West Seattle, Washington
This month marks one year since the Viaduct Vote. Some things have happened in the ensuing year, perhaps most notably Governor Gregoire declaring what’s left of The Viaduct will come down by 2012 (if not sooner). Second most notably, the state, city, and county agreed to work together to figure out what to do in the wake of the city vote that said no to a tunnel and no to an elevated replacement. Details of that ongoing work have emerged recently at a meeting here and a meeting there, like the briefing the Seattle City Council got today from key city, state, and county leaders. No discussion of what happened this morning — this was all about what’s to come — but there’s no denying that traffic mess was a clear reminder of what traffic nightmares could be in store if dramatic, creative action isn’t taken before and during the upcoming construction projects. Here are some of this afternoon’s highlights:Read More
For those still wondering: No official law-enforcement updates in the disappearance of Nicholas Francisco (left), Queen Anne ad-agency employee and former Mars Hill-West Seattle member, but his wife has updated her website for the first time since this all happened, with a post titled “Get the Facts.” The searchers’ site hasn’t been updated in almost a week; no recent updates on this semi-official info site, either.
From TLR, a car break-in last week that isn’t in one of our roundups, but carries an important reminder:
I wanted to report to my neighbors in the 6500 block of 37th Ave SW that my car was broken into sometime last Tuesday night (02/26/08) or Wednesday (02/27/08) morning, which was parked in our completely fenced backyard. My iPod Touch and radio tuner were taken when I forgot to take them inside. Just a reminder to everyone to make sure you take everything inside, even if you have a fenced yard.
Rhonda from Beach Drive Blog phoned to say the Metro express is stalled out in the westbound lane of the WS Bridge just past Walking on Logs. 5:14 PM UPDATE: We drove through there a couple minutes ago en route back from downtown and the stalled bus has just been cleared – may take a bit for the backup to clear.
(photo by WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli)
During commutes like this morning, when something goes wrong with The Viaduct or the high bridge, many eastbound West Seattle commuters flock to the low bridge. Just one glitch with that: It sometimes opens for vessel traffic during peak-commute hours. That’s a sore spot for drivers such as WSB’er Jennifer, whose question about the situation was featured here last November. West Seattle-dwelling City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen has been pushing for rush-hour restrictions, especially as traffic-affecting work on the Spokane Street Viaduct section of The Bridge gets closer, and talked to WSB about where this stands:Read More
Latest update from SDOT:
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) crew installing the temporary flex-rail on the Alaskan Way Viaduct northbound between Cherry and Main Streets has completed the work early. An overnight vehicle accident which damaged the guardrail forced the closure of the far left lane while Seattle Police investigated the accident and the SDOT crew worked to install a temporary guardrail. All lanes are now open and flowing smoothly on the Viaduct.
1:12 PM UPDATE: SDOT spokesperson Peg Nielsen tells WSB they should know tomorrow when the permanent repairs will be done, and says that they always try to get that sort of work done during the “non-peak” hours of 9 am-3 pm.
We just talked with Don Jordan, executive director of the Seattle Animal Shelter, to find out what will happen to the owner of the two pit bulls shot by police in Westwood last week, as well as what will happen to the one that survived. Jordan confirms the dogs’ owner has a history with animal-law enforcement, but not involving the same two dogs from this incident. At the very least, though, the owner will be given citations that Jordan says will total more than $1,000 in fines — for violations including allowing a dog to menace/bite, allowing a dog to roam, and expired tags (neither of the dogs had a current license). Once the city investigation is concluded within a week or so – Jordan says they have two witnesses left to interview – the case will be sent to prosecutors for review to see if any criminal charges are warranted. If not, Jordan says he still has an “administrative process” he can trigger to determine whether or not the surviving dog would have to be returned to the owner. (Previous coverage: Original report the night it happened; followup with more details from the police report; update last night from the man who was attacked, along with his Chihuahua.)
While we were downtown, this update came in from SDOT:
The far left lane (westernmost lane) remains closed on the Alaskan Way Viaduct northbound between Main and Cherry streets due to an overnight accident. SDOT crews are installing a temporary flex-rail. The work should be completed by noon or 1:00 p.m. and the left lane will be re-opened at that time. At this time three lanes are open for traffic past the work zone.
P.S. You can now get Viaduct-related news as part of the mix on our new MORE page — we just added it to the parameters by which the automated feeds there are sorted.
Thanks to Eddie for the tip, which is verified by Traffic.com: Accident on northbound Viaduct near Seneca. One lane’s closed. 6:49 AM ADDITION: Adding the camera showing the eastbound bridge at the Viaduct exit, so you can check how things look before you leave (the Viaduct remains cameraless). 7:23 AM UPDATE: We can see northbound 99 traffic from the eastbound bridge, and it’s definitely crawling. 8:04 AM UPDATE: No change as we looked onto 99 while heading back on the bridge westbound. 1st and 4th said to be busier than usual but not too bad. Radio traffic report says repairs might keep that Viaduct lane closed all day (we’ll check with SDOT later). 8:20 AM UPDATE: We’re heading downtown ourselves for a while; will leave this item atop the page so you can share comments and check cameras (find more on our Traffic page). Damage photo and original crash info here. 10:25 AM UPDATE: We’re just back from downtown. Traffic still looks sluggish northbound; heading in, we took 1st and 4th to get to the south edge of downtown, and it took half an hour to get from the 1st offramp to 5th/Cherry! Will post a separate update when we find out from SDOT what’s expected for the rest of the day.
West Seattle gas prices are now as high as they ever got during last spring’s price pump-up — the top posted price for regular is $3.49 (Lincoln Park 76, photo at left), which is where it peaked in WS (at that station and 35th/Holden Chevron) last May. The top posted price for premium is $3.83 (Admiral Chevron), and the top posted price, period, is $3.95 for diesel at two Shell stations (Delridge and Roxbury, photo at right). The lowest posted gas price in WS is $3.25 for regular (Delridge Arco, photo at left). All this is from our survey late last night; with prices now matching last year’s high, we thought it was time to take baseline checks of the price range at all WS stations:Read More