Lake Forest Park bus stops provide a trip through history

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Lake Forest Park Mayor Jeff Johnson with a newly installed photomural that shows the groundbreaking ceremony for the first Town Hall in 1963.

By Hannah Debenedetto/King County DOT

People waiting for the bus in Lake Forest Park now can enjoy beautiful photos of a bygone era when our region was quieter, more forested and had much less traffic.

King County Metro partnered with the city to install historic photos on six bus stops along Bothell Way Northeast. Photos are courtesy of MOHAI, Seattle Municipal Archives, and Shoreline Historical Museum.

The photos document life in Lake Forest Park from the early 1900s to the 1960s. The quiet waterfront and uncongested roads. A groundbreaking ceremony in a field where City Hall would be built, and the days of big timber, simpler schoolhouses and boys in collared shirts.

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A 1924 photo of the newly built Lake Forest Park School and its students; on the right, one of its woodworking classes and their creations in 1934.

“Now the City of Lake Forest Park has a wonderful montage of the community’s rich history to share with all that frequent these Metro Bus Shelters,” Mayor Jeff Johnson said. “The project has brought an artful display of the city’s past, and enriched the core values of our community.”

Lake Forest Park selected the photos to be used for the murals, prepared and printed by Photo Center Northwest and United Reprographics. Residents and visitors can explore the imagery of the city’s history and pass the time while waiting for the 312, 372, and ST 522.

It’s not the first time the Northshore area has teamed up with Metro in this way. Metro also has partnered with Woodinville, Bothell and Kenmore on historical photomural projects in the past, turning bus stops into spaces of learning and public art.

 

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Modern Metro buses now pull up astride a historic photo of a 1921 Ford Model T, the very first school bus in Lake Forest Park.

National honor: Metro bus driver recognized for 51 years of safe driving

Hundreds of transit leaders, workers and advocates erupted in applause this week, giving a standing ovation to Metro Transit bus operator Al Ramey as he was honored for 51 years of safe driving.

Metro's Al Ramey and two other longtime safe bus operators, May 4 at the APTA Bus & Paratransit Conference in Kansas City. From left: APTA Chair Peter Varga; Ralph Spain, Maryland Transit Administration, 42 years; Jess Quintero, VIA Metropolitan Transit, 48 years; Al Ramey, King County Metro Transit, 51 years; and APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy - Photo by Steve Puppe.

Metro’s Al Ramey and two other longtime safe bus operators, May 4 at the APTA Bus & Paratransit Conference in Kansas City, Mo. From left: APTA Chair Peter Varga; Ralph Spain, Maryland Transit Administration, 42 years; Jess Quintero, VIA Metropolitan Transit, 48 years; Al Ramey, King County Metro Transit, 51 years; and APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy – Photo by Steve Puppe.

Ramey beamed under the bright lights at an American Public Transit Association conference in Kansas City, Mo. Ramey drove into Metro’s record books when he reached the 50-year safe-driving mark in 2013– unheard of for a public transit operator.

On the national stage, he was joined by two other drivers with 42 years and 48 years safe driving honors from Maryland and Texas. They flashed the names on giant screens, Ramey said, as the three names were called.

The crescendo came with his name and 51-year accomplishment. “It was exhilarating!” he said. “I’ve received recognition over the years, but this was right at the top.”

With sharp wit and a quick laugh, Ramey, 82, still drives Route 150 between Kent and Seattle each morning, and is one of the agency’s most recognized safety ambassadors.

Bus driving has been a lifelong career for Al. He first was hired by Seattle Transit in 1952, later working for Suburban Transport Service, which became Metropolitan Transit. In 1992 he was named Metro’s Operator of the Year. In 2000, he received a 3 million miles safety award from the National Safety Council.

Ramey said it’s all about defensive driving. “You get a sixth sense. You expect every vehicle out there can bite you. It’s a skill you hone all the time.”

Unsung hero of Madrona

Metro transit operator Everett ‘Laury’ Minard honored by community
He comes to work ready to crisscross downtown Seattle in his Route 2 electric trolley bus, slogging through afternoon commutes that frustrate most everybody else. He doesn’t mind, isn’t flustered by any of it.

Riders notice. They say he’s humble, with a gentle presence and a way with customers.
Everett Lawrence Minard, known as Laury, recently received Madrona’s “Tyrone Love Unsung Hero Award” from the Madrona Community Council as part of their Neighborhood and School Appreciation Day.

Courtesy photo: Laury Minard receives the Tyrone Love Unsung Hero Award, Anne Knight and Bill Mahoney, Jr., vice president of the Madrona Community Council.

Courtesy photo: Everett ‘Laury’ Minard received the Tyrone Love Unsung Hero Award from the Madrona Community Council March 22, from Anne Knight and Bill Mahoney, Jr., vice president of the Madrona Community Council.

Metro driver Laury Minard, left, was surprised with an invitation to receive the Unsung Hero Award from Madrona leaders, Barbara Parker, Jerry Arbes, Rose Driver, Anne Knight, Shoshana Driver with Chewie Rudo (the dog in her lap), Susan Roberts.

Courtesy photo: Metro driver Everett ‘Laury’ Minard, left, was surprised with an invitation to receive the Unsung Hero Award from Madrona leaders,
Barbara Parker, Jerry Arbes, Rose Driver, Anne Knight, Shoshana Driver with Chewie Rudo (the dog in her lap), Susan Roberts.

Leaders in the community say Laury is part of the fabric of their community. They surprised him on his bus the night of March 6 with an invitation to the March 22 awards ceremony.

“I don’t usually pick up large groups of people at night on 34th,” Laury said. “It was a complete 100 percent surprise.”

Laury is an example to the community, said Shoshana Driver of Madrona.

“When I graduated from college in 1991 and returned to Madrona and the bus #2, I was often struck with Laury’s kindness and interest in his passengers,” she said. “He was a gentle and sincere man. And he hasn’t changed!”

Laury was raised in Magnolia, graduated from Queen Anne High School, became a WWII Navy tailgunner, later graduating from Seattle University and working as a Chevrolet salesman. Laury didn’t start driving for Metro until 1986, after enjoying riding along with his son, Frank Minard, on his Metro route.

Laury Minard, humble as ever, is behind the camera in this photo, preferring to put the spotlight on those around him instead.

Courtesy photo: Bus driver Laury Minard, humble as ever, is behind the camera here, preferring to put the spotlight on community members, Metro Chief Tim Mack and his popular Route 2 bus.

He was drawn to the challenge and responsibility of the job. “A person wouldn’t get bored,” he said. Low seniority started him on the late shift, but he’s stuck with the routine for nearly three decades. Today, he leaves Atlantic Base in SODO at 4:30 p.m. straight into downtown evening rush hour. Things quiet down as he pilots the bus on into the wee hours.

“He’s still enjoying the job. He’s one of the happiest bus drivers out there,” said his son, Frank Minard, who now works in Metro Rideshare Operations.

Laury has a ready smile and is helpful, making him a great ambassador for the important work transit operators perform, said Anne Knight of Madrona. “Our bus drivers do so much for us in the community,” she said. Honoring him honors all bus drivers.

He’s quick to say he doesn’t deserve the attention. “I love the route and the people,” Laury said. “I feel like part of the neighborhood. I feel like extended family.
“Every day I say a little prayer, thankful for another day that I can be here.”

Transit supporters address state leaders

Chants of “Save our Metro!” greeted state legislators who came to Seattle on Monday for the “transportation listening tour” session.

About 450 people attended the three-hour meeting. A steady stream of transit users, business leaders, elected officials and others told their stories of transportation needs in King County. Many spoke about the importance of the service Metro Transit provides.

The hearing was recorded and is available online through TVW.

Celeste Gilman and her daughter speak in support of transit to state leaders at a hearing in Seattle Oct. 14, 2013.

Celeste Gilman and her daughter speak in support of transit to state leaders at a hearing in Seattle Oct. 14, 2013.

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People sign up to speak at a state transportation hearing in Seattle Oct. 14, 2013.

People sign up to speak at a state transportation hearing in Seattle Oct. 14, 2013.

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StateHearingShefali_Ranganathan2013_1014A transit supporter outside a hearing Oct. 14, 2013 in Seattle where state legislators listened to public input on transportation needs.

A transit supporter outside a hearing Oct. 14, 2013 in Seattle where state legislators listened to public input on transportation needs.

Southeast Seattle: Mapping destinations

The people we’ve heard from in southeast Seattle take the bus to places all over the county.

Here’s a map that shows destinations that came up over and over again in our conversations. Does this reflect your own travel patterns?

Travel trends of note… Some of the people we talked to don’t live in southeast Seattle, but travel there for culturally-relevant social or health services. They live throughout the county and rely on multiple bus routes to get to these services throughout the day. Infrequent and/or unreliable service greatly affects their ability to get to appointments on time.

Another common theme expressed is people who live in southeast Seattle making frequent trips south to places like Skyway, Renton, Tukwila, White Center, and Burien to visit family and friends.

Is the service that’s currently provided – buses, Link, or alternatives – working to get people to these places? If not, how would you structure these differently to better meet the travel patterns expressed here?

Learn more about alternative services, such as Access paratransit, Metro’s Rideshare/Vanpool program, taxi scrip, or the Hyde Shuttle>>

Learn what others have said about their experiences with ORCA>>

Where are we headed? >>

How did we get here? >>

Southeast Seattle: from listening to action

Metro extends a big thank you to our community partners in southeast Seattle! With your help we were able to host 11 community conversations where we heard from more than 350 community members, many of whom are transit-dependent and speak English as a second language or not at all. Using interpreters, we heard from people whose primary languages are Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Vietnamese, Somali, Amharic, Oromo, Tigrinya, Laotian, Cambodian, Tongan, Samoan, and Tagalog.

We also thank all of you who shared your stories via our online feedback form.

In each interaction–whether face-to-face or online–people told us what they thought about ORCA, traveling in the community, barriers to using transit, how we might communicate better, and other topics. Read a detailed report on these conversations here >>

These conversations made up the initial, listening phase of our southeast Seattle outreach. Next we will work with Sound Transit and the City of Seattle to find things we can do immediately, in the short-term or the long-term to improve people’s transit experiences.

In the coming weeks we’ll be posting reflections from these conversations and prompting you to help shape our next steps. Stay engaged by reading and commenting on these upcoming blog posts.

In the meantime, enjoy these photos from our events in southeast Seattle:

Rainier Vista Community Conversation

Rainier Vista Community Conversation

Rainier Vista Community Conversation

Announcement for New Holly Community Conversation

Vietnamese Senior Program Community Conversation

Scenes from the July 12 Council hearing

Last night an estimated 700 people waited in line outside the King County Courthouse to testify in front of the County Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment committee on the impact that possible reductions to Metro bus service would have on them personally.

Hundreds were able to explain how their lives could be affected. Constituents from diverse communities voiced their opinions, and 87% of the attendees who signed in indicated support for a temporary Congestion Reduction Charge to preserve current levels of Metro bus service.

Here are a few photos that capture the crowd: