As a money-saving measure, King County Metro Transit is removing 25 of its No. 3 and 4 stops in Queen Anne.
Metro said the Route 3 and 4 corridor stop spacing project will improve schedule reliability, reduce energy consumption and reduce Metro's operating cost. But 72-year-old Roger Newsum wasn't pleased. For six years he has been living at 1601 Taylor Ave. N. and catching the bus a block from his apartment. Based on Metro's plans, two nearby stops would have been removed along Taylor, forcing Newsum, who uses a walker, to trudge and extra few blocks uphill or down to catch either the No. 3 or No. 4.
"Younger people have a lot of strength, but older people, it's harder," Newsum said. "It won't kill me to walk the extra blocks, but I hate seeing the stops go away."
But Metro has made some updates this week that may please Newsum. After a public comment period, the northbound stop along Taylor Avenue North at West Galer Street and the southbound stop at Taylor Avenue North and West Garfield Street will remain open.
Newsum said he was planning on contacting King County Council member Larry Phillips to address the bus stop closures. Phillips' staff could not find a specific email or in-person discussion with Newsum, but several citizens in Phillips' district, including members of the Queen Anne Community Council, told him through emails and letters about the need to keep some of the stops.
"There was one email from someone living in an apartment [in Queen Anne] who said that older people and people with disabilities had used the stop and that it would be hard for them if it were removed," said Phillips' legislative aide, Leah Zoppi. "The email was then forwarded on to Metro." Zoppi said that Phillips did talk to Metro and advised them that some of the planned closures needed to stay. Zoppi herself attended a Metro staff meeting and found that if there were enough complaints or comments, that Metro was generally "pretty responsive."
The route changes go into effect June 26. Two new stops will go into effect at Boston Street at Second Avenue North, and Taylor Avenue North at West Prospect Street. The following stops are scheduled for closure: Second Avenue North at West Blaine Street (northbound and southbound); West Blaine Street at Warren Avenue North (eastbound); Queen Anne Avenue North at West How Street (northbound and southbound); West Boston Street at Warren Avenue North (westbound); West Boston Street at Third Avenue North (westbound); West Smith Street (southbound); Fifth Avenue North at West Crockett Street (northbound and southbound); Taylor Avenue North at Howe Street (northbound); Taylor Avenue North at West Highland Street (northbound); Taylor Avenue North at Ward Street (northbound).
Metro will also be making more safety stops at railroad crossings due to updated state regulations.
The State of Washington Legislature passed an amended rule that affects public transit, charter buses, school buses, and trucks transporting hazardous material to stop at virtually all crossings, with just a few exceptions. The law went into effect June 10.
So, don't be surprised when a bus slows down and activates its four-way hazard lights when it approaches almost any railroad crossing - including locations where buses may have not stopped before. The buses are required to stop at these crossings whether they have passengers on board or are heading back to the transit base empty.
Metro is asking other motorists on the road to be aware of buses stopped in traffic at these crossings.[[In-content Ad]]