I wrote the following in hopes of presenting it to Mercer Island residents at their Jan 14th meeting at their Community Center. It was an opportunity to explain to island residents how Sound Transit’s East Link will end their easy access into Seattle and why the ST Integrated Transit Service will result in the MI light rail station being inundated with thousands of transit riders every morning and afternoon attempting to transfer to and from over-crowded light rail cars. It was a major disappointment I was not allowed to do so as “East Link” was not on the meeting’s “agenda”. I’m certain residents will eventually learn to regret that decision if the lack of "public awareness" results in the city council approving the permits needed for East Link to proceed.
East Link Impact On Mercer Island
1) Mercer Island residents will lose their easy access to Seattle for a light rail system that provides one 4-car train every 8 minutes, or thirty 74-seat cars an hour.
2) MI residents and transit riders forced to transfer to trains at MI light rail station will have a particularly difficult time accessing this limited light rail capacity during the peak commute hours since the cars will likely be full before they even reach MI.
3) The 200 ft drop off and pick up areas cannot possibly accommodate the 84 buses per hour the ST Integrated Transit System (ITS) expects to route to and from MI Station during peak commute. Riders attempting to transfer to buses on the return commute will have a particularly difficult time making connections.
4) MI Single Occupancy Vehicles will have a particularly difficult time accessing I-90 outer roadway. The increased congestion due to the loss of center roadway and additional drivers forced to drive because of limited light rail capacity will require severe “throttling” by I-90 onramp control lights.
5) Once on I-90, MI commuters will join all the other vehicles facing inevitable gridlock on the route into Seattle.
6) All of this can be avoided if MI disallows the permit ST needs.