Report Says I-405 Tolling Makes Traffic Worse in General Purpose Lanes

A new report by the Kirkland traffic data company INRIX says express toll lanes on Interstate 405 are making traffic worse for drivers in the general purpose lanes, according to this story at

The report compares vehicle speeds from October 2014 with speeds from October 2015, the month after express toll lanes were introduced.

The comparison of pre- and post-toll conditions on two northbound and two southbound segments of I-405 between downtown Bellevue and I-5 (near Lynnwood) shows extended peak hour conditions for most segments in the peak direction of travel for those in the general purpose lanes. Additionally, these segments also show slower speeds during the peak hour in the general purpose lanes. Though one of the segments studied shows a reduction in the duration of the peak hour, slower speeds were still observed in the peak hour in the non-peak directions. The analysis also shows greater variability in peak hour speeds in the post-toll condition, especially for the 50th- and 85th-percentile speeds. As such, this analysis suggests that post-toll speed improvements on I-405 are isolated to vehicles that already experience the least peak hour congestion (i.e., those driving in the HOV/HOT lanes), while post-toll speeds in the general purpose lanes have generally gotten worse for the majority of drivers.
— Executive Summary Preliminary Speed Assessment on I-405 from Bellevue to Lynnwood

EvergreenHealth Elects New Officers to Lead Medical Staff

EvergreenHealth Elects New Officers to Lead Medical Staff

EvergreenHealth is pleased to announce the recent election of a new president and vice president of its Medical Staff, which oversees all aspects of high-quality patient care at EvergreenHealth and in the community.

Robert E. Geise, MD, CWS, an infectious disease specialist at EvergreenHealth Infectious Disease Care, will serve as Medical Staff President, and pediatric hospitalist James O’Callaghan, MD assumes the role of Medical Staff Vice President. Scott Burks, MD, who served as Medical Staff President from January 2014 through December 2015, will remain in a leadership role as Medical Staff Immediate Past President.

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City Council, community to celebrate 85th Street

City Council, community to celebrate 85th Street

Ceremony honors completion of Kirkland’s

most ambitious street-related project


City Council Members, residents and officials from the Transportation Improvement Board and the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce will celebrate on Feb. 17 the completion of the Northeast 85th Street Improvements project during an 11 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. The ceremony will take place at Honda of Kirkland’s south lot just west of Northeast 85th Street’s intersection with 124th Avenue Northeast. Attendees can park in the Walgreen’s parking lot on the east side of 124th Avenue Northeast.

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Musings on Kirkland's Plastic Bag Ban and Opposing City Hall

Musings on Kirkland's Plastic Bag Ban and Opposing City Hall

On March 1st, the City Council's plastic bag ban goes into effect at most retail establishments. Retailers may provide shoppers with paper bags but if they do, they must charge the customer a minimum of five-cents per bag.

There was the usual list of pros and cons to consider by the council before voting 6-1 in favor of the plastic bag ban ordinance last March. What makes this one so controversial to some is that 69% of Kirkland citizens opposed the measure according to the city's own survey.  Surveys are paraded before the public when they support what City Hall wishes to enact. Interestingly, those surveys which contradict the council wishes seem to not be paraded around as much. Odd how that works.

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King County Water Taxi Service from Kirkland-UW to be Studied

King County is considering expanding water taxi service to Lake Washington, including a dock at Kirkland's Marina Park. King5 News ran a story on the subject ( yesterday suggesting that King County could take three years to study the options of bringing pedestrian-only water taxis on Lake Washington from Kenmore and Kirkland to the UW and from Ballard to Downtown Seattle.

The King County Council will be getting a report on Ferry Expansion Options to provide:
•    An assessment of passenger-only ferry expansion options, consistent with the strategic plan adopted by the Ferry District, which builds on new transit options that are projected to be delivered through Sound Transit's University Link and other funded regional transit expansions being delivered in the next decade.
•    An assessment of facilities, service options, community interest and readiness and cost estimates for both capital and operations.

The Final Report on Ferry Expansion Options will help the County address the following goals and strategies from the Marine Division strategic plan adopted by the King County Ferry District:
•    GOAL: Integrate Water Taxi Service with Broader Regional Transportation System and Economy  
•    Strategy 16: Determine feasible routes for expansion of passenger-only service within King County
It is estimated that development of the Interim and Final Reports on Ferry Expansion Options has cost approximately $190,000. 



LETTER | Supplemental EIS for Potala Village and Possible New Shorelines Permit

LETTER | Supplemental EIS for Potala Village and Possible New Shorelines Permit

Numerous citizens noted that the Potala Village proposal has grown more than 25% since the Environmental Impact Study was done. 

Recently, city staff noted that whether a Supplemental EIS or an Addendum would be required was a decision that will be made by the SEPA Responsible Authority, Eric Shields.  It was indicated that this decision was not yet made.

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LETTER | Support Transit on I-405 and Keep CKC Non-motorized

Dear Editor,

Bellevue is now considering a Grand Connection bike and pedestrian only project downtown, which will connect Meydenbauer Bay and Auto-row/Eastlink.  Reason? Make downtown more livable and pedestrian-friendly. Check it out! .

Meanwhile, the Kirkland City Council is aggressively working on ways to destroy the CKC trail that we already have, instead of trying to further improve it and connect it to other parks in the city and to other trails in the region. Go figure. They are still stuck in the past…

Ask the Kirkland City Council to switch their support from transit on the CKC to BRT on I-405!

Shawn Etchevers

Expert Review Panel for “Sound Transit 3” to discuss methods for estimating costs and projecting ridership, among other topics


An independent Expert Review Panel for Sound Transit’s Phase 3 Planning for the Regional Transit Long-Range Plan will meet on February 8 – 9 in Seattle to review key methodologies, correspondence from local cities, and financial planning. The 10-member panel was appointed by Governor Jay Inslee, the chairs of the state House and Senate transportation committees (Rep. Judy Clibborn and Sen. Curtis King), and Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson, in accordance with state legislation (RCW 81.104.110).


On Monday, February 8, the panel will convene at 9:00 a.m. at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel Alaska Ballroom, 612 Second Ave. in Seattle. The day’s agenda includes an independent review of ST3 cost estimation methods; and presentations and discussion on light rail operations alternatives, operation and maintenance costs, and the ST3 financial plan.


On Tuesday, February 9, the panel will reconvene at 9:00 a.m. at the Courtyard Marriott for briefings and discussion of cost estimating and project scheduling, ridership forecasting, letters received from local jurisdictions about the ST3 potential projects, and possible federal grants.


The role of the panel is to pose and assess critical questions, help guide the preparation of the Sound Transit 3 Plan through the panel’s review of key methodologies and assumptions, and ensure the assumptions in the plan are appropriate and reasonable. The panel’s technical review of the plan is necessary to guarantee that Sound Transit’s Board can make appropriate decisions for Sound Transit 3 investments in the region’s high-capacity transportation system.


The nine panel members were selected from across the nation. Collectively their expertise spans key technical areas, including project cost estimating, capital finance plan review, ridership forecasting, modal analysis, legal and political architecture of Sound Transit’s legislative charter, environmental impact statement preparation, local design and constructability, and transit operations and maintenance.


For the meeting agenda and more information about the panel, visit: