TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday watch, 12-12-12 edition

December 12, 2012 at 6:06 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 42 Comments

(Live view from the only WS Bridge camera currently in operation; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:06 AM: Rain showers are the only commute complication as this morning gets going.

6:59 AM: Via Twitter, Dave just reported a crash on the eastbound bridge. It’s not on the 911 log. But in a comment here, Kimberley has a few more details – “There’s a fender bender in the right lane just before the crest of the bridge.”

7:44 AM: Don’t let the camera fool you – the crash scene(s – commenters report 2) are BEFORE the view you see on the cam. Very slow going.

8:35 AM: West Seattle Bridge is better, we’re told, but 509 (1st Avenue South) is backed up. Nothing on the 911 log – so either it’s a fender-bender/stall, or spillover from earlier WS Bridge problems.

42 Comments

  1. There’s a fender bender in the right lane just before the crest of the bridge.

    Comment by Kimberley — 6:57 am December 12, 2012 #

  2. Thanks – must be the one we just noted after a tweet from Dave – TR

    Comment by WSB — 7:00 am December 12, 2012 #

  3. Accident just after the Delridge entrance on the rise heading east. Causing cars to have to jump over to the bus lane to get around it.

    Comment by Bee — 7:00 am December 12, 2012 #

  4. It was the only one I saw, a work van rear ended a blonde female in a BMW, probably a merging issue. BMW driver was on the phone. Later as we were closer to merging onto 99, saw a police car with lights flashing that clearly went past the fender bender and was on the Spokane Street Viaduct.

    Comment by Kimberley — 7:03 am December 12, 2012 #

  5. now there’s 2 different accidents blocking the right lane of the West Seattle bridge eastbound

    Comment by Kim — 7:12 am December 12, 2012 #

  6. Looks like some of the busses have been rerouted down Genesee to the Delridge on ramp.

    Comment by Gretchen — 7:14 am December 12, 2012 #

  7. On the web cam: There’s a tow truck on the expressway. Help on the way??

    Comment by Gatewood Sue — 7:17 am December 12, 2012 #

  8. Right lane and part of bus lane blocked across the crest of the bridge.Two fire trucks and two cop cars on scene. Looks like they are tending to the female BMW driver. She seems okay but the other driver put quite the dent in her car.

    Comment by Gretchen — 7:21 am December 12, 2012 #

  9. Sign says 15 min to hwy 99. *sigh*

    Comment by Ixobbp — 7:24 am December 12, 2012 #

  10. And to clarify, the BMW driver was on the phone after the accident occurred.

    Comment by Kimberley — 7:39 am December 12, 2012 #

  11. 16 minutes on Avalon and counting. 5 busses have passed. Many jerks cheating trying to go forward to the turn and then merge, as if we don’t all have to get to the same place. Infuriating.

    Comment by Sara — 7:39 am December 12, 2012 #

  12. Wow, the sign was way off. It’s been 15 min and we’re only to the recycling plant. Awful.

    Comment by Ixobbp — 7:40 am December 12, 2012 #

  13. Tried taking the lower bridge but they are letting boat traffic through so stuck for now

    Comment by Erika — 7:46 am December 12, 2012 #

  14. It’s 7:45 and they’ve decided to open the lower bridge too. Keep piling it on!

    Comment by Bob H — 7:49 am December 12, 2012 #

  15. Yeah, I saw the police car go right by the accident with his lights on too… helpful.

    Comment by BP — 7:53 am December 12, 2012 #

  16. Brake lights on Fauntleroy from Findlay on down.

    Comment by CEA — 7:59 am December 12, 2012 #

  17. This sucks. Is it clear yet? Cant even get get on Fauntleroy from Oregon because Fauntleroy eastbounders keep blocking the intersection !

    Comment by Fed up — 8:07 am December 12, 2012 #

  18. Highland Park Way is now backed up pretty good. We’re all on our way to the 1st ave south bridge. It’s moving better than Delridge.

    Comment by Helen — 8:09 am December 12, 2012 #

  19. The webcam shows traffic in the left two lanes, which wasn’t the case a bit earlier, ostensibly because the crash had them blocked … I’m hoping for you all that it’s a good sign.

    Comment by WSB — 8:14 am December 12, 2012 #

  20. For those trying to get downtown via 509, it’s backed up from the entrance ramp on. Brake lights all the way.

    Comment by CEA — 8:16 am December 12, 2012 #

  21. It’s open now though the lower bridge is backed up.

    Comment by Ssf — 8:18 am December 12, 2012 #

  22. Highland Park on the way to 1st ave s backed all the way up the hill

    Comment by Nora — 8:32 am December 12, 2012 #

  23. Got a text from my daughter on the school bus stuck near Avalon. School has already started and they are still on the bus. Took a long time down Avalon myself just trying to get thru to harbor ave and the water taxi – not everyone using the turn lane are “cheating.”

    Comment by Raincity — 8:49 am December 12, 2012 #

  24. I am glad it finally was cleared up. I would like to ask all my West Seattle Neighbors/ Vashon residents too, please be respectful during these issues. The cutting off buses, merging when you don’t need to and driving in the bus lane only adds to aggravation. Take a moment and remember that we are all stuck in traffic and the more calm and the more respectful we are the better our mood will be when we get through it.

    Comment by Dustin — 8:57 am December 12, 2012 #

  25. I took the 57 in this morning and my commute at 8am was only delayed by about 5 mins. I’m curious how much the rapid ride was delayed with the traffic on Avalon.

    Comment by Julie — 9:15 am December 12, 2012 #

  26. To add to the agravation, the battery street tunnel was closed as well. Ugh!! Over an hour from Morgan junction to SLU.

    Comment by elisaid — 9:31 am December 12, 2012 #

  27. Why is the WSB backed up like the morning rush hour at a quarter to 10am????

    Comment by neorealist — 9:47 am December 12, 2012 #

  28. Good point Dustin.
    .
    We’re all neighbors but the neighborly civility seems to go out the window when some get behind the wheel. Let us make common courtesy actually common again.

    Comment by WSratsinacage — 9:49 am December 12, 2012 #

  29. Maybe residual from the tunnel problem? As another commenter alluded to, there was a Battery Street Tunnel problem a bit earlier – Seattle DOT mentioned a lane closure via Twitter and then tweeted within minutes that it was cleared. https://twitter.com/seattledot/status/278900459446603776

    Comment by WSB — 9:50 am December 12, 2012 #

  30. elisaid – the bridge cannot recover from someone tapping their brakes under the convention center on a normal day. There were multiple accidents earlier today, plus low bridge being opened for boat traffic, wet roads, etc. etc. I guess are still causing slow going.
    .
    I’m glad West Seattle keeps getting more populated, this is only going to get worse unless people ride the bus and bikes.. Yeah right.

    Comment by WSratsinacage — 9:53 am December 12, 2012 #

  31. Standing room only RapidRide BEFORE getting to the junction (from Morgan Junction). 30+ people standing during the extra long commute.

    I guess this is just what we have to get used to – nothing is getting better with those dangerously packed C-line peak hour commute RapidRides

    Comment by Mike B — 10:10 am December 12, 2012 #

  32. It boggles my mind as I look at all the emtpy pavement heading INTO W Seattle.

    Why can’t we somehow figure out a way to use one of those westbound lanes (ala I-90) during rush hour?

    Drivers are used to those orange dividers and it would allow the southermost westbound lane between 35th and 4th Ave S exit to be utlized eastbound 6-10 am.

    Comment by joey — 10:28 am December 12, 2012 #

  33. These traffic issues will never get better bottom line. They have over built this area and continue to do so. The road infrastructure in,out and through the area are full capacity during rush hour times now. If I-5 is slow the flow out is stopped. West Seattle area from Morgan St. north, will have 3500 plus or minus new residence in the next 4yrs. I would think in that time or sortly after the talk of tolls will be talked about to get across the bridge as they have us stuck here. Just add an hour+ to your 2-3 mile commute to I-5 in the near future. Buses only work and meet schedule when the traffic flows. You have alot people that live here that buses are not an option because of where they work or schedule and there goes your flow.

    Comment by wetone — 11:16 am December 12, 2012 #

  34. Does anyone know why the Metro Trip Planner gives exact times for the RapidRide? Are they just pulling these out of the air, or is there really a schedule out there somewhere?

    Comment by here — 11:25 am December 12, 2012 #

  35. Earlier, I meant neorealist vs elisaid.
    .
    Totally agree wetone. You said it better than me about how I-5 affects the WS bridge (every day).

    Comment by WS rats in a cage — 3:03 pm December 12, 2012 #

  36. @here There are scheduled times for RapidRide service, and Metro’s online Trip Planner reflects those times. It should be noted, however, that schedule times are intended as a guideline. RapidRide service is designed to operate according to a “headway” or frequency model – much like light rail – and the scheduled times are estimated and subject to revisions and adjustments in order to achieve that service level. Riders are encouraged to arrive at RapidRide stops a few minutes early and note the real-time information displays at the stops. Much like light rail service, the next scheduled trip isn’t too far away. That said, traffic, weather, and mechanical problems can each affect scheduled trips.

    Comment by Jeff Switzer, King County Metro — 4:05 pm December 12, 2012 #

  37. “much like light rail” except it isn’t anything like light rail and its design is terrible

    Comment by Not patient — 5:28 pm December 12, 2012 #

  38. Mr. Switzer, the “frequency” model isn’t working; it’s not predictable enough. Time never seems to pass as slowly as when you’re waiting in the cold rain for a bus. And there is no protection from the wind at these stops, even at the main hubs. Add to the fact, many have to stand.

    Compared to what we had before, it’s been a disaster.

    Comment by G — 5:55 pm December 12, 2012 #

  39. ….”the next scheduled trip isn’t too far away.” Yesterday, a group of us waited at Myrtle for over 20 minutes. I got there at 10:05 and people were already there indicating it had been at least a few minutes since the last RR, and the RR showed up around 10:25. Then, by the time the C got to Alaska/Fauntleroy it was so packed that we had to leave a guy in a wheelchair at the stop because everyone sitting in the front had canes or walkers and couldn’t move anywhere else in the bus in order to make room for the wheelchair. The heat was on full blast, and the windows steamed up. No one fainted, but several people who were standing were feeling ill. A woman noted that the straps for standees are not designed for short or older people and that there are not enough lower bar-type handrails for people who can’t comfortably hold on to the straps on the long, bumpy, winding ride on the viaduct.
    I chatted with several people who were waiting with me at Myrtle. One woman has given up walking to Alaska stop near her house because of SRO and now drives her car to park near the Myrtle stop in order to get a seat.

    Comment by Iggy — 5:58 pm December 12, 2012 #

  40. I’m just sad because i figured moving to West Seattle gave me the best of both worlds – Seattle, and an easy 15-20 min. commute taking the lower bridge to 509 south. Instead I’m in 40-60 minute commutes most mornings.

    They need another entrance to the lower bridge *only* (not also going to the upper bridge). Harbor isn’t doing it.

    Comment by Jackson — 6:16 pm December 12, 2012 #

  41. Check me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the promise of the C line every 10 minutes peak, 15 minutes off-peak? I’m not sure where being at the next-to-last stop downtown at 7pm fits into the schedule, but waiting 25 minutes for a bus had made me late for an appointment. KC Metro went from reliable to random overnight September 29.

    Comment by RichWSeattle — 7:34 pm December 12, 2012 #

  42. We can fix our traffic woes with a subway line. A subway line will have Grade Separation, meaning that it doesn’t cross or interact with roads and cars. Which means no more sitting or standing around in traffic on the bus. No more wondering when your ride will arrive (but you’ll be out of the wind and cold in an underground station anyway!)

    Check out the Red Line on Seattle Subway (.org). That isn’t just a pipe dream, the map shows where Sound Transit wants to build light rail lines EVENTUALLY (think 2025 or later). We can speed up that timeline if we are willing to engage our leaders and fund them. We can demand that the entire line to run underground instead of on surface streets. We have a voice in our local government, we just need to use it.

    Comment by cascadianone — 4:04 pm December 13, 2012 #

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