West Seattle Blog... » Freeway Fright ’07 http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Tue, 01 Dec 2015 10:32:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Who rode what, when, during FF ’07 http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/who-rode-what-when-during-ff-07/ http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/who-rode-what-when-during-ff-07/#comments Fri, 24 Aug 2007 23:18:06 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=2923 Interesting numbers in this wrap-up from Metro.

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Freeway Fright ’07, we hardly knew ye http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-we-hardly-knew-ye/ http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-we-hardly-knew-ye/#comments Fri, 24 Aug 2007 14:01:43 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=2918 i5logo6.jpgThis is it … the final weekday morning of the I-5 work that once swamped us in speculation that West Seattle would be cut off from the rest of the known world. The state still promises it’ll all be over by this time tomorrow; all we’ll have to show for it is a slightly smoother drive on part of 5, and the knowledge we are flexible enough to try alternative means of commuting when we absolutely have to. Next up: “Early work” to shore up part of The Viaduct, though the state’s latest handout materials (page 5) promise that won’t involve lane closures.

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Tuesday: Happening today & tonight http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/tuesday-happening-today-tonight/ http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/tuesday-happening-today-tonight/#comments Tue, 21 Aug 2007 12:53:41 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=2879 i5logo5.jpgFREEWAY FRIGHT ’07, FOURTH-TO-LAST WEEKDAY: The I-5 work crews have reached a milestone. (Maybe we’re just punchy; we childishly giggled at the text clump toward the end of that WSDOT page’s full web address: Crewsfinishjoints …) Now they’ve just got some more paving to do — weather permitting. Only two lanes open till they’re done. To check the live cams before your commute, go here.

flagforicon.jpgPRIMARY ELECTION ’07, 7 AM-8 PM FOR IN-PERSON VOTERS: On the ballot you will see City Council races, Port Commission races, the School Board District 6 race, a smattering of county contests, and 2 park levies. All the info you could possibly want, even video voters’ guides, can be found from the list of links here. (We’ll have links to results here tonight.)

HELP FIGHT, AND PREVENT, CRIME, 7 PM TONIGHT: Everyone’s invited to tonight’s meeting of the West Seattle Community Safety Partnership, 7-8:30 pm @ the SW Precinct. Main topic: Protecting your home from burglary. You’ll also hear updates on recent area crime, and neighborhood reports.

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Freeway Fright ’07: Commute report http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-commute-report/ http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-commute-report/#comments Mon, 20 Aug 2007 14:56:09 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=2872 17 minutes from the top of The Bridge at Fauntleroy, to the end of The Viaduct (just before the Battery Street Tunnel). The Admiral and Delridge onramps looked somewhat crunchier than usual, however. (Also, the city traffic cameras are back online.)

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Freeway Fright ’07: Five mornings left http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-five-mornings-left/ http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-five-mornings-left/#comments Mon, 20 Aug 2007 12:49:45 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=2871 On the good side, we soon won’t have to worry any more about I-5 (and ripple effects); bad side, the added early Water Taxi run will end when the project does. The folks who unveiled the Pier 2 dock/terminal proposal last week sent along this photo of the WT’s biggest line on its biggest day (today’s commute info continues below) …


This week is still prime time because I-5 is down to two lanes north of the WS Bridge until the work is done; that made things crunchier last Friday morning and today’s rain won’t make it any better. (Also note the bridge ramp to NB 5 will be closed overnight for the next few nights.) Meantime, here are a few relevant “live” cameras (refresh this page for the newest picture, or click on the images to go to the cameras’ “home” pages); as of this writing, the Seattle city website has been out of commission since late last night, so we won’t link those cameras here; check our permanent cams page to see if they’re back. (Left to right below, three state cams: I-5 @ Spokane just before the construction zone, I-5 @ Holgate through the construction zone, Highway 99 on the southeast side of WS)

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Freeway Fright ’07 & beyond: Transportation tidbits http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-beyond-transportation-tidbits/ http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-beyond-transportation-tidbits/#comments Sun, 19 Aug 2007 09:09:54 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=2854 i5logo4.jpg1 more week or so to go till we can stop hearing about I-5, for better or for worse, for now. Remember, the WS Bridge ramp to NB 5 is closed this weekend, like last weekend. Other WSDOT updates are here. Meantime, some related notes to share:

watertaximidday2.jpg-On the citizen-group proposal for a new Water Taxi dock/terminal, one of the group’s leaders, Vlad Oustimovitch, posted a comment that you might have missed (scroll down on this post), answering some of the questions about the plan, which also got some exposure at the Seattle Weekly blog, Daily Weekly.

SCENIC_Alaskan_Way_AWV.jpg-Hey, what ever happened to the dithering over the future of The Viaduct? The Discovery Institute’s Cascadia Project for Regional Development is suggesting a new tunnel idea — under downtown. (Whatever the case, this page seems to suggest WSDOT believes The Viaduct will be coming down in 2012. Its next public meeting about The Viaduct’s future is next Wednesday in Pioneer Square.)

-Catching up with the 83 sites on our Other Blogs In WS page, we came across a few people’s I-5 tales: Esprit de l’escalier wrote about the Chicken Little-ness of it all, Mountain Songs says even her bus was early, 1000 year headache recounts his first week of FF ’07.

-Last but not least, some cruise-ship passengers missed their boat on Saturday, and Freeway Fright ’07 is fingered as the possible cause.

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Freeway Fright ’07: Beware the drive home http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-beware-the-drive-home/ http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-beware-the-drive-home/#comments Fri, 17 Aug 2007 22:49:51 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=2824 i5logo3.jpgBy all accounts, things are uglier out there than even the usual sunny “let’s get out of here and get the weekend started” Friday afternoon. And there’s a Mariners game tonight, to boot, which usually bodes badly for the southbound Viaduct. Here’s the latest from WSDOT; if you want to check our group of relevant-to-WS live cams, all six are now at the top of our West Seattle Cams page. Drive safely!

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Freeway Fright ’07: 2-lane Friday http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-2-lane-friday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-2-lane-friday/#comments Fri, 17 Aug 2007 09:54:51 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=2799 WSDOT made the overnight switch, which means 2 NB lanes on I-5 as of this morning. Click ahead for live cams; we’re keeping them off the front page because we’ll be talking a lot about the big fire:
(l to r below: latest from cams over WS Bridge midspan looking east, WS Br. I-5 ramps, I-5 @ Spokane Street in whichever direction WSDOT chooses to point it)

(l to r below: latest from cams looking east @ Low Bridge approach, Alaskan Way @ Washington, 99 @ 1st Avenue S bridge)

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Freeway Fright ’07: Tomorrow could be tough. Really. http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-tomorrow-could-be-tough-really/ http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-tomorrow-could-be-tough-really/#comments Fri, 17 Aug 2007 04:03:38 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=2796 WSDOT says really, they mean it, they’re closing that extra lane tonight and only two lanes will be open through The Construction Zone tomorrow morning. Here’s their diagram of how everything will be configured, tomorrow and beyond.

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Freeway Fright ’07: No commentary, just the cams http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-no-commentary-just-the-cams/ http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-no-commentary-just-the-cams/#comments Thu, 16 Aug 2007 13:03:34 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=2788 This morning, we’re trying alternative transportation, so no commute commentary, don’t everyone boo all together. But here are those six live cams again, with a few random notes below …

(l to r below: latest from cams over WS Bridge midspan looking east, WS Br. I-5 ramps, I-5 @ Spokane Street in whichever direction WSDOT chooses to point it)

(l to r below: latest from cams looking east @ Low Bridge approach, Alaskan Way @ Washington, 99 @ 1st Avenue S bridge)

RANDOM NOTES: Came across one more goofy term last night for what this traffic situation has NOT become (so far); to Commutastrophe and Carpocalypse, add “Carmageddon” … Found this about 12 hours too late to share with anyone who might not have already known … If you’re looking for more commute info besides the cams above, remember the WSDOT update page … Later this morning, after our alternative-transportation test, we’ll post more info on the water taxi dock proposal announcement made last night, including a link to something the project proponents drew up showing what it would look like.

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Freeway Fright ’07: Change in plans for Thursday morning http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-change-in-plans-for-thursday-morning/ http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-change-in-plans-for-thursday-morning/#comments Thu, 16 Aug 2007 06:26:11 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=2783 WSDOT has now decided not to move to the next “phase” of the project until Thursday night. That means “only” two lanes of I-5 will be closed Thursday morning, instead of three. But they still say they are on track to finish the whole thing by Saturday morning 8/25.

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Freeway Fright ’07: They’ll be done sooner http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-theyll-be-done-sooner/ http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-theyll-be-done-sooner/#comments Wed, 15 Aug 2007 19:12:07 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=2771 Big news from WSDOT: The project is 5 days ahead of schedule and should be done by the end of next week. REMINDER: Tonight the WS Bridge onramp to NB I-5 will be closed, 10 pm-5 am. It’s supposed to reopen before tomorrow’s commute.

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Freeway Fright ’07: Wednesday morning commute updates http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-wednesday-morning-commute-updates/ http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-wednesday-morning-commute-updates/#comments Wed, 15 Aug 2007 15:49:26 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=2767 First, those 6 live cameras (refresh this page any time for the latest images and info); scroll down to see frequent commute updates below them:

(l to r below: latest from cams over WS Bridge midspan looking east, WS Br. I-5 ramps, I-5 @ Spokane Street in whichever direction WSDOT chooses to point it)

(l to r below: latest from cams looking east @ Low Bridge approach, Alaskan Way @ Washington, 99 @ 1st Avenue S bridge)

6:15 AM: Here we go, one more time. Our WSDOT pal Erin is doing a live radio interview and saying more cars are out there … and also says the project could switch over by tomorrow morning to three lanes closed. She says commuter complacency could be a “recipe for disaster.”

6:19 AM: The WSDOT update just posted here says, “It’s taking drivers approximately seven minutes to get from Albro to Holgate. This is twice the time it usually takes, and a direct result of the increased volumes this morning.” Could this morning finally bring the feared Commutastrophe?

6:25 AM: Bridge cams show a little bit of thickening. Bridge ramp to I-5 looks OK, though. Browsing our bookmarks, we arrive at a historic WS photo; imagine commuting in one of these.

6:35 AM: Not too bad past the construction zone. TV traffic report echoes what WSDOT’s Erin said earlier – might as well start worrying about tomorrow and the potential additional lane closure already.

6:40 AM: Times I-5 blog hasn’t updated since 3:46 pm yesterday, at which time they mentioned the Water Taxi “mobile farebox” Dow C’s people told us all about on Monday, as well as interesting bus numbers. As for today’s traffic — TV says The Viaduct looks great, even as I-5 continues to bog down (10 mph past construction zone).

6:47 AM: Those radio people are getting complacent too. They just spent three minutes interviewing somebody from this “geek dating” website. Although as geeks, we might be interested if we weren’t happily coupled. On the traffic front, sounds like 405 is again the place to avoid. On our bridge, the viaduct exit looks a little busy, but not horrifically backed up yet.

6:51 AM: Southbound I-5 could be a problem – stalled car reported at Spokane Street.

6:57 AM: Latest travel-time report, “an extra five or six minutes to get through the construction zone.” WS Bridge continues looking good. Crystal-clear sky again today, don’t forget the shades, whichever commute method you’re using.

7:01 AM: A traffic reporter used a scary phrase … “pretty darn slow.” WS Bridge drivers appear to be behaving, however.

7:10 AM: WSDOT says 1.5-mile backup on NB I-5 through construction zone, to Albro. If you’re joining the freeway from the WS Bridge, things still aren’t too bad … the left lane is even open just past the Viaduct exit.

7:14 AM: 99 heading northbound past the South Park exit looks pretty jammed. 99 at Michigan too.

7:20 AM: TV traffic reporter says 99 is still moving better than I-5, where the “construction zone” backup is now described as about 11 mins. On camera patrol, 1st/Marginal looks busy, not bad coming over the S. Park bridge.

7:28 AM: I-5 construction zone now declared “stop and go.” WS spots continue looking light – check out Fauntleroy/Alaska, often clog city by now, not today.

7:33 AM: Bridge offramp to The Viaduct now in its customary backup. WSDOT people back on the radio warning again about tomorrow — yet another lane may be closed at 5 — weather is supposed to be worse too — if you tried evasive action this past Monday, tomorrow’s the day to try it again.

7:40 AM: Cringe, the I-5 construction zone does look choked. Bridge exit to Viaduct does too.

7:46 AM: The Bridge is starting to look a little ugly heading toward I-5 as well as toward 99.

7:52 AM: As a distraction from commute angst, here’s the best clip ever from the old local comedy show “Almost Live” — the “Ballard Driving Academy.” Had to find it after the Big Blog started a thread about “Almost Live,” which is what taught us about neighborhood quirks (some of which don’t even apply any more) when we moved here in the early ’90s.

7:56 AM: Here’s a wide-open road … Alaskan Way. You could take the low bridge as an alternative; its approach looks good.

8:01 AM: WSDOT has switched the Holgate (construction zone) cam to look head-on at approaching drivers. A little closer and you could probably see faces. Scowling, most likely. Good news for West Seattle — our bridge looks better.

8:08 AM: Radio traffic report says there’s a stalled vehicle in the construction zone on NB 5. Meantime, we’re sending the WSB road crew to see how the Water Taxi looks for the morning’s last run.

8:13 AM: Bridge, nice. I-5, improving. Have we bottomed out for the day? Is going to work early (and ostensibly going home early … to enjoy the summer evening) the antidote to Commutastrophe?

8:17 AM: Our original radio choice is now wasting time on another non-traffic topic so we are switching. The other alternative reports that First and Fourth are a little slower than usual but nothing horrific. Cam at 3rd/Lander a little busy, however.

8:25 AM: Bridge ramp to I-5, no problem. WSDOT says that stall in the construction zone has been “cleared.” (Sounds ominous. Dematerialization beam, perhaps.) Road crew says the Water Taxi dock looks “deserted,” with one run left to go for the morning. Photo shortly.

8:30 AM: Both bridge views admirably clear. I-5 doing OK south of the city; here’s the view from Albro.

8:36 AM: Our new radio choice says it’s staying in touch with a cabbie. No specifics on his commute except that he is following alternative routes and avoiding backups. Bridge watch: Thumbs-up. I-5 ramp watch: Same.

8:49 AM: Last check. The Bridge is slightly busier (people going in late?). Commutastrophe averted for another day. But beware that additional lane closure tomorrow. Before we go, here’s the WSB road crew photo from Seacrest, where a flock of Water Taxi shuttles was sighted (though few passengers in view):

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Freeway Fright ’07: Complacent commuters, beaucoup bicyclists http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-complacent-commuters-beaucoup-bicyclists/ http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-complacent-commuters-beaucoup-bicyclists/#comments Wed, 15 Aug 2007 05:51:50 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=2755 I-5 Construction Weekday 1, dreamy … Weekday 2, almost a rerun … but tonight, WSDOT sounds the alarm that Weekday 3 could be Nightmare On Spokane Street (and 1st, and Marginal, and 4th, and so on), noting chidingly that afternoon traffic volume today was up 10% in some spots from yesterday. So, we’ll be up early again Wednesday to commuteblog at least one more time. Meanwhile, not all increases are bad news … finally found anecdotal quantification of what we thought we were seeing, more bicyclists. (Photo below shows one @ 35th/Avalon this am.)

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Freeway Fright ’07: Tuesday morning commute updates http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-can-commute-lightning-strike-twice/ http://westseattleblog.com/2007/08/freeway-fright-07-can-commute-lightning-strike-twice/#comments Tue, 14 Aug 2007 15:44:47 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=2751 Again this morning, here are 6 live cameras (refresh this page any time for the latest images and info), and commute updates below them:

(l to r below: latest from cams over WS Bridge midspan looking east, WS Br. I-5 ramps, I-5 @ Spokane Street in whichever direction WSDOT chooses to point it)

(l to r below: latest from cams looking east @ Low Bridge approach, Alaskan Way @ Washington, 99 @ 1st Avenue S bridge)

6:04 AM: WSDOT says the work is one-fourth done. And it’s sharing good news for people who travel through Renton: the Rainier Avenue South work there is finished, two days ahead of schedule. As for the freeways — ground and chopper shots show smooth sailing again in the early going.

6:11 AM: Uh-oh, more cars in the construction zone, according to the I-5/Holgate cam.

6:18 AM: South of there, the I-5/Spokane cam looks more jammed too, though chopper crews are describing it as “three extra minutes,” so no panic yet.

6:26 AM: Viaduct still in good shape. WSDOT says the construction zone is now backed up “about a mile” and notes that some drivers are “confused about the traffic split between the right lane and the other two through lanes. Drivers can use the right lane to stay on northbound I-5.”

6:34 AM: Drivers on our side appear to be heeding the “don’t go back to your old ways yet” pleas. Bridge moving well. So is the ramp to NB 5.

6:41 AM: DOT says traffic is moving 20 mph on NB 5 from Albro through the construction zone. The ramp to 5 from WS Bridge still good. 99 @ the 1st S bridge is described as “a little heavier than normal.”

6:46 AM: Weird that the Times has a commute blog but no updates (as of this moment) since 6:57 last night. OK, snark aside, here’s our favorite bridge shot. The left side shows folks coming out of WS. Nice for this hour.

6:54 AM: The Viaduct exit on The Bridge is now starting to look normal (aka jammed) for this time of day.

7:01 AM: Bus riders, did you know there’s an online tool to track if your bus is on time? As for the roads, Viaduct exit still backed up, things looking decent heading past there toward I-5. First report from the Water Taxi dock: Running a few minutes behind schedule – 6:50 am run left a few minutes late.

7:06 AM: Cams are watching 1st Avenue S too – so far so good. I-5 “through the construction zone” is still not bumper-to-bumper; Viaduct offramp from The Bridge looking a little better now.

7:14 AM: Still no major snarling. Southbound traffic on 1st at Marginal is a little busy; this cam also looks toward the 1st Ave S bridge. Over I-5, latest chopper reports still indicate traffic is near the speed limit. Room to breathe on the bridge at last look.

7:28 AM: Big lines for Water Taxi ‘s 7:30 run. It will be a few minutes late; the boat isn’t there yet.

7:39 AM: The bridge and other routes still in good shape.

7:54 AM: WSB Road Crew just back from checking out the 7:30 water taxi run firsthand. Photos to follow. It was going to leave at least 10 minutes behind schedule; didn’t pull in till 7:36. Meantime, no road trouble on the key routes. For our fellow south West Seattleites, Fauntleroy heading from Morgan Junction all the way to the bridge looked like a holiday or weekend when we traveled it a few minutes ago.

8:01 AM: Chopper reporters say the Viaduct (which is largely a camera-free zone) is slowing a little. Cams show the Bridge still “wide open.” Here are those Water Taxi pix; first, the boat arriving at 7:36 as mentioned above; second, the line on the dock, from quite a distance — we couldn’t park any closer than the far side of Salty’s, so this is thanks to our modest zoom. There were dozens up along the boathouse too; will be interesting to hear later how today’s numbers went.



8:12 AM: WSB road crew is heading out to see the bridge/viaduct firsthand. Does sound like (dare we say) Commutastrophe (we also like “Carpocalypse”) has been averted for a second day.

8:44 AM: WSB road crew reports seven minutes from the Fauntleroy end of The Bridge to the Battery Street Tunnel end of The Viaduct.

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