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B-Line Snow day

January 16, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

As everybody probably knows, we were on snow routes across the entire Metro system today. While I must admit I was skeptical about the B-Line snow route, I’ve never been able to come up with a better route that I could picture driving and things actually went pretty smoothly this morning so I’d call it a success. (At least with the road conditions we had today which were a little slick but manageable)

Here are some quick thoughts about the snow route:

Trouble spots

  1. The hill coming down NE 31st St to 152nd Ave NE was a bit dicey. I lost traction a couple of times in this stretch and had to crawl along even more carefully than other areas
  2. The right turn from 148th Ave NE to Redmond Way, heading toward Redmond Transit Center, still had quite a bit of snow and ice on it. While I didn’t lose traction this turn involves crawling down 148th heading toward the traffic light pole as you are turning right.  If right turn lane isn’t kept free of ice, I could easily see losing control here no matter how slow you go.
Suggested Improvements
  1. Once the coach leaves normal routing, the automated stop announcements no longer work. At the stop immediately before going onto snow routing, I made an announcement about the route I was going to take just to be sure passengers knew why I was turning right at NE 24th.  It would be great if OBS could be modified to make a similar announcement as well as announcing the stops down Bellevue-Redmond road.
  2. The B-Line map on the schedules has the snow route. However, it doesn’t show the 245 route which could be used by passengers travelling to Crossroads.
  3. Providing alternative stop locations along Bel-Red road for the various NE 8th stops with suggested walking routes between the stops would also be helpful.

I’ll be out on the B-Line tomorrow with road conditions that are predicted to be much worse so I’ll update this post if I have more information.  Wish me luck on that right turn from 148th to Redmond way.  That pole looks like it’s been hit at least once or twice although not by a bus…  yet…

  1. January 17, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I DO wish you luck. I won’t even drive my little car if there is a flake anywhere near me. so to brave enough to drive an entire bus??? Kudos to you my friend!!!

    Although I think the disgruntled riders can sometimes be scarier than the ice and snow.

  2. Bruce Newman
    January 17, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Was that NB right-turn movement at Redmond/148th any better today?

    • January 20, 2012 at 3:36 am

      It was better on the 17th but I’ve been off work Wednesday and Thursday so I missed all the real fun. Today should be pretty crummy as well. I’ll update with any notable additional thoughts.

      • Bruce Newman
        January 20, 2012 at 6:48 am

        Separately Wednesday and Thursday, there were times that TWO RapidRide buses were stuck on westbound 40th between 156th and SR-520, about two-thirds of the way up the hill. They must have had to stop for a red light or traffic (although the signals are usually timed to generally avoid that), and lost their momentum.

        The roads look much better today!

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