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Transit plan includes local projects
The Community Transit Board of Directors last week unanimously approved the agencys six-year transit development plan, which includes several projects that will or potentially could impact both Marysville and Arlington.
Potential projects or studies could include Community Transit collaborating with local governments to determine how mass transit might improve traffic flow along congested traffic routes.
Some of the traffic corridors affected include: North Broadway/State Avenue/Smokey Point Boulevard in Everett, Marysville and Arlington; Fourth Street/64th Street NE in Marysville; and, SR 531/172nd Street NE in Arlington.
Community Transit spokesman Tom Pearce said those three routes are among 10 transit emphasis corridors in Snohomish County. The streets could end up hosting branches of the new Swift bus rapid transit system, the first stretch of which is included in the new six-year plan.
According to Pearce, the first Swift bus line will run from Everett to Aurora Village near the Snohomish/King county border. The line should be up and running in 2009.
More immediately, the six-year plan calls for development of a number of park and ride facilities, including one in Marysville and one in the Smokey Point area.
At the same meeting during which they approved the six-year plan, the transit board also selected Perteet Inc., to complete design and engineering work for a new Marysville park and ride to be constructed at the corner of Cedar Avenue and Grove Street.
The Everett-based company will complete soil and water studies as well as designing the park and ride. The facility should accommodate between 200 and 250 vehicles, along with a bus platform. The cost for this portion of the project was given as $350,000. Community Transit expects to open the new complex in 2009.
Pearce said the Grove/Cedar park and ride will supplement, not replace, any existing facilities in Marysville. The transit system already has facilities at Ash Avenue and Sixth Street; at Ash and Second Street; and, at 116th Street just west of I-5. Even with a combined total of 346 parking spaces, Pearce said those facilities generally are at or near capacity.
We already have a lot of parking in Marysville, Pearce said, but the demand is there and we want to meet the demand.
There is a real need for more park and ride space in Snohomish County, Joyce Eleanor, Community Transit CEO said in a press release. We expect the need to double in the next 10 years. The demand in North Snohomish County continues to grow and we appreciate the cooperation weve had from the city of Marysville.
Pearce said the transit system still is in the process of selecting a site for a Smokey Point area park and ride.
Overall, the six-year plan calls for increasing Community Transit ridership by 50 percent from 2005 levels to 13 million passengers in 2012. According to Pearce, the Swift bus rapid transit system, or BRT, will be a key factor in meeting that goal.
Pearce added that, essentially, the BRT is designed to rapidly move commuters over short distances. The system is a sort of combination of bus and light rail, with stations instead of stops. The stops will number fewer than on a normal bus line and will sit one to two miles apart. The first stretch from Everett to the county line should have 15 stops in both directions along its 16.7-mile length.
Pearce continued that at station houses, lighted signs will announce how long until the next bus arrives. Buses also can make use of a system which forces traffic lights to stay green a few seconds longer, allowing buses to move more quickly along their routes. Pearce noted the traffic light control system will not be as dramatic as that employed by many police departments, that traffic lights will not switch automatically when a bus approaches.