Sound Transit dedicates Kirkland Transit Center
Sound Transit marked a major milestone today when it dedicated its new Kirkland Transit Center at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The transit center, located at Third Street and Park Lane, opens for service tomorrow, Feb. 26.
Sound Transit Board Chair and Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon, King County Councilmember Jane Hague, Kirkland Mayor Joan McBride, Sound Transit Board Vice Chair and Issaquah Deputy Council President Fred Butler, and artist Carolyn Law spoke at the event.
"We would like to thank the City of Kirkland, King County Metro, King County Wastewater Treatment, and King County Library Systems for their partnership in making the Kirkland Transit Center a reality for the commuters who will use its services every day," said Sound Transit Board Chair and Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon. "Our new transit center will improve the speed and reliability of ST Express and Metro bus services, make it easier and safer for riders to connect to local and regional destinations, and serve as a popular gathering place for the city's many civic attractions."
Just a few blocks from the heart of downtown Kirkland, the new transit center will improve local and express bus service to some of the city's key destinations - the pool and fields of Peter Kirk Park, the Kirkland Performance Center, and the recently expanded Kirkland Library - and serve as an important regional hub for Sound Transit and King County Metro Transit bus connections.
The $13.3 million project replaces a 22-year-old facility with an open-air, pedestrian-friendly design that includes six bus bays, five passenger shelters, new pedestrian lighting, improved traffic signals, landscaping, and bicycle storage. A spacious civic plaza and 71-foot trellis provide a gateway to the park, and a staircase laid with intricately cut granite blocks entitled "Social Intricacy/The Beach" by artist Carolyn Law forms a gathering place for transit users and other visitors.
"Kirkland enthusiastically welcomes this new transit center as our new 'place to be' in downtown," noted Mayor Joan McBride. "It brings great connectivity for transit riders, visitors, and business patrons."
Sound Transit planned the project in cooperation with the City of Kirkland, King County Metro, King County Wastewater Treatment Division, and King County Library System. This included working with the county to install piping and upgrade sewer lines for the planned upgrade of its wastewater treatment pump station, and collaborating with Kirkland Library to design the staircase sculpture that abuts the library building.
Starting in 2010 and continuing through 2011, Metro and Sound Transit are increasing transit service from Kirkland and other Eastside locations on the State Route 520 corridor to provide more alternatives to driving when bridge tolling begins this spring.
The Kirkland Transit Center, one of Sound Transit's last bus-related capital projects from the Sound Move ballot measure passed by voters in 1996, will accommodate 587 bus trips a day and serve the following eight regional and local bus routes:
ST Express Route 540 - University of Washington
Metro Route 230 - Bellevue, Redmond and Totem Lake
Metro Route 234 - Kenmore and Bellevue
Metro Route 236 - Totem Lake and Woodinville
Metro Route 238 - Bothell, Totem Lake
Metro Route 245 - Overlake, Factoria
Metro Route 248 - Redmond, Avondale
Metro Route 255 - Downtown Seattle, Kingsgate
More information about the Kirkland Transit Center is available at www.soundtransit.org/kirkland.