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CT board decides to revamp Smokey Point transit center

SMOKEY POINT — A proposed park-and-ride in Smokey Point has been scrapped and the old transit center on Smokey Point Drive will be revamped.

Community Transit's board of directors decided Sept. 4 to pursue acquisition of about an acre of land adjacent to the old bus stop to make it work under new conditions.

"Ever since the overpass project was completed with C-burbing in the center of 172nd, the buses have not been using that bus stop," said Tom Pierce of CT.

"They weren't able to turn left coming in from I-5."

That was in 2005.

The CT Board decided at its last regular monthly board meeting to launch the process to redevelop the old Smokey Point Transit Center on Smokey Point Drive, across Smokey Point Boulevard from 174th Street.

"Since the RTED failed, we had no money for the bigger project at 168th Street," Pierce said. He also noted that the community was not supportive of that proposal.

"With another acre, we can revamp the bus stop so that buses can pull in, off of Smokey Point Boulevard, to turn around," Pierce explained.

"It will be much safer for people changing buses. It will primarily serve as a transfer station. There will be no parking available," Pierce said.

Parking is available across the boulevard, however, in the parking lot of the Smokey Point Community Church, where 20 spaces are used by bus commuters on a regular basis and there is space for about 30, according to a church employee.

CT facilities department will soon start the property acquisition process and work on a design for the new transit center to provide a safe, convenient place for people to transfer between routes.

The project should cost about $2.5 - $3.5 million.

Under the plan, CT will end consideration of developing a larger transit center that would have included parking and retail shops at Smokey Point Boulevard and 169th Street NE.

Arlington's mayor, Margaret Larson sits on the CT board and she was happy about the decision to rework the old bus stop.

"I think it's a good thing," she said. "This plan will at least meet half their needs.

Meanwhile, a new park-n-ride transit center at Cedar and Grove in Marysville will break ground in early 2009.

For information about Community Transit services call 425-353-RIDE or 800-562-1375 for bus information, or 888-814-1300 for carpool or vanpool information, or go to www.communitytransit.org.

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