and fencing will replace those removed. Sound Transit intends to work closely with the City of Mercer Island as the design progresses to provide appropriate buffers and screening between the roundabout/transit interchange and the neighborhood to the north.
2. Is the current pedestrian cut-through going to remain?
The proposed transit interchange is still in the early stages of design and connections to the adjacent neighborhood have not been fully designed at this point. However, the conceptual plan envisions a connection of some sort between the I-90 Trail and the north neighborhood at least to the same scope of what exists today.
3. What is the planned use for the remainder of the two lots and what will they look like? (I'm talking about the lots where the two houses are--the houses that will be torn down)
Plans for the property not disposed to the City of Mercer Island for the roundabout are unknown at this time (Sound Transit to retain ownership of this remaining property). However, per the conceptual design, new roadway features will allow for a number of additional landscaped areas; the entire north side of the roundabout will have an approximately 5-foot planter, allowing for the installation of new (or existing) trees/shrubs to separate the I-90 Trail and the proposed roundabout from the neighborhood to the north. Sound Transit intends to work closely with the City of Mercer Island on redevelopment that is compliant with local zoning codes and development plans.
4. What will be done to reduce the impacts (sights, smells, sounds) of the roundabout and increased traffic?
The proposed roundabout will not result in an increase in traffic; in fact, the total number of buses on Mercer Island will not exceed existing numbers and will be reduced by almost half due to the Settlement Agreement. The proposed roundabout was analyzed during the environmental review process.
5. Will there be a sound wall and/or replacement landscaping? Assuming there is a sound wall, where will it be in relation to the two lots?
The transit interchange is still in the early design stage and no decisions have been determined at this time. Sound Transit intends to work closely with the City of Mercer Island as the design progresses to provide appropriate buffers and screening between the roundabout/transit interchange and the neighborhood to the north.
6. How many buses will be laying over during the afternoon peak period? Where will they be laying over? --Please confirm that there are no plans to use part of the two lots as a bus parking or layover area.
The exact number of buses laying over during the afternoon peak are not known at this time. Metro will be updating its service plan for this area much closer to the start date of East Link revenue service in 2023. Per the proposed configuration, buses will lay over on both the north and south sides of North Mercer Way to the east of the proposed roundabout; the amount of curb space available for buses would allow up to 4 buses laying over at any given time. There are no plans to use the two lots for additional bus layover or bus parking areas.
Why can't Sound Transit construct their own Bus right-of-way "dedicated Bus ramps" so that they do not have to use any Mercer Island Streets? NMW is the only SOV on-ramp for I-90 from ICW. Won't the new design stop traffic from being able to enter I-90 Westbound even more than it is congested now? Why can't overpasses be constructed for pedestrian and Bike traffic that will interrupt vehicle traffic?Tom Dickhaus asked 9 months ago
1. Why can't Sound Transit construct their own bus right-of-way "dedicated bus ramps" so that they do not have to use any Mercer Island Streets?
The transit interchange is being constructed as approved by the 2017 SEPA Addendum to the East Link Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) as modified by the Settlement Agreement between Sound Transit and City of Mercer Island. There is currently a parking restriction in place for all of I-90 in this area and WSDOT would not be supportive of using ramp shoulders as bus waiting areas adjacent to traffic. Freeway on- and off-ramps are within limited access right of way and provide a critical acceleration/deceleration pathway for vehicles entering the freeway. They are designed to allow for safe acceleration/deceleration, visibility, and are not appropriate bus layover locations.
2. NMW is the only SOV on-ramp for I-90 from ICW. Won't the new design stop traffic from being able to enter I-90 Westbound even more than it is congested now?
The proposed transit interchange will not restrict access to I-90 or result in an increase in congestion. The roundabout at 77th Avenue SE will be an efficient means for SOV traffic to enter the on ramp at 76th Avenue SE. The number of buses will be roughly fifty percent of today’s volumes.
3. Why can't overpasses be constructed for pedestrian and bike traffic that will interrupt vehicle traffic?
While some wish we could separate roads for bikes, pedestrians and cars, the cost would be a prohibitive use of public resources. In addition, the connections for Mercer Island businesses for people to pass their doors would be limited. In this particular instance, the cost of building additional overpasses to FHWA and WSDOT specifications would be cost prohibitive for a use of public resources. The transit interchange is being constructed as approved by the 2017 SEPA Addendum to the East Link Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) as modified by the Settlement Agreement between Sound Transit and City of Mercer Island.
1, What are the benefits to Mercer Island residents from the "optimal service configuration"? 2. Does the current settlement agreement with ST limit buses using the bus intercept to 12 per hour, and does the "optimal service configuration " increase the number of buses per hour to 20? 3. If the "optimal service configuration" allows 20 buses per hour, and each bus can lay over for up to 20 minutes per METRO's union contracts for driver breaks, and there are four bus parking bays, two on each side of North Mercer Way, does that mean two buses will be parked on each side of NMW all day long? How long will these buses be? 4. Is there any expiration date in the future should the city agree to the "optimal service configuration" or is it forever once the city agrees? 5. How many trees will have to be removed as part of the "optimal service configuration" including for the round about at 77th and NMW? 6. Who is negotiating on behalf of the city of Mercer Island, and when did the negotiations begin? 7. The city is hiring outside experts to negotiate the MOU for the Tully's project. Why isn't the city hiring an outside expert to negotiate the "optimal service configuration", especially considering the city's poor results in negotiating the settlement agreement with ST? 8. How much money for mitigation is ST or METRO offering for the "optimal service configuration", and if they are not offering any money why not?Daniel Thompson asked 9 months ago
1. What are the benefits to Mercer Island residents from the "optimal service configuration"?
The transit interchange will serve to enhance Mercer Island and Eastside service and compliment the new light rail network. It will connect Mercer Island to Eastside communities not served by East Link, including Issaquah, North Bend, and Sammamish. Specifically for Mercer Island, this service will aim to reduce vehicle trips and parking demand from the Eastside on Mercer Island streets and public parking facilities. The transit interchange will also connect light rail to residents, jobs and services on Mercer Island.
2. Does the current settlement agreement with ST limit buses using the bus intercept to 12 per hour, and does the "optimal service configuration" increase the number of buses per hour to 20?
The Settlement Agreement limits buses to roughly today’s number of 34 during the AM peak, 34 during the PM peak, and 346 daily. The optimal service configuration will result in an almost 50 percent reduction from today’s total buses during these peak periods.
3. If the "optimal service configuration" allows 20 buses per hour, and each bus can lay over for up to 20 minutes per METRO's union contracts for driver breaks, and there are four bus parking bays, two on each side of North Mercer Way, does that mean two buses will be parked on each side of NMW all day long? How long will these buses be?
The optimal service configuration will include one (1) layover space on the north side of North Mercer Way and three (3) layover spaces on the south side of North Mercer Way. It is anticipated that these layover spaces would be utilized to the greatest extent during the AM and PM peak periods, and to a lesser extent during other periods. It is not expected that layover spaces would be fully occupied all day long. On average, buses will be in layover spaces for approximately 15 minutes. Metro has a financial and operational incentive to reduce layover time as much as possible.
In 2021, roughly 18-24 months before East Link opens, Metro will lead an extensive public engagement and planning process to give Mercer Island residents the opportunity to provide input and feedback on transit services and routing when East Link opens. While service levels are not known at this time, it is anticipated that service will take the form of a mix of 45-foot buses, 60-foot buses, and DART vehicles.
4. Is there any expiration date in the future should the city agree to the "optimal service configuration" or is it forever once the city agrees?
There are no expiration dates associated with the bus/rail integration section of the Settlement Agreement. The amount of proposed service configuration already limits transit service below what was planned for in Metro Connects, King County Metro’s long-range plan.
5. How many trees will have to be removed as part of the "optimal service configuration" including for the roundabout at 77th and NMW?
The transit interchange will result in the removal of five trees on the north side of North Mercer Way, for the proposed bus layover space. Depending on existing tree/root health, some/all trees could be salvaged and moved within the project area to keep aesthetics and continuity within landscaped areas. Importantly, the proposed roundabout is expected to retain many trees in the project area, including nearly all the trees to the west of 77th Avenue SE and all trees along both north and south sides of N Mercer Way in existing bus pick-up/drop-off areas adjacent to 80th Avenue SE.
In addition, revisions to the proposed sidewalk and roadway alignment going into the roundabout will maintain a full row of secondary existing trees and shrubs (behind the existing sidewalk), providing separation from transit facilities, sidewalk and roadway from the I-90 corridor. It is anticipated that new street trees and additional landscaping will be included along North Mercer Way and 80th Avenue SE as the design moves forward.
6. Who is negotiating on behalf of the city of Mercer Island, and when did the negotiations begin?
The Settlement Agreement between Sound Transit and the City of Mercer Island was executed in November 2017. City staff have been working with Sound Transit to implement the Settlement Agreement, but the Settlement Agreement has not been re-opened for negotiations.
7. The city is hiring outside experts to negotiate the MOU for the Tully's project. Why isn't the city hiring an outside expert to negotiate the "optimal service configuration", especially considering the city's poor results in negotiating the settlement agreement with ST?
The City of Mercer Island is working hard to make sure Mercer Island residents get clear information from KC Metro and Sound Transit about how this configuration will benefit Mercer Island residents and businesses. All three parties, plus WSDOT, are working collaboratively on the final design of the transit interchange. The Executive Summary of the Transit Interchange Studydescribes how the optimal configuration meets the goals of Mercer Island.
8. How much money for mitigation is ST or METRO offering for the "optimal service configuration", and if they are not offering any money why not?
Per the Settlement Agreement, Sound Transit will authorize payment to the City of Mercer Island up to approximately $10Million for a number of transportation-related projects, not including the total cost to design, construct, and implement bus/rail integration on Mercer Island. Mercer Island residents and businesses are also a receiving a light rail station with all its connections to the region. King County Metro was not a signatory to the Settlement Agreement. The transit interchange does not require mitigation per the 2017 SEPA Addendum to the East Link Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).
Question submitted by user mjislandinfo (21 Mar 2019, 07:05 PM) into the general question mailbox: "The orange smokestack-like objects on the roofs of the light rail station are, in my opinion, unattractive and very obtrusive. Is there any possibility of convincing ST to change the color to something that would blend in better with the environment - blue for sky or green for trees, perhaps? A small thing but a way to mitigate, at least a bit, the intrusion of the light rail station on our town. Thanks."9 months ago
Updated information from Sound Transit (we apologize for any confusion):
The ventilation shafts on the head houses are functional as they provide passive cooling for the buildings and circulate airflow. At one of the public meetings on Mercer Island, the color was shown as a brighter red (Ferrari Red) with gray as an alternate, which are both within Sound Transit’s standard family of colors.
Sound Transit heard comments that this red was too bright and proposed an earth tone/terracotta orange – this will be the color when the station is complete. If you walk by the station today, the ventilator shafts are covered in a bright orange waterproofing material that will be covered up and then painted with the terracotta color.
[Prior Answer -- The “smokestack” objects on the headhouses (air vents) are currently under construction and have not been completed. They will be slate gray when finished.]
Question submitted by user john scherzo (21 Mar 2019, 12:48 PM) into the general question mailbox: "The City should push back on Sound Transit. The South Bellevue park and ride should be the primary bus terminal from the east side. It is a shorter trip on I-90 by about 1.5 miles one way and would avoid the current backups getting to and on Mercer Island. There is more room in South Bellevue and would not disrupt the MI City Center and the neighborhood. If we have less buses coming to MI, we (city residents) would have more parking at the MI park and ride."8 months ago
From Sound Transit: To access South Bellevue, Metro customers would have to travel off I-90 onto Bellevue Way, north to the station, and then board Link rail and backtrack along Bellevue Way to I-90. In the eastbound direction, the merge from Bellevue Way to I-90 is extremely congested and presents safety and operational challenges for buses merging across several lanes to get from Bellevue Way into the center HOV lane. This travel time, assuming a 5-minute light rail trip from South Bellevue to Mercer Island, is 10 minutes longer in each direction during peak travel periods than traveling directly from Eastgate to Mercer Island.
In addition, direct service to Mercer Island avoids out-of-direction travel and provides safer, quicker connections to/from the I-90 HOV lanes, resulting in faster bus travel times and discouraging Eastside drivers from parking on Mercer Island to reach Link light rail. Finally, Metro has already planned to completely fill the capacity for bus transfers at the South Bellevue Station and cannot plan for additional routes there.
What is the city's plan to contain the potential increase in the population of drug addicts and transients, who will have significantly increased mobility and access to Mercer Island upon link completion? Given the general reputation of Mercer Island as a well built and funded community, this will likely serve as a beacon to these categories of citizens and the associated crime and trash visible when exiting the bridges off of the island.Dreamcasting asked 9 months ago
From the Mercer Island Police Chief: The Park & Ride area currently sees approximately 30 buses per hour during peak commute times and our Police Dept already works closely with Metro and Sound Transit to respond to any criminal or disruptive behavior related to bus riders. We will continue to work with our partners when dealing with potential issues that may be created in the future by light rail users. In addition, as the opening of the light rail station approaches, the MIPD will begin training with the Sound Transit officers to prepare for security operations and possible impacts to our community.
While we expect bus volumes to decrease with the advent of light rail, we understand that we may see an increase in overall transit users when light rail is up and running. The MIPD has consulted with other law enforcement agencies that have rail transit stations in their cities and have been advised that cities located at the end of rail routes have more challenges than cities in which rail transit passes through. Although the Mercer Island station is not located at the end of a transit line, we remain mindful of the potential for criminal behaviors associated with light rail. We all want the users of East Link light rail to enjoy a safe commuting environment and will work with our citizens and public safety partners to keep our Island both a safe and welcoming community.
What are the benefits of having a rotary at North Mercer Way & 77th Ave SE over having the intersection with a traffic light? What is the predicted impact on travel time for a car exiting i-90 westbound at Island Crest Way traveling west on North Mercer Way toward 76th Ave SE? Is the rotary intended to discourage local drivers heading to the "East Seattle" neighborhood of Mercer Island from travelling on North Mercer Way?Julie asked 9 months ago
1) The roundabout is required to allow I-90 westbound buses to enter Mercer Island, drop off passengers at the Park & Ride, turn around, and then return to I-90 eastbound without circulating through the Town Center. These buses could not turn around at the existing intersection with a traffic light.
2) Studies show that travel times are improved with a roundabout versus a signalized intersection.
3) There is no intention to change local driving patterns with the construction of the roundabout.
If we are to have a roundabout on North Mercer might I suggest a two Lane roundabout. The buses could use the internal lane for their 180° turn around and the cars could use the extra lane to go straight on to I 90 W.Bonnie asked 9 months ago
Thank you for your suggestion; we will forward to the design team.
In view of the answer to my previous question. Why does Metro require keeping buses at this location if the driver have no place to use a restroom? While costly restrooms serve an important part of the human experience. If there are no bathrooms will Metro have to change their plan? Should this question be directed to Metro or the Union?Matt Goldbach asked 9 months ago
There will not be public restrooms, but drivers will continue to have access to a non-public restroom that is already in service at the Park & Ride.
Are there going to be public restrooms? The representative from Metro said that drivers would be using Mercer Island as a union required restroom stop.....not to mention the large number of passengers transitioning at the location.Matt Goldbach asked 9 months agoAccording to Sound Transit, there will not be public restrooms."Building and maintaining public restrooms is costly, but the issue of restrooms at transitstations is about more than the cost. Safety and security are also important concerns when itcomes to public restrooms. Unsupervised public spaces, out of view of the general public aredifficult to make safe and secure for our patrons. In 1998, the Sound Transit Boardadopted guidelines for providing restrooms in Sound Transit facilities and recognized theneed for restrooms in some situations. The Board also identified criteria for installingrestrooms at facilities, and as of Summer 2014, none of our stations currently meet thiscriteria. As such, there will not be restrooms at the Mercer Island station."
I see that there is discussion of a 14 foot wide path along Aubrey Davis park and other areas. Will the proposed roundabout have 14 foot wide paths along its north border?Emmy Lane asked 9 months ago
The existing Mountains-to-Sound (aka I-90) Trail will be routed around the north side of the roundabout. But the North Mercer Way & 77th Ave SE roundabout is still at 30% conceptual design, so the exact path width has not yet been finalized. WSDOT requires a minimum 10-foot wide path with two 2-foot shoulders (total of 14 feet), so this design would allow for the WSDOT minimum. The final roundabout design will incorporate Aubrey Davis Park Master Plan requirements once the Plan has been approved by City Council later this year.
I am concerned about pedestrian safety for those trying to cross North Mercer Way at the proposed roundabout. Will there be flashing lights embedded in the asphalt to warn drivers that a pedestrian is crossing? (I am talking about lights similar to those currently being used on Island Crest Way.) Will there be increased lighting in that area? Thank youEmmy Lane asked 9 months ago
The North Mercer Way & 77th Ave SE Roundabout is at 30% conceptual design, so does not yet show this level of detail. Safety is the top priority for Sound Transit, as well as the City, so the pedestrian crossing and area's lighting will be carefully designed by ST and closely reviewed by City engineers as the design is further developed.
How many buses will visit Mercer Island during peak hours?JT asked 9 months ago
There are currently 36 AM and 39 PM peak-hour bus trips. The Settlement Agreement requires that when East Link opens in 2023 there will be no more buses than today. The Optimal Service Configuration would expect up to 20 AM and 20 PM peak hour bus trips.
Will the walking route between the Eastside bus stops and the 80th Ave SE entrance be weather protected, with a covered walkway (similar to Kingsgate P&R walkway) , and/or well-lit? Will the N Mercer Way / 80th Ave SE intersection be re-timed to prevent left-on-green turning traffic from potential collisions with pedestrians? (This already can be a problem, especially at night or in rainy weather)emily_raye asked 9 months ago
Thanks - these would be both be Sound Transit's decision, so we've forwarded to them for an answer.
Info from Sound Transit:
Plans do not include weather protection for the sidewalks along N. Mercer Way or 80th Ave, however, there is some weather protection provided on the station platform and within the headhouses on 77th Ave SE and 80th Ave SE. Street lighting will remain, and there will be adequate lighting at the station entrances. The traffic signal timing will be re-evaluated with WSDOT involvement closer to the time that the light rail station and bus/rail integration is operational.
- Transit Interchange Safety FAQ July 11 (165 KB) (pdf)
- ST-Metro Response to April 30 Councilmember Questions (247 KB) (pdf)
- ST-Metro Response to March 19 Councilmember Questions (159 KB) (pdf)
- Metro and ST FAQs March 13 (183 KB) (pdf)
- Final Settlement Agreement (Nov 2017)
- 80th Ave Transit Interchange Option (April 2017) (662 KB) (pdf)
Transit Interchange Study (March 2019)
- Transit Interchange Study (28 pages) (3.18 MB) (pdf)
- Transit Interchange Executive Summary (8 pages) (1.21 MB) (pdf)
- MI Transit Interchange: Roundabout Conceptual Design (Appendix B) (675 KB) (pdf)
- King County Metro Assessment of Settlement Agreement (Appendix C) (119 KB) (pdf)
- ST Construction Timeline for Transit Interchange (131 KB) (pdf)
- Photo Map of Proposed Transit Operations (253 KB) (pdf)
- Where can I find a comprehensive list of all FAQ's and their answers?
- Will future bus passengers being dropped at the Park & Ride on the north side of N Mercer Way create vehicle delays as they cross the road to reach the light rail station?
- What is the vision for Metro bus service from Mercer Island to Eastside cities?
- How will buses coming from Eastside communities navigate on Mercer Island?
- How was the proposed operational configuration developed?