February 26, 2014
Help fix the new
216 bus schedule
For those of you riding the afternoon MT 216, would you contact Metro and request a change in schedule.
In the past, the first afternoon run of the 216 was preceded by a 218. Now the 216 is first at 3:37 p.m. followed by later runs of the 218. Though both routes make a stop at the Issaquah Highlands park and ride, only the 216 continues on through Sammamish.
I rode the 3:37 216 this past Wednesday and the bus was at capacity. All but 23 of the riders exited the bus at the Issaquah Highlands Transit Center, the remaining traveling on into Sammamish or Redmond.
The problem I envision will occur on days when Sammamish riders will not have enough room on the early 216 and will have to wait until the next one at 4:16 p.m. It makes more sense to run a 218 first, to bleed off some of the Issaquah Highland park and ride riders, leaving more seats on the first 216 for Sammamish riders as was the case in the previous schedule.
Please email Metro at email@example.com and ask them to fix this problem.
Michael J. O’Connell
The homeless are people who need a helping hand
It troubles me that the prospect of a temporary homeless encampment is so frightening to some in our community. Those called “the homeless” are simply neighbors who lack the security of having a space that they can call their own: four walls, a few amenities and a warm bed to rest in, undisturbed.
Some have lived for a long time well below the “average median income” and had no financial resources to cushion them when the economy collapsed or catastrophe struck. Some were models of worldly success until their well-planned future suddenly dissolved.
Perhaps a fateful diagnosis and overwhelming medical bills gnawed through their mooring lines and cast them adrift. Or an injury left them alive but maimed and disfigured. Some bear invisible wounds, a tragic loss that overwhelmed their capacity to cope. Some are beaten spouses or rejected children for whom “home” ceased to be a place of safety and warmth.
Those who come to live in a tent city are mostly those who have not given up completely. They still trust fellow human beings enough to live in community and risk connection. They still hope to find work that pays a living wage and a place to call their own. Some have less hope of gainful employment due to disabilities, but need a safe place to be while they wait to rise to the top of a waiting list for subsidized housing, and they are still able to perform the tasks required of Tent City residents.
Some stay only a short time, and some stay longer. A few find they have special gifts that are needed and valued by the Tent City community, and they choose to stay for years on end to provide a sense of continuity and stability for others.