West Seattle snow and ice: Friday morning (etc.) updates


That’s the frozen pond at High Point in the foreground of a panorama assembled by Syl L from Derek‘s photos (see the fullsize version here). A couple quick links: Road cams on the WSB Traffic page; Metro service status.

7:06 AM UPDATE: TV says The Bridge is OK – but, say you work downtown, for example, the problem is icy streets once you get there. Here’s the bridge cam (refresh for the latest image):

Metro’s morning update includes the phrase “severely reduced service” in the headline:

King County Metro Transit continues to operate with approximately half of its regular service due to dangerous road conditions.

On Thursday, much of Metro’s and Sound Transit’s bus service in King County was temporarily suspended due to weather and road conditions, and that is the situation for Friday morning as well. Please check the Metro Online website before you leave home to see if your bus route is operating and if it is on snow routing.

Bus passengers should be aware that travel conditions can change quickly, and this list of disrupted service may be revised at any time due to weather and road conditions. In some locations, where roads are impassable for large buses, Metro will be operating chained shuttles.

In order to safely transport as many passengers as possible, Metro is focusing on providing bus service on cleared highways and arterial roads, and to major transit centers and park-and-ride lots. Access in and out of West Seattle continues to be a problem, and there will be very little service to side streets and smaller neighborhoods.

Passengers should be prepared to board buses at major transit centers, flat arterials, or at the top or bottom of hills. Please dress warmly, wear appropriate footwear, and be prepared to wait. The buses that are running are expected to be significantly delayed.

This transit plan will continue until weather and road conditions improve, which means almost all bus service will be significantly limited. Metro appreciates everyone’s patience, and reminds customers that safety for passengers and bus drivers is the agency’s No. 1 concern.

Information about bus status is available on Metro’s Ice & Snow page, but conditions are changing rapidly. You can also call the Metro Customer Information Office at (206) 553-3000, but call volumes are high and there may be a wait to talk to a CIO representative.

Here’s the link to the Ice and Snow page – long list of “temporarily suspended” routes. (But note from the comments here – some WSB’ers are seeing evidence that buses on the list might be running – you can try mybus.org to check.) We’re monitoring the scanner as well as websites, TV, and radio, for word of new trouble spots or blockages, in addition to what WSB’ers are seeing and reporting in comments and e-mail. If you live on or near a major arterial and can send a photo, we’ll post it. Here’s the text of the SDOT morning report:

SDOT crews worked on major arterial streets through the night, plowing and sanding, and they continue to revisit these streets throughout the morning. Two trucks are assigned to continuously monitor and treat the high level West Seattle Bridge, and another truck is assigned to the Alaskan Way Viaduct, to keep these structures in good condition. The on-ramp at Chelan Street to the eastbound lanes of the high level West Seattle Bridge is closed at this time.

Those who must commute this morning are advised to allow plenty of time. When driving, proceed slowly and allow plenty of room from the car in front of you. The roadways with best driving conditions will be major arterial streets.

When SDOT crews work on major arterial streets, they apply sand and de-icer to the roadway where needed, especially 200 feet in advance of intersections with traffic signals to make it easier for vehicles to stop, and also on steep hills and raised structures such as bridges and viaducts.

During the night additional trucks and drivers sanded streets adjacent to hospitals and locations requested by King County Metro Transit.

We are going to take some time to look around for any previously unknown source of reliable bus info – but in the meantime, the comments below are your best bet, and everyone who’s been out – only because you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO, we trust – your updates are greatly appreciated. (Most unusual comment so far: Beware on I-5 of pieces of chains that have fallen off cars. Yikes!)

7:30 AM UPDATE: Just a reminder, we haven’t heard of any West Seattle schools that are open, so winter break is under way (rest of the region too). Road report via Facebook from Talani at Stor-More (WSB sponsor) on Yancy just off Avalon – yes, the phrase of the day, “sheet of ice.” Pic of Yancy, icy but people are trying it, she says:

On TV, KING promises an upcoming update on the situation at Sea-Tac (which normally would be crazy-busy the weekend before Christmas); we’ll keep watching for that too and are looking for the best online source of info. In comments, Kestrel has this plea:

Tip to homeowners: please do NOT shovel your sidewalks unless you are also going to sand or salt. The shoveled sidewalks are much more treacherous than the unshoveled ones because they become smooth compacted sheets of ice!

It’s true that snow – at least at this depth – is easier to walk in and on, traction-wise, provided you’re waterproofed knee-to-toe. Meantime, another kind of information that will be helpful today: If you are involved with an event that was scheduled for this weekend – and know for sure that it’s either STILL ON or CANCELED – please let us know. The original contacts for e-mails that came in to us to get events on the calendar will be tough to find otherwise; thanks. We won’t update our “Weekend Lineup” till we know for sure what venues’ plans are.

8:05 AM UPDATE: In comments, someone mentioned a Metro shuttle to get people to The Junction. We checked with Metro’s Linda Thielke about whether that would happen again today. Her reply:

We were running that shuttle Thursday pm with Access vans. But, we haven’t been able to do that yet this morning. We are trying to get some additional service on Route 22 from the Alaska junction only to downtown.

We have word of one school that’s OPEN – Tilden School is “open for those who can safely get (there),” per Julie Enevoldsen.

From Linda at Metro:

Look for Rt 51 to be operating Genesee Hill & California SW starting approximately 8:30. But, as with anything these last few days, the situation could change rapidly.

KING just drove onto The Bridge with its live car-cam, and looks OK, including the ramp (looked like the one from Admiral, though they didn’t pick up the picture until the start of the ramp). Again, if you can get a picture of a major arterial, please send to share. Here’s our contribution – California north from Thistle:

Similar scene looking east on Thistle from California:

Side streets that are steps away, of course, still inches of snow, though as mentioned in comments, where it’s compacted, it’s not too slick.

8:39 AM UPDATE: Southeast West Seattle road report from Jon: “Roxbury at 5th. Looking easy towards Myers Way. Plenty of cars going down the hill.” Photo:

Thanks – keep the arterial reports/photos coming at editor@westseattleblog.com Transportation update from Stephen: Microsoft Connector bus service to/from West Seattle “still not running.” Official update just in from SDOT:

Crews worked throughout the night and early this morning, plowing, sanding and applying de-icer to major arterial streets. The Chelan Street on-ramp to the eastbound lanes of the high-level West Seattle Bridge is now open. As route drivers finish primary routes this morning, they are shifting to secondary arterial streets. Due to low temperatures, crews continue monitoring the roadways and applying sand and de-icer when ice reforms.

To see a map of SDOT’s snow and ice response routes, see

Examples of major arterial streets are: NE Northgate Way, NE 65th Street in Wedgewood, 15th Avenue NW in Ballard, Magnolia Boulevard W on Magnolia Hill, Beacon Avenue S, 23rd Avenue S in the Central District, California Avenue SW in West Seattle, and Rainier Avenue S in Southeast Seattle.

Examples of secondary routes are: NW 80th Street in Ballard, N 50th Street in Wallingford, 10th Avenue W on Capitol Hill, E Union Street in the Central District, 15th Avenue S on Beacon Hill, and Lake Washington Boulevard S in Southeast Seattle.

SDOT crews plow loose snow to the center of the roadway to avoid blocking drains and driveways. Sand and de-icer are applied with special attention to spots where stopping is most challenging, including intersections with traffic signals, the curblanes at intersections, on steep hills, and on elevated structures such as bridges and viaducts.

Other priorities include requests from Metro Transit and hospitals and other emergency facilities.

SDOT crews are planning ahead for the weekend when more snow is forecast. When that
storm hits, crews will leave secondary arterial streets and once again focus on major arterial streets.

Police Officers position street barricades to close streets considered unsafe for driving. When SDOT crews plow, sand, and reopen a street, the signs are set aside, to be picked up by other SDOT crews. Drivers should observe the closure signs, as they are intended for their safety. If anyone notices a sign that has been knocked down or placed aside on an unserviced street, they may replace the sign themselves or call (206) 386-1218.

To report a problem area within the Seattle city limits, call (206) 386-1218, 24-hours a day. Although phones are busy, SDOT attendants will accept calls as they are able.

If you use Twitter, this info’s coming through at @sdotsnow (Web: twitter.com/sdotsnow). Meantime, here’s an example of a secondary street that’s not likely to make it onto the radar – Mary says Lander Place at Campbell Place (map) requires chains:

9:06 AM UPDATE: If you hadn’t already heard, King County Superior Court is closed both downtown and in Kent. Any hearings set for today will be rescheduled. (Thanks to Carole for sharing the info.) Will add to the ongoing links/info list at TOP of this post. Here’s something that might be handy – the WSDOT video on how to install tire chains:

9:20 AM: If you are looking to take a bus, Jon in comments reminds you to keep checking the Metro reroute page – he notes it just changed to say the 55 is now on its regular route (“with some delays”). Meantime, another arterial photo – JenV took this by C and P Coffee (which she reports is open) on California south of The Junction:

Bulletin just e-mailed by Robert: ICE MELT AT ADMIRAL SAFEWAY! He says it was abundant there and added, “Home Depot does not have any nor do they know when they WILL have any. Junction True Value will have a shipment coming in between 10 and 11.” Co-publisher Patrick is about to head north on California and will be checking on business open/closes in The Junction while out, as well as roads, but YOUR info is very helpful – all our contact info is here, let us know, even if you’re out and about and just call (206-293-6302) so we can relay to everybody else.

Thanks to Katherine for relaying word that Seattle Municipal Court is also closed except for certain custody proceedings. Marco sends word from 35th and Morgan:

Plenty of cars and so far one 128, 54, 56 and 21 Bus each, but none going downtown –
I’ve been waiting for an hour and will give up soon ;)


Road report from co-publisher Patrick, who just drove California from Upper Fauntleroy to Admiral: It’s in good shape except some rough going with compact snow in the 3400 to 3900 blocks (a few blocks before and after Charlestown). He’s in The Junction now to check on business status for holiday shopping today. Meantime, a holiday event POSTPONEMENT:

Sunday’s ‘Admiral Sings Christmas’ has been postponed
due to weather concerns. New date: 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 28, Admiral Congregational Church, California
Ave & Hill St. (free admission)

Also, just got word from Seattle Public Utilities that TODAY’S TRASH COLLECTION ALSO IS POSTPONED. Here’s the full update:

Single-family residential garbage, recycling, food and yard
waste collection has been delayed in Seattle today, Friday, December 19,
due to dangerous road conditions. Priority commercial customers, such as
hospitals, will be served.

City collection contractors will attempt to service today’s missed
customers tomorrow, Saturday, December 20, if road conditions improve.
Customers missed today should leave their containers out tomorrow. If
materials are not collected tomorrow, then customers should bring in
their containers until next week.

Due to the Christmas holiday, Thursday and Friday customers will be
delayed one-day next week. Thursday customers will be collected Friday,
December 26, and Friday customers will be collected Saturday, December

Customers whose collections have been delayed by a week will be permitted to set out double their normal amount of garbage at no additional charge. When setting out extra waste, customers are encouraged to place perishable food items in their collection containers and set bagged non-perishable items next to the containers.

10:18 AM UPDATE: Jefferson Square, parking lot “icy/nasty” per co-publisher but most everything looks open. Junction activity pretty busy – looks like lots of folks taking advantage of snow day to shop – he’s going back along the street to see about any closures. Easy Street breakfast crowd jampacked, no surprise.

Lots of King County facility closures – here’s the full list.

Update from Patrick, checking The Junction: LOOKS LIKE PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS. Just be careful on sidewalks – some sidewalks are in better condition than others. (One such example, the sidewalk TO Jefferson Square at 42nd/Alaska, by the time/temp sign, “sheet of ice,” says Patrick, but the sidewalks in J-Square themselves are OK.) He ran into a friend of ours who lives on Beach Drive and reports that roadway is – yes – “a sheet of ice.” Photo now from WSB Forums member LG at Charlestown/53rd – looking west:

Also packed snow/ice looking the other way. Please keep sending road pix (and sledding conditions, business open/close, event changes): editor@westseattleblog.com

10:40 AM UPDATE: From Talani at Stor-More:

Avalon and Yancy Update: Cars and buses are both driving it, but we talked to one lady who waited 1.5 hours for her bus and it never came so she gave up…so buses must be getting stuck on top somewhere. There are a few cars trying Yancy and Avalon…they report to only try it if you know how to drive in the ice and snow, and said even with 4 wheel drive, they lost control once or twice this morning and spun out. The sidewalks are too treacherous for us to hike and take pictures, and we are dealing with shoveled areas on our property having turned into sheets of ice, so we are rock salting this morning again. If your question is…”Should I travel on it?” Our answer is “No”. No, you should not drive on it, or walk on it. People are trying it, as they always do, and some are making it…but even for those with 4 wheel drive AND chains, they are STILL spinning and losing control. Your safety is just not worth the risk!

Co-publisher Patrick says SW Alaska is bumpy going east of The Junction, with compact ice and snow. He’s going to see how much of Avalon he can get a look at; we don’t have a 4WD so we’re being cautious, though.

10:49 AM UPDATE: Avalon is fine from 35th down to the bottom of the hill. The only dicey spot, he reports, is between the 7-11 and Fauntleroy. 7-11 parking lot at 35th/Avalon – yes – “a sheet of ice.” Also – Seattle Public Library branches are opening at noon. And if you haven’t seen the midmorning forecast update yet, here it is — Winter Storm Watch in effect for “Saturday afternoon through late Sunday night” for the metro area. Wind and snow expected Sunday, in particular.

11:01 AM UPDATE: Before we get to then, however — so far, Dinah at The Admiral Theater tells us, THE HOLIDAY MAGIC SHOW TOMORROW IS STILL ON. If anything changes that, you will read it here; they are rehearsing right now, in fact. 11 am (should be BEFORE more bad weather), read more about it here (disclosure, they’re advertising on us to promote the show). Also, Rachel at ArtsWest says PLAID TIDINGS SHOWS ARE ON AS SCHEDULED – in her words, “the show must go on!”

11:09 AM UPDATE: Ferry closed from California, says KOMO TV reporter. (Not surprised.) Also: An icy trouble spot, and road condition, report from Dan – 18th SW is closed between Brandon and Dawson (map), and here’s why:

Looks like a house water line broke. SPU’s been on scene since at least 9:30. The unfortunate thing is that 18th SW is one of two main access routes to the area. People will need to come from the south by Sanislo school (from Sylvan Way or from 16th SW) or across 21st SW and then down the steeper part of Brandon from 21st to 18th.

As to the arterial report, SW Dawson is sanded between 21st and 16th Ave SW, so it seems passable. I don’t know about the descent to Delridge (past 22nd SW on to SW Oregon), though. 18th Ave SW is
compact snow and ice, so it’s passable, but doesn’t have the sandy goodness of the other streets.


Side note from Patrick’s trip along California, by the way: Best-looking parking lot is at PCC.

11:35 AM UPDATE: Adding some of the photos he took – first, Jefferson Square parking lot less than an hour ago:

Same time frame, here’s 35th looking south/uphill from Avalon junction:

Walk All Ways at The Junction:

Looking north onto 42nd from Alaska:

11:50 AM UPDATE: Vickie says The Bohemian is open. Also open, the Junction and Fauntleroy YMCA branches – here’s the latest from Josh Sutton at West Seattle Family YMCA (WSB sponsor):

West Seattle Facility & Fauntleroy Facility are open with limited programs today. Both will close at 5 pm tonight.

12:01 PM UPDATE: We will launch the afternoon post somewhere around 1 pm – all additional notes will continue here till then. Just heard from Brian Judd: “High Point and Delridge Community Centers will close at 4 p.m. today. All programs, including Late Night, are canceled tonight.” We are also adding notes like that at the VERY TOP of this post, above the top photo, and will carry that over when we switch to an afternoon note (which will be preceded by at least one “other news” post).

12:18 PM UPDATE: The West Seattle Farmers’ Market has been CANCELED FOR THIS SUNDAY, 12/22.

12:22 PM UPDATE: Thanks to Matthew Lundh for these two pix of arterials – first, Charlestown looking east from 50th:

Next, Genesee looking west from 47th:

12:29 PM QUESTION: Anybody on Fauntleroy near the ferry dock/Lincoln Park? Haven’t heard a report on that yet today, and someone is asking in the comment section.

12:36 PM: Allstar Fitness is open till 3 pm, according to the comments section.

12:44 PM: Got some additional city info forwarded to us by West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen. From this we learn that the Delridge Neighborhood Services Center is closed but West Seattle (in The Junction) is open. Also, a little more info on that 18th/Brandon water break mentioned (with a photo) above (this is a quote from a city emergency briefing):

There was an 8” water main break at 18th Ave SW & SW Dawson St. The concern is that is adjacent to an underground high voltage line. Currently coordinating with City Light on the issue. 50 home are without water and there is not an estimated time for restoration.

This post has ended and we have now moved to AFTERNOON UPDATES – click here to go there. Thanks!

186 Replies to "West Seattle snow and ice: Friday morning (etc.) updates"

  • Megen December 19, 2008 (5:42 am)

    I work at Tully’s in Clyde Hill. But live here in West Seattle. Supposed to be at work at 5 but the boss said I could wait until 7. Since I’ve been up the plow/sander has come past my house in the 5200 of 35th. Boss also said 520 was pretty good, but to take it slow! :) Everyone remember to fully clear off your cars! I’ve seen cars drive past with a good 4 inches on the roof and the snow is flying off the car.

  • Dustin December 19, 2008 (5:51 am)

    And now the million dollar question: Is giving my co-workers their Christmas gifts enough motivation for me to brave the bus routes after having worked from home everyday today except Tuesday and going on vacation all next week?

    On one hand they’d really appreciate the home made hot fudge sauce I made them. On the other hand it’s 28 degrees outside and I’d likely end up standing around for 20 min. for a bus that’s never going to show. On the third hand, that fudge sauce could be put to better use…like in my in my belly.

    Decision, decisions…

  • Mags December 19, 2008 (5:59 am)

    Looks like the 55 is cancelled.. Yesterday it was packed. Seems like a bad choice by metro as there are less hill on it than on the 54. Seems they would have thought about a shuttle between the junctions. I will have to walk a minimum of 8 blocks, we’ll see how that goes..22 cancelled, 57 cancelled and it says no articulated buses. I was on a half empty 54e last night, it was articulated and didn’t have any problems. I think the metro planners are drinking the same koolaid at the viaduct planners.

  • Jen December 19, 2008 (6:09 am)

    I don’t blame Metro for not running the articulated buses, at least until the roads clear somewhat. I saw no fewer than 5 of them jackknifed yesterday morning, and that was while the roads were still only snowy, not icy.

  • m2 December 19, 2008 (6:15 am)

    I just arrived downtown on the 21 local. No problems at all. The bus came on time. The driver was careful, but he was able to stop everywhere, including on the hills. And he had the Ride Free sign on the fare box, so everyone rode free.

  • Michele December 19, 2008 (6:16 am)

    Does anyone know if there is a re-route of 54 from Downtown to West Seattle? Does the 54 still run down 2nd and Columbia? We waited 2 hours last night for a 54 and nothing ever showed…maybe we were in the wrong spot? I tried to call Metro but no answer.

  • lovey911 December 19, 2008 (6:24 am)

    I have to drive along Alki and then Harbor Ave toward the bridge get to work in about a half hour. Has anyone been along it this morning and can provide an idea of its manageability?

  • Smitty December 19, 2008 (6:32 am)

    Work at 5th and Columbia and curious if downtown streets are clear? Basic question is should I take the viaduct to Seneca and work my way “up” to work, or take I-5 and work my way “down”. Probably no difference, but wanted to check!

    Thanks WSB – this has been an incredible source of information for us all!

  • P December 19, 2008 (6:33 am)

    dustin, I can help you with that fudge sauce…..
    My troopers are due to be paid today and they all said wait till Monday. That’s pretty nice! good to hear that things are opening up a bit. Now I have to get out of my driveway.

  • Mo Zwerling December 19, 2008 (6:35 am)

    The metro website says the 37, 22 and 55 have all been cancelled . . . with just the 54 running, how many buses do you think they have working, and once downtown, how easy is it going to be to get back to Seattle . . . seems like a real crapshoot.

  • David December 19, 2008 (6:42 am)

    The good: I-5 is completely clear (wet pavement but not frozen), Genesee/Glenn/Alaska/WS Bridge are all plowed and sanded; The bad: side streets are still dicey with lots of snow piled up in places, ramp from WS Bridge to I-5 South is not plowed, off ramp at Boeing Access Road not plowed; The Ugly: empty parking lots at work that aren’t plowed can be quite an adventure in 2WD cars! Also watch out for all the chains laying on I-5 that have broken off cars on the bare pavement. Be careful out there!

  • RobertSeattle December 19, 2008 (6:47 am)

    The 56 Bus shows “regular schedule” but there’s been no bus from 5:45 to 6:45 – some people have been waiting out in the cold for an hour now! Metro needs to come up with some kind of RSS scheme to update riders!

  • RobertSeattle December 19, 2008 (6:48 am)

    The 56 just came, but the route is starting at California, and then heading back towards downtown.

  • Stuart December 19, 2008 (6:49 am)

    Metro says the 37 is one of the suspended routes, but we just saw one with riders drive past on Alki. Maybe not all the drivers got watched the Metro website? :-)

  • Stuart December 19, 2008 (6:50 am)

    Heh. “got watched”? I didn’t get nearly enough sleep.

  • Bobabooey December 19, 2008 (6:55 am)

    Anyone know how the ramp is up to Beacon Hill from the bridge?

  • Kayleigh December 19, 2008 (6:56 am)

    Just saw a 54 heading up California toward the AK Junction. Seemed to have no problems. I may try to grab one of those to downtown.

  • D December 19, 2008 (6:56 am)

    Anyone know if Admiral is clear west of California? I figure if I can make it to California and Admiral I can make it the rest of the way to work.

  • Rhonda December 19, 2008 (6:59 am)

    I made it out to the airport to California yesterday. Two hour delay. Now I’m worried about flying in tomorrow and getting home!

  • tom December 19, 2008 (7:16 am)

    Is there a report on Morgan St.?


  • Sue December 19, 2008 (7:27 am)

    Apparently my company (downtown) closed yesterday at 1pm and we all expected it would be closed today. Called the emergency line and they are open. With reduced bus service and the way things look out my window, I’m going back to bed.

  • Kestrel December 19, 2008 (7:30 am)

    Michele: To answer your question, yes the 54 was on reroute from dowtown to WS last night. It skipped the 2nd & Columbia stop, heading down 3rd (past Pioneer Square and bypassing viaduct completely), eventually turning onto 1st and taking the lower bridge. The last “official” stop in downtown was therefore at 3rd & Spring. I was trying to get to the Vashon ferry terminal; my #54 was on time (!) from downtown– just after 8pm– but unfortunately it stopped at the Morgan Junction & turned around, so I had to walk from there to the ferry. Let me tell you, the sidewalks were icy! Tip to homeowners: please do NOT shovel your sidewalks unless you are also going to sand or salt. The shoveled sidewalks are much more treacherous than the unshoveled ones because they become smooth compacted sheets of ice! I ended up walking most of the way on the “grassy” portion next to the sidewalk because it had lots of fluffy snow that offered traction.

  • Janet December 19, 2008 (7:33 am)

    Anyone in the southwest area of the ‘hood? Both the 23 and the 125 are temporarily suspended and I can’t get my car off the hill (near highland park) to make it down to the cleared roads. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (7:33 am)

    Kestrel, that’s an excellent point. We went out for a short walk yesterday around the neighborhood and noticed exactly that, even though we know the people who shoveled them had the best of intentions – TR

  • Lytepipe December 19, 2008 (7:38 am)

    I read a report last night that said metro was going to be operating shuttles between Alaska and Genessee hill and the junction and Admiral on California.

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (7:41 am)

    I’ll see if I can verify that with Metro (pending anyone actually experiencing it themselves).

  • Robert December 19, 2008 (7:43 am)

    I have to travel from Arbor Heights to North Admiral (grocery shopping for mother-in-law). Any suggestions on route? How is 35th?

  • westseattledood December 19, 2008 (7:47 am)

    On shoveling – I think it is good to sweep/shovel, but also put down sand or super cheap kitty litter. When the melt re-ices, the grit might provide traction through the ice. How’s that for a scantly tested theory?

    And, I mean cheap kitty litter that is non-clumping, of course.

    HOLDEN: I saw on the PI’s Police blog(?) that the city had specific plans to plow/sand Holden today.

  • GenHillOne December 19, 2008 (7:47 am)

    Our hill looks suspiciously like it’s been plowed because there are 4″ “drifts” along each side that are in pretty straight lines. However, is it possible to not put the blade down far enough? There was 6-7″ of loose snow out there that people with 4W and chains/snow tires were making it through. Now there are a couple of inches of compacted, smooth stuff covering the road and no sand. Not so sure that’s an improvement.

  • GenHillOne December 19, 2008 (7:49 am)

    On shoveling/sweeping, I think I’m going to do a “trail” so that both options are available.

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (7:51 am)

    Reminder of the information we shared earlier this week – the city dispatch for requesting “secondary” streets to be cleared. Unlike earlier in the week, though, this time the whole city’s in the same boat we are, so the “prioritizing” has many more streets to take into account. Nonetheless, that number is:
    and the story from Tuesday is here:

  • Elyse December 19, 2008 (7:52 am)

    I made it up to Everett this morning. I-5 is clear all the way up there. People were driving pretty slow which is much appreciated. 526 was also fairly clear. I wish I could say the same about 35th – it was still pretty snow covered at 6:30 and people were drive way too fast for my comfort. Good luck and be safe.

  • JH December 19, 2008 (7:53 am)

    Glad I went cross country skiing yesterday. Not sure why I was thinking I’d do the same today-the snow looks so crusty now!

  • Scott B. December 19, 2008 (7:54 am)

    From the SDOT morning report: “The on-ramp at Chelan Street to the eastbound lanes of
    the high level West Seattle Bridge is closed at this time.”

    Google Maps doesn’t seem to know about Chelan Street; it does know about Chelan Ave. SW. That must be the onramp by the fire station, right?

  • Michele December 19, 2008 (7:54 am)

    Kestrel: Wow – I should have figured that out – thanks so much! I’ll definitely have an easier time getting home from downtown tonight.

  • Dustin December 19, 2008 (7:54 am)

    Just waited for 40 minutes at 26th and 106th for the 113 Bus and it never came.

    Why are 113 riders like the black sheep of the transit family? No love, I tell ya.

  • lina December 19, 2008 (7:55 am)

    how is 35th down to the ws bridge from roxbury? i have a jetta and am trying to decide whether or not to try to drive in to work….

  • Janet December 19, 2008 (7:57 am)

    Dustin, I feel your pain.

    I think I’m going outside to salt the side of my property that the neighbors shoveled. :)

  • sa December 19, 2008 (8:00 am)

    Just rode the #56 from Alki to downtown at Seneca. The bus can only stop on flat areas so if your stop is on a hill or slight grade, keep walking to the next stop as the driver will be forced to pass you by. The 7am bus arrived downtown on time at 7:30am. The Bus didn’t go all the way downhill (eastbound) on Admiral, but turned right onto California, going left on Alaska which is unusual. As long as you are on the snow route and not the regular route, you should do just fine today.

    They should fire up the Water Taxi.

  • sue December 19, 2008 (8:00 am)

    so…should I wait for the 54Express at the regular time at Fauntleroy/California? Or wait for the local on California? Wonder if they’re running on any kind of schedule.

  • Mark December 19, 2008 (8:03 am)

    My bus route 54 experience this morning …

    With the number of buses down, and number of seats limited (both due to the lack of articulated buses), by the time the 54 got to the junction, it was so packed with people, they could only pickup a few of the near 20+ people waiting.

    Better for me to be home and online than off the grid trying to get downtown.

  • Scott B. December 19, 2008 (8:03 am)

    GenHillOne wrote: “… is it possible to not put the blade down far enough?”

    Snowplows in our urban environment almost certainly have a (plastic? rubber?) cutting edge dropped down from the steel to prevent the snowplow from popping off the lane markers (turtles and reflectors). If the compact snow and/or ice is dense enough, the snowplow can’t cut it.

    Mountain passes are subject to continuous plowing during the winter, so the lane markers are either recessed into the pavement (concrete for wear resistance) or just painted so WSDOT can use steel cutting edges for maximum effectiveness.

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (8:03 am)

    I will put this in the main text too – re: shuttle, here is the response just in from Linda Thielke at Metro:
    “We were running that shuttle Thursday pm with Access vans. But, we haven’t been able to do that yet this morning. We are trying to get some additional service on Route 22 from the Alaska junction only to downtown.”

  • Chris M December 19, 2008 (8:03 am)

    All-Star Fitness in North Delridge looks very dark/closed.

  • brittany December 19, 2008 (8:05 am)

    anyone tried delridge to the lower bridge? need to get to georgetown, not sure if it’s worth it. 26th sw is still an ice rink.

  • brittany December 19, 2008 (8:05 am)

    ooh chris, you’re in my ‘hood! what’s going on out there?

  • ArborHeights December 19, 2008 (8:06 am)

    We live in Arbor Heights on 35th near Arbor Heights elementary. At 8am we saw a 21 go by the house. This was not a shuttle but a real 21. I have not seen a bus up here on the hill since Wednesday.

  • Julie December 19, 2008 (8:07 am)

    Anybody tried Myers Way?

  • @onlineshoes_ce December 19, 2008 (8:08 am)

    Waited at Junction for 54 to downtown for 45 min. Metro guy in van came by & said that there were only a couple of buses running on the route. Saw 1 bus come by & it was full, but still 3 of the 50 people at the stop made it on. :)

  • littlebrowndog December 19, 2008 (8:13 am)

    Anybody tried Erskine?

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (8:20 am)

    Note – I just got another bus update from Linda at Metro. I don’t know how much I’ll hear from her today but I am going to post this all in the main text so please be checking that frequently too if you weren’t already – thanks, TR

  • Scott B. December 19, 2008 (8:20 am)

    The traffic reporter on KONG-TV just announced (8:17am) that the WSDOT cameras “have all frozen up” so she is taking an early holiday.

  • Manuel W. December 19, 2008 (8:22 am)

    Erskine — I drove down a few block stretch at the top at 730pm last night, it was pure white compacted snow with good traction.

  • littlebrowndog December 19, 2008 (8:28 am)

    TY Manuel. Instead of our daily walk to the Junction we want to drive to the store so we can pick up a good food supply in anticipation of the upcoming new storm. I was worried about carrying home a case of diet coke while walking. No power= no coffee=caffeine headache.

  • CMP December 19, 2008 (8:34 am)

    A PACKED 54 just stopped at Rite Aid on California heading to the Junction. Good luck getting on one, but at least it’s running!

  • mar3c December 19, 2008 (8:35 am)

    as soon as the snow stopped yesterday, i shoveled a footpath down my driveway. now it’s bare, dry concrete. good traction, which leads to the ice rink that is my street, where i almost broke my tail.
    i doubt my little fwd car would make the turn at the intersection. amazing how a low-grade hill turned into a mountain overnight.
    i had to tell the boss, “no, thanks,” again today. besides, who wants to work outside when it’s 25 degrees?

  • CMP December 19, 2008 (8:35 am)

    And there’s another 54 that just stopped going southbound too. At least the 22 is cancelled so I don’t feel bad about not going to work!

  • moe December 19, 2008 (8:37 am)

    If you live South of the junction, do not catch that 128 shuttle. Wait for the 54.
    The junction is full of people from north of the junction and the 54’s are full when they get there.
    I went back home.
    hey Metro, I tried.

  • Jen V. December 19, 2008 (8:39 am)

    Made it from 36th/Dakota to California & Findlay w/ no problems, BF has a 4 wheel drive. Plenty of idiots out there driving without it, though. Saw some idiot trying to make it up Dakota, then he turned around and followed us – too fast, and I thought he was going to slide into us at 37th/Fauntleroy. Fauntleroy is by far the best street – California is snowy and icy. Right now the radio is playing “Baby it’s cold outside”…and boy is it!!

  • Jen December 19, 2008 (8:40 am)

    I usually take the 125, which is canceled, but am thinking of hiking down to Delridge to catch a 120. Has anyone been on a 120 to downtown this morning? What was the wait like, and was the bus packed?

  • Helen December 19, 2008 (8:40 am)

    Brittany, I came in to work on the Lower Bridge, and it wasn’t bad. Same with Delridge. Just be prepared to take it a bit slow and, if you have an automatic drive car, be prepared to shift into low gear. You’ll have a lot more control if your car starts to slide.
    I work on Elliott and Harrison, and the worst part of my commute was Alaskan Way between Spokane Street and the Coast Guard facility. Even that wasn’t too bad.
    WSB, you rock, btw… :)

  • Kayleigh2 December 19, 2008 (8:43 am)

    THANK YOU for the details on the 54s. I feel sooooooo guilty not going to work. :-(

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (8:45 am)

    West Seattle rocks in general – you guys are blazing trails with this kind of info-sharing. By the way, if I haven’t made the pitch here, please send photos if you are on or near an arterial, I’ve posted a couple already:
    (later – sledding reports! store reports! whatever you think would be helpful – and you can CALL us if you’re away from your computer – 206-293-6302, which we answer 24/7 btw – when it’s not a weather crisis, we present and facilitate real-time info on everything from street fairs to police helicopters)

  • JenV December 19, 2008 (8:49 am)

    When we went thru the junction this morning, the bus stop was at least 30 deep. Lots of people relying on Metro today.

  • Janet December 19, 2008 (8:50 am)

    Highland Park- Myers/Olson hill down to South Park? Is this road clear or icy?
    ps, great coverage on the WSB- much better than the tv!

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (8:52 am)

    I just posted a photo of Roxbury before Olson with an eyewitness report.

  • monstergirl December 19, 2008 (8:53 am)

    A little info from my commute in:
    Delridge is mostly compact snow/ice with some areas down to the pavement (like down by the bridge). The upper bridge is clear, de-iced and very sandy. Highways are clear except for I-90 at Bellevue and into Issaquah. I-405 has 2 lanes completely clear. 520 has one lane clear.

    Please remember that having chains on your car on bare pavement is bad for your tires/car, the roads and is dangerous at speed. You chains will fall off leaving a hazard in the road for others. Take them off when you get off the side-streets, you won’t need them anymore.

  • Janet December 19, 2008 (8:56 am)

    Thanks WSB!

  • JLS December 19, 2008 (8:56 am)

    Made it into downtown by the Space Needle a little bit ago. One of the Vashon ferry routes, 116, was running along Fauntleroy. Managed to catch it and we made it in with a few deviations from the normal route. The bus was really crowded as the driver stopped and picked up passengers at any stop we passed until the bus was at capacity. Huge kudos to the driver who was calm, cool, and collected! If you do make it downtown, watch out for the sidewalks. They are solid sheets of ice!

  • kittylove December 19, 2008 (8:59 am)

    my bus (55) is apparently cancelled, and i considered riding the 128 to the junction to catch the 54…sounds like it is good that i didnt! i decided to try to drive and it only took about 20 minutes going VERY slow to get downtown. california->oregon->fauntleroy->w.sea bridge->viaduct->dexter…..no problem at all. mostly compact snow and then the viaduct had dry ruts to drive in.

  • brittany December 19, 2008 (9:00 am)

    thanks helen! i’m going to try lower bridge to 1st ave south- i’ll let you guys know how it turns out…

    later i have to get to capitol hill, much bigger problem there!

  • Joey December 19, 2008 (9:00 am)

    California to Admiral is fine.

    Admiral is fine.

    West Seattle Bridge is fine.

    I-5 is fine.

    Most of downtown streets are fine. A few (like Columbia west of 5th) are closed.

    Easy commute.

  • cathy December 19, 2008 (9:02 am)

    cars are sliding backwards, downhill, on 59th SW (an “arterial”) near Admiral Way.

  • Julie December 19, 2008 (9:02 am)

    Can I do 100th without chains?

  • jennifer December 19, 2008 (9:06 am)

    Metro bus update from Alki per 7am Friday

    Metro online incorrectly listed the 37 as not running. It is running but not going on the WS bridge.

    Metro online also incorrectly says the 56 is on the normal route. The 56 is only running on top of the hill in WS.

    Buses are running 1 to 2 hours late with only 50% of the buses out today.

    Wear double socks and bring some water and munchies for the wait. Be safe
    Wear double socks and bring some water and munchies for the wait. Be safe

  • Julie December 19, 2008 (9:06 am)

    Clarification: 100th SW between California and 35th.

  • Julie December 19, 2008 (9:07 am)

    Argh. I meant, SW 100th.

  • FabulousEm December 19, 2008 (9:09 am)

    My hubby made it down the big hill from Roxbury to 509 this morning about 7:30. He said it was sanded like crazy and was passable. I, however, work in Bellevue, so I will not be venturing out. :)

  • jennifer December 19, 2008 (9:11 am)

    Lower bridge going eastbound ok – downtown surface streets and sidewalks are ok to ify so take it real slow.
    downtown buses running but very late and very crowded.

  • herongrrrl December 19, 2008 (9:12 am)

    How is Admiral west of California this morning?

  • lg December 19, 2008 (9:13 am)

    okay, so I need to be in ballard by about 4. what do you think my chances are? sounds like sticking to arterials might work out? I’m worried about admiral between 49th and california. thoughts?

  • jennifer December 19, 2008 (9:14 am)

    how is it going up and down Avalon?
    Someone posted Admiral is fine – anyone else have more specific detail about going up and down up Admiral from Alki?

  • gavmit December 19, 2008 (9:16 am)

    looks like someone’s pipe burst on 14th and dawson? the street was flooding with icy water at 6am this morning…

  • P December 19, 2008 (9:16 am)

    when you are out walking around, if you see old chains in the road, the ones that have broken off, if you could toss them aside, that would be helpful for other drivers. I passed 4 sets on 35th this morning. Also, brush off the top of your car, that snow just blows off onto the car behind you and makes driving really difficult!

  • JonB December 19, 2008 (9:18 am)

    Just refreshed the Metro transit page and it appears the 55 is now running its normal route, though with “some delays”–this is big news, since apparently nobody can get on the 54 by the time it gets to the Junction.

  • colleenharr December 19, 2008 (9:21 am)

    I’m needing to get down to Westwood Village from south of the Junction–is the 54 making it all the way there?

  • Kayleigh2 December 19, 2008 (9:23 am)

    Wondering how the 54s are doing coming back to WSEA from downtown?

  • lina December 19, 2008 (9:23 am)

    are lots of junction businesses closed? is there potential for a holiday shopping day?


  • Darren December 19, 2008 (9:25 am)

    Does anyone know how 35th is ? We live down by SW 105th st. and need to get downtown for work…or attempt to. But probably will stay home and be safe.

  • red December 19, 2008 (9:26 am)

    How is Highland Park Way???

  • JonM December 19, 2008 (9:26 am)

    If you’re trying to get downtown from south West Seattle, take Roxbury down to the 1st Ave S Bridge, and then come up 4th through SODO. There’s plenty of slush on the roads, but it’s all perfectly passable.

  • Patrick December 19, 2008 (9:28 am)

    so, an attempt to get to work in Pioneer square would be futile huh? (as the 22 is my lifeline) BTW I am at 46th and Dakota/Genesee.

    plus i don’t like the chances of my getting home IF I could even make it down there.

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (9:31 am)

    Patrick is heading to The Junction and potentially beyond, he’ll check on businesses. Anybody who makes phone calls and finds out who’s open and not, please advise and we will continue adding to main text.

  • Mary December 19, 2008 (9:32 am)

    Just wanted to say “thanks” to WSB and the wonderful folks in West Seattle for all this detailed information about road conditions.

    I’ve been referring to WSB as a first source of information more and more over these last 6 months to a year and am finding the coverage for West Seattle to be FAR better than the few mentions we typically receive from mainstream media (I know, they have more to cover).

    For me: West Seattle and WSB are FANTASTIC! THANKS!

  • D December 19, 2008 (9:33 am)

    My roomie left at 7:30am this morning to walk down to the 120 at Thistle. One bus came by within about 5 minutes but was full and didn’t stop. After that, he just stood and waited for an hour and a half with approx 25 other people. No 120’s have run North on Delridge past SW Thistle between 7:45 and approx 9:25 this morning. (sigh).

  • D December 19, 2008 (9:35 am)

    To answer my earlier question and herongrrrl’s Admiral is fine from 49th to California. I’m not sure about further west than that. 49th is also in pretty good shape from Charlestown to Admiral. Getting to 49th and Charlestown can be a bit interesting but I only had to make it a couple of blocks to get there. Just be sure to slowly approach the intersections as they can be a bit of an icy mess.

    The West Seattle Bridge to I-5 south was surprisingly slick and bumpy at about 8AM this morning.

    Oh, and please clear the snow off the top of your car. It took me maybe 2 minutes to do that before I left this morning.

  • Jen December 19, 2008 (9:35 am)

    Does anyone have any info on the 120 route wait times and capacity?

    And another ditto to WSB for the stellar winter weather coverage.

  • JH December 19, 2008 (9:38 am)

    I will drive everyone crazy here if I keep going on and on about my lack of a Xmas tree. So…if anyone has driven by the Holy Rosary tree lot, please let me know if it’s open! I don’t want to get bundled up and drive there to find it closed like I did yesterday. Thanks!

  • lg December 19, 2008 (9:40 am)

    @ D-you must live near me. charlestown to 49th to admiral would be my way out of the hood. thanks for the info.

  • Mel December 19, 2008 (9:41 am)

    Anyone know how 42nd Ave SW and the Safeway parking lot looks? Would love to go pick up my Christmas gifts at the UPS store. Thanks!

  • Ken December 19, 2008 (9:43 am)

    Just finished a round trip from 35th & SW Holden to downtown and back — driving a AWD SUV with new tires, going slow all the way. Had no problems and saw no problems. Didn’t see any buses, but saw lots of people at bus stops. There were a few buses downtown.

  • Pablo December 19, 2008 (9:45 am)

    Make sure to give yourself PLENTY of extra time even if your bus is on it’s regular route.

    My gf just came back inside after waiting on a bus for about an hour. We’re on the 4700 block of Delridge which is just a few stops before the bridge. While the 120 may be running it’s normal route, remember that since they can’t run the articulated buses any that do come by may be too full to pick up anyone depending on where you are on its route. Stay home if you can or at least wait a bit.

  • MB December 19, 2008 (9:47 am)

    My hubby was our driver today, we live in Highland Park, picked a few up along the way in Arbor Heights, on Fauntleroy near Thriftway and another up on 35th near Mnt. Saint Vincent. WS bridge was fine, so was I90. The side streets in WS still suck and Bellevue Way is pretty icy, but we were fine in a 4wheel drive truck. Quickest commute I’ve had in awhile considering most people are off the roads today. The bus stops in WS were packed with people!!

  • heb December 19, 2008 (9:47 am)

    A big thank you to the awesome couple who picked up my hubby and fellow bus-waiting mates at the bus stop and took them downtown!

  • Lindsey December 19, 2008 (9:55 am)

    Got to work in South Lake Union in record time today. The bridge and Aurora were both fine. I just hope I can get home!

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (9:56 am)

    LOVE those stories. Re: 35th, just posted photo from Marco, 35/Morgan.

  • brittany December 19, 2008 (9:58 am)

    north delridge to lower bridge was just fine. low gear 4WD, not even a slip. did spokane to 99S and got to georgetown just fine. :)

  • lg December 19, 2008 (10:00 am)

    just saw a #51 bus at charlestown & 53rd. It had chains and was quite empty.

  • Curtis December 19, 2008 (10:02 am)

    Re: New Born coming home Thursday – thanks to everyone for their well wishes. Baby boy Griffin made it home just fine from Swedish to Fairmount Park area. Everyone is settled in. Thanks again.

  • Nora December 19, 2008 (10:03 am)

    Any ideas on the best way to get to the airport? Shuttle Express is still running but is booked through Sunday. I don’t know if cabs are running to West Seattle, but after seeing footage of cars backed up trying to get into the airport, I’m concerned the fare might be outrageous even if they are. Since the 560 is canceled, I was thinking of taking a bus downtown and then a 174 or 194, but if anyone has any better ideas, please let me know!

  • Julie December 19, 2008 (10:05 am)

    No word on 100th in Arbor Heights (chains/no chains)?

  • Katie December 19, 2008 (10:05 am)

    I just waited an hour and a half for the 8:00am 56 on beach drive. Needless to say it never showed up so I went home.

  • heb December 19, 2008 (10:08 am)

    First 56 going down Admiral towards Alki I’ve seen today.

  • angelescrest December 19, 2008 (10:08 am)

    How is Avalon from Luna Park Cafe up and down to California?
    Thanks all!

  • sb2780 December 19, 2008 (10:13 am)

    Can anyone confirm if Allstar Fitness is open or closed today?

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (10:16 am)

    From Facebook:
    “Arbor Heights is one big snow ball and 42nd Ave SW between 100th and 106th is packed snow. Winter Wonderland!”

  • mar3c December 19, 2008 (10:16 am)

    a lot of this – and what’s coming tomorrow – is probably going to melt sunday.
    while we have time off, it’s time to start thinking about downspouts and drains and make sure they’re clear.

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (10:17 am)

    From co-publisher Patrick at Jefferson Square (I am posting about his Junction findings etc. above) – icy (since someone here asked) but everyone looks open.

  • jennifer December 19, 2008 (10:19 am)

    anyone make it up and down driving from 61st going up Admiral eastbound to Californina today? Looking for details since we have no chains.
    Thanks all – appreciate it!

  • goodgraces December 19, 2008 (10:19 am)

    Anyone been down (or up) 22nd/23rd from Delridge, toward SSCC and the Puget Ridge or Pigeon Point neighborhoods?

  • sam December 19, 2008 (10:23 am)

    I want to do some Xmas shopping.
    does anyone know if the 128 is making it’s way from Orchard/ Home Depot to AK junction?

    from these comments it sounds like the 120 to downtown is horrendous, and would likely be full by the time it gets to youngstown (where I’d try to catch it). plus, I wanted to shop local anyway so was wondering if I could try to get up to Calif.

    also, wanted to see Santa at CR – last Sunday there was no way for me to get there, and sounds like this Sunday will be bad too. any word on whether they’d extend that to the Sunday after Xmas? I need to get some good “1st Christmas” photos.

    wanted to echo: WSB is GREAT!

  • sam December 19, 2008 (10:26 am)

    good graces: I walked from Pigeon Point to Puget ridge last night, and it looked pretty bad- saw some sand, but it did not look like the curvy (Dawson, 21st) road had been plowed or sanded. haven’t seen it today yet. the road is mostly snowy. and the 125 is canceled.

  • JH December 19, 2008 (10:28 am)

    Hey Mar3c, I don’t think it’s supposed to melt until Monday or so. Sunday is going to be nasty!

  • goodgraces December 19, 2008 (10:31 am)

    Thanks for the Pigeon Point info, Sam! I really am anxious to get out of the neighborhood in our AWD car and can’t figure out if I should risk Andover (abandoned cars have reduced it to one lane) or 22nd/23rd down to Delridge. Ugh!

  • Bogie December 19, 2008 (10:39 am)

    goodgraces – I took the Dawson curves from 18th Ave down to Delridge about 8 a.m. Probably wouldn’t have made it up the little hill to the plateau w/o 4wd. But down the hill to Delridge wasn’t too slippery as long as you go VERY slow and leave lots of stopping distance. Dont’ know if it is any clearer now, 2 hrs later. Hope that helps!

  • Tiffany December 19, 2008 (10:39 am)

    Hey Nora, when do you have to be at the airport?

  • angelescrest December 19, 2008 (10:39 am)

    We’re thinking the safest way from the 60s and Admiral up to California is to go around Alkito Harbor Dr. and up and down Avalon, but I want to make sure Avalon is a safe bet.

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (10:39 am)

    received this from Brad in e-mail:
    >>Hi, I drove into work this morning in Renton . I left around 9AM. I live on Elmgrove which is in pretty bad shape. I went to 35th via Thistle. Thistle is in pretty good shape. 35th while down to basically 1 lane is ok also. The bridge is really good, in fact mostly wet. I-5 is good to I-90 and I-90 is good up until the on ramp to 405. The on ramp was really ugly. 405 South into Renton is good also. My co-workers say that north of I-90 its pretty bad on the 405. North bound 35th looks a lot better than south bound. The buses that I saw on 35th were all packed before they even reached Thistle, and there were a lot of people waiting further down 35th. <<

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (10:43 am)

    Sam – Re: The Junction and Santa, we will be checking with the West Seattle Junction Association today to find out if there is any change in plan, given that bad weather is FORECAST (though as we all know, that COULD change). Keep an eye on the coverage for the latest – anyone interested in short bursts of only the major stuff, by the way, we do that on Twitter too:

  • angelescrest December 19, 2008 (10:49 am)

    Jennifer–duh–reading up, I saw you knew that. Here’s from the main posting:
    Avalon and Yancy Update: Cars and buses are both driving it, but we talked to one lady who waited 1.5 hours for her bus and it never came so she gave up…so buses must be getting stuck on top somewhere. There are a few cars trying Yancy and Avalon…they report to only try it if you know how to drive in the ice and snow, and said even with 4 wheel drive, they lost control once or twice this morning and spun out. The sidewalks are too treacherous for us to hike and take pictures, and we are dealing with shoveled areas on our property having turned into sheets of ice, so we are rock salting this morning again. If your question is…”Should I travel on it?” Our answer is “No”. No, you should not drive on it, or walk on it. People are trying it, as they always do, and some are making it…but even for those with 4 wheel drive AND chains, they are STILL spinning and losing control. Your safety is just not worth the risk!
    Maybe I’ll walk up Admiral

  • JayDee December 19, 2008 (10:54 am)

    Is the 51 circulator bus actually running the western portion of the normal route?

    I know what Metro says, but I think that this needs to be taken with a grain of ICE MELT. It would really be nice to only walk 3 blocks rather than 25 to run errands. Thanks.

  • goodgraces December 19, 2008 (10:55 am)

    Bogie: Thanks so much for the Dawson/22nd/23rd-to-Delridge route info. I think I’m going to try it later today in an AWD and will report back.

  • Suzanne December 19, 2008 (10:59 am)

    I live on SW 100th by 37th and it is compact snow and has been sanded at least once. I have not driven it, but cars are going by with and without chains. The only place that has been a problem in the past is the small hill as you approach the stop sign at 35th. Again, this is just a visual from my window since I haven’t driven it. If I were to go out, I might try it without chains, but I’m still undecided about that.

  • JenV December 19, 2008 (10:59 am)

    Cars are making it just fine on California without chains. It seems to be more packed snow than ice, which gives better traction. I would even drive the main streets, and I am notoriously a wuss about driving in the snow/ice. Fortunately for the rest of you, I can’t get my car out of the alley.

    this is so great to get up to the minute reports of West Seattle. The mainstream media barely acknowledges us- so this is just such a great resource. I have to admit, my “refresh” button is getting a work out the last few days. ;)

  • Spud December 19, 2008 (11:02 am)

    Avalon was a tad slick this morning, but it was passable… it was sanded pretty good…

  • Julie December 19, 2008 (11:02 am)

    Thanks, Suzanne!

  • d. December 19, 2008 (11:03 am)

    I’m going to head downtown in an hour or so…does anyone know if the 54 is running on time from the Junction?

  • albet December 19, 2008 (11:07 am)

    can anyone advise on the best route from South Delridge to 35th and Morgan?

    Thank you WSB, you have a reader for life!

  • Darren December 19, 2008 (11:08 am)

    I just saw on KOMO 4 that Fauntleroy and Alaska is pretty good, but you go to a side street and it was very icy.

  • Darren December 19, 2008 (11:09 am)

    I do know that the 21 is running on their regular schedule. I saw a bus on 35th and SW 105th.

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (11:10 am)

    I recently posted Patrick’s reports from that area. Also just got a report of a water-break problem near 18th/Brandon, adding a photo in a moment.

  • mike December 19, 2008 (11:11 am)

    Get these tires for the next time, http://www.nokiantires.com/ , if it’s good enough for Scandinavia then you know it’s going to deal with anything we see.

  • Nora December 19, 2008 (11:16 am)

    Tiffany – my flight is late Saturday night, but since a bad storm is predicted to start Saturday afternoon, I was thinking of leaving tomorrow morning and trying to catch an earlier flight standby. Any ideas on the easiest way to get to the airport without driving would be appreciated!

  • P December 19, 2008 (11:22 am)

    21 is running and i did see one up in our area. you might want to walk down to roxbury thought.

  • Lucky Lou December 19, 2008 (11:24 am)

    Regarding 35th Ave SW routes: I can see the 35th and Hudson stop from my house so I get to see the various buses that go by before I am ready to go out and catch my 21.

    Funny how today’s Metro re-route page says the 54, 55, and 56 are all on normal routes when a 56 southbound stopped at 35th and Hudson about 10 minutes ago, and 56 doesn’t go on 35th near Hudson so it can’t be on its normal route.

    Waited forever for the downtown-bound 21 and it never came. At one point the MyBus.org tracker said the one that arrives at Avalon at 10:13 would be 8 minutes late but as that time approached everything changed to No Info and has remained that way for all downtown-directed buses. Wait – the 54 and 55 now have some info showing. Weird.

    The GPS system seems to be offline for a number of routes, the 21 for sure, and previously the 54 and 55 as well. I have a GPS-triggered alarm set via for the northbound 21 and have had not a single ding in the past hour I’ve been running it. I tried other routes, too, and got nothing but now that 54 and 55 are showing on the MyBus.org list perhaps they are back.

    Good luck. I am just going to work from home and give up on this goofy business of hoping for buses while standing in the cold!

  • Gina December 19, 2008 (11:25 am)

    Holy Rosary tree lot doesn’t open until after noon usually, it was open when I walked by at about 6 last night, but closed at 8:30. I expect it depends on what family volunteered for what shift.

  • JEM December 19, 2008 (11:32 am)

    I waited 2 hours for a 21. Standing room only and packed full by the time we hit Holden. The bus rerouted at Morgan and went down Sylvan to Delridge, then to the bridge. Not sure why or if they are still re-routing, but anyone waiting between Morgan and Avalon might have a very long wait.

  • JH December 19, 2008 (11:33 am)

    Thanks Gina! I’ll go up early afternoon!

  • Caitlin December 19, 2008 (11:46 am)

    Does WSDOT consider Thistle to be a secondary street when it comes to plowing and de-icing?

  • MargL December 19, 2008 (11:48 am)

    Holy Rosary tree lot hours
    Monday – Friday 3PM – 9PM
    Saturday – Sunday 9AM – 9PM

    from http://treelot.holyrosaryws.org/

    I went up there on Wednesday at noon – the one day I had a chance to get out and get a tree and I neglected to check the hours. They were closed but WS Nursery was open and had trees.

  • ToddinWestwood December 19, 2008 (11:48 am)

    Hehehe. I went over to Arron’s Auto in White Center (Subaru JunkYard) and asked them if they had any chains that might have come in with a wrecked car. He came out with a set of old school steel link chains, OH yeah!. I put them on the front of my 91 Soob Loyale 4wd and now I can go anywhere.
    on the way home, I will stop again at the bus stop at 1st and Spokane and fill up Soob with West Seattlites waiting for the Metro.
    Thinking of making some extra money on Sunday shuttling people to the Seahawks game.

  • moe December 19, 2008 (11:51 am)

    Should we have a Monorail revote?
    A monorail on Admiral and one on 35th.
    With shuttles everyone gets to work and gets home also.
    oh well.

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (11:51 am)

    Re: Thistle, at least “our” section California to 35th has gotten attention. Here’s the city snow/ice routes (who’s plowed etc.) map again:

  • Tiffany December 19, 2008 (12:01 pm)

    Nora, I am headed to the airport tonight to pick up Mom and I have hopes that a giant Navigator will do the trick! If you were headed tonight, I was going to offer you a ride. I will ask while I am there how you should best get there and will post later this evening.

  • Caitlin December 19, 2008 (12:01 pm)

    Thanks WSB! That’s the part I care about. I think I live near HQ – my area gets a lot of coverage!

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (12:06 pm)

    I’m just glad that, for as long as we keep running this out of a home office, we are on an arterial – both for easy access to roll on breaking news, and in this case to get a good view of something helpful to somebody else :) I did post photos higher up in this post of how it looked in both directions and will kick off the afternoon post next hour with something similar – everybody keep checking above for new pix, recently added several from Patrick’s trip through The Junction and The Triangle.

  • andrew December 19, 2008 (12:12 pm)

    How come my picture from that same spot at High Point didn’t turn out as good as that? Maybe I need a nicer camera!

  • matthew darling December 19, 2008 (12:14 pm)

    hoping to catch a 21 northbound in an hour or so @ 35th and webster…have you gotten any new dings lou?

  • Elyse December 19, 2008 (12:15 pm)

    I have to go to a doctors appointment on First Hill at 4:00 today. Could anyone recommend a route? I’m going to be coming from work up north down I-5 south. I’m new to the area and don’t really think the GPS is going to take road conditions into consideration when it plans my route :-) Thanks.

  • Julie December 19, 2008 (12:16 pm)

    WSB and neighbors, I really appreciate the photos of street conditions. They help me piece out a picture of what it’s really going to be like if I try to get out of my immediate neighborhood. This collaboration gives a helpful level of detail that is unavailable from any other source I can think of.

  • Kelly December 19, 2008 (12:18 pm)

    In my experience, the 21 is NOT running its regular schedule–or route–contrary to Metro’s web site. I left the house at 9:45 and met people at the stop who’d been waiting 2.5 hours. I caught a bus at 10:05 (35th and Barton).

    When we got to 35th and Morgan, we turned right and came out on Delridge at Orchard (Home Depot). We took Delridge the rest of the way to the bridge. I’m not sure what happens to people waiting north of Morgan on 35th… I arrived downtown by 11:00.

    I’m taking the 120 on the way home. It’s always a more reliable bus than the 21!

  • D December 19, 2008 (12:26 pm)

    I just caught Patrick’s note about the PCC parking lot. I’m not surprised that its in good shape as they were spreading de-icer on it at 5:something yesterday evening when my wife and I walked by.

  • Mitch December 19, 2008 (12:27 pm)

    I need to get to the Vashon ferry coming from the Eastside.
    I wanted to find out if Fauntleroy Way is clear and drivable to get there and out again.
    Thank you.

  • JenV December 19, 2008 (12:28 pm)

    Metro trip planner website is crapping out!

  • SD December 19, 2008 (12:29 pm)

    Elyse, I’d call first to make sure they are open and/or see if you can reschedule esp since First Hill is so hilly ;-).

    If the appt is on, I’d look at the map of plowed streets and plan your route according to which streets are being plowed–the link to the map is in the WSB comment posted at 11:51 AM. Most likely taking I-5 south to James will be your best bet–I would imagine that even though James is steep they will keep that well plowed/sanded because of Harborview being right off it.

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (12:29 pm)

    Mitch – our traffic page has a shot of the dock (from a semi-live camera) but I haven’t heard about Fauntleroy yet today. If someone can’t help here, we will go take a look ourselves – that’s not far from here.

  • Katrina December 19, 2008 (12:33 pm)

    Re the 10:40 update from Talani: I don’t know what bus the woman on Avalon was waiting for, but my husband took the 21 to downtown at around 11 am and he said they did not go all the way down 35th and then around Avalon, but turned right on Morgan, went down to Delridge, and then got on the WS Bridge via the Delridge ramp.

    A MIGHTY big thanks to WSB for keeping us all posted on everything that’s going on in our ‘hood! You are the absolute best!

  • AD December 19, 2008 (12:36 pm)

    ALL STAR GYM – open but say they will be closing earlier than usual, maybe 8pm.

    Now I’m going to walk about 3 miles to get there…workout, then 3 miles back…uphill…
    Am I seriously doing this??

    I think I am starting to feel a bit of the cabin fever.

  • Erin December 19, 2008 (12:38 pm)

    Thanks to all who are giving road updates! I’m wondering, had anyone been down California hill from upper Fauntleroy, down past Gatewood? I’m wondering if I can get up/down this afternoon. Thanks for the help!

  • Chris December 19, 2008 (12:39 pm)

    Metro cancelled the 125 and said they would reroute those busses onto other routes. Not sure what happened there. I walked down to delridge and Trenton about 9 only to find about 35 people waiting for the 120; some people said they had been there for an hour so I gave up. Delridge really isn’t too bad so not sure why they couldn’t run the articulated busses.

  • Roger December 19, 2008 (12:41 pm)

    King 5 showed a bus-to-bus crash near I-5 and Denny. Don’t look to be city busses, had “Northwestern Trailways” on the busses. Both are over the guardrails above I5. Right two lanes of I5 northbound are closed. Reporting some injuries.
    One bus has its front wheels hanging over the interstate, the other has front right wheel over the edge.
    Very scary looking and I’m sure frightening to be on them…

  • marj December 19, 2008 (12:48 pm)

    I waited on downtown on third ave for any bus going over bridge to west seattle (54, 56, 120…anything) for over 2.5 hours YESTERDAY and was unable to get any updates from the metro web site or phone. I would take this into account if anyone is trying to get info. There were at least 100 people waiting at my stop including some elderly people that had been there at least an hour before I arrived and were feeling very cold and ill. I finally got the 120 and walked from home depot to morgan junction. The metro planners did not manage the buses at all well for west seattle. I mourn the loss of public rail or monorail options to west seattle since clearly buses are not a good method in this situation. If we had a year round ferry to both seacrest and fauntleroy we could manage at least a little better.

  • mayjune December 19, 2008 (12:50 pm)

    That bus crash is making me seriously re-question my plan to leave the house this evening. I’m supposed to be at an event in Greenlake at 5… not sure that’s going to happen now.

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (12:52 pm)

    Erin, we have posted about that a time or two in the main text. Co-publisher Patrick has made the trip. It’s OK and passable. He traveled all the way from Calif-Thistle to Calif-Admiral about two hours ago.

    Re: the bus crash – yes, that’s changed my mind about trying to go outside WS tonight, which was a fleeting thought because we had a reservation for something.

    We are adding all changes/postponements (and more are coming in) to the main text AND a section AT THE VERY TOP OF THE POST which will carry over when we start the afternoon post shortly.

  • AD December 19, 2008 (12:58 pm)

    Looks like the passengers from those buses are safe. I seriously got goosebumps when I saw the photos on komonews.com. CNN even is covering the story.

  • hopey December 19, 2008 (1:01 pm)

    I can see most of Wildwood Place from my perch immediately SW of Fauntleroy Park (thanks to the lack of deciduous foliage) from the Original Bakery down to the turn onto Fauntleroy way. It looks like the eastbound lane is clear down to the pavement. The westbound lane is less clear — looks slushy, but it’s hard to tell. I haven’t been watching long enough to see any buses come by.

    Hope this helps…

  • BG December 19, 2008 (1:08 pm)

    does anyone know what downtown looks like? I’m thinking of venturing down there but still a little nervous

  • Darren December 19, 2008 (1:08 pm)

    I was watching that story on KING 5 about the buses. I’m getting cabin fever, but that really makes me want to stay in. What were they doing going down that road with NO CHAINS !!! Someone is going to be sued for this accident. I need to get to the liquor store, but that’s not going to happen now. DARN !!!

  • MB December 19, 2008 (1:17 pm)

    What a couple of idiots for even attempting that hill! That’s my coworker’s apartment building…we’re all huddled around the king 5 live video at work in Bellevue watching. Glad no one was hurt! How freaky.

  • MB December 19, 2008 (1:17 pm)

    Oy…the bus accident just made the live national news.

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (1:25 pm)

    Just launched the afternoon update – please add new road reports, questions, sightings, everything else here


  • Greg December 19, 2008 (1:26 pm)

    @Kestrel & WSB – I *strongly* disagree with your shoveling advice as a cold weather native. What you say about slipperiness is true only *immediately* after a storm. After unshoveled snow on the sidewalks thaws and refreezes, that inch of snow reforms as an inch of ice, which will persist, become extremely difficult to remove, and become increasingly dangerous with each thaw and refreeze. This is not unlike the same phenomenon that causes glaciers to form. A shoveled walk is much safer in the days after the storm.

    If you have both a shovel and de-icer, then great, use both. If you only have a shovel, then USE IT ANYWAY!

    -New England native

  • Darren December 19, 2008 (1:30 pm)

    Regular table salt works also. Just shovel off most of the ice and snow then spread some salt on it….my sidewalk is clear.

  • Ron December 19, 2008 (1:43 pm)

    I can see Fauntleroy traffic just north of the Ferry Dock from my window. Traffic is moving north and south at a reduced speed, thankfully, but seems to be operating without problems.

  • Lytepipe December 19, 2008 (1:57 pm)

    Currently watching the bus drama from my office window…

    Downtown streets are icy and drivers are driving around closed street signs and sliding down the hills endangering pedestrians and intersections at the bottom. If you are driving, please obey the signs! If you are walking, be aware of the drivers around you. Be safe, everyone.

  • WSB December 19, 2008 (2:10 pm)

    PLEASE move over to the afternoon update – that’s where all the new information will be – thanks:

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