What We Heard From our Downtown Redmond Walk & Talk

By Kelli Refer; Edited by Maritza Lauriano

On September 20th Move Redmond organized our annual Walk & Talk. This year we started the walk at the Downtown Redmond Transit Center and explored the connections to the Downtown Redmond Link Extension. Our focus for the walk was the connections to the new light rail station for people who walk, bike, and take transit to access light rail. Our goal for the walk and talk is to bring together representatives from local agencies and community members to experience walking together. We were thankful to be joined by King County Councilmember Sarah Perry, representatives from Sound Transit, King County Metro, WSDOT and the City of Redmond. In this blog post, we will share quotes and reflections from participants.

As a whole, there is a lot that Redmond is doing well to support access to the light rail stations, like investing in Transit Oriented Development and prioritizing trail connections. Our group had really positive things to say about the transit center, the only room for improvement was a clean public bathroom. People also really loved the Routes to Rails traffic calming project near the Heron Rookery Trail. There was strong support from the community participants to continue making safe streets improvements that slow traffic down and make it easier to cross busy streets. People love the future trail connections that Sound Transit is building to connect the East Lake Sammamish Trail to the Redmond Central Connector and the Bear Creek Trail. 

Protected Bike Lanes & Safe Bike Storage will help people bike to transit

To increase access to the Downtown Redmond Link Extension people want more bike lanes. To help more people feel comfortable biking into downtown Redmond key routes need safe bike infrastructure. 

A place highlighted that could really benefit from safe street improvements and would help connect more people to the station is “Avondale. It’s a car barrier that could connect people north of Avondale and Redmond to the south. Also, I would love to see a roundabout at the end of 520 on Avondale, with bridges or tunnel pedestrian and bike paths connecting the two sides of 520.”

“Protected bike lanes near the station. Bus, bike, and pedestrian only streets connecting to the station. Consistent sidewalk cleaning and maintaining.” 

We also heard that “Bike lockers and a safe bike path from the transit center” would make getting to the Downtown Link Extension easier for people”.

Downtown Redmond Walk & Talk

Crossing Redmond Way Is a Challenge 

Our walk highlighted that the WSDOT owned Redmond Way is a challenge for people walking, especially for folks with mobility challenges or people with small children. It is a fast and busy street that could benefit from safety improvements. To make safety improvements, the City of Redmond must work with WSDOT to make that happen. On a positive note, we loved the leading pedestrian interval, which gives people walking a head start and makes them more visible to people.

Kelli Refer, Move Redmond Executive Director, Leading Redmond Way section of Downtown Redmond Walk & Talk

“I feel like I have to wait a long time to cross the road, and then like I’m holding everyone in cars up. I also am always anxious about right on red drivers not paying attention to the pedestrians”

“Smaller intersections. Shorter crosswalk distances by removing under used turn lanes or narrowing wide car lanes.” 

Some other attendees of the walk noted that 164th and Redmond Way is a great spot for considering banning right turn on reds, “No right on red, cars turn way too fast. ” Another option suggestion was, to add  “More time [to cross Redmond Way], and perhaps a scramble signal?”

More Maps & Wayfinding 

People love that there are some great connections to transit using the trail system in Redmond, and the trails could benefit from an investment in better signage. For example a lot of people didn’t even know the Heron Rookery trail existed. One key part of our discussion was how to make the maps/ wayfinding pictorial, so no matter what language you speak you can access the information. 

People want, “Signage showing what parks and common places are nearby that also show distance in walking and biking times”  and “Better wayfinding signs.”

Transit Service Changes and the Desire for Flexible On-Demand Service 

Move Redmond will closely follow any updates to the King County Metro’s East Link Bus Restructure and keep you in the loop – be sure to sign up for our newsletter if you aren’t already. In addition to fixed route transit service, folks talked about a desire to have on-demand transit service to help connect people from neighborhoods to the station, like the Metro Flex service.

Charlie Hockett, Sound Transit Senior Community Engagement Specialist, speaking more on Downtown Redmond Link Extension

Flexible On-demand Transit Service would support station access in Redmond: 

“1) Flexible, on-demand services (e.g. metro flex) more frequent, convenient, fixed route services connecting Redmond neighborhoods (e.g. Education Hill, Redmond Ridge)”

King County Councilmember Sarah Perry speaking at Move Redmond's Downtown Redmond Walk & Talk
King County Councilmember Sarah Perry speaking at Move Redmond's Downtown Redmond Walk & Talk
Downtown Redmond Walk & Talk Group Photo
Pedestrian Bicycle Advisory Committee (PBAC) speaking at Downtown Redmond Walk & Talk