day : 14/08/2007 10 results

Freeway Fright ’07: Complacent commuters, beaucoup bicyclists

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.)


Delridge crash update

As of minutes ago, Delridge is still blocked off between Holden and Thistle, more than five hours after a police car collided with a Volvo station wagon. The P-I has posted some details of what led to the crash. We watched the Volvo get towed from Delridge/Thistle at 9:15 (night-visionish photo below), but the wrecked police car was still in the street further north down Delridge. 10:30 UPDATE: Still closed. That’s our last in-person check for the night; if anyone discovers it open in the hours to come, please post that in the comments here.


World champ from WS!

Update on the Pathfinder K-8 student who went to the Pokemon World Championships in Hawaii last weekend — he won! Congratulations to 13-year-old Jeremy Scharff-Kim. (The original Times article about him was up on the wall at Hotwire Coffee last time we stopped in; in the photo accompanying the article, Jeremy sported a Hotwire-logo hat.)

Crash blocks Delridge

An e-mail tip tells us Delridge is blocked off at Thistle because of an accident — city 911 site shows a big response – we will check out shortly, more info to come. 4:47 PM UPDATE: First photo from the scene. 5:00 UPDATE: Channel 7 tv says an officer is injured in this wreck, but will be ok. 5:45 UPDATE: The closure now extends westbound on Thistle to 22nd, in addition to closing off Delridge. 7:05 UPDATE: Checked again, and this time officers were closing Delridge at Holden on the north; it’s still closed till just before Cloverdale on the south.


Barber’s back

August 14, 2007 4:00 pm
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 |   West Seattle businesses | West Seattle people

A couple weeks ago, we mentioned the note on the door of Rick’s Barber Shop. Rick himself posted a comment today to say he’s reopening tomorrow; since the original post has long since fallen off the home page, we wanted to spotlight it here:

Thanks ya’ll. This is Rick and I’ll be back as of August 15th. Sorry about the short notice, had friend stick a note in the window. A little vague but not sure of my return date until I return. Lots of legal and family (ill parents) matters so I’ll probably be scootin’ out again, this time with a better note in the window. Thanks for the health concerns. Just gettin’ old I guess but not as old as the folks – Rick

Thursday night fireworks @ High Point CC?

August 14, 2007 1:29 pm
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 |   High Point | West Seattle politics

Could be — if some of the more vocal proponents/opponents in the city’s ongoing nightlife-regulation debate show up for the City Council’s Economic Development & Neighborhoods Committee meeting in WS — since the next potential step in all this is on the agenda. 6-8 pm this Thursday, High Point Community Center.

Also from Jefferson Square

August 14, 2007 12:36 pm
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 |   WS culture/arts

Square 1 Books sends word it’s planning a major event next month celebrating West Seattle authors. (The event itself, 1 pm September 16th, will be at ArtsWest — more room!)

Another WS Starbucks is brewing

One comment on this morning’s commute updates asks, “Can we move on to some real news already?” OK, here’s some. Starbucks will open a full-fledged shop in Jefferson Square (where its first Junction inroads were made at Safeway a year ago). A Starbucks PR person confirms it; we inquired after a Jefferson Square apartment resident e-mailed us about rumors SBUX was headed that way. We believe (still awaiting confirmation on this part) it’s the former Washington Federal space. With the megaproject coming in across Alaska, it’s not surprising SBUX would try to get a jump on the increased traffic.

Freeway Fright ’07: Tuesday morning commute updates

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.

A garden to plant yourself in

morebarberries.jpgThey put on what is literally one of West Seattle’s most beautiful events of the summer … and just a few weeks after their latest success, they’re already looking toward next summer, with an eye on you and your talents. Click ahead to hear from the people behind the WS Garden Tour:Read More