TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday tracking

December 6, 2012 at 6:59 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 25 Comments

(Live view from the only WS Bridge camera currently in operation; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
Starting off quiet again today. Let us know (when you can call or text safely) if you see anything others need to know about – whether it’s on the roads here in West Seattle or on the routes used to get to and from here.

10:35 AM UPDATE: The bridge cam looks more like 8 am right now – there’s a backup on northbound 99, which has been reported to us as various things including construction work and large vehicles stalling. Absent official info right now, we’ll just warn you of the backup.

25 Comments

  1. Going into my last few days of the free West Seattle in Motion Metro Pass (which is why I’ve been taking the bus so much). Yesterday, on the way back from dowtown on the 1:15, which was almost empty, we got to Morgan Junction, and a woman who looked like my clone (60s, short and frail) went to get off at the front of the bus. The driver (a young, strong, tall blond woman) told her in a loud voice to “EXIT AT THE REAR.” The woman said she needed to exit the front because the drop from the rear was too long. THE DRIVER ARGUED WITH HER. She said, “all the exits have the same drop, and that passengers must exit from the front.” The woman was getting upset. Then, big mouth that I am, and told the driver that Metro says if we need to use the kneeler, and especially if the middle and back of the bus are away from the curb, that we SHOULD exit from the front. The driver started to argue with me. I said, “excuse me, ma’am, we are not all tall and strong like you, and Metro has told us that drivers will use the kneeler and we can exit from the front if we need to”. Silence from the driver. The woman who had been yelled at got off through the front. At this point there were only a few paassengers left on the bus. I rode to Westwood Village and got off the front. On the way back to Morgan, I had the same driver. We got to Morgan (again, not a packed bus, as it was about 2:15 or so). The driver launched into her exit at the rear speech. I was sitting way in the front and went to the front door and had to ask twice before she would use the kneeler for me. (By the way, on the 22 and many of the local buses, the drivers will lower the kneeler without your even having to ask. It’s a nice courtesy.) I think part of the issue is that some people don’t look disabled or ancient. I told her that some people may have balance problems or osteoporosis or are getting over an injury and may look fine, but that if a passenger asks to exit the front and to have the driver use a kneeler, that the driver should gladly oblige.
    I remember when they were showing off the buses at the Morgan Street Fair last summer. The demonstrators from Metro were so proud of the kneelers.
    In London, there are announcements on the Tube to “mind the gap,” when the trains are in a not-straight platform and some of the rear cars are a bit away from the platform. Metro drivers need to realize that when they don’t park in totally straight up to the curb that the doors will necessitate leaping across a gap. Hence, the kneelers in the front.
    As a final comment, most of the C drivers are helpful and friendly. Driving a big bus like that, especially one that is SRO in traffic, is a stressful job, and I admire the skill it takes. My comments are meant to be helpful, since in a prior life I was a customer service manager (not at metro) and am not trying to be grumpy or difficult.

    Comment by Iggy — 7:42 am December 6, 2012 #

  2. Why is 4th ave exit backed up on to ws br?!

    Comment by Fed up — 8:12 am December 6, 2012 #

  3. CORRECTION TO PRIOR POSTING: Should read: THE DRIVER ARGUED WITH HER. She said, “all the exits have the same drop, and that passengers must exit from the REAR.” (not the front as I erroneously said. This, of course, changes entire meaning….). mea culpa.

    Comment by Iggy — 8:41 am December 6, 2012 #

  4. I was wondering that myself as I maneuvered out of that line and into the line for 5N. I could see 4th northbound when I got in line for 5N and there was little traffic. My guess is the light at the bottom of the offramp might have been out.

    Comment by squareeyes — 9:12 am December 6, 2012 #

  5. Collision at 48th/Andover, looks like a missed unmarked intersection right of way.

    Comment by george — 9:32 am December 6, 2012 #

  6. Yesterday at 4th and Lander the traffic was being directed by officers, some work was happening on Spokane St. May be the same today, backing up quite a way.

    Comment by Gina — 9:32 am December 6, 2012 #

  7. The problem with the 4th Ave off ramp is people make a soft right turn from the right lane at the bottom of the ramp vs a hard right (90 degree angle) as the black and white turn sign directs! Soft right turns are allowed from the center lane. People don’t want to turn a hard right from the right lane because that lane on 4th ends in a right turn only, a block up at Spokane, and I am guessing they want to continue north on 4th but don’t want to wait in the center lane since they cannot turn right on a red?
    .
    This behavior screws all those wanting to make a legal hard right turn from the right lane.. even when we have a green light, enough people are still trying to turn soft right from the right lane but the light at Spokane is red so there is no where for people to go. Seems illegal to me.. Maybe a good design in planning but not in reality. I’ll email the city but I don’t know what can be done about it now.

    Comment by WSratsinacage — 9:48 am December 6, 2012 #

  8. Is or was a stall on 99 nb just after merge from sodo.

    Comment by Mich — 9:49 am December 6, 2012 #

  9. Thanks, Mich. Stalls don’t show up on the 911 log and not always on Twitter, so the only way we get info about them is after someone’s passed them.

    Comment by WSB — 10:32 am December 6, 2012 #

  10. There needs to be additional outreach for drivers who remain ignorant of the correct way to use the green bike box at delridge. Stories of drivers harassing cyclists over it abound. A female driver of an official vanpool was stopped firmly in the middle of the box yesterday. How can we get police to enforce this area?

    Comment by RoomWithAView — 10:42 am December 6, 2012 #

  11. RWAV, did you notice, is it complete yet (with the STOP HERE on the pavement)? We’ll go take a look later today but when last I checked with SDOT, it wasn’t complete, which might affect enforcement – nonetheless, you could start by calling the SDOT hotline at 206-684-ROAD.

    Comment by WSB — 10:56 am December 6, 2012 #

  12. @lggy, as a former Metro driver I would absolutely encourage you or anyone else to make a comment about that C line driver on Metro’s website. The driver will need to explain herself to a base chief. Somehow not enough of the drivers got the message that exiting out the back is encouraged, not required, especially for those needing a kneel.

    Comment by dustyhawk — 12:41 pm December 6, 2012 #

  13. 4th avenue exit is usually ok, today not so much.

    It looks to me like more and more people are using it to get downtown. As a result, the timing of the light at the intersection of Spokane street and 4th needs to be adjusted. As it stands now, when the offramp light turns green traffic is backed up all the way to the intersection because the light under the SSV is red – and two or three cars get through per cycle.

    WS drivers are at a severe disadvantage until they re-time that light.

    Comment by joey — 3:09 pm December 6, 2012 #

  14. I absolutely agree with iggy regarding the kneeler situation. Why did Metro use our tax money to equip the busses with kneelers if they don’t expect the drivers to use them??

    Comment by dwar — 3:21 pm December 6, 2012 #

  15. I filled out an online request form for DOT to look at light timing at the 4th Ave off ramp and 4th Ave/Spokane ST. I also mentioned people blocking the intersection on northbound 4th and people not turning correctly from the ramp on to 4th. We’ll see ….
    .
    Thanks joey.

    Comment by WSratsinacage — 4:01 pm December 6, 2012 #

  16. Stalled vehicle w bound on the WS bridge. 99 s getting backed up.

    Comment by Ixobbp — 5:19 pm December 6, 2012 #

  17. Enforcement on a bike box? Good luck on that.

    Comment by Flickertail — 6:54 pm December 6, 2012 #

  18. I don’t really need to have the bus kneeled, but on more than one occasion the driver kneeled the bus.

    I don’t THINK I look old… but perhaps they thought I could use that extra few inches :)

    Comment by kevin — 7:00 pm December 6, 2012 #

  19. Totally agree with Iggy!

    Comment by West Seattle since 1979 — 7:50 pm December 6, 2012 #

  20. Why does the thing make such a loud beeping noise? Look here world, another old person getting off the bus.

    Comment by Loretta — 8:45 pm December 6, 2012 #

  21. The more people who alert SPD and SDOT about chronic problem areas the more likely it’s going to get some attention. I has a nasty encounter this morning with a man in a truck who had blocked access for cyclists to the bike box. I pulled up in front of him and waited for the green – it isn’t easily apparent from behind the line of cars to see if the first vehicle is blocking the box, and once you see it, you’re in the same situation than before the bike box…when the light turned green I took off as fast as possible to get across and to the right. Instead of patiently driving like a civilized person aware that there’s a human being in front of him, he gunned his truck behind me, following way too close and honked at me, then flipped me off. Yes, I shouted – sorry. To top it off, he wasn’t even using the right lane, but continued northbound in the left lane. His behavior was completely illegal and uncalled for.

    * To contact the Seattle Police Department, if it’s not an emergency (like a problem area that has lots of speeding motorists or drivers blocking intersections), you can contact them via the “SPD Contact Form:” http://www.seattle.gov/police/contact/default.htm

    * To contact SDOT about this problem, email walkandbike@seattle.gov

    Comment by Al — 8:28 am December 7, 2012 #

  22. no, the bike box hasn’t been completed, no “Stop here” or white line

    Comment by sam-c — 8:28 am December 7, 2012 #

  23. @iggy Thanks very much for your clear and polite advocacy in what sounds like a difficult situation. I’m sharing your story with folks here and we will be contacting our driver regarding proper procedures. Our community of riders is diverse and we want to use the tools we have, like kneeling coaches, to serve them.
    Also, getting a coach number helps us work directly with that operator to better avoid conflicts like this in the future.
    Some other tools: Riders can file detailed concerns through our website http://metro.kingcounty.gov/cs/feedback_choose.html#email
    or email customer.comments@kingcounty.gov.
    Thanks again for all you do!

    Comment by Jeff Switzer, King County Metro — 1:11 pm December 7, 2012 #

  24. There is clearly a large “Stop Here” sign to the right of the bike box. That supercedes the “stop line” until the stop line is painted.

    Comment by Al — 1:43 pm December 7, 2012 #

  25. I was referring to the painted asphalt markings that WSB mentioned in a couple previous reports. I have no knowledge of the sign since I can’t see it from my view and don’t drive that way.

    Comment by sam-c — 2:42 pm December 7, 2012 #

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