Transportation Impacts on Mercer Island: Challenges and Unanswered Questions

Vision Mercer Island is a community organization created to educate Mercer Island residents about the complex transportation issues facing the Island – and will help create a climate for a comprehensive transportation plan that Mercer Island will be proud of for decades to come. Vision Mercer Island seeks thoughtful solutions to complex transportation challenges that recognize the Island’s unique geography. Because of its location at the heart of the Seattle-Greater Eastside connection, Mercer Island is not only heavily dependent on regional transportation infrastructure, it is also disproportionally impacted by transportation development.

Below are some of the many issues that need careful consideration and deliberation between Island residents and the region’s government officials and agencies. Your voice is critical to ensuring that Mercer Island is part of a comprehensive win-win solution for our community.

  • In the coming months, construction will close I-90 between 20 to 30 times.
  • In 2016, the Bellevue Park & Ride will close, diverting commuters to the Mercer Island Park & Ride.
  • In 2017, the Center HOV lanes of I-90 will be permanently closed for light rail.
  • On and Off Ramps to I-90 will be closed and reconfigured, limited HOV lane access and creating backups along Island Crest Way and the Town Center.
  • King County Metro plans to use Mercer Island as a hub to circle buses and transfer commuters.
  • There is no plan for how to get Mercer Island commuters to and from the planned light rail station and, at present, 50 percent of park and ride is used by non-Island commuters.
  • There is a continuing regional trend towards tolling (e.g., SR-520 & I-405) and, despite recent publicity suggesting otherwise, the tolling of I-90 is still under consideration.
  • Traffic on the I-90 and East Channel bridges are so bad that Mercer Island streets are clogged with commuters cutting through the Island.

The input of Mercer Island residents is critical to ensuring these concerns and others are addressed as part of a responsible transportation plan that benefits the Island.