VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 1: Friday morning traffic/transit watch

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

5 AM: Good morning! We’re on traffic/transit watch early for Day 1 of the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure, and will be updating what’s happening in/from West Seattle, including the Water Taxi dock at Seacrest. No incidents so far.

5:30 AM: Still quiet. We have a crew headed to the Water Taxi dock now; remember, extra parking, bigger shuttles (here’s the special info brochure). First run to downtown is at 6:15; here’s the schedule.

5:57 AM: The West Seattle “low bridge” is closing to surface traffic for the first time this morning. We’ll update when it reopens. We also have a direct link to the @SDOTbridges Twitter account (which tweets other bridge openings around the city) atop this story.

6:10 AM: “Low bridge” closure over, available to land-based users again. Meantime, we’ve just heard from our crew at the Water Taxi dock, as the first run from West Seattle gets ready to go. There’s a line but not the 270+-passenger capacity, so if you’re WT-bound, there should be room. Meantime, a commenter says early-morning towing shows the city is serious about those overnight parking restrictions on Harbor to save space for WT parking.

6:25 AM: As you can see in the “live” camera views above (refresh the page for newest images), the high bridge is busier than usual for this time of day. Meantime, the official passenger count for the 1st Water Taxi run out, 78 – we’re told that’s more than triple the usual ridership for the 6:15 run.

6:48 AM: Todd Orwig reports that the high bridge is definitely “slower than usual.” The cameras are showing that too. We’ve added the I-5/Spokane webcam above, because WSDOT has it pointed west toward the bridge, so you can see the volume headed for 5. … Water Taxi update – 124 for the 6:45 am run. Just under half full. (Here’s our Instagram video of the line.) Street parking near Seacrest looks maxed; we’re checking on the temp lot across from the 7-11 at Florida. (Update: LOTS of room in that lot. Single-digit usage so far; has 200 spaces.)

7:02 AM: High bridge is wall-to-wall. No incidents in the corridor or on the peninsula, so this is 100 percent just people trying to get where they need to go.

7:19 AM: Low bridge is looking busy too (remember, we have a view of that above, too). And keep in mind some alternatives are new since the infamous 2011 “Viadoom” closure. For example, the South Park Bridge – see the live eastbound view here.

7:26 AM: 180 passengers on the 7:15 Water Taxi run – still room for almost 100 more. Both the high and low bridges are very busy – remember that the high bridge is two lanes outbound since the 99-bound lane is coned off (see the top-right camera). Only incident in the area is a truck stall on *southbound* 1st at Atlantic near the stadiums; police are working to get the truck off 1st and onto Atlantic. Also a note – we are tweeting some photos and observations in addition to this narrative – even if you don’t have a Twitter account, you can see our tweets here (also on the right sidebar of WSB in desktop/laptop/tablet-landscape views).

7:42 AM: Scanner has word of a crash at Delridge and Dakota – no other details. Meantime, though there’s no traffic cam showing the Admiral approach to the bridge, the southbound hill is gridlock, WSB’s Christopher Boffoli tells us.

7:52 AM: Deb reports in comments that 4th Avenue S. is backed up bigtime (she’s on the 37 outbound from WS). Meantime, the 7:45 am Water Taxi had 180 passengers – which, again, means there’s room for almost 100 more.

8:01 AM: Via Twitter, @voght reports the Delridge/Dakota crash is on the southbound side, and traffic is getting by both ways, on the shoulder on the southbound side. Weather report from co-publisher Patrick Sand at Seacrest – “It’s starting to rain.” And from Mike Jensen via Twitter (@mjtwit): “Took 40 minutes from West Seattle to I-90 via First Avenue.”

IMG_4266

8:23 AM: Looks like the Water Taxi peaked last hour – 135, half capacity, on the 8:15 run from Seacrest to downtown (added: photo of line @ pier). The temp lot at Pier 2 also has lots of room for more usage – we asked and as of 8 am, it had only about 20 vehicles, one-tenth capacity. Meantime, the roads and bridges are still status-quo, now rain-enhanced. (Monday is supposed to be sunny and warm.) See comments as well as Twitter for bus riders’ firsthand reports – some rave reviews for the temp stop at 4th/Lander if you want to connect to light rail. Update from Christopher, who as mentioned above was outbound from Admiral – the low bridge was moving fairly well, if you’re looking for an alternative. (We’ve only had one bridge opening for vessel traffic this morning, the one way back at 6 am, mentioned above. Don’t know if that’s because of the tides or the city’s request for voluntary “compliance” in rush hours, as reported yesterday.)

8:38 AM: Another Delridge crash, per scanner – actually two at Delridge/Thistle. First was reported to not be affecting traffic, not sure about the second, so avoid if you can.

8:50 AM: 119 passengers for the Water Taxi run that just left. Among them, Junction-residing City Councilmember Lorena González [tweeted photo here]. Also, WT riders were given a survey to fill out – Kathleen tweeted a photo. Rain’s intensifying. Also, we have a suggestion from local community advocate and transit user Amanda Kay Helmick via Twitter: Try the Route 113 bus from 20th/Roxbury or Olsen/Myers park-and-rides.

9:02 AM: We’ve left the Water Taxi dock but are continuing to watch the commute. We’ll also have an afternoon narrative going later today, something that, unlike morning traffic coverage, we DON’T usually do, but this calls for it. And of course we’ll cover major incidents between am and pm commutes. Once we start adding more news for the day, this will still be linked from the ticker atop our site, and from our “spotlight” boxes atop the home page. Meantime, another WS crash – 48th/Spokane.

9:32 AM: Bridge is still busy but for example, no longer backed up all the way to 35th/Fauntleroy, on that end. So if you’re leaving later than usual, things are getting better. However, when you’re looking for where to exit – “4th Avenue is the real problem now,” we are hearing via the scanner. “Very problematic at this time.”

9:45 AM: Crash on the northbound 1st Avenue S. Bridge – see an image in SDOT’s tweet.

10:26 AM: First bridge crash today – eastbound West Seattle (high) Bridge at Delridge. Medic unit being called, per scanner, for person who thinks they might be having a heart attack, post-crash.

10:35 AM: The 35th/Fauntleroy entrance to the eastbound bridge is being temporarily closed because of the crash.

11:15 AM: Traffic is now getting by in one lane at the crash scene. We believe that means the onramp is open again but are going over to check in person to be sure.

11:27 AM: Before we could get there, SDOT tweeted that the crash scene is clear, so everything’s open again.

118 Replies to "VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 1: Friday morning traffic/transit watch"

  • JeffK April 29, 2016 (5:12 am)

    Ok, I’m up and getting ready.  Now if everyone could just go ahead and clear the road at 5:50 that’d be greaaaaaat.  I’ve got some TPS reports at the office I need to review.

    • sam-c April 29, 2016 (8:58 am)

      ‘mmmmmmmm-kay

  • Rachel April 29, 2016 (5:25 am)

    Thank you so much for your detailed coverage about the 99 closure. 

    • WSB April 29, 2016 (5:59 am)

      Thanks for the thanks. We look forward to hearing how it’s going, once everybody gets to where they’re going … and to any suggestions of what to include in our coverage that would make this more helpful. – TR

  • earlierthanthebirds April 29, 2016 (6:04 am)

    i’m one of the crazy early morning folks that’s out on harbor/alki ave before sunrise in the winter and even now. they’d posted “no parking” signs about a week ago along the whole stretch and they meant it! this morning there were cars being towed that had been parked overnight in the area they’d warned not to park between 2-5am. those people are going to find themselves out a lot of money (to add insult to injury, they got ticketed, too) and with a ton of inconvenience when they go looking for their cars this morning. 

    make sure you’re careful where you’re parking anywhere near the water taxi area these next few weeks as we go through this craziness!

    • Matt April 29, 2016 (8:26 am)

      They deserve it.  I always see people illegally parked in Alki.  Every time I see some jack off parked in a bus stop I pray that a tow truck comes but they get away with it most of the time.   When you park illegally and don’t care it’s a slap in the face to the rest of us driving around searching for a legal spot even if it is a walk to where we are going. 

  • Franci April 29, 2016 (6:09 am)

    I have an early dr. appt at Virginia Mason this morning, so I elected to get out early, go to work for awhile then to the dr.   Did the same thing yesterday too.

    The bridge was fine, NB I-5 is already rolling pretty slow.  Yesterday at this time traffic was flowing more at the speed limit.  It was about 5:50 when I got to I-5.

  • themightyrabbit April 29, 2016 (6:39 am)

    Looking forward to riding the bicycle at the regular time.  If you’re downtown, and have ever considered bicycle commuting, it’s not that difficult for those in general health, takes about half hour from Admiral to South Downtown at a relaxed pace.   Worth giving it a go if you can.   For further assistance and help for any questions and guidance reach out to West Seattle Bicycle Connections, we are happy to help.

  • AdmiralDon April 29, 2016 (6:45 am)

    Rode my bicyle in today.  At 5am there was more surface traffic than usual, but still mighty clear.  riding under the viaduct was nice, no noise!!  First seemed busier than usual for this time of day.  3rd was great for a bike!!  Saw a bunch of cars and scooters getting towed this morning near the water taxi.

    The bertha site appeared busy with trucks coming and going, lots of folks milling around more than the last few weeks. 

    Ride On, West Seattle. 

    • WSB April 29, 2016 (6:48 am)

      Thanks for the reports! If anyone got a photo of towing on Harbor, please consider sharing (editor@westseattleblog.com) – thanks. We’re going to follow up on how many tows. – TR

  • MP April 29, 2016 (6:46 am)

    5:54 a.m. #56 bus was on time and not very crowded. Getting downtown was a non-event (maybe 5 minutes later than yesterday). Riders should note the bus will be stopping at Lander and 4th Ave S. to make a connection for light rail.

    • Kjb April 29, 2016 (7:03 am)

      I left at 6 am and made it to Queen Anne in 24 minutes via 1st ave.  Now to Starbucks – don’t start work till 8!

    • Peter April 29, 2016 (8:31 am)

      Thanks for that bit of info. MP.  Good to know.  I’ve been banking on the C-Line, since the 56/57 runs can be a bit unreliable (as in no-shows) from downtown during the afternoon commute.  Does anybody know if Metro intends to stick with their published schedules during the next two weeks, or if they’ve made deliberate adjustments?  Thanks.

      • Peter April 29, 2016 (8:39 am)

        And as follow-up:  Does anybody know if the buses 21, 56/57, C-Line, etc. Will stop at 4th/Lander southbound to pick folks up from Sodo Light Rail?  Thanks.

  • JeffK April 29, 2016 (6:46 am)

    Traffic to I-5 was backed up to under 99 at about 6:05 this morning, about 15 minutes earlier than usual.

  • newnative April 29, 2016 (6:47 am)

    Taking the 6:45 water taxi and it is not closeto full.  dark skies make thankful it is not raining yet  

  • keden April 29, 2016 (6:49 am)

    I drove south on I-5 around 6:15 a.m., and traffic on I-5 north was backed up to Boeing Field already.  ouch. 

     

  • Earlybird April 29, 2016 (6:52 am)

    The 120 bus was pretty full for 5:30am, but at that time there was no traffic on 4th through Sodo so the re-route only added 5 minutes. 

    I am curious to see what this afternoon and Monday morning will look like…

  • Laura April 29, 2016 (6:54 am)

    I’d love to hear how the water taxi parking goes, especially a little later in the morning. I’m nowhere near either if the junction stops for the shuttle. Thanks!

    • WSB April 29, 2016 (7:06 am)

      Laura – we’ve just updated above – Street parking is more or less maxed out, as far as we can see. The temp lot across from the 7-11 has few takers, per the KC Marine Division personnel we’re talking to at the pier. Free, with a shuttle for the half-mile to Seacrest, but it’ll be locked between 9:15 am and 4 pm (here’s the Water Taxi info brochure for the closure), so don’t use it if you need your vehicle before 4.

      • Laura April 29, 2016 (8:38 am)

        Thanks for the update!

  • JayDee April 29, 2016 (6:56 am)

    The 5:54 56 was also lucky, like the 120, a 5-minute delay. And another lost 1/2 of sleep…

  • sunshine April 29, 2016 (7:01 am)

    Loving all the commuter updates. I normally take the 56/57 and am considering the water taxi. I have a feeling a lot of people are working from home today/monday (I am). I have a feeling things will get a little crazier mid week next week, on. 

  • Susan April 29, 2016 (7:05 am)

    Just got to the hospital utilizing Beacon Hill as I always do. The early morning commuters did not seem to be using 1st and 4th and were slogging away waiting to get on north I-5. I’m assuming these early people need to get beyond downtown but I bet surface streets would still be easier. I’m sure 1st and 4th are already busier as downtown starts to open. 

  • West Seattle since 1979 April 29, 2016 (7:06 am)

    I took the 21 local that gets to 35th and Avalon at about 6:35, about 45 minutes earlier than I normally take it. There weren’t any problems at all at that hour. 

  • ML April 29, 2016 (7:15 am)

    Left @ 5:45 from high point and to work @ South Lake Union in 15/20 minutes taking 4th Ave Exit. I don’t believe Friday or Monday will be a good gage of the “new normal” as many people may be taking long weekends or working from home. Tuesday will be the true test.

  • Glenn April 29, 2016 (7:18 am)

    It’s slow going (but going) on 4th into DT on the 57 bus at 7:18 am  

  • LB April 29, 2016 (7:24 am)

    The 116 that leaves the Fauntleroy dock at 6:05 was more crowded than usual.  Noticed a minor lineup at the Spokane St on-ramp to the eastbound bridge and some minor slowdowns due to merging traffic from the Delridge Way.  Left eastbound lane north of 99 was slower than normal for that time of day (6:20 or so).

    The signal at 4th and Lander appears to have been revised.  The lights on the east and west sides were operating on a split sequence (east side first then west side instead of the normal turning traffic goes first then thru traffic).

  • Deb April 29, 2016 (7:28 am)

    I’m on the 37 and  the regulars are talking lk about the unusual backups under Fauntleroy before the merge onto the WS Bridge. Other than that, the only slow down we encountered was stopping on Harbor Ave to let some baby geese cross the coast. 

  • Alki neighbor April 29, 2016 (7:42 am)

    Is Bertha actually drilling yet? Did it start last night at midnight?  I don’t see an update here:

    http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/Viaduct/99closure/progress

    • WSB April 29, 2016 (7:48 am)

      AN – From our coverage on Thursday, WSDOT says STP tells them they expect to start tunneling “during the day shift (today).” WSDOT has said it expects to update the “progress” page around 11 am and 8 pm weekdays, 2:30 pm weekends. Subject to change, of course … TR

  • Speed April 29, 2016 (7:43 am)

    There were 78 riders on the 6:15 Water Taxi; 124 on the 6:45. I’d guess at least a threefold increase over normal. It would be interesting to see the numbers on the later sailings as I fear the 7:45 and 8:15 might get close to the maximum capacity (282 including crew I believe). The best thing about the Water Taxi is it runs like clockwork and I made it work at my usual time.

    • WSB April 29, 2016 (7:45 am)

      Speed, we’ve been updating after each sailing – we have a crew at the dock getting that info directly from the KC Marine Division crew. 180 at 7:15. Awaiting word on 7:45 in a few minutes.

      • Speed April 29, 2016 (7:54 am)

        Thanks! Awesome job as usual, WSB!

  • Deb April 29, 2016 (7:46 am)

    4th Ave is a parking lot with backed up buses along with everyone else. We passed two 120’s among others. 

  • sw April 29, 2016 (7:51 am)

    Be careful out there.  People are driving like real jackasses.

  • Andrea April 29, 2016 (7:56 am)

    Left our house off Highland Park and Othello at 6:45  via our normal route of West Marginal way to the low bride to first ave then up James.  Reached O’Dea at 7:05, made my way back to SODO and parked in my garage at work at 7:24.  We usually leave at 7 and I get to my garage about 7:45 so today’s commute was actually shorter.  Like another commenter said, Tuesday and on will be the real test with many folks staying home to see what happens today and Monday.  It did seem like there were not as many people on the surface streets as I had expected.

  • RD April 29, 2016 (7:58 am)

    I left my house in North Admiral- Belvidere at 6:32 …. arrived at my
    office in Fremont at 7:50.  I had a great alternate route picked out that
    got me through SODO via the low level bridge without using 1st Ave.  Got to the Battery St. tunnel northbound entrance
    at Western Ave. pretty easily. It was weird driving through the tunnel and most
    of the way north on 99 to Fremont by myself.

    One happy West Seattle commuter.

    • sam-c April 29, 2016 (8:36 am)

      Is one of those times a typo, or did it really take ~ an hour and a half?

      Just curious, thanks.

      • Andrea April 29, 2016 (8:41 am)

        I wondered the same thing!

    • RD April 29, 2016 (11:54 am)

      Sam  C …… yes typo it is………… ..arrival time 6:50 not 7:50..  18 minutes  My normal time is 20 to 30 minutes. via the viaduct.

  • Sue April 29, 2016 (8:01 am)

    My 55 is pretty empty today, but that could be the 2 C’s that came back-to-back right before it. Several passengers had questions for the driver, saying it was their first time in many years (or ever). I was glad to see that.

    Very slow going on 4th. It’s 8am, when my bus would normally be at 3rd & Seneca (if not a few minutes before) and we’re just at the South end of Safeco.

  • newnative April 29, 2016 (8:13 am)

    I would like to hear reports from the express buses.  I am usually on the 57 that leaves California & Admiral at 6:55am.  Today I walked to the Seacrest Pier and took the 6:45 Water Taxi, then walked the Elliot Bay Trail to my work near Seattle Center.  I don’t think I will take the bus in the morning unless I hear that the early buses are okay and not getting stuck.

    • Laura April 29, 2016 (8:36 am)

      Hey NN, I was on your 57 this morning. It was going really well until we got to about Lander on 4th. Then a lot of stop and go. My view was blocked so I couldn’t see what was in front of us, but I imagine just a bunch of extra traffic. And it sounds like 4th got more crowded the later it got. Once we got onto 3rd it was pretty much normal. But it was close to an hour from when I got on at 55th and Dakota to the last stop by Macy’s.

      • newnative April 29, 2016 (9:19 am)

        Thanks, that’s way too slow as I connect at Virginia to go to Lower QA to be at work by 8.  So, for now I will stick with the Water Taxi! Thanks for responding.  

  • TheKing April 29, 2016 (8:16 am)

    That darn eyesore, obsolete, property value decreasing viaduct is getting its last revenge. 

  • East Coast Cynic April 29, 2016 (8:18 am)

    Caught the 21E in upper Morgan a little after 7am—took approx. 40 minutes to get to 3rd and Union.  Bus appeared to fill to close to capacity.  Smooth sailing until just before the stadiums on 4th Ave S when traffic started to get slow. As per usual, Friday’s and Monday’s tend to be a little lighter and Tuesday will be much more of an acid test.

  • Lonnie April 29, 2016 (8:26 am)

    What I don’t understand is that with all the  space available on Port owned Pier 4, why this was not used as a Park & Ride or Water Taxi Shuttle site.  It would seem that this current traffic situation is driven by the needs of WashDot, SDot  who all have the ability with The Port to make this decision. I can’t believe it was not in the plan.

    • WSB April 29, 2016 (8:40 am)

      Lonnie, which one is Pier 4? As we’ve been reporting, they opened Pier 2 for a park-and-ride, with shuttle to Seacrest, and it’s dramatically underutilized so far, 20 vehicles as of 8 am, out of about 200 spaces available.

  • Sue April 29, 2016 (8:26 am)

    I ended up getting to work (at 3rd/Seneca) about 15 minutes later than normal, which means my bus trip was 45 minutes from Jefferson Square to 3rd/Seneca, double the normal time. Friday morning is usually the quickest commute of my week for some reason, so we’ll see what Monday brings.

  • WSGirl April 29, 2016 (8:31 am)

    I took the C-Line from the Morgan Junction today… Left at 6:55ish and got me to 3rd and Pike at about 7:50… So, twice as long as usual. The bus was PACKED and 4th Avenue was a nightmare. But… Still managed to get to work on time. 

  • Joe Bags April 29, 2016 (8:35 am)

    I’ve heard of several 40 minute reports from 35th to I5 north around 8 am. That’s actually good as I have had that on a normal day.  As people are saying, Mon or Tues will be the true test. Yikes.

  • Trickycoolj April 29, 2016 (8:36 am)

    I mistakenly didn’t plan leaving early since I work in the south but still am at the mercy of all of the bridges packed with downtown/northbound commuters. I hope more people use alternatives to get into downtown next week to take the crush load off of those of us who don’t have the privilege of working downtown.  

  • EmmyJane April 29, 2016 (8:37 am)

    Who are all these people alone in their cars driving? It’s hard to believe there are so many people that couldn’t either take public transportation or carpool. Come on people – if we want traffic to be better we need to all do our part to try and stay off the roads. 

    • WSGirl April 29, 2016 (8:55 am)

      Yeah, I was shocked at the number of cars out there today. People are crazy.

    • Trickycoolj April 29, 2016 (9:06 am)

      Because the only bus that goes to my office would require a transfer downtown for a 5 mile trip by car. 

    • sam-c April 29, 2016 (10:11 am)

      Since you asked a hypothetical question, I’ll give you one
      hypothetical answer.

       

      I ‘do my part’  by
      living and working in WS. I hardly ever leave, it’s nice.

      However, when I do leave, it’s usually as a SOV. I usually
      don’t have control over when meetings are scheduled: I’m at the mercy of the
      owner/client and several other meeting attendees. Scheduling meetings is
      sometimes like herding cats.

      If I have to go to Everett/Kent/ U district for a
      meeting, I’m not taking public transit. 
      I’d spend 2- 3x more time on a bus than at the 1.5 hour meeting.  If I do end up being a ‘carpool’ that’s only cause
      someone else at the office is coming to the meeting, and it’s not taking an
      extra car of the road.

      I’m more self conscious as a SOV than when I’m singing by
      myself in the car, knowing that other people like you are judging me, lol.

      • Andrea April 29, 2016 (11:09 am)

        Thank you Sam!

      • JanS April 29, 2016 (11:15 am)

        @Sam-C. I, too, work at home, so no commute. However, as a single, older woman, who is a bit disabled, my only contact with downtown anymore is going to a doc appt. on First Hill. I recently decided to not be an SOV, and now take the Hyde Shuttle to appointments.  It’s a free ride (donation), and they work the times out to get me there.  Will be interesting next week to see what they do..appts at midday, never early in the morning. For other seniors who might want to utilize  it , here’s a link    http://www.seniorservices.org/transportation/HydeShuttles.aspx

    • Steve April 29, 2016 (12:40 pm)

      Well, since I can’t bicycle or take the Water Taxi to pick up my son at school in Bellevue…

      And whatever snide comments you have in mind, I didn’t choose to live in West Seattle and have a child going to school in Bellevue.   Life happens, and you do the best you can.   Helps if other people don’t automatically assume the worst because you are doing what you need to do.

      • newnative April 29, 2016 (2:48 pm)

        You know, the point to discussing public transit isn’t to be “snide”.  Not sure why you single drivers are taking it so personally.  BTW, if you have a passenger, you aren’t a single driver.  ;) However, I know for a fact there are plenty of people are refusing to use public transit “just because” it is uncomfortable to them and they can’t give up the freedom/control of their car.   That’s just the way it is out in the West.

  • T April 29, 2016 (8:54 am)

    I almost dont want to say it, but my commute took the same time as usual to first hill, but I took the long way around to get there. So if you are on the southend, consider roxbury down the hill, through south park, over the bridge, Corson up to Beacon hill, then head north. The nature of the roads are stop and go, but no back ups.

    • EmmyJane April 29, 2016 (10:12 am)

      You couldn’t do that for two weeks for the greater good of an entire region? 

      • EmmyJane April 29, 2016 (10:13 am)

        Sorry T – that comment was made for the comment above you.

        • sam-c April 29, 2016 (10:43 am)

          No (hypothetically)

          I’m not going to sit on 2-3 buses for 5 hours for a 1 hour meeting outside of the Seattle area.

  • sam-c April 29, 2016 (8:54 am)

    Leaving earlier is definitely the way to go.

    Route 120 from Delridge/ Andover at 8 am- usually a 12-15 minute ride to downtown.

    The viaduct closure/ bus reroute added 30 minutes to that trip.

  • AmandaKH April 29, 2016 (8:57 am)

    For all you southy West Seattle people.  The 113 is a commuter route that runs 4 x in morning and evening.  There is a P&R at 20th and Roxbury, or Olsen / Myers.  Very slick running down 1st Ave S bridge to 1st Ave (Marginal stops replicated), sticky before Spokane (eliminate parking on east side of 1st SDOT!), onto the bus way (breezy), then to 4th Ave Bus lane, to 3rd Ave transit way.  7 minutes later than normal – very very slick!  Fingers crossed for the way home, and for next week. 

  • Hoosier April 29, 2016 (9:01 am)

    Took the C line from the junction at 8:00. Bus pretty empty, only 23 people. An hour and three minutes to 3rd and Pike. 

  • sue April 29, 2016 (9:01 am)

    Our carpool left the Morgan Junction 30 minutes early – using the lower Spokane St. Bridge, and 4th avenue to get downtown (which is our normal route) and it took the same amount of time as usual, so we arrived to work 30 minutes early.  But as someone said, Friday isn’t a normal commute day – Tuesday will definitely be the first real test.  Stay safe & sane out there folks!

    • Sue April 29, 2016 (9:28 am)

      Just want to point out that this comment is not the same Sue as me, a long-time poster – I’ve been using this name since the forums began.

  • Lonnie April 29, 2016 (9:03 am)

    The pier I refer to is the former APL pier.

  • peter April 29, 2016 (9:10 am)

    @EmmyJane:  I’m a regular vanpool, public transit, and now Light Rail kind of guy with strong encouragement and financial incentive from my employer.  I fully support your vision.  The reality is however, for many people public transportation or carpooling doesn’t work for a variety of legitimate reasons.  (Triple commute times, doesn’t go where they need to go, very young children in tow, etc.)  They have no viable alternatives.  Those of us who do are lucky.  That said, I suspect there are many who mistakenly think the aggravation of driving solo is worth it.     

    • datamuse April 29, 2016 (11:21 am)

      When I worked downtown I usually bused it; that route that goes down 9th to White Center dropped me off a few blocks from my office. But if I had to run any sort of errand after work things quickly became complicated. Transit systems designed around straightforward commutes tend to be less convenient for people who need to run a lot of errands or take side trips.

    • Sunuva April 30, 2016 (11:07 am)

      I agree, transit just doesn’t work for everybody all-the-time. I used to bus commute every day when my office was downtown, but since they moved to Queen Anne it became too inconvenient, time-consuming, and inconsistent. Also, there are many other trips I need to take where a vehicle is absolutely necessary, like grocery trips, hardware store trips, daycare drop-off and pick-up, doctor/dentist visits, etc. There are also many jobs that require driving. To suggest we all just hop on the bus ignores both the flaws in our transit system design and the many other trips where transit isn’t appropriate.

  • Olivist April 29, 2016 (9:16 am)

    4th Ave is a disaster. Been 20 minutes since  exited frim WS bridge and still even not at stadiums.  

    8am #57.  No problems until 4th ave. 

  • Kathy April 29, 2016 (9:19 am)

    Left westSeattle at 8, took an hour to get to the stadiums on  4th Ave.  Moving through town  reasonably well on 4th.

  • Olivist April 29, 2016 (9:23 am)

    Correction-no problems except that the #57 was 15 minutes late. That is understandable given the situation,  but Metro’s failure to communicate it is not (although it is par for the course)..

  • PangolinPie April 29, 2016 (9:39 am)

    It took about 1.5 hours for the 125 to get to the 3rd Ave. stop, mainly due to 4th Ave. blockages. Ugh. I wish I had a job where I could work from home, but noooo…

  • Mark B April 29, 2016 (9:40 am)

    My 8:30am C-Line from Morgan Junction was surprisingly fast (37minutes) and dropped me off 5 blocks closer to my work in Pioneer Square at 3rd and Columbia. I am glad the route is using 6th Ave so riders have the option of jumping over to light rail. 

  • Michelle April 29, 2016 (9:41 am)

    Took the 8am 116 from Fauntleroy/Dawson (one of the few times on this route that the bus is articulated vs. short). Commute was normal until 4th AVE, when it became a bit of a parking lot until 3rd AVE. This added about 15 minutes to my commute today, but I anticipate it being worse next week.

  • Lola April 29, 2016 (9:56 am)

    I live on 50th & Alaska.  I went, Lincoln Park, Marine View Drive up to Roxbury, down to 509 Across 1st Ave Bridge to Michigan St. Then to Geo-Town where I work.  I left at 7 got to my parking spot at 7:35.  

  • East Coast Cynic April 29, 2016 (10:00 am)

    @EmmyJane, the West Seattle commuters that don’t have the “luxury” of working downtown, for the most part, have to use a car (apparently quite a few of us) since using a bus to get to other parts of the city or the eastside and Snohomish county would be way more time consuming due to our lack of quick public transportation connections to those areas outside of downtown.

    • West Sea Neighbor April 29, 2016 (10:45 am)

      I ride my bike daily to the east side, which eliminates the traffic trouble for me, but I realize that is not an option for a 35 mile round-trip commute for most people. I found a company in SODO called “clean republic” that sells a battery powered front wheel that provides “pedal assist” to almost any bike simply by replacing the front wheel. I tried one out at their shop on Airport way/Holgate and it really goes a long way to flattening the hills. You have to pedal for it to work, and it generally is only useful up to about 15-18 mph, but for those who are just getting into biking, this kind of thing might open up a lot of new commuting possibilities.

      • datamuse April 29, 2016 (11:22 am)

        I saw a lot of these kinds of bikes in China, where lots more people get around by bicycle than here. They relied primarily on pedal power but with some assist. Seems like a cool idea, might help with hills too.

        • West Sea Neighbor April 29, 2016 (12:05 pm)

          @datamuse I think that most of the motor systems are imported from China. A fairly common thing over there, I believe. They are probably a lot cheaper there than here as well…

      • wb April 29, 2016 (10:56 pm)

        Thank you for posting this; I am a newer bike rider and the hills are killing me. I thought i would have to fork out the big bucks for an ebike and have been scouring craigs list. This is exactly what i need, thanks!

  • Chirs April 29, 2016 (10:04 am)

    Do we call this Carmagedon or ViaDoom?

    • WSB April 29, 2016 (10:12 am)

      If you’re going to use Carmageddon, please include the extra “d.” Viadoom was funny in 2011 but doesn’t seem so funny now. Of course, that’s just my opinion. On Twitter, we’re going with the universal hashtag #99closure.

      • trickycoolj April 29, 2016 (11:03 am)

        I prefer King5’s 99Problems since I can make new lyrics to the Jay-Z song every time I see it.  :)

    • Chirs April 29, 2016 (10:52 am)

      Or Berthapocolypse :) 

  • Yeah! April 29, 2016 (10:09 am)

    I hopped on the water taxi shuttle on Harbor Ave at 7:10, caught the 7:15 WT (which actually left at 7:20), walked to 1st and Jackson, stopped to get coffee at Café Umbria, hopped on the trolley which was waiting off Jackson and Occidental, jumped off and walked to 2 blocks to my office off 8th and Lane.  Total time 45min.  Not too shabby for all of that and I enjoyed myself! 

  • Penny April 29, 2016 (10:14 am)

    I got on the C Line at 8:40 at 35th & Avalon.  Seemed fine until we got to 4th Avenue, then very slow going.  Our driver suggested we might want to get off at Lander and walk over to the Busway to catch a bus or train there, so that’s about what half of the passengers did (the bus stopped at Lander a little after 9:00).  Waited maybe 5-7 minutes for a train, and I got off at the 3rd & University tunnel stop at 9:20.  Curious to know what time the C Line made it downtown.

  • DM April 29, 2016 (10:17 am)

    Is the 125 to downtown from West Seattle stopping at the Sodo Light Rail station?

  • Peter April 29, 2016 (10:21 am)

    Seattle’s slowed cyclist arrived at work on time, if a little damp. Better than an hour standing on the bus.

    • wb April 29, 2016 (11:04 pm)

      Ahem. I am Seattle’s slowest cycler. Congrats on making it!

  • seekingsunshine April 29, 2016 (10:32 am)

    Drive time from SODO to SLU around 9ish took well over an hour. Fun!

  • Westside45 April 29, 2016 (10:43 am)

    Avoid the aggravation and walk downtown, if that’s where you work. It’s about an hour from Taco Time. Did it all the time (35 years ago).

  • dcn April 29, 2016 (10:57 am)

    I came up 4th Ave S to get to I-90, as I usually do, around 7:30 am. Fourth wasn’t backed up too badly at that point, but what I did notice was that people trying to get onto the I-5 N feeder lanes from Edgar Martinez  were really backed up, almost all the way to the stadiums. This is the metered entrance ramp that also connects people to First Hill via the James and Madison Exits.  I’ve seen it back up mildly on a normal commute day, but I’ve never seen it back up all the way to where you get on that road from 4th Ave S.  I’d say it’s not a great way to avoid the I-5 N traffic, since any time you gain going up 4th or 1st would have been negated by the wait time at that entrance ramp to I-5.

  • HP Steve April 29, 2016 (10:58 am)

    Caught the C-Line at Avalon/Yancy at 6:13AM – arrived 3rd/Seneca fourteen minutes later at 6:27AM.

    Appears that leaving early is key.

    The addition of the stop at S Lander St in SODO is great, and I’ll use Link as an option between Downtown and SODO in the afternoons if the C/120/125 are slow between Downtown and SODO (after the stop at 3rd/Columbia, the bus reroute is S on 3rd to Yesler, E on Yesler, E on Terrace, S on 5th to Airport Way, then W on Lander with a stop at Bus Way, then S on 1st Ave).

    Hoping for the best this afternoon. 

  • SRRA April 29, 2016 (11:04 am)

    Drove from 26th and Roxbury up to the north end of Cap Hill in just about the same time it usually takes me, though I took a different route today.

    My schedule and job duties makes it necessary to be one the annoying SOVs on the days I work, so I greatly appreciated the amount of commuters who clearly made other plans this morning! 

  • angelescrest April 29, 2016 (11:16 am)

    Stop harping on those who drive: some have to. Leaving my kiddo behind in WS when she was hospitalized a couple of weeks ago w/her chronic disorder was not an easy call.  But, I got on the bike, and made it to the CD in time for my students to have one dripping wet teacher (and to receive applause from some of my colleagues!). Felt triumphant. That from Alki.

    • EmmyJane April 29, 2016 (1:09 pm)

      I’m not harping on all those that drive – just the ones that don’t have to and still choose to. It’s frustrating to get on a bus and be stuck next to lines of cars with one person in each car. Then the bus can’t get anywhere either. I have a car, I drop kids at childcare, it’s inconvenient to ride the bus. But I take the extra time and do it because we can’t all drive. 

  • wsn00b April 29, 2016 (12:17 pm)

    A garbage truck has crashed into  the 99 off-ramp at Western: https://twitter.com/SeattleFire/status/726123806134169601 

    Awesome.

  • wsn00b April 29, 2016 (12:18 pm)

    https://twitter.com/SeattleFire/status/726123806134169601 is a better link

  • Deb April 29, 2016 (12:32 pm)

    For those coming home today on the C line, you will be traveling west on Lander which means sharing the street with train traffic. Somehow I had not counted on that aspect of the reroute. Would have hoped the C line would have had priority on the Edgar Martinez Way ramp over the train tracks vs on Lander 

  • Marie April 29, 2016 (12:37 pm)

    Some police enforcement on the eastbound bridge this morning would have been logical  – particularly for the many bus lane violators  

  • Olivist April 29, 2016 (1:12 pm)

    Hope this isn’t going to be the new normal, just on Alaskan Way instead of 4th Ave. Apparently, new Alaskan way configuration REMOVES bus lanes (current EIS includes two options for new Alaskan Way-with and without bus lanes).  http://waterfrontseattlesdeis.publicmeeting.info/Media/Default/Documents/AWPOW_SDEIS_2016_FINAL.pdf

    With no downtown exit from tunnel this seems like a terrible, horrible, awful idea (but not too different from what i’ve come to expect from wsdot/sdot).

  • Community Member April 29, 2016 (1:34 pm)

    Google street view has a nice view of all the limited height signs that garbage truck had to drive past.  

  • Kjb April 29, 2016 (2:53 pm)

    Some of us just need to drive!  I am a nanny and my car is part of my job description. I do. I really wish I could carpool, water taxi etc but it just doesn’t work!  

  • KM April 29, 2016 (4:00 pm)

    A friendly reminder to help others get through the light on surface streets, please consider how much space you are leaving in the cars in front of you when in stop and go traffic. I see a lot of unaware drivers leaving 1-2+ car lengths between themselves and the car in front of them, simply closing that gap allows another car or two to make it through the light (per lane), and the chain reaction on back. Stay aware even if you are barely rolling–it would have saved some frustration in and around SoDo from several drivers this afternoon.

  • Michelle C April 29, 2016 (4:51 pm)

    Re water taxi parking – the closer street spots and the gravel parking lot were full around 8:20 this morning.  However there were many spots by the Jack Block park entrance and south of there. We decided against the port parking due to their time restrictions and just parked on Harbor.

    If you can walk a half to 3/4 miles there are plenty of spots! I didn’t see the shuttle on the walk to Seacrest, but presumably you can park and grab a free shuttle at one of the stops.

  • Marianne April 29, 2016 (8:43 pm)

    I drove to the Burien Park and Ride (live in White Center area), took the Rapid Ride to the Tukwila Link light rail station (saw last week that there would be no available parking there), and walked 25 minutes to work.  The big shock was the $11 round trip ride.  My normal 35-60 minute commute was 1.5 hours each way, but I really wanted to avoid all surface streets.

  • Kathy April 30, 2016 (1:07 am)

    Marianne, your fare shouldn’t be any more than $6.50 round trip. You need to use an Orca card and load it with money (“purse” they call it). Then the bus fare you pay with an Orca applies to the Light Rail during the 2 hour transfer window. Maximum one way Light Rail fare is $3.25. Safeways in Burien and Des Moines sell Orca Cards but there is a one time $5.00 fee for the card.

    • Marianne April 30, 2016 (7:57 am)

      Thank you so much Kathy!  I did purchase an Orca card but apparently was doing too much tapping.  I tapped for both Rapid Ride and light rail.  I didn’t know that a transfer was included since I was on two different forms of public transportation.  Thanks for saving me a ton of money during the next two weeks.

  • Kathy April 30, 2016 (9:36 am)

    Actually, I just noticed that Tukwila Link Station fare is only $3.00. I think you still need to tap when boarding the light rail, but it should only deduct the difference between the Link fare and the Rapid Ride fare, e.g., if you paid $2.75 on RR, when you tap on Link, it adds $0.25. Also keep in mind, if riding Link only part way, tapping at both ends will adjust your fare since the shorter Link rides are a little cheaper. We do have a confusing fare structure in the region.

    Then when you get to be 65 like me, rush down to 2nd and Jackson with your picture ID and buy a $3 Senior Orca, which only deducts $1.00 for each 2 hour ride window anyhwere in the region (excluding Water Taxi and WS Ferries).  It does get you the half price senior fare on the Water Taxi.

  • Kathy April 30, 2016 (9:45 am)

    To clarify, on the way home, you should definitely tap both when you get on and off the Link or they may charge you the full fare to SeaTac, which is $3.25. The fare to Tukwila is only $3.00, so you would be losing a quarter every day if you don’t tap off. When you tap off, they refund the quarter. On the way in, the correct fare should be charged at the boarding station so I am not sure if tapping off would help you (like if you were only traveling from Tukwila to Sodo, not sure if the Link fare is adusted.).

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