TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: How Tuesday’s going, so far

October 16, 2012 at 6:38 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 46 Comments

(Live view from the only WS Bridge camera currently in operation; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:38 AM: As forecast, the wind calmed down overnight. No early reports of trouble on the main routes from/to/through West Seattle. Let us know how it’s going for you.

8:05 AM UPDATE: Big backup on the bridge, and we’re hearing that it’s slower than usual getting to the bridge too. Only major call we know of is a car fire on northbound I-5 at Mercer. Let us know if you see something else. In West Seattle, there is a heavy-rescue call for a crash at 48th/Spokane, which is near both Madison and Schmitz Park schools – we are on the way to find out what’s going on.

9:17 AM UPDATE: Here’s our full report on that 48th/Spokane crash, which has cleared. Still don’t know exactly what the problem was with Avalon. There’s a report being checked out right now of a possible semitruck stalled at West Marginal/Highland Park Way, so if you head that way and encounter trouble, let us know. Sometimes we’ll hear dispatches on the scanner to possible problems – and not always hear the upshot.

10:01 AM UPDATE: From Washington State Ferries – the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth run is down a boat:

The Klahowya will be temporarily out of service for necessary repairs to the vessel. This cancels the following sailings: 9:30 a.m. Vashon>Southworth, 9:50 a.m. SW>Vashon, 10:10 a.m. Vason>Fauntleroy, and 10:40 a.m. Fauntleroy>Vashon. Updates will occur when more information becomes available.

11:04 AM UPDATE: If you’re driving through the White Center area, note that there is an incident at 16th/Delridge/Roxbury right now – a man reportedly hit by a bus. We’re there checking it out and our coverage is on our partner site White Center Now.

11:43 AM UPDATE: Route 120 is being routed off eastbound Roxbury because of the aforementioned incident, according to a Metro text alert. Meantime, Terminal 5 tech problems are still slowing truck traffic there, per an SDOT alert and a comment on this thread. Thanks again to everybody for getting in the spirit of this and providing ongoing updates!

46 Comments

  1. Took RR for first time since I couldn’t ride my bike today. Definitely slower by about 5 or so minutes than the 54x was. If I was on bike I would have beaten the transit commute to work by far…the connections to north areas are a long wait downtown.

    Comment by Al — 7:26 am October 16, 2012 #

  2. On the 21x, very backed up trying to get on the WS bridge.

    Comment by Eugene — 7:36 am October 16, 2012 #

  3. Heading north at 6:55, I noticed a much worse than usual back-up of trucks heading west into Harbor Island. They were backed up across the Spokane Street Viaduct as far as I could see, and when I peeked below the traffic was also backed up down there. So if you are heading into West Seattle, take the high bridge!

    Comment by Kim — 7:36 am October 16, 2012 #

  4. I’m on a 116 now that chose to take Fauntleroy to the bridge rather than Avalon. Don’t know if he was confused or if there’s an issue with Avalon entrance.

    Comment by Sue — 7:46 am October 16, 2012 #

  5. C line is inching along, trying to get on bridge. 20minutes from Alaska Junction so far, and can’t get on bridge.

    Comment by Chris W — 7:48 am October 16, 2012 #

  6. On the 55 on Avalon Way. Cars are turning around because nothing’s moving. Anybody know what’s going on?

    Comment by Quilter — 7:52 am October 16, 2012 #

  7. Under bridge right now. It’s been 20 minutes to the Chelan Cafe from the Luna Park Cafe. Not moving, so im writing on my phone at a full stop in traffic. I may need to find a new route!
    .
    I’d really like to know what causes this, so I can plan better in the future. I can’t afford to be surprised by being a half hour later to work at random.

    Comment by Alex — 7:52 am October 16, 2012 #

  8. My 120 made it over the bridge, normal amount of slow down that we’ve gotten used to. There was no incident we saw on the bridge when we went over about 7:20.

    Comment by jedifarfy — 7:53 am October 16, 2012 #

  9. Was waiting at Yancy/Avalon, busses half a block down not going anywhere. Lots of sirens. Headed over to Delridge where traffic/busses are flowing well. Would avoid Avalon in the immediate future (got on 125 at 7:50)

    Comment by Fishgirl — 7:54 am October 16, 2012 #

  10. On the 21x sitting on Avalon waiting to get on the bridge for the last 5+ minutes and only just now staring to inch along. What’s up??

    Comment by Mrs Tiggy Wiggle — 7:54 am October 16, 2012 #

  11. Currently there’s a car fire on Northbound I-5 at Mercer and a heavy-rescue response coming into West Seattle for a crash. More on that in a moment.

    Comment by WSB — 7:55 am October 16, 2012 #

  12. Trains are blocking the traffic making a left onto chelan causing a backup even for those trying to get on west marginal way s. left apt at 7:15 just arrived at the stop light cor of Spokane and chelan at 753

    Comment by Jennifer Lou — 7:56 am October 16, 2012 #

  13. And now this 55 is stuck on Avalon trying to get into the bridge. At least I’m sitting, facing forward ;-). Avoid Avalon.

    Comment by WS mom — 8:07 am October 16, 2012 #

  14. On 21X. 15 mins from Yancy and not even to Spokane st yet. Looking up Admiral hill – totally backed up.

    Comment by Terry — 8:07 am October 16, 2012 #

  15. Westbound br backed up with trucks from I 5!

    Comment by Todd — 8:10 am October 16, 2012 #

  16. Horrible. It’s actually better going over the bridge than under. Took me 25 minutes to get from 35th/Avalon to the bridge. Couldn’t wait anymore so just went up where it seemed to be moving better. Glad I did.

    Comment by Sara — 8:11 am October 16, 2012 #

  17. 25 mins to get from Yancy to Spokane on 21x. No idea of problem.

    Comment by Terry — 8:14 am October 16, 2012 #

  18. Took 45 mins on C line from Alaska Junction to downtown. Now I must look for a transfer. Will leave earlier tomorrow.

    Comment by Chris W — 8:17 am October 16, 2012 #

  19. You cannot get into west seattle from I 5 because the harbor ave exit backs up to I 5. And the bridge / viaduct just got widened / “improved”?

    Comment by Todd — 8:21 am October 16, 2012 #

  20. On 116 at 8.28. no problem getting on bridge

    Comment by oh — 8:29 am October 16, 2012 #

  21. Terminal 5 in West Seattle had a backing up of trucks as we passed heading east over the lower bridge from Delridge (around 8 am). To make it worse, a train with lots of cars from T5 was pulling out heading east to the rail yard blocking traffic heading to West Seattle on East Marginal Way. Didn’t look pretty.

    Comment by MrsL — 8:37 am October 16, 2012 #

  22. Left on the RR from AK junction at 7:20am. Took about 25 minutes to get down Avalon to the bridge. I saw a disabled car being hooked up to a tow truck in the far right lane near the crest of the bridge, this would have been about 7:50 or so. After that it was pretty smooth sailing.

    Comment by Babs — 8:41 am October 16, 2012 #

  23. Been sitting in line to get to lower bridge for 20+ minutes. What’s up? The bridge or just another crappy commute that should take 15 minutes but instead will be more like an hour?

    Comment by Lou — 8:44 am October 16, 2012 #

  24. Thx MrsL, think you answered my question. Good thing they built that useless overpass for a gazillion dollars and doesn’t help anyone going any direction.

    Comment by Lou — 8:48 am October 16, 2012 #

  25. Thx MrsL, think you answered my question. Good thing they built that useless overpass that doesn’t help anyone going any direction.

    Comment by Lou — 8:51 am October 16, 2012 #

  26. Caught Rt. 50 at 8:30 on California and connected with light rail at SODO no problems this morning. Very smooth.

    Comment by Jamo — 9:04 am October 16, 2012 #

  27. So it looks like it was a train causing the problem under the bridge, like Jennifer described. Amazing that a train, which doesn’t even cross the arterial (runs parallel to it), could block traffic so much.
    .
    Is there a way to predict this in the future? W Marginal is the fastest way for me to get to work usually, but if I could predict the train and lower bridge opening schedule, I could use that to avoid the crowds by planning ahead. Is this info published anywhere?

    Comment by Robot — 9:24 am October 16, 2012 #

  28. Something is blocking West bound traffic on the bridge. Looks to be an incident near the 99 overpass.

    Comment by Gawdger — 9:34 am October 16, 2012 #

  29. I happened to catch the RR at 8:25 at The Junction. The driver said it was a one-trip only added bus. There were a lot of seats available, but by the time we hit the bridge people were standing. WHICH SHOULD TELL METRO THEY NEED TO ADD SOME PERMANENT BUS ROUTES. Even if they end at downtown, it would provide some much needed relief from the chaos and fiasco of the current situation.

    Comment by Wanda — 9:36 am October 16, 2012 #

  30. drove in again. left 10 minutes earlier at 640 and saw the RR full again with a few people standing. Traffic much heavier than usual for this time of morning. Better than 730, but still heavier. there was no rain. The new norm?

    Comment by donofAdmiral — 9:52 am October 16, 2012 #

  31. Did the ILWU do a protest this morning of the Arena plan?

    Comment by george — 10:21 am October 16, 2012 #

  32. Terminal 5 had their computer go down all truckers are backed up because of it.

    Comment by Boo! — 11:23 am October 16, 2012 #

  33. SDOT has just sent out an alert about that. Thanks. Adding to the narrative above, too.

    Comment by WSB — 11:27 am October 16, 2012 #

  34. Broken record here…but really bummed after all the bridge work, 1st ave work,on/off ramp work, and bus changes (RR, route 50, etc), the commute getting over the WS Bridge is the same in the morning hours as it was 2 years ago…Ugh.

    I might need to brush up on my old transportation economics coures I took in the 80′s to understand why : ))

    Comment by supernova72 — 12:26 pm October 16, 2012 #

  35. Wanda, great news that people were standing once you hit the bridge! Empty space means wasted taxpayer dollars.

    Comment by Jeff Welch — 1:13 pm October 16, 2012 #

  36. I like to walk the five extra blocks to get to my new bus stop. Its good excersize for my knee replacement.

    Comment by carlton — 2:16 pm October 16, 2012 #

  37. On RabidRide C on 99 towards West Seattle right now. Has a few empty seats and mellow mood. Phew…

    Comment by Jamo — 2:46 pm October 16, 2012 #

  38. Jeff – many people are going to have trouble standing for as long as the bus ride takes. If you have had to wait 30-40 minutes standing at the bus stop for a bus with space, then standing for another 30-40 minutes to get to your destination, even people without mobility problems are going to fatigue. I am healthy, and work on my feet. My legs are exhausted at the end of the day. (also currently pregnant, which makes it even more tiring to stand). If this bus change added another 1-2 hours of standing to my day, I wouldn’t be able to take it. Empty space means people riding the longest distance are comfortable. I expect the route to be SRO at the END of the pick-ups, not at the beginning.

    Comment by Stephanie — 3:06 pm October 16, 2012 #

  39. I’m surprised no one seems to have thought of putting the C in front instead of in the back…..Crapid Ride.

    Comment by Loretta — 3:45 pm October 16, 2012 #

  40. I’d always give up my seat to a mom to be Stephanie. Even if my knees and feet aren’t the same anymore..

    Comment by jiggers — 3:46 pm October 16, 2012 #

  41. Let me guess. Traffic is heavy. Some buses are crowded. And some people hate commuting. Oh,yeah. And work is a bummer.

    Comment by West Seattleite — 4:02 pm October 16, 2012 #

  42. Aw, work’s not a bummer. Pays the bills. We highly recommend entrepreneurialism, which may even (as it has for us) eliminate the need to go off-peninsula. Though unfortunately there are on-peninsula traffic jams sometimes too.

    Comment by WSB — 4:13 pm October 16, 2012 #

  43. 4:45. 3-4 Rapid ride buses passed by within the last four minutes. 3rd/Virginia. Not many on them yet. Suspect the 21x will be packed.

    Comment by Al — 4:47 pm October 16, 2012 #

  44. Well never mind the 21x. It never showed. Now I have another 10 minutes and maybe it will show up? Nextbus was not accurate. This is why I ride my bike. I coulda been home by now. I guess I will catch another RR bus and walk a heck of a way home.

    Comment by Al — 4:53 pm October 16, 2012 #

  45. I too wish I would know when the “train” is going to stop traffic under the bridge like that. It took me a half hour ot even get on the bridge (I normally take W Marginal Way – not this time! Upper was faster!)
    I’m a teacher and I had to call in for a sub for 1 period. Because of this, I missed 1/2 day pay. :(

    Comment by Me — 6:56 pm October 16, 2012 #

  46. Stephanie, you speak as if I’ve never ridden the bus. I don’t deny that some need seats. It is however an undeniable fact that a full bus is more economically efficient than a partially empty one. Want more bus service and more seats? Lobby for more taxes to pay for them. That’s what I do.

    Comment by Jeff Welch — 5:11 am October 17, 2012 #

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