Montlake: a pedestrian’s nightmare

To get home from the Eastside in the evenings, I usually take the 545 to Montlake and then transfer to the 48. I say “usually” because sometimes I ride the 545 all the way downtown to transfer just to avoid the tedious and time-consuming trip from the bus stop on 520 (where I get off the 545) to the bus stop on Montlake Blvd. (where I catch the 48).

I am OK with walking all the way up a long hill from the freeway stop to Montlake and then down the block to the corner of Montlake & E. Lake Washington (see black line below), but what’s with the crosswalk situation? There is no crosswalk directly across the street to the southbound bus stop (green line), so I have to either:

• Cross three times–and wait for three separate lights (orange line), OR
• Walk down a few flights of stairs to the eastbound side of the 520 (see label), walk a block or so west, and then walk up a couple more flights of stairs to the west side of Montlake.

Neither option works well when one is in a hurry to catch the bus, and missing a forty-late can mean a 30-minute wait on an isolated island surrounded by cars. No likey.

Three lights to cross one street: no likey

(Click the picture for a larger view.)

I was hoping that Greg Nickels would add this insane intersection to his list of streets that need improvements, but I think it will probably be left alone until we figure out what we’re going to do with 520. On the plus side: Stair climbing is good for your glutes.