Kirkland Wants New Buses

According to a recent presentation at the KW Eastside branch meeting (248 agents now at that branch, by the way!), the affable City Manager of Kirkland, Kurt Triplett and his plucky associate presented us with a PowerPoint full of neat graphics about a proposed Bus Rapid Transit system. This will going to the public for a vote in 2016. The cost? Vague, may maybe a half billion or so. This cost was reported as substantially less than what it would cost for light rail, by the way. Kirkland has done a nice job in converting a former railroad track into a walkable trail system of several miles. This cross Kirkland corridor is neat, and this new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). There were many photos and references to bikes and walking, by the way. The European model was mentioned. A lot. The trouble is, I’ve traveled to 75 countries around the world. I’ve been to every European country there is, with the exception of Andorra in the Pyrenees Mountains. Compared to living in the U.S., Europe sucks. ‘The poor’ in this country lives like the middle class in most European countries. Living on the Eastside, like many of us do, would be almost like royalty in Europe. Over there, it’s crowded, noisy, dirty, expensive and often just not comfortable. As for bikes, has anyone noticed it rains around here? And, trails notwithstanding, it’s a bit dangerous to ride bikes on public streets? Anyway, even though part of me lauds progress and applauds the Triplett Team for trying, I am more than a bit skeptical about spending $500 million or so on increasing bus ridership between Kirkland and Bellevue from 2,700 a day to 7,000 a day. Oh, another thing. Will thousands of more people actually want to ride a bus?