TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: First Monday in December

December 3, 2012 at 6:52 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 9 Comments

(Live view from the only WS Bridge camera currently in operation; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:52 AM: Watch out for standing water! That’s the big commute advice this morning. And a reminder for those who travel to/through the Fauntleroy ferry-dock area – today is the scheduled start of at least two weeks with the north tollbooth and lane closed, as announced last week.

7:02 AM UPDATE: If you get on northbound 509/99 from just east of West Seattle, WSDOT reports a crash is partly blocking the ramp from Cloverdale.

7:26 AM UPDATE: That problem is easing. This next one may not affect you since it’s south of the West Seattle Bridge, but it’s a picture you have to see to believe …


8:07 AM NOTE: Reminder that Jacobsen Road is expected to have tree-cutting crews at work starting today, per this announcement from Seattle Parks last week.

9 Comments

  1. Standing room only, still! 7:55 from the junction needs to be addressed.

    Comment by Neighbor — 7:59 am December 3, 2012 #

  2. @neighbor Thanks for the note. Did we have to pass by riders at the stop? I hadn’t seen a report. I’ve heard concerns from a number of riders about standing room only during the busiest commute times. Those reports and our counts show growing transit demand, commuters competing for a limited amount of seats and standing space. I’m glad riders continue to move back on the bus and make room, which avoids passing riders at stops.

    Comment by Jeff Switzer, King County Metro — 1:05 pm December 3, 2012 #

  3. The 116X trip that leaves the Fauntleroy ferry dock @ 6:00 or so has more riders than normal and was standing room only (the first time since the schedule change).

    Comment by LB — 1:47 pm December 3, 2012 #

  4. There are still some drivers out there who need further educational outreach regarding green bike boxes it seems.

    Comment by RoomWithAView — 2:21 pm December 3, 2012 #

  5. @Jeff – Please do not try to shift responsibility for this problem back to riders.
    .
    The problem I’m seeing is not that buses are standing-room-only – while I don’t agree with the logic, I understand it’s the intent of Rapid Ride to offer fewer seats than other buses of similar size, so riders just have to accept that at peak times they often won’t get a seat.
    .
    I routinely experience Rapid Ride buses so full that either the driver skips stops or riders not feeling safe enough to board.
    .
    One problem I see with crowding on Rapid Ride buses (coming from someone who rides Rapid Ride buses twice a day, usually at peak travel times) is that riders DO NOT KNOW when the next bus will come, and/or do not feel they can depend on its timeliness, so they pack themselves on to the bus when it arrives – the idea that the devil you know (an overfull bus) is better than the one you don’t (who knows when the next one will come, and/or the ETA is much longer than 10 minutes).
    .
    Not once in my 40-plus trips on Rapid Ride buses have I see an instance of riders failing to move to the back and otherwise make as much space as possible for others. In fact, riders are often so accommodating of fellow riders that they will press together tightly (as requested by the driver) to the extent that once the coach is under way, it makes for unsafe conditions when drivers stop, start and corner quickly. I’ve heard a first-hand account of a rider getting a bloody face from falling during such an event, and I’m sure it’s not the only such injury. Aside from outright injury, such uncomfortably packed conditions are dehumanizing and repellant to many would-be riders.
    .
    Metro bears responsibility for providing accurate anticipated departure information to riders via smartphone-accessible applications and digital readerboards at all Rapid Ride stops. Until it follows through on these items, I will view statements about what Rapid Ride riders should be doing better as passing the buck and evasion of responsibility.

    Comment by Ben — 3:31 pm December 3, 2012 #

  6. And everyone may have noticed that Metro has placed “Attention Our Bus Arrival Signs Don’t Really Work” signs at most of the stations with arrival signs. This is nearly 11 weeks since this service was initiated with great fanfare and promise. Hey Metro – the 35th & Barton sign wildly states next bus at 35 or 29 or 12 or whatever time it seems to want – this is all in the same 3 minute window. Yes we know it doesn’t work. Why is it taking 11 weeks to figure out how to fix it and why wasn’t this debugged in the extra year you had to deploy the service? Eh? Among other failings of RapidRide, that is -

    Comment by chas redmond — 4:01 pm December 3, 2012 #

  7. I’ve been out observing traffic at the Morgan Junction intersection, around the new “bus bulbs,” but it’s unwise to try and stop drivers on the fly.
    Anybody who wants to comment — on the record — for a news article may e-mail to mlindblom@seattletimes.com or call 206-515-5631

    Comment by Mike Lindblom — 6:03 pm December 3, 2012 #

  8. No one was left standing at the curb this morning but they were stuffed onto the bus, it’s dangerous. Stood at 3rd and spring from 4:42 until 5:04 this evening. All of the doors opened, I tapped my card and sat down in the middle. Counted 7 people get on through the middle door, no payment. Standing room only when we got to 2nd and Columbia, same drill, many do not pay. I ride twice a day, 5 days a week at a minimum. Many trips not on peak times. I have never seen or been asked by a transit officer to verify that I had paid. Now I read that the two major rapid ride stops downtown will not be equipped with readers until 2014! Metro claimed they needed those fares and eliminated the ride free zone. Metro, what are you going to do about the ride free king county zone? You need to address this now and take all necessary steps to make your riders safe, standing or sitting.

    Comment by Neighbor — 6:05 pm December 3, 2012 #

  9. I’m wondering if the lack of enforcement issues for back door entry stems not just from a lack of manpower to monitor fares, but to help the buses hit their mark timewise. I also see the express buses open the back door for entry at 2nd and Columbia presumably to get the large crowd on the bus as quickly as possible since having them all enter on the front would be very time consuming.

    Comment by East Coast Cynic — 9:03 pm December 3, 2012 #

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