(SCROLL DOWN FOR THE LATEST INFO – and let us know, in comments, how your commute went!)
(More cams on the WSB Traffic page; travel times on the city Travelers’ Info map)
Again today, we’ll keep a running narrative of the morning commute, and invite you to share your experience, either in comments or by another means of your choice … no trouble as we begin, just before 6. Our “Viaduct Crunch” coverage partners at KING 5 say WSDOT reported earlier this morning that the demolition work is on track. At the West Seattle Water Taxi dock, the line for the 6:15 am sailing is longer than it was on Monday morning. Here’s the special schedule; remember the Rachel Marie is back this morning, returning to service at mid-afternoon yesterday after repairs. KING’s “minute-by-minute” updates (including their tweets, ours, and other sources) can be seen here (click “play”).
6:13 AM: Our crew just arrived at the Water Taxi, and reports seeing more street traffic than this time yesterday. But the Don Armeni Boat Ramp parking appears a bit emptier, same for street parking, even though there are indeed more people taking the early Water Taxi (stand by for the official total). SDOT’s live-video cams on the high bridge show it’s a bit foggy, and starting to get busy. (added) 110 estimated on the first Water Taxi run – a few more than yesterday.
6:22 AM: And much like yesterday at this time, the eastbound high bridge is starting to slow down. Just noticed the Water Taxi ridership numbers for yesterday’s PM commute are published (the AM numbers were up early): 5:15, 5:45, 6:15 sailings were at capacity (150). [added} Metro‘s first morning report: No bus delays.
6:32 AM: A KING crew just drove Avalon onto the high bridge, and says it’s sluggish too; they’ve also noted Seattle Police patrolling for bus-lane violators on the bridge again today. (Via Twitter, Jana tells us “Two police cars and three vehicles pulled over for blocking the ‘bus only’ lane” when her bus went by.) Another of their crews is up at the Traffic Management Center in SDOT offices downtown, and reports that the patterns yesterday and today are indeed trending about an hour earlier than usual. By the way, if you’re taking 1st to get on the Viaduct at Royal Brougham, the ramp IS OPEN THIS MORNING (it was closed a few hours during the day yesterday; demolition work got too close).
6:45 AM: High bridge still slow going. Via Twitter, @pleonardo says that given the slowdown, “Glad the coffee is hot”! The 6:45 Water Taxi is down from yesterday, 111 compared to Monday’s 129. Parking for the Water Taxi is more available than early yesterday – more people seem to be getting dropped off. Special lot at Don Armeni still virtually empty.
7 AM: Bus riders are reporting “a breeze” so far this morning – at least those who left by 6:30! High bridge still busy. Low bridge not as busy. No surface trouble spots at major intersections that police are watching, like 1st and Spokane, per a “round robin” check of sorts we just heard via scanner. SDOT is telling KING’s Traffic Management Center crew that **4th looks better than 1st** so try the high bridge to the 4th Ave. S. exit if you can. (added) From Metro via Twitter: “Don’t be surprised if your bus takes a different route from yesterday to avoid morphing congestion. Bus won’t miss any stops.”
7:15 AM: Margie, via Facebook, says the lighted sign on Avalon warns it’ll take you 25 minutes to get to I-5. (added) The 7:15 am Water Taxi sailing had 128, unlike yesterday, which was at capacity with some left at dock. There’s also still parking in the Don Armeni lot, if you’re thinking about the WT. And the high bridge is still slow, more like a “normal” day than like yesterday. But KING’s chopper shows the low bridge continues to flow at an OK pace.
7:39 AM: Like yesterday, the high bridge is starting to thin out a bit. Our crew at the Water Taxi dock (which again is a magnet for TV crews – three trucks there now, according to Bill Schrier, who got to the dock just as the previous boat was leaving). He says it looks like everybody will make it on board – we’ll get an update on the passenger count in a few minutes. However, once you get downtown – 1st Avenue South is slow going, according to a KING crew currently stopped at 1st/Hanford.
7:48 AM: Water Taxi just left with 117 on board, down from capacity 150 (with some left waiting) yesterday. And the high bridge looks GREAT. The low bridge, though, looks slow heading toward downtown – the city just swung a live camera around that way. And westbound is wall-to-wall trucks. Back to Harbor Avenue – the Don Armeni parking lot for the Water Taxi now is almost full. But there’s some street parking along Harbor, west of Alki Tavern, on the water side.
8:05 AM: Haven’t been any crashes compounding things this morning, by the way, along the bridge or I-5. Bridge wide open.
8:19 AM: The 8:15 am Water Taxi run was again below capacity – but still, more than 110 people, including County Councilmember Joe McDermott, chair of the county Ferry District board. Bridge = a breeze. Surface streets downtown = 4th is faster than 1st.
8:30 AM: So if you had to take the bus, leaving before 6:30 or after 7:30 seemed to be the trick. Amy says via Twitter that her bus ride took only 20 minutes.
8:52 AM: And we have a “25 minutes to UW” report too, from SHQ via Twitter. If anything dramatic happens on the roads in the next couple hours, we’ll add it here; otherwise, we’ll have separate pm reports, as we did yesterday. We’ll see if the afternoon/evening commute is any better than yesterday, when train backups in SODO caused some misery, among other factors. The forecast looks good (tomorrow morning too).
10:24 AM: Results of this morning’s police operation on the bridge, from SPD Blotter:
24 Bus Lane violations
2 No Proof of Insurance
1 No Valid Driver’s License
Sorry, comment time is over.
All contents copyright 2013, A Drink of Water and a Story Interactive. Here's how to contact us.
Header image by Nick Adams. ABSOLUTELY NO WSB PHOTO REUSE WITHOUT SITE OWNERS' PERMISSION.
Entries and comments feeds. ^Top^