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Clear Creek bus transfer station to open soon
According to Kitsap Transit capital director Wendy Clark, asphalt paving has been completed for the new bus transfer station at Clear Creek Road near Greaves Way in Silverdale. Once completed, the Clear Creek station will replace the temporary stop at Randall Way.
"Paving was going on today with Ace Paving. We should be done with all the asphalt by the end of the day. There is very visible activity going on now," said Clark Monday.
Clark explained that since late May, the Kitsap Transit Board of Commissioners has been pushing to obtain all the proper permits. The right of way and development permits were "smooth sailing with county" according to the director, but figuring out the transfer station's proximity to the drainage system for Waaga Way was more of a challenge.
During the six month gap, bus riders have been using the Northwest Randall Way temporary stop which does not offer shelter from the rain or cold weather. In the past, there have been several reported complaints from local riders concerning this inconvenience.
The Randall Way stop was set up earlier this year as a stop gap after Kitsap Mall management declined to renew transit's agency's lease on their property. Until February, a transfer stop ran right in front of the mall's west entrance.
Bus riders now walk from the Randall Way stop or, after December, will take a shuttle from the new Clear Creek stop which is about a mile further away if they want to go to the mall.
"That's why being asked to leave the mall was such a difficult piece of news. There were a lot of people that relied on that transfer point to get the the shops," said Clark.
Renee Morris, Kitsap Mall property manager disagreed that the inconvenience of multiple bus transfers has hurt mall business.
"Actually our traffic has increased. We're doing just fine. Our shoppers are coming via buses 30 times a day and we're totally thrilled," said Morris.
Kitsap Transit hopes that riders will enjoy the new transfer point at Clear Creek even without direct access to the mall.
The new location will feature additional lighting, shelters which insulate from the cold with solar panels, solar trash compacters, and security cameras.
"We are pushing for a higher level of security in 2012," said Clark of the camera network which will capture streaming pictures of bus riders.
But the Clear Creek station itself is also only temporary, and will be moved one last time in 2015.
"The site is only supposed to stick around for three years before we graduate to the final location around the corner, south of Greaves Way," said Clark.
The eventual final site will be a park and ride.
Kitsap Transit is meeting this week with federal transit administration to apply for grants on the project. The final site will also require environmental impact studies for construction in the area.