CT proposes redevelopment of Smokey Point Transit Center

From left, Community Transit coach operator Michael Blank and Capital Project Manager Dan Jerome discuss the proposed redevelopment of the Smokey Point Transit Center.  - Kirk Boxleitner
From left, Community Transit coach operator Michael Blank and Capital Project Manager Dan Jerome discuss the proposed redevelopment of the Smokey Point Transit Center.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

SMOKEY POINT — A proposed redevelopment of the Smokey Point Transit Center was presented to the public by Community Transit representatives to solicit the community’s input.

The Smokey Point Community Church hosted the open house the afternoon of Oct. 13, where Community Transit Customer Relations Manager Art Brueul and Capital Project Manager Dan Jerome answered questions and explained how the proposed redevelopment is designed to improve the commutes of both bus riders and other vehicle drivers.

“We’re looking to provide better safety and better security in an environmentally friendly way,” Brueul said.

The redeveloped Transit Center, located at the southwest corner of Smokey Point Boulevard and Smokey Point Drive at 174th Street NE, would no longer locate its bus stops out on the street, but would instead create five bus bays with space for bus layovers, thereby cutting down on congestion. The Transit Center would include shelters, benches, trash receptacles and an information kiosk for convenience and comfort, as well as bright lighting, security camera and landscaping designed to deter crime.

“It’s called Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, or CPTED,” Jerome said. “The energy-efficient lighting will afford greater visibility, and they’ll have shelter cover where none exists now. Unlike the current setup, it’ll also be ADA-accessible, so that people with wheelchairs can use it.”

Jerome touted the proposed Transit Center’s storm water renovation as another environmentally progressive measure, and noted that each bus bay would allow its buses to arrive and depart independently of one another, thereby further improving the traffic flow. At the same time, he doesn’t expect that a renovated Transit Center would serve more than its five current routes, due to funding limitations.

“The surrounding landowners seem to like the idea, and the city of Arlington has looked favorably on the data we’ve obtained so far,” said Jerome, who added that Community Transit has not yet purchased the land for the redevelopment. Before it can do so, the agency must complete national and state environmental permitting processes, with input from the city of Arlington and the Federal Transit Administration.

Jerome expects this to take until the start of next year, after which further public input will be solicited, the design process will continue to build on that input and the land will likely be purchased by the end of 2011. If the current tentative schedule meets its marks, the groundbreaking and construction for the redevelopment should take place in 2012, in time for the planned opening of the redeveloped Transit Center in 2013.

“Our goal is to get comments from the public, whether pro or con,” Jerome said. “We already moved our zones because of feedback from our customers. The value of community involvement in this process is that it makes it more their own.”

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