Mystery lights, finally explained

Several people have e-mailed us about those light poles that have popped up on strategic spots along West Seattle arterials — two round lights and a solar panel — wondering what they are for. We hadn’t gotten around to checking with SDOT or WSDOT yet but Ty has saved us the trouble (thank you!) — he says at least one of them now has a sign saying “ALASKAN WAY VIADUCT CLOSED WHEN FLASHING.” Great idea! (Will they add a second sign beneath saying “so don’t bother leaving West Seattle right now, k?”)

10 Replies to "Mystery lights, finally explained"

  • Ron Burgundy December 10, 2007 (5:15 pm)

    You also may have noticed that there are street signs for Stevens and Lander on the East end of Admiral Way where they don’t even tee into it. Seems like another perfectly good waste of tax payers money to me.

  • LyndaB December 10, 2007 (6:12 pm)

    where are people spotting these light thingies? i see one one located on 35th at the entrance to the west seattle golf course.

  • Rick December 10, 2007 (6:13 pm)

    Ron Burgandy-those signs are to let you know that if those streets were going to be there that’s where they would be if they could be,maybe even should be. If they wanted to. Maybe. Whatever…

  • WSB December 10, 2007 (6:50 pm)

    We first saw one on Admiral heading downhill toward The Bridge; then one turned up on California not far from Hiawatha/Lafayette, heading toward Admiral; and today as we headed out of WS we saw one on Fauntleroy in the Huling/Gee/Diva/etc. vicinity. None had the signs that Ty e-mailed about when last we saw them; we’ll be out taking a second look later tonight. Trying to find out whose project it is – WSDOT or SDOT.

  • Kathy December 10, 2007 (7:20 pm)

    OK, these lights/signs sound like the ones already in place that warn that the low bridge is closed (i.e. open to let ships thru – a 20-30 minute delay with resulting traffic backups). So, is the ALASKAN WAY VIADUCT going to close randomly like the low bridge does??!!! OMG!!! As far as traffic backups go, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet! (Hope it’s not true!)

  • Jordan December 10, 2007 (7:32 pm)

    Those signs are much needed. Amazing how many times on weekends you head towards Queen Anne or the Green Lake area only to find out that the Alaskan Way Viaduct is closed for one thing or another. The signs should be a big help.

  • GenHillOne December 10, 2007 (7:33 pm)

    There is one on 35th just sounth of OLG church…I completely forgot that I was going to ask WSB about it! I thought is might be a (solar-powered) flashing light tied to a ped activated crosswalk because it is near the spot where the older gentleman was recently killed.

  • gwen c. December 10, 2007 (8:21 pm)

    And one on Harbor across the street from Azalea World HQ…er, I mean, ActivSpace. I was wondering what it was going to be, so thanks again, WSB!

  • westwood December 10, 2007 (8:58 pm)

    Personally I think they make great sense. At a relatively small cost they warn drivers to prepare to make alternate plans to get downtown. Since the viaduct is likely to be under repair/construction more and more in the coming years they will warn motorists of conditions. The I-5 closures show that people will learn new ways to do their daily commute when they get good information.

  • miws December 11, 2007 (5:55 am)

    Ah yes! The old “Use High Bridge When Flashing” sign!

    I actually don’t understand that. It’s illegal for one to stop their vehicle (if they have one, and I don’t) on the high bridge, and even if I was in the shape to hike that steep incline, walking across the High-Rise is illegal as well.

    Now, sure, one would get more exposure (so to speak) using the high bridge, but what about the boat traffic? They wouldn’t be able to see anything!

    Of course, the downside to the swing bridge, is that if it opens for a ship, one has to scramble off to one of the approaches, and they are obscured by the open bridge span…..


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