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Five Ways to Winterize Your Commute

Posted on December 23, 2021

Source: https://www.commuteoptions.org/cold-weather-commuting-2/
Source: https://www.commuteoptions.org/cold-weather-commuting-2/

As the weather turns, the colder, harsher climate makes it more difficult to venture outside as much as before. However, below are some tips and tricks to winterize your commute and other local travel this season. 

1.    Create a Holiday Playlist
        a.    Nothing will make your bus ride go by faster than by getting in the winter spirit with a holiday playlist. Whether the songs are new or old, a holiday playlist is a sure way to make your season merry and bright!
2.    Get Water-Resistant or Waterproof Gear 
        a.    Rain is its own challenge when you’re riding your bike or walking and getting wet in winter can be a quick way to ending your commute motivation. Avoid soggy wet clothes by commuting in casual rainwear. Also, check out this classic 2012 post (including helpful reader comments) from Seattle Bike Blog.
3.    Don’t Let Your Phone Die
        a.    Keep a handwarmer handy! Not for the reason you think though. Cell phone batteries run out very fast in freezing temperatures, and the last thing you want is to be without a means of communication. Put a handwarmer in your pocket with your phone to keep its battery from draining quickly.
4.    Drivers of Carpools and Vanpools, Prepare for Tough Road Conditions
        a.    Drive slowly
        b.    Accelerate and decelerate slowly
        c.    Increase your following distance
        d.    Give yourself more time and space to stop
5.    Dress in layers
        a.    This cannot be emphasized enough. The only thing worse than freezing outside is stepping into a building that has the thermostat set to 80 degrees while wearing a parka. Layers make removing extra articles of clothing much easier and will often keep you feeling warmer than just wearing a single jacket or coat.
Also, be sure to check out King County Metro’s “Get Ready for Winter” blog post to help you get around in cold, wet and windy weather.
I hope you find these quick tips and tricks useful for your winter commuting and trip-taking. Until next time, stay safe and stay warm! 

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Travis
 

 

Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards: 2021 in Review

Posted on December 22, 2021

end of year cywb rso 2021

Trip Logging

After a quiet year in 2020, we’ve taken a look at all the trips Choose Your Way Bellevue commuters have logged in 2021 and broken it down by the numbers. It's been quite a year for Choose Your Way Bellevue commuters! You've managed to log impressive travel mode numbers (including doubling of telework trips logged compared to 2019). You've logged the following numbers by type of trip:

  • 44,139 telework

  • 8,239 carpool

  • 7,837 bus

  • 5,053 biking

  • 1,111 walking

  • 766 vanpool

  • In all, 858,839 million non-drive-alone miles

That's a pretty big deal! Not to mention - these trip types reflect some big savings compared to driving alone:

  • 746,375 pounds of carbon dioxide saved

  • 37,467 gallons of gas saved

  • $283,215 in monetary savings

You've been quite interested in finding ride matches as well, with over 45,000 ride match requests sent!

Note: You can learn how to create a ride match with our handy infographic!

Don’t forget to continue logging your trips by signing up or logging in at www.ChooseYourWayBellevue.org/rewards. For a limited time, our “Return-to-Travel campaign is offering a guaranteed $50 reward to all participants who log 25 days of non-drive-alone travel (other than telework or compressed work week) in Bellevue! Reward types include Spotify, Hulu and REI. Not to mention, an exciting drawing for a $500 pair of headphones for a “Super Traveler” logging 50 days of such travel within a three-month period. Check it out and get logging!

 

-Choose Your Way staffer Alex

 

Data pulled for 1/1/21-12/15/21

 

 

Commuting to Season of Cheer

Posted on December 20, 2021

socpg

 

This December, help spread joy and participate in the Season of Cheer in Bellevue! After a year of celebrating the holidays within the confines of our homes, now is your chance to get back out (safely) and get your nog on! Below are tips and info on the best ways to get to and from major events in Bellevue for the last few weeks of the year:

Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink Presented by Symetra

Cycling - Utilize the high-comfort bike lanes southbound on 108th Avenue and westbound on Main Street to get to Bellevue Downtown Park. Use the Bellevue Bike map or the bike icon on Google Maps to help plan your bike trip. Check out the Downtown Bike Parking and Amenities Map for bike parking locations.

Carpool - Make the most of the open seats in your car, grab some friends and head to Bellevue Downtown Park where free parking is provided. If the lot is full, you can park in Bellevue Square mall parking (entrances off of Northeast Fourth and Eighth Streets or 100th Avenue Northeast) and take a short walk down 100th Avenue or Bellevue Way to get to the rink.

Bus & Walk - Take the bus to the Bellevue Transit Center, walk directly west on the pedestrian corridor (Northeast Sixth Street) to Bellevue Way, and walk two blocks south to get to the rink at the Downtown Park. For a walking map, use our Downtown Pedestrian Guide.

Snowflake Lane

slas

Cycling - Utilize the high-comfort bike lanes on 108th Avenue Northeast (Main to Northeast Twelfth Streets) and Main Street (Bellevue Way to 108th Avenue Northeast) to get to Bellevue Way to enjoy the experience on Bellevue way between Nov. 26  and Dec. 24. Check out the Bellevue Bike Map or use the bike icon in Google Maps directions to help plan your bike trip. Check out the Downtown Bike Parking and Amenities Map for public bike parking locations.

Carpool - Free vehicle parking is provided at Bellevue Square mall, and getting to Snowflake Lane is a short walk away from Bellevue Square parking.

Bus - Take the bus to the Bellevue Transit Center and walk westbound on the pedestrian corridor (Northeast Sixth Street) to make your way to Snowflake Lane.

Meydenbauer Center Theatre

sochp

Cycling - The new bike lane on 112th Avenue Northeast from Northeast Eighth Street to SR 520 provides access to Meydenbauer Center Theatre. Use the Bellevue Bike Map or use the bike icon in Google Maps directions to help plan your route accordingly.

Carpool - Vehicle parking is provided at the Meydenbauer Center. The first 30 minutes is free, while the first hour costs $5 and increases from there. Carpooling allows you to share the cost!

Bus - We recommend taking the bus to the Bellevue Transit Center and making a short walk eastbound on Northeast Sixth Street to get to the Meydenbauer Center.

Garden d'Lights

gdl

Cycling - Utilize bike lanes on portions of Northeast Fourth Street, 120th Avenue Northeast and 118th Avenue Northeast from the west; or 116th Avenue Northeast from the north. Use the Bellevue Bike Map or use the bike icon on Google Maps to plan your trip accordingly.

Carpool – Parking is provided at Bellevue Botanical Garden and costs $5 per vehicle.

Bus - We recommend taking the 271 bus route that will drop you off at [116th Avenue Southeast and Southeast First Street] right by Bellevue Botanical Garden. From there, walk north on Southeast First Street, then east on Main Street until you get to Garden d'Lights.

 

General tips on some options

Cycling

Use the Bellevue Bike Map or the Google Maps bike icon in “Directions” for help planning your trip and the Downtown Bike Parking and Amenities Map for downtown bike rack locations. For a hybrid bus/bike trip, learn how to put your bike on a King County Metro or Sound Transit bus here. Note that it is permissible to walk your bike on the downtown pedestrian corridor on Northeast Sixth Street between the Bellevue Transit Center and Bellevue Square (on Bellevue Way).

Carpool

Bellevue Way will be closed from Northeast Fourth Street to Northeast Eighth Street, 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. nightly, from Nov. 26 through Dec. 24.

Free parking is available at:

  • Bellevue Downtown Park

  • Bellevue Square Mall

Keep in mind that this is an extremely traffic-heavy time of year and finding parking can often be a challenge. You can help everyone get around more easily by trying other methods of transportation such as biking or busing!

Transit + Walk

We recommend taking the bus to the Bellevue Transit Center at Northeast Sixth Street between 108th and 110th Avenues Northeast. It is a transportation hub and requires just a short walk to the Meydenbauer Center Theatre, Snowflake Lane and the Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink. Use our Downtown Pedestrian Guide to help you to your reach final destination on foot or by wheelchair. All Sound Transit and Metro buses are wheelchair accessible. Fare information for bus riding:

  • Fare amounts are posted on Metro and Sound Transit websites.

  • Carry your exact bus fare in cash or have your ORCA card ready to go. Use the Puget Sound Trip Planner or transit icon on Google Maps directions to plan your trip accordingly, or ask Choose Your Way Bellevue for help.

  • Free fares for children: Up to four children ages five and under always ride free with a paying adult on Sound Transit and Metro buses.

This is our first year back experiencing the holiday magic in person, so please remember to wear a mask when necessary, maintain a safe distance from others and stay safe. Click here more information on the Season of Cheer and what Bellevue has to offer for December festivities.

Happy Holidays!

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Alex

 

 

Vanpool Stories - Pablo L.

Posted on November 23, 2021

Vanpool 1

 

Welcome to the next entry in our new Choose Your Way Bellevue Blog storytelling series, Vanpool Stories. For our second story, we interviewed Pablo L., a longstanding member of a vanpool group. Pablo provided us with some fun details on how Vanpool has had a positive spin on his commute – check it out!

Q: How did you hear about vanpooling and your employer subsidy?
A: Via internal communications that explained the benefit available to employees. I joined the vanpool program some 8~10 years ago.

Q: How did you find the other riders in your vanpool? How did you recruit for the driver or bookkeeper role?
A: Word of mouth and reaching out (inviting others to give it a try and start using it). To encourage one to be a driver we elaborate on the benefits of controlling the schedule through shared responsibility and, if you opt for personal usage, the added advantage of ad-hoc (pay per mile). We have two bookkeepers (I am one) and we just saw it as a responsible way to use this benefit.

Q: What do you enjoy about your vanpool commute? What do you not enjoy about your vanpool commute?
A: Being able to talk to coworkers and, in some cases, folks who work in other places. I also like the sense of schedule (when to commute to avoid “overworking”). This benefit is also the flip side of its main disadvantage, not having flexibility to leave earlier or stay late without impacting others.

Q: Why did you start vanpooling?
A: We were first carpooling using our own cars and rotating who drove. We realized that with the van we did not have to put wear and tear on our cars while also having something more comfortable when 5~7 of us ride together.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about vanpooling or something you didn’t expect as you signed up for the program?
A: That we could use it for personal purposes (pay per mile) if you sign-up for that option. It also surprised me how disciplined we can be to ensure we stick to a schedule.
 

vanpool pic pablo

 Pablo's Vanpool Group

Q: What is the biggest benefit for you as a vanpooler?
A: Time to commute by using the HOV lane and, yes, the fact that it is subsidized (in our case, very little out of pocket as we have a good amount of riders).

Q: Do you have suggestions to improve the program?
A: To automate and streamline where we drive and when we drive. This will allow others to more easily identify routes that may work for others, even if just for a few days a week. This means, [the] portal needs to improve so we can ask “who commutes from point A to point B?” and provide a range (e.g., within one mile or five miles).

Q: How does your group coordinate communication about who is riding in the vanpool or who is driving each day? Or, making sure the driver has a key for the vehicle? 
A: We use group messaging (in our case, WhatsApp). We also distribute the three keys through the main drivers or those who most regularly commute (it has been upside down since COVID-19 started).

Q: Have you recommended vanpool to a friend or co-worker, and what are the advantages to vanpool that you would highlight?
A: Yes, we have recommended [vanpooling]. The main benefits are time to commute and money saved. The other “plus” is discipline to reach a work-life balance.

Q: Is there something unique about your vanpool group that you’d like to share? 
A: While we do not do happy hours, we have one extra stop a few days a week to allow one rider (in this case, me) to meet with another person and go hiking after work without disrupting the commute (at best, adding five minutes when we are already more than halfway  through the commute). We listen mostly to news stations.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share about your vanpool experience?
A: For future vanpools to come with both Bluetooth receiver to allow for hands-free [use of a device while] driving. 
 
A big thank you to Pablo for sharing his vanpooling story! Keep track of the latest information and tips on vanpooling at our Choose Your Way Bellevue Share the Ride page. And stay tuned for our next entry in the Vanpool Stories blog series. If you’d like your story to be shared, please reach out to info@cywb.org!

-Choose Your Way staffer Alex
 

 

Vanpool Stories – John B.

Posted on October 28, 2021

vep

 

Welcome to the first entry in our new Choose Your Way Bellevue Blog storytelling series, Vanpool Stories. For our first story, we interviewed John Baumgaertner, a primary driver of a long-running vanpool from Maple Valley to the Northwest Corner of Bellevue. John gave us the full scoop on how Vanpool has had a positive spin on his commute – read on!


Q: How did you hear about vanpool and your employer subsidy?

A: When I first started working in Bellevue in 2005 my employer issued me an ORCA Card. I started off riding the bus into Bellevue. I needed to ride three different buses to get to my place of employment. After about a year of doing that I moved and it made it more difficult to ride the bus to and from work. I found a vanpool coming from the area that I was living in and I was able to ride the van in the morning and the bus in the afternoon. About 6 months goes by and my shift changed and I was able to ride in my van to and from work - I've been in it ever since. I have been the primary driver for about 5 years now.


Q: How did you find the other riders in your vanpool? How did you recruit for the driver or bookkeeper role?

A: All the members in our van all work at the same location. We take on new riders when there is a vacancy. Usually, it's just one at a time. Mostly, they find us through word of mouth through our organization. We've had the same bookkeeper for many years and she does a great job. Our van has never found a need for another bookkeeper. As for drivers, some riders do not want to take on the responsibility of driving, but they also find it frustrating when the van is not running because of lack of backup drivers. It seems like after riding for a while people become comfortable and then volunteer to be a backup driver.


Q: What do you enjoy about your vanpool commute? What do you not enjoy about your vanpool commute?

A: I enjoy riding in the van and sharing my commute with others. I enjoy keeping the wear and tear off of my personal vehicle and also saving on fuel. We have enough ridership that our ORCA cards from our company pays for the entire van. Most of the years I've been riding in the van have cost me nothing. There's not much I don't like about the vanpool. If I had to mention one thing, it would be a rider that is consistently late. But we run a pretty tight ship and that usually is not a problem. With several conversations and with the rider being left at the stop they begin to understand how important it is to be on time. Everybody in our vanpool gets along well and is understanding of one another.


Q: Why did you start vanpooling?

A: I started riding the bus and vanpooling to save money, I also wanted to keep the miles down on my personal vehicle. I find it more relaxing than driving my own vehicle. Plus, the Puget Sound commutes can be slow, so it's nice to have a conversation with other riders.


Q: Is there anything that surprised you about vanpooling or something you didn’t expect as you signed up for the program?

A: I guess the thing that surprised me is how much I enjoyed it, and how much I missed it when COVID-19 hit. We shut the van down for about 8 months. I was grateful when we got the van going again. We normally ride in a 15-passenger van, but we started off after COVID-19 with a seven-passenger and moved our way back up to our 15-passenger van that we previously had. 
 

john vanpool

John's Vanpool Group

Q: What is the biggest benefit for you as a vanpooler?

A: The biggest benefit of being a vanpooler in my opinion is keeping wear and tear off your own vehicle and saving on gas while enjoying the company of others around you. Some of us chat on the way home and others can take a nap. I think everybody in our van finds it relaxing.


Q: How does your group coordinate communication about who is riding in the vanpool or who is driving each day? Or, making sure the driver has a key for the vehicle? 

A: Coordinating who is going to be in the van the next day is just through word of mouth. Since I am the primary driver people let me know when they will not be in the van. A lot of times they will send me a text notifying me, we only make two stops and it's not too hard to keep track of. When we got our van we were given multiple keys. Enough keys for each driver. I guess the more difficult aspect would be how we switch drivers of the van. If the primary driver is gone a backup driver would be taking the van. This usually means they will be parking it at their house. We try to coordinate this the day or weekend before the next commute. Everyone is very flexible and willing to do what it takes to keep our van running. That could be taking the van to their home, going to another home to pick it up and bring it back home or simply commuting from the place in which it was parked.


Q: Have you recommended vanpool to a friend or co-worker and what are the advantages to vanpool that you would highlight?

A: I have on multiple occasions suggested vanpooling to others. The benefits of vanpooling are that it's relaxing, you can nap, and you can talk to others in the van or use your phone. You can also simply meditate and look out the window and enjoy the ride home. You even could listen to a an audiobook. You're simply along for the ride.


Q: Is there something unique about your vanpool group that you’d like to share? 

A: There is nothing really unique about our van. I would say we have some long-riding members in it. Everyone is pretty relaxed and easy going.


Q: Is there anything else you would like to share about your vanpool experience?

A: I believe vanpooling is a good way to go. It takes many cars off the road. In our case about ten. It saves wear and tear on our personal vehicles and saves gas money. You can relax until you get to your destination, get caught up on personal or work items or simply make that call to that someone who has been on your mind. I have been involved in the program for many years, and I intend to stay involved for many more to come.

 

Many thanks to John for sharing his vanpooling story! Keep track of the latest information and tips on vanpooling at our Choose Your Way Bellevue Share the Ride page. And stay tuned for our next entry in the Vanpool Stories blog series. If you’d like your story to be shared, please reach out to info@cywb.org!


-Choose Your Way staffer Alex
 

 

The fall service change is about more than three new Seattle Link Light Rail stations! [UPDATED]

Posted on September 27, 2021

Update: This post has been updated to reflect the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride’s Re-Opening on Nov. 13

How the October service change will affect Bellevue travelers

btcpic
Bellevue Transit Center

Big changes are coming to King County Metro and Sound Transit service starting Oct. 2. The changes include connections to three new Link light rail stations opening in Seattle! In addition, changes include updated service and restoration of previously suspended routes, many in Bellevue. Wondering how this will affect your travel in and out of Bellevue? Check out details below:

 

Restored Routes

Metro will restore the following routes that have been fully suspended. Read on for links to the new timetables, and route descriptions.

·        114 – Lake Kathleen to Downtown Seattle (stops in Newport Hills)

·        214 – Issaquah to Downtown Seattle (stops at Eastgate Park & Ride)

·        216 – Bear Creek Park & Ride to Downtown Seattle (stops at Eastgate Park & Ride)

·        217 – Downtown Seattle to North Issaquah (stops in Factoria and at Eastgate Park & Ride)

·        221* – Redmond Transit Center to Eastgate Park & Ride (stops in Crossroads)

·        226* – Eastgate Park & Ride to Bellevue Transit Center

·        232 – Bellevue to Duvall

·        237 – Bellevue to Woodinville

·        246 – Clyde Hill to Eastgate Park & Ride

·        249 – Redmond Technology Station to Bellevue Transit Center (see additional revision below)

·        250 – Avondale to Bellevue Transit Center, fully restore weekday service

·        271* – Issaquah to University District

·        342 – Renton Transit Center to Aurora Village Transit Center

·        981 – Mercer Island Park & Ride to Totem Lake (stops at Bellevue Transit Center)

·        989 – Factoria to Haller Lake

·        Sound Transit 556* – Issaquah to University District

*Additional details:

221 will have three weekday, three Saturday and five Sunday trips restored (restores the suspended night service)

226 will have 12 Saturday trips restored (returns to full original Saturday service level)

271 will have partial restoration of service on weekdays and weekends (this restores it to 15 minute or better frequency on weekdays until 7 p.m., fully restores Saturday service, and restores service after 8 pm in Issaquah)

556 will have service restored between U District Station and Issaquah via Bellevue – service operates in peak periods every 30 minutes; effective Monday, Oct. 4

 

Revised Routes

The following will have routing or schedule revisions. Read on for timetable links and information.

·        241 – Eastgate Park & Ride to Bellevue Transit Center

o   Serves Bay 2 at new South Bellevue Station bus loop at the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride as of Nov. 13, 2021.

·        249 – Redmond Technology Station to Bellevue Transit Center

o   Serves Bay 3 at the new South Bellevue Station bus loop (South Bellevue Park-and-Ride) as of Nov. 13, 2021.

·        ST 532 – Everett to Bellevue

o   Schedule adjustments, effective Monday, October 4

·        ST 535 – Lynwood to Bellevue

o   Restore midday frequencies to 30 minutes, effective Saturday, October 2

·        ST 550 – Bellevue to Downtown Seattle

o   Serves Bay 2 at the new South Bellevue Station bus loop at the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride as of Nov. 13, 2021.

Additional courtesy stop along Bellevue Way due to prior suspension of Metro Route 249 will no longer be served, because Metro Route 249 is restored

For more details on the service change, check out King County Metro and Sound Transit pages on the topic.

 

Sources:

·        King County Metro Service Change Page

·        Sound Transit Service Change Page

·        King County Metro service planning staff

·        Sound Transit staff

 

- Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Alex

 

 

Routes Suspended in East King County

Posted on September 27, 2021

rapidridebline

 

The October Service Change is happening this Saturday, October 2. There will be a lot of routes being revised and restored, however, there will be a handful of routes that will be suspended. Below is information from Metro's blog post on the subject.

 

From King County Metro:

East King County

Route 200 (suspended)  

  • In the Issaquah Highlands and Issaquah, use Route 269 (weekdays only w/no deviation off NW Sammamish Road) or Route ST 554.
  • Along Newport Way NW, NW Gilman Road, and Front Street North, use Route 271 or Route ST 554.

Route 219 (suspended

  • Use Route 216
  • Use Route 269 (weekdays only) between Redmond and Issaquah Highlands Park and Ride.
  • Use Route ST 554 between Issaquah Highlands Park and Ride and downtown Seattle.

Route 252 (suspended)  

  • At Kingsgate P&R, use Route 257 or walk or roll to NE 128th Street for Route 311
  • North of the P&R, use routes 239 or 930 to reach routes 255, 257, or 311 at NE 128th Street
  • At NE 128th Street, ST Route 535 connects with ST Route 550 at the Bellevue Transit Center

Sound Transit Express Route 541 (suspended)  

  • Use Route ST 542 between Overlake and the University District.
  • Between the University District and Green Lake, use Route 45.

Sound Transit Express Route 544 (suspended)

  • Between Overlake and Seattle, use Route ST 545 to Seattle.
  • Between South Kirkland P&R and Seattle, use Route 255 and transfer to Route ST 545 at Evergreen Point, or to Route 70 at UW Station.

Sound Transit Express Route 555 (suspended

  • Use Route 271 or ST Express Route 556between Issaquah, Bellevue, and University of Washington.
  • Between University District and Northgate use Link 1 Line or Route 67.

Route 931 (suspended

  • Between Woodinville and Bothell, use Route ST 522
  • Between Woodinville and Redmond, use Route 231 and transfer to Route 250at Kirkland TC.
  • There is no service through Cottage Lake, North Redmond, or on Woodinville-Redmond Road.

To read the full article for details on all suspended routes, click here.

 

Sources:

 

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Alex

 

 

What is Custom Commute Planning?

Posted on August 30, 2021

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Ever want a personal, written guide for you to get from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible? We are here to help! If you want to commute into, out of or within Bellevue using a non-drive-alone mode, we’re the one-stop transportation shop for you. Our services include:

  • Transit
    • We’ll provide you with a detailed stop-by-stop commute, listing bus routes that will make your travel the most efficient as possible. Often, we utilize the King County Metro Trip Planner to provide the most up-to-date information on routes and revisions.
  • Carpool/Vanpool
    • We’ll give you resources to start a carpool or vanpool using our Choose Your Way Bellevue portal to the RideshareOnline regional ridematching service, or, the Choose Your Way Bellevue Vanpool Widget. There are apps also for on-demand ridesharing such as Scoop or Waze Carpool.
  • Biking
    • We’ll help you with using resources like the Choose Your Way Bellevue bike map, which you can download here, and Google Maps.
  • More Resources
    • Not only will we give you a detailed commute plan, we’ll also provide you with links and resources for better commuting. This includes access to non-drive-alone information on our website, details on using RideshareOnline, how ORCA works and more!

Of course, remember that you can always go to www.ChooseYourWayBellevue.org and click on a transportation mode to learn more about.

Don’t forget, the Fall Service Change is coming this October – it will restore much of the service that was cut due to COVID-19! You can learn more about it from both King County Metro and Sound Transit.


-Choose Your Way staffer Alex

 

 

Wilburton Eastrail Survey

Posted on August 30, 2021

wilburton

 

Image and text from the City of Bellevue:

Built on an historic former railroad, the Eastrail trail will eventually connect Eastside cities from Renton all the way to Woodinville and Snohomish County. But the Eastrail has the potential to be much more than a trail.

In 2018 the Wilburton Commercial Area Citizen Advisory Committee presented recommendations to the City Council that envision the Eastrail trail as a signature public space that draws people not just for commuting but to linger and enjoy amenities, art, nature and retail, and community events all along the route. To help make sure this vision is realized the City of Bellevue is partnering with King County Parks and Sound Transit to develop a vision for the portion of the Eastrail trail that runs from SE 5th Street to NE 12th Street in Wilburton.

The goals of this effort are to understand what the community would like to see in this space,  how the trail could integrate with surrounding businesses, and how the trail can be a welcoming space for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. We want to hear from the community about what they would like to see in this section of the Eastrail. Take our short survey by September 3rd to share your feedback and ideas.
 

-Choose Your Way staffer Alex

 

 

Get to Know the Choose Your Way Bellevue Team: Alex Thoman

Posted on July 30, 2021

This new blog series will bring you an interview with different Choose Your Way Bellevue staff, discussing their work and life throughout the last year. This blog’s interviewee is Alex Thoman.

alex

What is your occupation?

I am the TDM Programs & Marketing Specialist for TransManage.

Where do you live and work?

I currently live in Seattle and work for the Bellevue Downtown Association.

How has your work life shifted since the beginning of the pandemic?

I started working from home full-time in March of 2020. It was strange, and something that took a while to get used to. I would wake up, work from my room, relax in my room and sleep in my room. Eventually, I was able to get a better separation between work and home life, dedicated a specific space in my home for work. Since then, I have slowly started coming into the office on a more regular basis.

How has your commute shifted since the beginning of the pandemic?

I was taking the bus to work every day before COVID hit. I stopped commuting to work entirely for a long time and eventually started commuting to work by car every now and then to my office. I try to carpool as much as I can.

What advice would you give to those working from home?

I would say try to have a clear separation of your workspace and your living space. Being in one room or section of a home for too long isn’t healthy. I would also say it’s important to prioritize your mental and physical health. Take breaks when you need to. Go for a walk during a lunch break or in between meetings. Fresh air goes a long way!

What do you do for fun and how do you get there?

I love playing music and watching live shows, as well as going to the movies. That’s been hard to do and nearly nonexistent for a while. Although, that’s slowly starting to change! You can still go see movies in theaters, and that’s always a blast. I usually get to these places by carpooling with my friends.

Want to share your commute story? You can do so through the Mover of the Month reward from our Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards program! Each month, our staff will select one Bellevue traveler's submission, and their story will be featured in our monthly newsletter. Winners will receive $50 towards your bus or vanpool fare in the form of a TranBen voucher or the equivalent in Choose Your Way Bellevue merchandise! There's no need to reapply each month, but feel free to share more than one story with us. Learn more and submit your commute story here.

 

-Choose Your Way staffer Travis

 

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