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AUGUST 18, 1997

Features

Commuting 101

  by Mina Hochberg
   Gisela Klos of Woodinville knows the frustration of traffic congestion. Yet instead of letting the traffic beat her, she is looking for commuting alternatives.
  
   For 15 years, Klos has commuted from Woodinville to Bellevue. In the last three years, she said, congestion has gradually become more and more noticeable.
  
   What's normally a twenty minute drive on a bare I-405 becomes a forty minute drive at 6 p.m. on Monday. In Woodinville alone, cars are bumper-to-bumper along NE 175th St. during lunch hour.
   "I would love to carpool with someone," Klos said. And so she tried, by calling Metro carpool/vanpool. However, no one in their database commuted from Woodinville to the Bellevue area.
  
   "I was really surprised about that, since so many people are commuting," she said. She then went to the bus schedule, but found that traveling by bus took just as long, if not longer, as traveling by car. It stopped in one too many places.
  
   Of course, compromises must be made, and a little extra time on the bus may be worth that one less car on I-405. But Klos is an example of an educated commuter. She recognized her problem and used available services to try and solve it. She has a valuable message for frustrated commuters.
  
   "People need to know these services are convenient and available," she said. Education and responsibility is the solution, she said.
   To many like Klos, the problem may only seem to be getting worse, especially to those who have lived in the area for many years. However, progress is not always visible, and plans are always on the board to accomodate the growing traffic.
  
   * The Eastside Transportation Partnership (ETP) has compiled a list of approximately 124 projects at various locations throughout the Eastside. A number of project sites are in the Bothell and Woodinville area. ETP is asking the public to review these locations and offer feedback as to which of the locations would best benefit the entire Eastside.
  
   The list will be published in several Eastside publications, along with a survey. These can also be viewed at the website http://www.metrokc.gov/kcdot/tp/tpsetphp.htm.
  
   * King County Metro, in addition to bus transportation, offers several commuting services. The Vanpool service provides a group of people with a van for commuting to and from common locations. The Ridematch program compiles a database of commuters interested in carpooling. Callers are given a list of people to potentially carpool with.
  
   Call Metro at (206) 625-4500 for information on Carpool/Vanpool services. Bus information is available at (206) 553-3000.
  
   * Community Transit offers bus transportation, as well as a number of park-and-ride lots. Call (425) 353-RIDE (7433) or 1-800-562-1375.