West Seattle snow and ice: Tuesday morning/afternoon updates


(Monday photo from Alki by David Hutchinson)
Good morning! Thank you again in advance for using the comment section (and/or e-mail, or phone 206-293-6302 when you’re away from computer or handheld) to share road conditions, bus observations, and anything else to help your fellow West Seattleites get around more safely and successfully this morning – regional weather star Cliff Mass warns “(this) morning may be a real problem with perhaps more troublesome conditions than (yesterday) morning in some locations.” As usual, we’ll be sharing info, official advisories, observations, photos, etc. Reminder that our list of infolinks (Metro status list etc.) and open/closed notes can be found here.

5:50 AM UPDATE: From Jim McCabe, at Sea-Tac, in comments: “The airport looks like a gigantic homeless shelter, with people sleeping in every corner.” Metro status list is being updated.

6:05 AM UPDATE: Radio report says there are still some flight cancellations at Sea-Tac; some flights are leaving, but the crowd is still there because there’s not much standby room to get passengers onto flights that have long been fully booked. Meantime, if you missed it at the end of last night’s coverage, here’s the Times story about why the city doesn’t salt roads.

6:36 AM UPDATE: Road report via Facebook from Talani at Stor-More Self-Storage (Avalon/Yancy; WSB sponsor):

Looking Down Avalon…cars are trying it and making it…many going very slow…many still driving with chains…on the bridge in the distance we see both cars and busses going over Avalon

Still awaiting many of the morning’s “official” updates, such as Seattle Public Utilities‘ official call on whether they’re even going to try pickup today (including potentially some of the Monday homes that were missed yesterday for the 2nd straight Monday; see our story from last night).

6:56 AM UPDATE: Summarizing what people are sharing in the comments section so far – sounds like Metro bus service through/from West Seattle is more reliable this morning, in general. The city has recirculated the overview news release we published yesterday afternoon; one highlight worth mentioning again in case it affects you or someone you know, “Seattle City Light has suspended disconnection notices through January 9, 2009. Any customer needing assistance in making payments on their City Light bill should contact the Call Center as soon as possible to make arrangements. Customers can call (206) 684-3000 Monday – Friday to talk with a representative.” Also – We’re monitoring citywide traffic reports via radio, scanner, and Web, no major problems so far.

7:07 AM UPDATE: JayDee just texted from his bus – “56 at seven (am) running, whew.” More evidence the bus service is doing better. The arterials mentioned so far in comments sound better too; the corner nearest us (California/Thistle) also has the sound of faster driving this morning – going out in a bit for a photo.

7:35 AM UPDATE: Another text from JayDee – 56 still going well but “of course (standing room only) since California.” Another public-service reminder: If you haven’t cleared your storm drains and checked your downspouts – more melting is likely today – it’s an important thing to do. Especially given the likelihood of more stormy weather on the way, one way or another – just noticed that Cliff Mass actually filed a significant update fairly late last night, not only with his thoughts about more snow on the way, but also his opinions on the snow-removal issue. He concludes:

I am no economist…but image if the city had 3x more snowplows and could keep the roads in far better shape. What is that worth? Tomorrow the UW is closing for a second day. Image the cost of that in lost productivity…certainly tens or hundreds of thousands of productivity lost. What about the loss of business to retail? Any reasonable analysis should reveal that better snow removal capabilities would be a extraordinary investment.

8:21 AM UPDATE: Seeing some snow-related items popping up in the West Seattle CL items that you can find on our “More” page any time (first half of the page is regional news coverage mentioning West Seattle or The Viaduct; second half is the latest 50 CL posts tagged West Seattle; both are automated feeds so they’re continuously updated (see ’em here). More reading suggestions – we published a few non-snow stories last night and added to the “amazing snow creations” post, so scroll further down the home page if you get bored!

8:50 AM UPDATE: Radio reports about downtown hills say some are still shut down, like Cherry (very steep near City Hall). Otherwise, traffic volumes are down regionally. Photo traffic’s slow this morning so we have a few more to share from Monday – Creighton sent this one:

And Paul sent this one, an example of bright color amid the white snow and gray sky:

9 AM UPDATE: Report from outside – “it’s trying to snow” and “on the sidewalk, where it’s been cleared, it’s icy, where it hasn’t, it’s packed snow.” The snow that’s trying to fall is VERY light, though. The forecast has a “winter storm watch” in effect starting late tonight. Meantime, word via radio, Greyhound has suspended service for the third straight day.


9:07 AM UPDATE: BULLETIN – no trash pickup again today, not for those who were delayed from yesterday and last Monday, nor Tuesday pickups. Here’s the official news release we just received – we’re going to clarify if that means the missed MONDAY customers should just bring in now, OR whether they might get a try tomorrow:

SEATTLE – Single-family residential garbage, recycling, food and yard
waste collection has been delayed in Seattle today, Tuesday, December
23, due to dangerous road conditions.

City collection contractors will attempt to service today’s missed
customers tomorrow, Wednesday, December 24, if road conditions improve.
Customers missed today should leave their containers out tomorrow. If
materials are not collected tomorrow, then customers should bring in
their containers until next week.

Due to the Christmas holiday, Thursday and Friday customers will be
delayed one day. Thursday customers will be collected Friday, December
26, and Friday customers will be collected Saturday, December 27th.

Customers whose collections have been delayed by a week can set out
double their normal amount of garbage at no additional charge. When
setting out extra waste, customers are encouraged to place perishable
food items in their collection containers and set bagged non-perishable
items next to the containers.

Customers who have had their collections missed two weeks in a row can
also take their waste to Seattle’s Recycling and Disposal Stations,
where it will be accepted at no charge.

9:27 AM UPDATE: Don’t get too cocky on the roads. The latest from Talani at Stor-More: “”At this moment, a huge Costco delivery truck is stuck on Yancy..sliding backwards down the hill…beware…there are cars parked nearby and his wheels are spinning..he’s huge to be sliding…” (added) Here’s a photo:

Talani says the truck is still blocking Yancy at their spot just east of Avalon, but they’re working to dig it out – salt, shovels, you name it.

9:52 AM UPDATE: Attention, fellow forecast geeks! Cliff Mass’s newest post is up!

10:05 AM UPDATE: Just posted a Crime Watch story atop the home page – if you are parking your car away from home to avoid getting stuck in ice/snow, a cautionary tale. Meantime, Talani’s update from Yancy/Avalon (map):


If you “friend” us on Facebook (WS Blog), you can follow the drama on our wall, where Talani’s posting frequent updates. Meantime, this just in, namelessly – another bus story:

This morning at around 7:45 I was walking down Oregon st. in Delridge to catch the 120 at the bottom of delridge, as the 125 is supposedly suspended. I hear a ‘honk’ and look behind me and it was the 125. I was so happy. The bus driver let me on and I could have cried I was so happy.

So, just for all the people that rely on 125 – it is running, even though metro is yet again wrong saying it is not.

Hopefully it’s still running tonight. Took me 40 minutes to walk home after getting off the 120 on delridge. Uphill. In ice. In the dark.

Via Twitter, a recent update from SDOT:

Have full plow fleet out – with two working Alaskan Way Viaduct and West Seattle Bridge. Have even been using road grader at night.

10:33 AM UPDATE: If you have a view of the Sound, or go out walking, keep an eye out for orcas today – seems they’re back closer to the central Sound – from the latest Orca Network e-mail bulletin:

Dec. 23
Orca Network received a call from Chris Kennedy of the Washington State Ferries, relaying a report from the Victoria Clipper of orcas in the northbound traffic lanes off Apple Tree Cove (N. of Kingston) between 8:30 and 9 am.

Dec. 22 – 23
Jason on the Victoria Clipper called to report J pod milling between Edmonds/Kingston at approximately 8:35 am. They also saw them Dec. 22nd at 8:20 am off West Pt., Seattle heading north .

West Point, as you probably know, is the tip of Magnolia, directly across (north) from Alki.

10:45 AM UPDATE: Talani says the Costco Delivery truck drama has ended but the road’s closed: “YANCY CLEARED – JACKNIFED TRUCK AND BLOCKING VEHICLES HAVE BEEN CLEARED. POLICE CLOSED ROAD AT TOP. WATCH FOR ICE.”

Just in from the Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) – karate classes canceled for today. Adding to the open/closed/links post.

12:04 PM UPDATE: Co-publisher Patrick traveled to Westwood; we put his thoughts in comments first because Darren was wondering, but here they are again: “Roxbury’s in great shape. Everything’s getting slushy now. Westwood parking lot ‘a nightmare’ – not evenly cleared – ‘some of those lumps you have to go over can be dangerous’ – the entrance just east of the McDonald’s is the most dangerous, with the stoplight.” And one last reminder from P: “HANG UP AND DRIVE.”

12:22 PM UPDATE: Quick! Look to the west if you can! That looks like a peek of the Olympics, golden with a bit of sun on the snow.

12:38 PM UPDATE: A couple photos Patrick brought back from his Westwood Village visit:

And an update from the West Seattle Family YMCA (WSB sponsor):

Tuesday, 12/23

Fauntleroy Y Facility closes at 5:30 pm
West Seattle Y Facility closes at 6 pm

Wednesday, 12/24
Both YMCA Facilities Closed

Thursday, 12/25
Both YMCA Facilities Closed – Merry Christmas!

Friday, 12/26
Both YMCA Facilities Open at Normal Times

This post will stay open through the afternoon – then we’ll open a night/overnight post in early evening.

2:57 PM UPDATE: The latest official news release from SDOT:

SDOT Moves to Next Phase of Winter Storm Response

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has cleared primary arterials to exposed pavement and is now focusing on secondary roads. Feeder and collector routes across Seattle such as Third Ave. NW in Ballard, Fifteenth Ave. S. on Beacon Hill, SW Thistle Street in West Seattle, and Ravenna Avenue NE in Ravenna will be repeatedly plowed, sanded and de-iced. SDOT road-clearing crews have remained on a 24-hour schedule since Dec. 18.

As snow plows enter smaller neighborhood streets, residents should be aware that additional accumulation of plowed snow and ice may occur around parked cars. Additionally, drivers who encounter SDOT trucks on narrow roadways are advised to provide ample room for the crews to work.

Multiple winter storms created road conditions not seen in more than a decade. SDOT’s initial focus cleared heavily traveled streets such as the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the West Seattle Bridge, Rainier Avenue S, Elliott Avenue W, and Lake City Way NE.

With weather forecasts predicting possible snow, the department will continue to monitor primary roads and deploy resources as needed.

Hey! They mentioned our secondary arterial! (minutes later) And they are NOT kidding about the “road grader” – it’s at our corner right now – ran out in socks to take a photo – will add in a sec … Here:

It is doing the grader equivalent of donuts – back and forth, anyway – at Thistle/California (map).

3:10 PM UPDATE: Along with the road update, we have a short trash update – checked with Seattle Public Utilities after this morning’s official announcement, and Brett Stav replied “We’re still trying in West Seattle through Wednesday, but folks should use their best judgement- if their road is looking really bad, it’s probably best to bring it in until Monday.” We’d say that means … just bring it in. But if you’ve seen a trash truck. announce it! (And think of how exciting it will be when next week – we hope – the trash situation is back to normal; co-publisher Patrick is just back from a nearby grocery store where he reports someone came running excitedly over to the manager who was working the checkstand and yelled the news that their trash-pickup provider thought they could maybe make it to the store by the end of the night.)

3:31 PM UPDATE: Busy afternoon here at WSB HQ. Now there’s a Comcast guy going up in a cherry picker right outside the window. Hope he’s not here to cut off the Internet service … we do have two backups. Meantime – if you are not reading comments – in addition to road conditions, there’s a lot of info this afternoon about supermarket conditions. Some supplies low; also some reports of bad behavior – this is certainly a challenging situation but take a deep breath; as my grandma used to say, “Someday we’ll look back on all this and laugh.” And remember to go outside and take a picture of your house, your yard, if you haven’t already, to remember what it looked like, all buried in snow.

3:45 PM UPDATE: Checked with the Comcast guy. No outages, no disconnections, just “routine” work. Meantime, the road grader is back – seems to be going up and down Thistle from here (the arterial ends at California). Brand-new forecast just appeared from the National Weather Service — will excerpt heavily because after all this, the word “snow” stops appearing:







4 PM UPDATE: Added a larger version of this to the “amazing snow creations” photo post (see them all here) but wanted to showcase it here too – Patty says James at West Seattle Fence built this at 52nd/Genesee:

4:15 PM UPDATE: Tracking the afternoon commute via radio, scanner, web/e-mail alerts, etc. Reminder, WS-relevant traffic cameras are on our Traffic page. TRAFFIC BULLETIN JUST IN BY PHONE – 42nd/Edmunds, an 18-wheeler is stuck (thanks to the person who called us, 206-293-6302 24/7). “People are getting around,” but it’s not easy. Avoid that area (east edge of The Junction by back side of Jefferson Square) TFN.

4:36 PM UPDATE: There’s also word of “gridlock” from at least two sources — John just e-mailed “I work on Alaska between Fauntleroy and 35th and traffic is backed up almost to 35th from the Junction.” Second source, WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli, who just sent this photo from the north side of Jefferson Square looking east down Alaska:

4:44 PM UPDATE: Metro has just sent its outlook for TOMORROW (read it here) – along with a reminder that “holiday adjustments” kick in the day after tomorrow, aka Christmas. P.S. We’re continuing to publish “other news” of note atop the page as we get it … just added an update that will be of interest to those affected by the current school-closure process in Seattle Public Schools.

4:53 PM UPDATE: Big news from Metro via Twitter: “Good news! Metro is expecting 1,500 new sets of bus chains Wednesday or Thursday to keep buses rolling.”

5 PM UPDATE: Grocery bulletin from the comments: Roxbury Safeway JUST GOT EGGS.

5:08 PM UPDATE: Phone update on the 42nd/Edmunds stuck semi – tow truck there now trying to help. ANOTHER update – Christopher just texted to say TWO trucks are now stuck at 41st/Edmunds. Photo momentarily.

5:31 PM UPDATE: Steve just e-mailed big news for eastern West Seattle residents:

The grader just went down and up SW Holden ST between 35th and Delridge Way. It’s been closed for over a week, but people have been making out OK on it anyway except for Sunday when you needed 4WD or chains for sure.

We’ll ask SDOT where this grader has been all our lives … they’ve been busy all day discussing the road-salt controversy but maybe we can find out more. (See photo we published about two hours ago, when it came by our intersection.)

5:48 PM UPDATE: From Christopher re: the 41st/Edmunds truck situation – he says it WAS for Safeway deliveries, which would usually be happening in that (steep) area, and: “Just now freed the truck and cleared the intersection. Everyone should stay away from Edmunds. The hill is a sheet of ice and even four wheel drive vehicles are going down the hill sideways.”

We are going to start the evening post in a couple minutes with photos of the truck trouble and some other info that’s coming in that will be more helpful looking ahead to tomorrow (even if it IS Christmas Eve … still a workday for more than a few).

246 Replies to "West Seattle snow and ice: Tuesday morning/afternoon updates"

  • Cindi Barker December 23, 2008 (4:04 am)

    At 4:00 am, there is a semi truck stuck at the top of Morgan St hill. He was coming up the hill and looks like he slid at the very top, currently canted across both lanes and is rocking himself back and forth to try and break out. We have to leave (good thing, before he does something and slides into our car), so hopefully someone can post status again in a bit.

  • Cindi Barker December 23, 2008 (4:05 am)

    4:02 – semi getting worse, slid backwards somewhat and now completely blocking curb to curb.

  • d. December 23, 2008 (4:15 am)

    …just started to lightly snow up here in the Junction…I’m just thinking to myself “really, more snow…” oh well…at least I don’t have to work until Friday…

  • Jim McCabe December 23, 2008 (4:32 am)

    Made it from Morgan Junction to the airport without any hassle. Took off the chains at a gas station near the Alaska junction, didn’t need them past there. The bridge was great, as was I-5 and the road to SEATAC. Note that all offsite parking lots are full so we were left with airport parking but there are still spots open.

    We tried YellowCab but never made it past the waiting music, although that is an improvement over yesterday when we just got a busy signal.

    The airport looks like a gigantic homeless shelter, with people sleeping in every corner. Huge lines at the ticket counter but we skipped all that by printing our boarding passes online yesterday. That probably saved us an hour at least.

  • Magpie December 23, 2008 (5:39 am)

    I’m getting snow fatigue and preparing myself for another hellish commute. Maybe today will somehow be better…the metro site has vitually the same spiel that they’ve had all week. Their employees probably can’t make it to work because they take metro…

  • Cindi B December 23, 2008 (5:44 am)

    Drove from Morgan Junction to Bothell, I-405 was clear, then from Bothell to Everett, I-5 was clear. No problems anywhere along the way, but while we were driving about 50 on the highway, semi’s were driving 65. Stay out of their way, their aggressive as all get out this morning.

  • JayDee December 23, 2008 (5:48 am)

    Now for today’s “Metro Mystery Bus Challenge”…If anyone has any information on Alki road conditions, or whether/which route the 56 is running, I’d appreciate it. Metro says the 56 is running it’s regular route, except not taking Seneca but 1st Ave. Since the first 56 bus is the 5:26, perhaps some of today’s first contestants can let us know…The Tracker says the first bus left 61st @5:43…but it could be lying.

    “We’ll get you there; getting home is up to you”

  • JLS December 23, 2008 (5:50 am)

    Just watched a pickup attempt to go up the hill here at 37th and Juneau and slide right back down (and this was the little one at the bottom!).

  • Amy December 23, 2008 (5:54 am)

    The 56X just went down the Admiral hill toward the city.

  • KD December 23, 2008 (5:54 am)

    Has anyone picked up anyone at SeaTac in the last couple of days? Can you drive up on the arrivals level to pick people up curbside?

  • Amy December 23, 2008 (6:04 am)

    Looks like the 57 is right behind the 56X. These two buses looked to be about on schedule.

  • PP December 23, 2008 (6:08 am)

    Anyone been down 35th from Roxbury to the bridge yet?

  • m2 December 23, 2008 (6:18 am)

    I just arrived downtown on the 21. The bus was on time, 35th is plowed and sanded, the bridge is clear, and 1st Avenue is packed and passable. I get off at the Federal Building, so I can’t say much about the downtown streets but it looks like everything is slushy rather than icy. I hope it’s that good coming home.

  • JayDee December 23, 2008 (6:19 am)

    Thanks Amy…It seems being fresh that Metro does better in the AM. Now if I can catch a 56, will SPU get my recycle/trash/yard waste?

  • Kayleigh December 23, 2008 (6:25 am)

    Headed out to wait for the elusive 54. Will report when I can.

  • Margaret December 23, 2008 (6:32 am)

    It’s been very gratifying to see the number of people out and about in the Junction. Curious Kidstuff was featured in the Times this morning in an article about local businesses profiting from the snowstorms. What a great boost to local businesses! I found it surprising though that many stores have not shoveled the walks in front of their businesses. Given the number of people on the street it seems like there’s an accident just waiting to happen. What a perfect opportunity for an enterprising person with a snow shovel to make a few extra bucks.

  • David December 23, 2008 (6:38 am)

    Alaska Junction to the bridge is packed snow / very bumpy. Bridge and I-5 are relatively clear. 48th at Genesee is a solid sheet of ice. Made it down here to Boeing Field in 2WD w/o chains and now my car is stuck in the parking lot. I’ll worry about that this afternoon when I try to get home!

  • Sarah December 23, 2008 (6:40 am)

    Just made it in to work on the 54. Running along 1st to Washington and then up to 3rd. Icy in places but made it through fine. Driver – thank goodness – was making unscheduled stops along 1st/3rd. Took about an hour for the usual 15 minute commute. Better than it’s been lately.

    BTW, noticed yesterday full buses passing stops on Alaska but still picking up at the Junction. People down route may have to walk back up the route to get a ride later in the morning.

  • WSB December 23, 2008 (6:42 am)

    Margaret – at least a couple of those enterprising people posted offers in the WSB Forums so they’re out there! P-I also had a brief mention of those busy Junction businesses that so many WSB’ers have reported in the coverage here over the past few days. We were issuing a lot of “shop local!” reminders in the weeks before this hit so I guess it’s a silver lining that even those who may not have been planning on it, have gotten to discover the amazing hidden treasures in Junction, Admiral, etc. shops – as discussed in this WSB Forums thread a few days ago:

  • John December 23, 2008 (6:43 am)

    In response to Jay Dee at 5:48, I rode the #56 and it did leave at 5:43 from 61st and Alki. When I got one I curiously asked if he was going to make any stops while going up the Admiral hill (yesterdat the 6:02 did not). The driver said he’d assess that as he went. I got engaged in a conversation so I couldn’t tell you whether he passed anyone along the way. I can tell you that the bus was very full once he made the stop at California. As Metro states, tHe bus is NOT taking Seneca. It stopped on First Ave at University. I don’t know where it went from there.

  • WSTEE December 23, 2008 (6:48 am)

    The husband says that Admiral hill was much better today. There were the usual fools going way too fast but other than that things were improved. Side streets are still awful but oh well. Drive safely!

  • John December 23, 2008 (6:50 am)

    Yesterday (Monday) afternoon I left 1st and Marion on the #56 at #3:10 or so. It was not an an express so we went down 1st Ave. However when we crossed the W. Seattle bridge, the driver said she wasn’t going up Admiral. Rather she was going to go up Avalon to Alaska and north on California to Admiral. However she also said that she wasn’t going to go down Admiral but rather turn around and go back to Avalon and 35th to become a #21 (or 22, Ican’t remember). The net affect was that anyone that needed to go west of California towards Alki, walked. I asked why she wasn’t going down the hill – was it a safety issue going down or not wanting to come back up the Admiral hill but I didn’t get an answer. I’m speculating that it was tied to the need to run a 21 or 22 to White Center and Burien.

  • s December 23, 2008 (6:58 am)

    heads up for people flying out…my friend had a flight at 7am to minneapolis on northwest. when she arrived at the airport, it showed cancelled on the reader board. she called northwest to try to rebook, but the agen told her it was still showing on-time (as well as it was online). so she went to the gate anyway. gate agent said it was still going out and that the boards are run by the port of seattle.

    so make sure you verify your flight before assuming it is actually cancelled.

  • cathy December 23, 2008 (7:00 am)

    I can see a 56 bus stopping now on Admiral at 59th – so it looks like it is headed up the hill to California. Lots of traffic on Admiral Way in Alki this am. None at all on 59th. Still a sheet of ice.

  • Ed December 23, 2008 (7:01 am)

    Would love a report on 35th heading northbound from Trenton to the Bridge. Need to get to the airport and have a Honda front wheel drive friend taking me! Can one make it west on Alaska up to the Junction from 35th?

  • Darren December 23, 2008 (7:04 am)

    I really need to try and get to work today. Need to get to 5th and James. Should I even try it with a Front wheel drive car with no chains ? I know the bridge and I-5 is ok, but once you get downtown is where the problem is.

  • Sue December 23, 2008 (7:06 am)

    Are there any 54X running down Fauntleroy? They don’t show anything about it on the adverse weather routing page, but I also haven’t noticed any go by. Not that I trust Metro’s page at this point.

  • s December 23, 2008 (7:08 am)

    the 55 just passed heading southbound on california at hanford

  • Mark December 23, 2008 (7:12 am)

    +1 on not trusting Metro’s site. Repeatedly they’ve said the 22 is suspended and the 54 is normal yet I see 22’s on the road or on the trackers and can’t get a 54 to save me.

    It’s a crap shoot with the buses out there.

    I was on that same 56 John was on yesterday afternoon. Generally not a good bus for me, but just getting to the west side was all I could hope for (luckily I actually wanted to get to the junction :) ).

  • Sue December 23, 2008 (7:13 am)

    To answer my own question above, a 54X just stopped at Fauntleroy/Dawson.

  • m2 December 23, 2008 (7:17 am)

    Darren, I’m on First and Madison, so I don’t know if it helps you, but it’s slushy down here, not freezing. There are piles of slush in the middle of the streets where the plows have been, and the side streets don’t look too clear yet. I’ve walked around a bit to find coffee and it’s definitely melting.

  • dapuffin December 23, 2008 (7:24 am)

    Yesterday, I got out of work at noon in lower Queen Anne. And waited, and waited, and waited for a 15 or 18 to bring me either to downtown or to West Seattle. Nothing. Finally after over an hour and a half, I caught a 1 bus to Third and Pike and walked down to First and Pine to catch a 21 bus. Nothing came for HOURS except a couple of 56 busses and several that were going to the base. Finally a 21 came that only went as far as 35th and Avalon, getting me there about, ummm 4pm, I think. The driver of the bus that brought us from downtown to 35th and Avalon wasn’t even scheduled for that run, but took pity on all of us that were stranded. He held up his relief driver to help us out and I am grateful to him. I do hope he doesn’t get in trouble.

    Other than the kindness of the driver who finally was able to get us out of downtown, the whole experience was miserable… and terribly cold. =(

  • Darren December 23, 2008 (7:24 am)

    m2– thank you for the update. I just don’t know if our car will make it or not.

  • Megan B December 23, 2008 (7:26 am)

    Hey- does anyone have any info on how it is from Delridge to 18th SW/Juneau (either via Oregon/Dawson or Orchard)? My husband and I just bought our first home up there and have not made it out there since Friday- we want to check out the roof and the gutters (plus we are supposed to meet our flooring guy this AM). We don’t want to get stuck, but we need to check on everything (keep your fingers crossed for no frozen pipes)!

  • Jo December 23, 2008 (7:34 am)

    Thank you, David, for the beautiful Alki picture.
    I’m stuck at home again today, no connecting bus down to Leschi on Lake Washington,…
    …but your picture reminds me of why I choose to live here.
    No more complaining from me about being housebound.

  • Mark December 23, 2008 (7:35 am)

    My suggestion for everyone … If you aren’t sure your car will make it, assume it won’t. Safer for you, safer for everyone else. (And safety also means cheaper and less frustrating :) )

  • P December 23, 2008 (7:37 am)

    OMG, a plow/sander just went north on 28th Ave SW and we are definately not a main road! Cross streets 109th heading towards 106th

  • tiffany December 23, 2008 (7:43 am)

    The 54e was on time this morning with my favorite bus driver to boot!! We are currently on the viaduct and it isn’t bad. He did turn on avalon and pick up anyone willing to get on. Now we just need to see if he plans on getting up that hill!

  • Jen December 23, 2008 (7:43 am)

    After being passed by four completely packed 120 buses in an hour, the next three stopped all at once (7:25ish) at Delridge & Orchard. WS bridge and Alaskan Way viaduct are both mostly wet and bare, w/slush on the sides.

  • alki.chick December 23, 2008 (7:56 am)

    The 37 was running this morning stopped at 61st and Alki at 6:34 and ran its normal route and made it to 4th and Union at 7:11. I just hope its going to be running tonight.

  • s December 23, 2008 (8:01 am)

    on the news this morning, there was an interview with someone from wsdot. he said if your road hasnt been plowed to contact them….

    can of worms opened there…

  • Holly December 23, 2008 (8:03 am)

    what’s that number again for wsdot?

  • linda December 23, 2008 (8:04 am)

    I gave up on Metro and walked in to work today. Left the house at about 6:15 near California & Morgan and walked Fauntleroy. I only saw two buses, a 128 and the 54 express mentioned above. No 116’s or 118’s. Fauntleroy sounded wet under the car tires in many places. Cars were getting down Avalon slowly, no sounds of slipping. Tried to check Delridge Way here in front office near the on ramp to the West Seattle Freeway, still a bit too dark to see much other than cars moving.
    Sidewalks are icy, I walked on the fringe in the snow instead of on the packed down part which was slick.

  • Tiffany December 23, 2008 (8:04 am)

    The 54 I was on turned left on 1st, stopped at 1st and Union, turned right and then went to 3rd and Pike. The roads downtown are looking pretty good. There seem to be alot of folks waiting for 15’s and 18’s headed south…yikes. I am glad I work in Belltown.

  • Dan December 23, 2008 (8:04 am)

    Metro may get you there – eventually – but don’t count on them to get you back, at least not if you work in SoDo. Yesterday afternoon I spent 1:15 in front of Starbucks Center waiting to catch anything that would get me to WS. Others said they had been waiting an hour more. Very few buses passed and those that did were packed solid. Ended up joining the many who made the long walk home. So even though I know I could get in this morning, I just can’t rely on Metro for the return trip. Thanks to the WSB and all of our neighbors who contribute. This is the best source of local info in town.

  • JayDee December 23, 2008 (8:10 am)

    The 7:00 56 actually ran; granted it was full by California, but I got lucky and had a seat since I hiked to 61st. The driver even stopped for those on the hills. The bus took the leisurely 1st Ave route, not the viaduct (as Metro claimed). I will be cabbing it home, or within a few blocks.

  • dapuffin December 23, 2008 (8:10 am)

    Dan, I’m with you. Can’t rely on that return trip.
    Dang, that’s a long walk home.

    (But remember, if there’s a Seahawks game, there will be a shuttle. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!)

  • Caught a bus.... December 23, 2008 (8:16 am)

    Caught the 21 at 7:10 at the top of 35th and Morgan – only 3 mins late – not bad. Ride was great coming in….now to plan for that evening trip home…should be fun ~!

  • Darren December 23, 2008 (8:17 am)

    I just called a co-worker who is at work. They said that 5th ave is clear and so was Marion. I don’t know why they are showing Denny and Boren on KING 5 when they should be showing the other areas. I’m going to try and get to work. Wish me luck.

  • WSB December 23, 2008 (8:17 am)

    Holly, do you mean the city DOT for clearing side streets? 386-1218

    here’s our original story on how that works, from several days ago:

  • linda December 23, 2008 (8:17 am)

    ooh, hadn’t thought about the trip home–was focused on getting to work and right now not relishing the idea of walking home. Does anyone know if any buses stop on Spokane Street under the W. Seattle bridge near Delridge?

  • Kris December 23, 2008 (8:19 am)

    My husband just drove from our house Fauntleroy to 509 S. via Roxbury. He said there were no issues on road.

  • Jen V. December 23, 2008 (8:22 am)

    the roads are slicker today than they were yesterday. Even the BF, who is a very experienced snow driver, slid twice getting me to work today. And yay, we’re supposed to get another little layer of snow on top of the slick ice. yippee. whoo. I am officially done with the snow & ice now, thanks so much. Stay safe out there, everyone!

  • Holly December 23, 2008 (8:23 am)

    Thanks! I called…we’ll see what happens :) I’m 3 weeks ’til my baby is due. Just hoping she hangs on until then or at least until the roads get better!!

  • d. December 23, 2008 (8:24 am)

    Hey Tiffany I work in Belltown as well (4th and Cedar)…have you had any problems getting back to WS? I don’t have to go in but I’d like to…

  • M December 23, 2008 (8:25 am)

    Does anyone know if The junction has a santa for the kids to sit on and get a picture? I’d ratehr not go DT if I can help it..

  • Alyssa Coker December 23, 2008 (8:28 am)

    Anyone heading into town around 11am? I NEED A JUMP! 4800 block of Fauntleroy. I’ll be out there hoping for someone to help me out! :) Having this blog has been great through “Stormageddon”! Thank you all for your posts. I hope I can get out today!

  • WSB December 23, 2008 (8:29 am)

    M – unfortunately Sunday was the last day for West Seattle Santas, both in The Junction and at Westwood Village.

  • Mickymse December 23, 2008 (8:30 am)

    Cliff Mass is right about needing more snowplows and de-icers and the like… Trouble is that we don’t get weather like this often enough. So, these are the kinds of things that are first to get cut in a city budget, because everyone complains about it being a waste of money — until we get hit by a big storm again.
    Remember, we had these same kinds of arguments about City Light cutting trees around here until we had the huge windstorm out here.

  • snowedin December 23, 2008 (8:30 am)

    This is random but I have to ask: Does anyone know the conditions from here to Portland? We’re supposed to head down to Portland/Cannon Beach for the holiday….

  • Tiffany December 23, 2008 (8:31 am)

    D- Yesterday I left work at 4 45pm and I caught a 54e at 5 05pm (3rd and VA) and was home by 5 30pm. Pretty amazing but I am lucky to live at Fauntleroy and Edmunds so I do not have to go into WS too far.

  • Tiffany December 23, 2008 (8:32 am)

    Cupcake Royale might be able to call in their Santa for an extension, considering the circumstances. It might be worth asking. Or maybe someone with a suit is willing to step in?

  • Stuart December 23, 2008 (8:35 am)

    56 bus just filled up at Alki bakery. And I mean filled. Had to leave folks at the stop.

  • Matt Brubeck December 23, 2008 (8:37 am)

    I’m on a 21X that pulled up to Roxbury empty at 8:30am. Two stops later (at Barton) it’s packed full and can’t take any more passengers.

  • D December 23, 2008 (8:41 am)

    49th is completely covered in snow from Charlestown to Admiral but was passable (at least with AWD). Admiral just west of California was like an ice washboard but was in fine shape east of California.

  • JenV December 23, 2008 (8:45 am)

    this is a long shot, but any idea what the side streets are like in the Montlake area? Have a co-worker who needs to get out there.

  • WSB December 23, 2008 (8:45 am)

    Snowedin, have you used the ODOT site? It’s a SPECTACULAR state transportation dept. road condition site in our view. Here’s one way in:

  • Anna December 23, 2008 (8:48 am)

    We made it in to work (husband to Starbucks corporate and me to the waterfront) with no trouble. The hill that starts as SW Oregon and curves around to 21st ave is plowed and sanded – no problem at all. The upper bridge, SODO and the waterfront were no problem as well.

  • Kayleigh December 23, 2008 (8:48 am)

    Waited over an hour with dozens of people at the Alaska junction for the 54 to downtown. A 54 and a 55 went by, people piled on both times and left a couple dozen of us behind. Finally another 54 came and it left as full as I’ve ever seen a Metro bus. Driver did great on the weird, bumpy roads.

    Am now at work in SLU. Beware walking downtown–I honestly think the sidewalks and sidestreets here are even slippery-er than in WSEA.

    No idea how I will get home! I will pack a sandwich and plan on walking a lot.

  • Sue December 23, 2008 (8:50 am)

    For the first time since last Wednesday I finally got downtown for work. The 54X was running down Fauntleroy today, and I caught one at the usual time (8:40ish). Went down First Avenue, he tried to turn up to Third Avenue on Seneca, decided it was futile, turned southbound on Second to let us off, and then god knows where he ended up. But it only took 1/2 an hour to get there, which was amazing, all things considered. I am shocked at how bad the roads are in the downtown core though – I didn’t expect to mountain climb to get across Second and University, not unlike the streets at home!

  • P December 23, 2008 (8:57 am)

    Alyssa what side of the street is your car on?

  • snowedin December 23, 2008 (9:01 am)

    WSB-as always, THANK YOU so much!!!!

  • BB_10 December 23, 2008 (9:09 am)

    Is Alaska St between the Junction and Fauntleroy still the icy nastiness it was yesterday afternoon?

  • littlebrowndog December 23, 2008 (9:12 am)

    Any word about garbage pickup today? Should I shovel a path for the recycling bin so I can get it out to the curb?

  • Darren December 23, 2008 (9:15 am)

    Well, I’ve decided to stay home from work today. Didn’t want to take any chances going to work. I would have to work until 5pm probably and the roads after dark would start freezing again…!!!

  • WSB December 23, 2008 (9:16 am)

    I posted the official trash announcement several minutes ago. Bottom line … another pickupless day.

  • elikapeka December 23, 2008 (9:18 am)

    I have to go to the Columbia Center (5th between Cherry and Columbia). I have to drive because I’m carrying a bunch of equipment, and need to get into the garage, which is on Columbia/Cherry and steep. Does anybody know if those are open and usable? I’ve got 4WD, but looks like downtown streets are pretty bad.


  • Julie December 23, 2008 (9:21 am)

    My husband reports Roxbury from 35th to Myers Way clear this morning; also Myers Way clear–lots of cars without chains going both up and down.

    He reports 100th in Arbor Heights as still snow-covered but driveable without chains.

    I’d like to be able to get to the Junction from Arbor Heights. Can anyone tell me the current condition of the following streets?:

    35th to Alaska

    Thistle 35th to California

    Regarding the trash pickup: I sure wish someone there would actually read that boilerplate to be sure it’s unambiguous before they post it.

  • Jo December 23, 2008 (9:23 am)

    What would we do without WSB?
    We don’t want them to EVER go away!
    So……How about showing our appreciation by tipping something into their tip jar (SUPPORT WSB) shown on the right hand side of the screen.

    Jo Ofsthus

  • Julie December 23, 2008 (9:26 am)

    I think they’d also appreciate our supporting their sponsors–and maybe it would be good to tell the sponsor about seeing their ad on WSB, when you do!

  • Julie December 23, 2008 (9:28 am)

    My trash pickup comment was NOT directed at WSB, by the way–I realize it’s a direct quote, and Tracy is doing her best to clarify!

  • add December 23, 2008 (9:36 am)

    Just checked out the Oregon DOT site – thanks WSB for the link. My mom is in Portland and hoping to come up for Christmas – oddly it says that chains are still required in the Portland metro area but the road cams make it look like 205 and I-5 are pretty clear. Anyone have a first-hand account?

  • CMP December 23, 2008 (9:36 am)

    I drove from the Junction to Boeing Field this morning and the roads were pretty rough, but manageable in a Subaru with no chains. A rather inefficient route by way of 4th Ave to Michigan then Airport Way, but it was interesting to see how Georgetown was doing (less snowplow love than what WS is getting, but they don’t have as many hills). Roads are very bumpy in spots, like driving over train tracks constantly which gets old. It’s still slick out there so drive slow on the side streets please!

  • Mary December 23, 2008 (9:36 am)

    Send email comments to Seattle’s Mayor:

  • Gina December 23, 2008 (9:37 am)

    A friend from Montana suggests that if you have no salt or sand or de-icer for your steps or paths, you can use compost. If you can stand putting it back where you raked it all up from.

    Just plain leaves will add traction, too.

  • Yo December 23, 2008 (9:37 am)

    Hi –

    Anyone have any road condition info for:

    1) Fauntleroy/Alaska to
    2) West Seattle Bridge to
    3) I-5 Southbound to
    4) Airport exit (518) to
    5) International BLVD right in front of the airport

    Thanks! My wife is trying to drive to work for the first time since last WED.

  • Mary December 23, 2008 (9:37 am)

    Whoops. Go to
    to send email to Mayor Nickels.

  • add December 23, 2008 (9:40 am)

    In today’s PI the Mayor says the city’s response to the snow has been “very good”. Yeah, right!!!

  • Darren December 23, 2008 (9:41 am)

    I heard on KING 5 this morning that they aren’t using salt on the roads if for environmental reasons. I know it’s not good for the cars, but would sure like to be able to get to work.

  • heb December 23, 2008 (9:45 am)

    Looks like snowflakes are falling again on Admiral. Hope it doesn’t keep up.

  • add December 23, 2008 (9:45 am)

    I am all for environmental protection, but what about economic impact???

  • add December 23, 2008 (9:50 am)

    One more question – does anyone know if True Value or Home Depot has any chains?

  • D December 23, 2008 (9:55 am)

    Yo- I don’t know about that whole route, but West Seattle Bridge to I-5 to the 518 exit was just fine. I got off I-5 at Orillia and headed into the valley and the roads were a bit slick but not bad. Not sure about the roads around Seatac though.

  • Junctionite December 23, 2008 (9:57 am)

    If you manage to get there, be careful walking around downtown! I’ve navigated West Seattle’s slick streets and sidewalks for the last few days, but took a nasty spill walking through Westlake this morning (ouch!).

  • Yo December 23, 2008 (9:59 am)

    Thank you D!

  • Cami December 23, 2008 (10:02 am)

    Tiny snowflakes at Alki.

  • B'sMomma December 23, 2008 (10:07 am)

    It’s snowing in the SoDo area (8th & Lander).

  • Holly December 23, 2008 (10:08 am)

    Made the commute in a subaru from othello to california to fountleroy to west seattle bridge to I-5 to 520 to montlake to UWMC.

    WS bridge and I-5 were great!

  • Brynn's mama December 23, 2008 (10:09 am)

    Elikapeka – if you make it to the Columbia Center today, can you post later to tell us how it was? I need to drive in as well at some point. Thanks!

  • JenV December 23, 2008 (10:10 am)

    just got an email from a friend who works there – the Polyclinic is open today, roads on Cap Hill are crap.

  • Elisabeth December 23, 2008 (10:17 am)

    Thanks to those who said my bus rant should have gone to Ron Sims, not Nickels. It’s been appropriately edited and sent to Sims.

  • Margie December 23, 2008 (10:27 am)

    I took the 55 at around 7:10 from California and Andover..there were still maybe 3 seats left. Packed like sardines at the junction, went 1st ave to Pike and then on 3rd, not too bad, but the ruts in the road are something! Made it to work on Eastlake a little after 8. Took the 66 at 3rd and Pike.

    I left my cell at home so I couldn’t text today’s commute. My husband wasn’t so lucky..he left a little after me and got to Pioneer Square around 10.

    Keep your fingers crossed for the nightime commute. Seems to be easier getting in than getting home.

  • saywhat December 23, 2008 (10:27 am)

    If you are planning to go up to Capital Hill via 10, 11, 14 etc. bring your walking boots. Buses are sometimes getting stuck on there way up Pine due to the ice.

    Just assume you’ll have to do some walking, like this is a surprise.

    Took the 120 this morning at 7:00am, as the 1st bus was full but second bus was only 1/2 way full. They went snow route via 1st, due to old habits hard to break, but they had planned on taking 99 to Seneca exit but rather left on 1st and up Pike. Was at work on time, even with walking 1/2 way up the Pine. :)

    Things are still icey and of course those wonderful ice pot holes up here but people are moving slowly.

  • ScottA December 23, 2008 (10:36 am)

    Beware of downtown hills: Just witnessed an out of control Ford ranger pick-up going down Battery Street hill between Western and Elliott. It was barely damaged but the little 4 door sedan it hit was bashed in severely. The driver of the sedan was waiting in her car as she spun out just before I walked by. The sedan driver saw the pick-up sliding towards her and she jumped out of her car. Air bags deployed and everything. On the same hill two Subarus were partially stuck and an Audi A4 slid down the hill until it found the curb. (cars that usually do well) I noticed a traffic barricade laying at the top of the hill so I set it back up! Too late for some drivers while others just ignore barricades. This hill was ice!! All it takes is one bad turn – I suggest not driving unless you really need to.

  • GeneseeHillMike December 23, 2008 (10:41 am)

    Glad to see The Seattle Times busted Seattle on its lousy no-salt policy.

    Managed to drive to downtown from Genesee Hill for first time since last Friday. I have no chains or FWD. As everyone has noted there are no problems on the bridge, I-5, or 99. I crept over to 55th (still packed snow/ice) and down Genesee (still packed snow/ice). Glenn Way is pretty good. The Calif/Alaska junction is washboard ice/snow, but passable (if you like a bumpy ride). Once you get to Fauntleroy it gets pretty smooth/safe. Seems like more busses are running although there was a big crowd (50 to 70 people) waiting at the Calif/Alaska bus shelters. Downtown is much improved since yesterday afternoon (the north-south streets appear to have been plowed). Lots of slush, but still slippy on the east-west (hilly) streets. As you move outside the Jackson to Pine core area the streets (e.g. Stewart) are still several inches of ice/snow and washboard riding conditions.

  • Andrew December 23, 2008 (10:42 am)

    The roads on Capitol Hill have *been* crap since before it started snowing on Saturday– I was trying to get my girlfriend to a walk-in clinic up there, and it was pretty miserable.

  • P December 23, 2008 (10:56 am)

    ScottA, maybe, just maybe people will learn to read the signs, granted this one was knocked down, but I would venture to bet someone ran it over. I watched the fire department get a few people unstuck from Morgan yesterday, maybe if they would have actually noticed the sign that has been up for days they wouldn’t have gotten stuck. Too bad the firedepartment cannot bill those drivers for their time.

  • Katrina on Alki December 23, 2008 (10:56 am)

    I second the Seattle to Portland question. Anyone know of a secret magic-8-ball type website that will tell me the road and weather conditions all in one place for the entire length of the journey? :-)

    My parents are in Vancouver, WA and while they can tell me what it’s like there, they can’t tell me what it’s like for the 160 miles inbetween.

    I was supposed to drive down Christmas Eve, back Christmas day and back down again on the evening of the 26th, and I have a feeling none of that is going to happen. :-(

  • Scott B. December 23, 2008 (10:58 am)

    Regarding the 10:05am update from SDOT:

    I can’t believe SDOT says “even using the one road grader they have at night.” Unless it is an ancient model (for instance, a Caterpillar before the G model), that thing should have been out 24/7 once we started having problems with compact snow and ice. Put chains on all six wheels, roll that moldboard forward, and it’s the only thing the city has that can physically remove the compact snow and ice, unless the City has figured out some way to demasculate it by retrofitting the moldboard’s cutting edge with rubber/plastic.

    I would use the grader during the day, not at night. Even with the best lighting, it is just too hard to see at night in order to avoid damage to lane markers. Blue fire hydrant reflectors would have to be replaced since those reflectors are not placed in line with lane markers.

    Then again, at least one skilled (not just experienced) operator would be necessary (to avoid the lane turtles and reflectors and articulate forward and backward around corners without hitting parked cars), and I would be surprised if the City employs such a grader operator. The City normally does not need a highly skilled grader operator.

  • Alyssa Coker December 23, 2008 (10:58 am)

    Thanks to the help of strangers and patience of drivers while my car was jumped to head to get a new battery! As for the man who felt that the two minute hold up ruined his life, Merry Christmas! You seem to need the Christmas spirit more than anyone! :)

  • SD December 23, 2008 (11:03 am)

    Very interesting Times article. I’ve been wondering about why the roads are not plowed to bare pavement, especially given the likelihood of thawing and refreezing.

    However, the question that wasn’t asked by the reporters and IMO should have been is: using salt is bad for the environment, but using chemical de-icer is benign to the environment? I have trouble believing that’s the case (but I’m happy to be persuaded otherwise if I’m wrong).

  • P December 23, 2008 (11:06 am)

    Alyssa, I was wondering, I drove by your area about 10 but didn’t see anyone out, and I forgot your number at home :{ Glad to hear you are getting back in business! Agreed on the people that have to “wait” for a minute or two, gez, take a chill pill!

  • Christina December 23, 2008 (11:06 am)

    Portland Update – My mom and I talked last night. She lives in the suburbs on the west side of Portland (Bethany area). She said the roads were a mess out there. She hasn’t been on any freeways recently or anywhere near downtown Portland, but the side streets near her are either solid ice, or a mix of snow and ice. Her Jeep seems to be doing fine on the roads, but she hasn’t tried any real hills or going more than 2 miles from home.
    We’re supposed to head down tomorrow. Not sure if it will happen.

  • JH December 23, 2008 (11:07 am)

    I made it to work today to 7th/Pike. Took 49th off Hanford to Admiral. 49th a little slow going, Admiral pretty good, WS bridge clear, viaduct clear, took Seneca down 1st and up Pike to 7th. Pike was very bumpy-I felt like I was at a carnival. It only took 20-25 minutes. I had to take my 4wd instead of my work car, but at least now I can shop at Costco after work!

  • cmm December 23, 2008 (11:10 am)

    Just drove south to the west side of tukwila, east marginal way, area. North on California was chunky, Alaska down to Fauntleroy was the same and a bit slick wouldn’t have attmpted them myself in my 2 wheel drive without traction of some sort. Fauntleroy, the bridge, and south I-5 were all fine but lots of lost chains. Interurban was fine in both directions just be careful when turning, big chunky piles in the turn lanes. The side streets in Tukwila seemed fairly well sanded but still a little slick. Heading downtown now and will report back.

  • Darren December 23, 2008 (11:10 am)

    Can anyone tell me what 35th from Roxbury is like ? If I can get the car out, may go to Westwood Village. Need to get out a little.

  • Christina December 23, 2008 (11:11 am)

    Tried to take a bus to downtown from the Junction this morning. Waited from 9-10. Saw a very full 54 go by – it only took 6 passengers of the 60 or so waiting. Another 20 minutes went by, then 2 half full 55 buses showed up. Absorbed maybe 60 passengers between the two, but still left 15 people waiting. I’m now working from home.

  • JustinB December 23, 2008 (11:13 am)

    I wonder if the city’s garbage collector “contractors” are getting paid for days they are not working….I hope so, because we are paying.

  • lenamegan December 23, 2008 (11:19 am)

    Drove from Admiral to Thistle this morning. The main roads are passable but slick but it’s very hard on the side streets. With chains I almost got stuck and the people without chains were stuck on many of the high ice piles. You need high clearance to get over many of these or chains. Cars were getting stuck this morning on the hill up California from Morgan going south and one car stuck going down after spinning. If you do not have high clearance or good snow equipment I would recommend staying home. You can not park on Thistle because of the snow piles on the side. Also true of some of the other streets.
    On the plus side many nice people out there willing to help those who are stuck:-)

  • Mel December 23, 2008 (11:22 am)

    we just saw a recycling truck on Beach Drive- 63rd Ave- and we could hear the sound of the glasscontainers get emtied

  • JH December 23, 2008 (11:24 am)

    Oh, my side streets were horrible. I forgot to mention that. There was a bus abandoned on Admiral Way (it had been going up the hill) but maybe it’s been there for days.

    The weirdest thing is putting on normal shoes after wearing snow boots for days! ha!

  • AJP December 23, 2008 (11:43 am)

    Roxbury is pretty good, we made it down the hill to the 509 with no problem. I don’t know about 35th though. Snow plows have been out and there huge mounds of snow in the middle of the road and along the sides.

    And I just want to say: I think the city is doing just fine with what it’s doing. If you drive with chains on compact snow, you should be fine, salt or no salt. Snow like this happens once every what–15 or 18 years? Do we really want to pay for more stuff that just sits around, barely used? We just have to be patient, creative, and adjust to the situation. It will be over soon.

  • Lisa December 23, 2008 (11:47 am)

    11:45 Just came back from the Burien Les Schwab with 2 sets of tire chains ($80/each). The ride south was totally fine. Saw lots of tire chains on I-5, so if you don’t need them, take them off. Also, McLendon’s has very limited salt ice and shovels.

  • WSB December 23, 2008 (11:49 am)

    Darren – co-publisher Patrick is at Westwood Village right now so he should be bringing back a road report shortly.

  • Darren December 23, 2008 (11:57 am)

    Thank you. Will wait to hear from him.

  • R26 December 23, 2008 (11:59 am)

    I need to get my kids out of the house – 21 Morgan to Westwood – anyone know any info?

  • WSB December 23, 2008 (11:59 am)

    He’s just in:
    Roxbury’s in great shape. Everything’s getting slushy now. Westwood parking lot “a nightmare” – not evenly cleared – “some of those lumps you have to go over can be dangerous” – the entrance just east of the McDonald’s is the most dangerous, with the stoplight. And one last reminder from P: “HANG UP AND DRIVE.”

  • R26 December 23, 2008 (12:01 pm)


  • elikapeka December 23, 2008 (12:01 pm)

    Brynn’s mom,

    I don’t have to go downtown now after all, (yes!!!!) because other folks couldn’t get in, so it made my trip pointless. I did call a couple people down there, and am told the north/south streets have been plowed and sanded fairly well, but the hills are slushy and slippery. Should be okay in 4WD, but not a regular car. They’ve been improving through the day, but once the sun goes down, it will be very icy. So if you do have to go, get out before sundown – I feel like the sheriff in an old Westen movie saying that. :-)

    Good luck!

  • Mollsworth December 23, 2008 (12:03 pm)

    Some of you may have already seen this on Craigslist, but for those who haven’t there is someone offering rides from W Seattle to downtown for $8. Seems very worth it, especially considering it is taking the buses up to 4 or 5 hours to get some of us home.
    I emailed to see if he can do a downtown pick-up as well, and if he can go as far as Fremont.
    If you are stuck somewhere, this might be a good option!

  • baumer December 23, 2008 (12:03 pm)

    Can anyone tell me how Thistle and Morgan St. are looking from California to 35th? I have to get to Burien today, and I am going to go down 35th to Roxbury and then Ambaum the rest of the way in. Just wondering if I will be able to make it or not!

  • Matt Brubeck December 23, 2008 (12:08 pm)

    At noon, the 21 and 54 to White Center are leaving downtown 20-30 minutes late and only moderately full.

  • greenie December 23, 2008 (12:10 pm)

    Baumer – Thistle is fine. I would avoid Morgan.

  • d December 23, 2008 (12:12 pm)

    Katrina on Alki – this is a pretty cool website that seems to have the general conditions of I5 from Olympia to Portland. You can click on the towns for more information. http://i90.atmos.washington.edu/roadview/i5s/

  • dawn211 December 23, 2008 (12:13 pm)

    I have a job interview downtown this afternoon at 4th & Spring. I thought I’d take I5 then down Seneca to about 5th or 4th. Does anyone know what Seneca looks like this afternoon? Or maybe I should just take 4th all the way there from the bridge. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  • Kayleigh December 23, 2008 (12:13 pm)

    Matt, do you know—-are the 54s and 21s traveling down 3rd and turning onto the viaduct? Or are they going straight down 1st Ave all the way and past the stadiums?

  • P December 23, 2008 (12:14 pm)

    reminder Morgan is technically closed. I have been going to Alaska to 35th and south on 35th to Roxbury with no issues.

  • datamuse December 23, 2008 (12:15 pm)

    Long shot inquiry: has anyone been to the Eastside today, specifically out 520 to Redmond? What are the roads like?
    We have an AWD vehicle with good clearance, and chains (though we haven’t had to deploy the chains yet).

  • DALYDBL December 23, 2008 (12:17 pm)

    AVOID OREGON between Fauntleroy & California. Traveling East & West!!! I witnessed a car take out a tree last night and a wreck this morning. Going East, once you reach 39th Ave, the hill from there to Fauntleroy is too steep for cars without chains or snow tires to stop on the ice. Going West, the hill between Fauntleroy and 39th is so steep going up that cars are swerving into oncoming traffic. Stay OFF of OREGON, take Fauntleroy up to California instead.

  • zero-to-life in West Seattle December 23, 2008 (12:19 pm)

    Just got back from COSTCO. Fauntleroy and West Seattle bridge look great, it’s everything leading up to it that is a drag…

    Has anyone else here on the peninsula wondered why Metro doesn’t consider running a few buses just in a circle from one main intersection (like Fauntleroy/Alaska) across the bridge to one or two stops downtown (3rd/Lander 3rd/Madison)? They could move alot of people if they just stuck to the most plowed roads. How about a ferry from Fauntleroy to downtown in this weather? If people knew they could RELY on getting out of West Seattle I know they would walk to the stop. It sure beats waiting 2 hours for a bus that is so full it can’t let you on anyway.

  • Terry Robin December 23, 2008 (12:22 pm)

    I drove from Murray SW via Beach Dr and Alki, low bridge to 1st, Jackson, 12th and up Jefferson to Swedish/Providence on Friday–does anyone know if that’s still doable??? (Camry–RWD-no chains) I need to get to work 12/24 by 6:30am–can’t walk(bad knees) so no bus. Thanks for any input

  • sks December 23, 2008 (12:22 pm)

    I’m a real snow wimp and would like to get from Arbor Heights to the junction. Is it safe for inexperienced snow drivers with no chains but with 4wd?

    Thanks in advance!

  • D December 23, 2008 (12:23 pm)

    Anyone know what the best road to use when going between California and 35th is? I’ll need to get from Swedish Automotive (35th and Webster) to the Admiral area this evening.


  • zero-to-life in West Seattle December 23, 2008 (12:23 pm)

    One more thing…If you are heading onto the viaduct tonight be REALLY CAREFUL exiting the battery street tunnel (both ways) and leaving the covered lower deck heading back towards West Seattle. My husband drove my son home from Ballard last night (between 7:30-9:00 roundtrip), and witnesses multiple trucks/SUVs that took those mild turns too fast and shot right into the guard rails/shoulders. It was really slick!

  • Marge December 23, 2008 (12:24 pm)

    I find the Mayor’s policy regarding not using salt/de-icer extremely short sighted. Doesn’t he realize that there are thousands of people in this city, who if they don’t work, don’t get paid? (and subsquently don’t eat?) What about the the millions of dollars in lost revenue?

  • Darren December 23, 2008 (12:24 pm)

    Thanks for the update on Westwood Village. Going to try and get in the car and go. Wish us luck !!!

  • JH December 23, 2008 (12:24 pm)

    Hey Zero, how were the crowds at Costco? I’m going to go there in 2-3 hours. Thanks!

  • P December 23, 2008 (12:27 pm)

    D, take alaska to 35th, have been doing it 3-4 times a day all week long.

  • zero-to-life in West Seattle December 23, 2008 (12:27 pm)

    I have not been quite as South as Arbor Heights, but I can tell you that 35th Ave SW looks really good (2 lanes both ways even) from Thistle to Alaska. When you get to Alaska, you will need to drive into some sloppy snow to turn left but I’m sure it is even better now than it was 2 hours ago when I went through the intersection. Alaska is a bit rutty, but I parked in the lot below Jefferson Square so I wouldn’t have to deal with the icy street parking. I think you will be fine. We have not used our chains yet, and have AWD. Good Luck!

  • KM December 23, 2008 (12:28 pm)

    Morgan was difficult even when in 4WD-Low in First gear with a VERY experienced driver. Avoid if at all possible.

  • sks December 23, 2008 (12:28 pm)

    Thanks so much Zero!

  • zero-to-life in West Seattle December 23, 2008 (12:29 pm)

    No crowds when we were there at 10:30. The lot seems really full, because alot of the parking is inaccessible due to piles of snow. Once inside, it was like “where did all the people go?”. Gas lines were not bad either (1.65/gallon I think?).

  • JH December 23, 2008 (12:32 pm)

    Thanks Zero!

    I just looked out my office window and I-5 going N/B from downtown looks very clear. My coworker drove up from Olympia and said I-5 was fine.

  • KM December 23, 2008 (12:34 pm)

    SKS – I came from the Arbor Heights area this morning along 16th to Roxbury to 35th, but 35th all the way down to 106th isn’t too bad. That was all good once on those main roads – the tough part was getting to the main roads from the side streets. Just go slow on the roads and first gear is your friend on the hills and no try not to use brakes on the ice.

  • Tracy D. December 23, 2008 (12:37 pm)

    Made it out of West Seattle – finally – today. I work down in SODO, and although Fauntleroy & the WS Bridge were great – some of the streets down in the SODO area are still really bad – give yourself plenty of room before leading up to the train tracks – I saw a car slipping and sliding on the tracks right as the lights and gates came down this morning – UGH! Be careful if you are headed that way!

  • Bunneh December 23, 2008 (12:38 pm)


    I drove to Bellevue around 9:30 am today, California to Admiral, WS Bridge, 5 to 90, 405 to NE 4th, and found wet, slushy roads and no ice. I haven’t been on 520, but co-workers coming from Redmond said the roads were wet and slushy. My biggest problem was dodging broken chains on the freeways …

  • WSB December 23, 2008 (12:46 pm)

    Thank you, Stuart! Any Christmas Day restaurant info welcome too. Will check back and add to open/closed page.

  • JoB December 23, 2008 (12:50 pm)

    seattle to portland

    i drove it round trip yesterday and if you are careful, it was ok.. the worst was getting to the freeway and from Vancouver outskirts into portland…

    BUT. they are expecting another storm on wednesday that could change things…

    i am checking on the roads with friends and family in Vancouver/Portland and Corvallis on wed morning… and i will post what i can find out on the forum…

    if you want to know more about my drive yesterday, you can PM me on the forum.. just find any of my post and click on the PM button on the bottom.

  • Sue December 23, 2008 (12:50 pm)

    I knew that taking Metro into work would be a crapshoot in terms of how to get home later. But I’m starting to think about my afternoon commute. Has the 54X (or 116/118/119) been running in the evenings this week? And where can one catch them? I normally get on at Third & Seneca, but I have a feeling they won’t come down this far since they’d have to slide down a hill to get out of here. But I’m not sure where they’re running and don’t trust Metro’s website. Any experience with these (or the regular 54/55) as to where they’ve been rerouted heading towards West Seattle?

  • Johnny Davies December 23, 2008 (12:52 pm)

    To the $8 ride guy: You’re a jackass.
    If you wanna thaw your cold heart and help a nieghbor in need, it’d be a nice thing to do.
    If you wanna make money off of people in need after a weather incident, I think you’re a horrible person.
    Get your stupid “rescue” vehicle out on the street, pull over and ask if someone needs a ride at a bus stop. If they offer to pay that’s one thing.
    I’m reporting your number to the state revenue auditor. I doubt you have a license to be doing this as a business or commerical driver.

  • s.j. December 23, 2008 (12:57 pm)

    Has anyone had problems getting their mail? We haven’t gotten any mail since last week, about 3 days worth. We live in south delridge area, by home depot. any news or others with issues?

  • dawn211 December 23, 2008 (12:58 pm)

    Johnny – maybe he’s from the Blagojevich camp.

  • GeneseeHillMike December 23, 2008 (12:59 pm)

    Dawn211: Seneca exit off n-bound I-5 is pretty good. Slushy/somewhat slippery btw 4th and 3rd, but doable if you go slow.

  • JH December 23, 2008 (1:05 pm)

    SJ, I posted last night about what my mail carrier told me. They all had to be back to the post office by 4:30PM yesterday, no matter what. I got no mail yesterday also. Apparently the supervisors were concerned about injuries, car accidents, etc…in fact, my mail carrier had a hurt elbow from slipping on ice! So…that’s the latest I know.

  • Caitlin December 23, 2008 (1:07 pm)

    Hi Everyone,

    It is supposed to be warmer tomorrow, but it is supposed to snow tonight. So, my question is: Which is better day to drive a long distance (about 2 -3 hours with normal weather conditions): today or tomorrow?

    Thanks in advance!

  • JH December 23, 2008 (1:10 pm)

    I’d suggest today if you’re driving I-5. I also read it’s supposed to snow tonight, maybe change to rain later tomorrow, then back to snow, blah blah blah. Since today’s driving conditions are pretty good on main streets/highways, and who knows what’ll happen tonight with the way the weather’s been, I’d say you should go today. Just my two cents! Where are you driving to?

  • s.j. December 23, 2008 (1:13 pm)

    thanks JH for the update!

  • Caitlin December 23, 2008 (1:15 pm)

    The Olympic Peninsula.

  • Holly December 23, 2008 (1:18 pm)

    I just hiked from the morgan junction to westwood village. some of the hills are a bit icy, but it is very pretty. when i did make it to the post office to pick up a package, they could not find it. :( oh well, i cannot move my legs but at least i got to see how pretty the neighborhood is.

  • elikapeka December 23, 2008 (1:32 pm)

    Just came back from some errands round the neighborhood.

    The Admiral Safeway gas station only has premium and diesel – no delivery because of roads, and they couldn’t tell us when they would be getting more fuel. We had no problem finding fuel elsewhere, but could be a harbinger of things to come.

    California is awful in spots, but passable, kind of like a mogul field. 35th isn’t bad, Fauntleroy is good, side streets terrible with lots of people stuck, and many people are getting out who really shouldn’t be driving. Take patience and kindness with you when you go.

    For whoever it was that asked about getting between 35th and California, stay away from Morgan. My suggestion would be Alaska. It’s pretty well sanded and plowed, and wasn’t bad.

  • Valerie December 23, 2008 (1:41 pm)

    I hadn’t been out of West Seattle in a week, but today had to go to my dentist at Northgate. I would like to say Thank You So Much to the bus drivers! I took the 21 starting near Thistle to and from downtown, and the drivers were patient, compassionate, kind, informative, I just can’t thank them enough. And their driving skill is really awesome.

  • MargL December 23, 2008 (1:44 pm)

    If you need to get out now’s the time to do it! Just got back from White Center Albertson’s took a round-about route to avoid the big hill/curve on 106th/107th.
    35th AVE between 106th and Roxbury – washboard bumpy/melted spots going north and solid ice/snow going south.
    Intersection of 106th and 35th is melting in spots.
    Intersection of Roxbury and 35th mostly bare and wet except for the northbound lanes of 35th going down the hill to the light. Gooooo sloooooow.
    Roxbury is fine all the way to White Center.
    17th south to Ambaum past the Skate Center – bumpy washboardy melty ice mess! Arrrgh.
    Ambaum down to 106th – bare and wet, except for the snow mounds in the middle of the road.
    So, the story is if you’re going to White Center you can do it without chains with caution.

    And get home before freezes again unless you have ice skates.

  • Renee December 23, 2008 (1:45 pm)

    Just a note to let people know that the Roxbury Safeway is completely out of eggs (as of approximately 12:30 pm). They said they are expecting a delivery, but who knows when it will actually get there! Call first if these are on your list.

    Also a HUGE RAVE to our next door neighbors who saw us trying to dig out our front wheel drive car and let us borrow their 4wd! So nice and much appreciated. we were able to get everything we need at the Safeway (minus the stupid eggs)for the next few days!

  • Johnny Davies December 23, 2008 (1:46 pm)

    Dawn211 – too, too funny!!

  • MargL December 23, 2008 (1:47 pm)

    Oh yeah forgot to mention – I was driving a Honda Civic hatchback with all weather tires – no studs.
    Take some sand and a shovel with you. I ended up giving mine to some folks who were stuck in the Jumbo Buffet parking lot. “We only parked for a minute.” they said. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

  • Mollsworth December 23, 2008 (1:48 pm)

    Hi Johnny,
    I totally understand your perspective regarding $8 ride guy. There are many people out there who try to profit off of other people’s misery.
    But, with all due respect, in a situation like the one we are in now, I am happy to have people out there willing to take up odd jobs to make our lives a little more livable.
    If I have been stuck downtown waiting 4 hours for a bus, can’t get in touch with a cab service and am not able to walk, I would be thrilled to pay $8 (compared to the $20 or so for a cab) to get back home or to work to earn a paycheck that I wouldn’t otherwise have.
    Would you like the names and phone numbers of the kids out offering to shovel driveways for $5? I’m pretty sure they don’t have business licenses either. ;)
    Can we assume for now that we all have the best intentions at heart?

  • MargL December 23, 2008 (1:48 pm)

    White Center Albertsons still has eggs and milk (as of noon). And pretty good fried deli chicken, too. :-)

  • B'sMomma December 23, 2008 (1:49 pm)

    Johnny Davies – If I HAD to get somewhere, I’d pay $20 for a ride! 8 bucks is a deal! In these lovely economic times, you gotta do what you gotta do. I think it’s a win win situation. This persons’ getting some cash and they’re getting people to work to make money! And it’s not like this person’s stealing or anything of that illegal nature.

  • angelescrest December 23, 2008 (1:52 pm)

    What is up with California? Mogul field–you’re right! It is seriously hard to pull over and park,too, and if you have to turn up any side streets (I was heading south @ West Seattle Nursery), good luck getting up them and being able to negotiate the banks of snow and slush to park. You want a (plowed) parking lot.

  • Julie December 23, 2008 (1:54 pm)

    To s.j. Re: Mail Delivery

    I too haven’t received any mail since last week and I live between Delridge & SSCC. So I called the Westwood post office at (206) 938-7769 and the nice woman there took down my address and went to check my slot and said it was empty, so my carrier must be attempting delivery today. She did say that delivery has been delayed to streets that aren’t “accessible”. Hope this helps.

  • Julie December 23, 2008 (2:00 pm)

    I want to thank Maria and the kind gentleman who helped me dig my car out and push it on to the road! Thank you! It is always so wonderful to witness acts of kindness.

  • GreenSpaces December 23, 2008 (2:09 pm)

    We made it out of High Point and over to Beacon Hill via 35th Ave/high bridge/1st Ave S/Holgate/Airport Way/Dearborn/Rainier/12th Avenue S (bridge near Amazon) and 14th Ave S. We also came back to WestSea up Admiral to go to PCC and down California back to AK Junction to go to pet store. Used some earlier side streets because there is a lot of traffic sitting on California.

    Came back via Oregon/42nd/Alaska/35th. Had a little trouble because a snow plow was in front of us knocking down the middle so it was more slippery and slushy sand. But home safe and made it to the job itnerview!

  • Julie December 23, 2008 (2:13 pm)

    I went from Arbor Heights to the Junction, without chains or FWD, about 11 am and returned about 12:30 or so. Here’s my assessment of the roads (I failed to bring the camera for pictures!):

    Side streets in AH very slippery. I slid partially into 100th from California going north.

    100th east from California to 35th was somewhat sanded, not horribly rutted; I was behind the sanding truck, as it happened–but he dropped only a very little sand in a few spots. The little hill toward 35th was a bit dicey; I took it very slow and did not slide into 35th.

    35th north to Roxbury rutted and slippery, but not awful. Most cars, thankfully, were slowing way down well before the intersection with Roxbury. North of Roxbury was fine; at least one lane of clear tracks all the way to Alaska, where I turned left.

    Note: very high piles of snow in the center of 35th. I recommend avoiding left turns across them. Reroute yourself to turn right.

    Alaska to California very, very rough in places, a little slippage, too.

    Returned south on California to Thistle. California very, very rough in parts; saw one car stuck in the pile of snow in the center.

    Thistle becomes a little worrisome at the top of the hill to 35th. I was pleased that all the cars and trucks I saw were taking turns, each waiting a the top of the hill to let the one ahead get all the way down and out of the way before starting down. In the event, I did not slip, but used low gear the whole way. Had no trouble stopping at the bottom, but I could have.

    From there, it was a repeat of the way out.

    I’m pleased to report only seeing one large pickup driving too fast and without regard for other cars around him. Most drivers were cautious and reasonable. Not as many cell-phone yakkers as usual, either!

  • Katrina on Alki December 23, 2008 (2:34 pm)

    d – thank you for the website! That’s definitely better than anything I’ve been able to find and at least I can get an idea of what the weather is like all along the route.

  • s.j. December 23, 2008 (2:42 pm)

    julie – thank you for the update. maybe we’ll get a delivery today! my hill is still pretty bad though… SW Webster by police station and home depot – cars are getting down the hill fine, but not making it up.

  • cathy December 23, 2008 (2:42 pm)

    I know this is a very minor “whine” when so many of us are having “real” problems, but someone “took” all five of the large traffic cones that were protecting our car from sliding traffic. One disiappeared yesterday. I later found it at the intersection of Admiral and 59th. I left it there since I thought it would help drivers negotiate the difficult left hand turns there. Now the other four cones are gone as well. I hope whoever took them has put them to good use and will return them when things get better. If anybody happens to see any large, orange cones sitting at intersections, please let me know. I will leave them there and then pick them up when the streets improve. Thanks. You can email me at cmwoo@msn.com.

  • WC star December 23, 2008 (2:50 pm)

    Has anyone tried to catch a 120 from downtown southbound? It was a nightmare to get in today but I am now wondering when I should start the trek back home.

  • transplantella December 23, 2008 (2:52 pm)

    Couple of days ago I saw a snowman jauntily wearing a caution cone hat.

    Maybe the snowmen are pinching your orange cones? Their numbers are growing…..

  • Johnny Davies December 23, 2008 (3:02 pm)

    Yeah, my comments were a bit harsh, point taken.
    If some folks think its helpful, I guess its legitimate on some level.
    I don’t know about the comparison to kids clearing driveways for $ however. That’s going to open a can of worms if we start expecting our kids to fully operate as adults. I’ll leave that one be..
    I’ve been giving rides to be neighborly. I’m sure there are others out there doing the same..

  • luvinthepics December 23, 2008 (3:14 pm)

    The first photo on this blog from Alki by David Hutchinson is GORGEOUS! We are lucky to live somewhere so beautiful, even with the crazy weather. Thanks David for taking and thanks WSB for posting.

  • datamuse December 23, 2008 (3:23 pm)

    Thanks for the tip, Bunneh.
    Speaking of eggs: Westwood Village QFC is still out, and the White Center Albertson’s was getting really low when we stopped by there around 2:30. Call your grocery store ahead of time if you need eggs!

  • add December 23, 2008 (3:29 pm)

    Re: driving to Olympic Peninsula. My MIL drove here from Sequim, arriving about an hour ago, and said it was fine – a little snowy on the roads in Poulsbo but otherwise fine. She took the Bainbridge ferry and was shocked at the condition of the Seattle streets.

  • def December 23, 2008 (3:29 pm)

    I just did my Burien to Sunrise Heights trip again.

    Ambaum from 152nd in Burien to around 116th south of White Center is fine. Two clear lanes each way, just water on the pavement. The lanes are a little narrower than normal due to snow piled up on the sides and center. The center lane is still a mess; avoid making left turns except at intersections.

    Once Ambaum got into White Center (and becomes 16th) it reduced down to about 1.5 lanes. It’s like the plows just didn’t do both lanes here.

    If you try to take the 17th cutoff from Ambaum/16th to Roxbury, it has not been plowed at all, and is now a maze of slushy ruts through the packed snow. You’ll make it if you go slow, but it’s a bumpy ride.

    Roxbury from White Center to 35th is fine. Some areas are only 1.5 lanes, but most of it is 2 full lanes.

    35th from Roxbury to Holden is mostly 1.5 lane. There are some places where both lanes are clear, but a lot of the way you’ll be straddling the lane markers.

    I only traveled Holden from 35th to 31st. It was driveable, but slushy. When it freezes tonight, it’s going to be a mess.

    On side streets, watch out for manhole covers. They are warmer than the pavement, so the snow over them has melted. I saw a few places where there was a good 4-6″ drop from the packed snow on road to a bare manhole cover.

    Now a “hm?” moment. On the way back south, I counted FIVE front-end loaders parked along 35th in the area between Trenton and Roxbury where there is water/sewer work being done. Maybe these are owned by a contractor and not the city, but it was odd to see them sitting idle when they could have been moving snow.

  • FriendO'Dingus December 23, 2008 (3:30 pm)

    I just got back from Westwood Village. What a nightmare! Barton is clear with one track open. Trenton is still snow pack and slick but I went down it okay with a RWD pick up and no chains. The biggest problem by far is the parking lot at WWV. People are behaving very poorly, not waiting their turns, moving out in front of you when the situation would have been improved for everyone if they had waited for the next break in traffic, pedistrians avoiding deep snow on their shoes and walking every which direction through the parking lot in front of drivers who can’t move. An 18-wheeler was stuck for a time in the main entry near McDonalds/traffic light. All in all I really wished I had just walked. Through all of these days my faith in my fellow Seattlite has not waivered…until today. And to think, in the event of a truly catastrophic event, these are the *@!!* people we will all have to contend with for supplies and cooperation…

  • add December 23, 2008 (3:30 pm)

    Westwood Village QFC is out of eggs, too! Must have the same delivery guy. :)

    We have been getting our mail about 4 hours EARLIER than usual – go figure! But still no garbage pick-up – don’t know if they’ll ever be able to navigate our snowy, icy, hilly alley.

  • CarolPB December 23, 2008 (3:31 pm)

    are the lines halfway down the aisle like last Saturday?

  • greenie December 23, 2008 (3:35 pm)

    Plenty of eggs at Thriftway.

  • Cami December 23, 2008 (3:37 pm)

    Just returned from a 3 hour trek from the Alki to the Admiral Jct. and back. Bus was on time on the way there and full of neighbors (nice to see you, Larry!). Made it to the post office (no mail pick up or delivery for 2 days at home), the library, Bartells, PCC and MCy D’s for the kid. Lots of spinning wheels and stuck cars along the way. Roads are still a mess. The bus was VERY late on the way back and we decided to walk. Sidewalks are much better where no shoveling has been done. Light snow at 49th and Admiral on the way home.

  • Eddie December 23, 2008 (3:48 pm)

    Got to thinking a little bit about how such a seemingly small amount of snow can almost paralyze the region like it has.

    If you go to the midwest or the east coast areas that frequently get snow in the winter time, you’ll most like also see signs that designate certain arterials as “snow routes” and prohibit parking there in the event of snow.

    Around here, we let people park anywhere and everywhere, anytime. Drive down California in the Alaska Junction area – normally two lanes of traffic each direction. Now big plowed drifts in the middle, one lane each direction, and big plowed drifts making it tough for parked cars to get out. If there had been no cars parked there, the plows could have cleared the streets, allowing the normal two lanes of traffic AND some parking so sorely needed by the businesses.

    Same is true for the feeder streets – Genesee, Glenn Way, Erskine, 44th, 42nd, 49th, etc. Had they been clear of parked vehicles when the snow hit, the few plows we have could have quickly and efficiently cleared the roadways.

  • WSB December 23, 2008 (3:55 pm)

    Eddie, that’s really thought-provoking. We always joke, in warmer times, about how narrow some of these streets are and why in the world did they turn out that way when cars USED to be bigger and how come people are allowed to park on both sides, etc. On one side of our house, for example, it’s an arterial and technically people can park – they usually don’t and thank heavens because that big grader-type vehicle wouldn’t have room to work.

  • Dustin December 23, 2008 (4:00 pm)

    I-5 South to Portland: Road Conditions
    Wife and I just made the trip from Shorewood to Portland in about 4 hrs. in a Honda Accord, with front wheel chains. Hardest parts were getting out of W. Seattle and then getting into Portland (which were the only places we needed chains).
    509 to 518: Clear
    518 to I-5 South: Clear, but lots of Airport traffic!
    I-5 South to Portland (99-E): Once we made it to I-5 it was smooth sailing. Your biggest concerns are snow chunks flying off the roofs of cars, sand/dirty snow coating your wind shields, and broken chains on the highway. I can’t advise this strongly enough DO NOT DRIVE WITH CHAINS ON THE HIGHWAYS. We saw countless people pulled over not because they were stuck, but because they had lost a chain or because it had become broken and tore up the inside of their wheel well.
    Portland is requiring anything weighing or towing a load of over 10,000 lbs. to chain up, so south of La Center the Semi’s will all suddenly pull over and put on chains, but cars are fine.
    Hardest part if your headed to Portland is once you exit the interstate. We found the first gas station and chained up again and even then it was rough going. They’ve got 5 inches of snow, an inch of ice, and then another 6 inches of snow.

  • JenV December 23, 2008 (4:08 pm)

    BF just made it to QFC for supplies. Said it’s a nightmare. Hardly any dairy left. Which is odd, because I saw a Smith Brothers truck out delivering today….they can deliver! The parking lot at QFC is barely walkable, let alone drivable.

    So by next week, when we’ve run out of food and booze, and no one’s car starts due to being parked in the cold for two weeks, or their car is ruined from hitting a 10″ ice pothole on Alaska St – who is with me to lead the angry mob with torches to City Hall? I have half a mind to go knock on Nickels’ door tonight and ask him if I can borrow some eggs.

    And I really would like to know, why is salt damaging to the environment but not chemical de-icer? Did anyone come up with an answer to that?

  • angelescrest December 23, 2008 (4:21 pm)

    How about some road service on not only California but Alki-Harbor? Main veins for getting around out here, and the Alki-Harbor stretch is a flipping, skittish mess @ 3:30 today (that suddenly improves at the Luna Park Cafe).

  • add December 23, 2008 (4:26 pm)

    JenV … LOLOL

  • ellenater December 23, 2008 (4:28 pm)

    Thanks Dustin. Great report!

    Anyone know what Gatewood Hill is like right now? It was really clear this morning but i’m thinking unless they’ve been over it again, it’s gonna be slick…

  • WSB December 23, 2008 (4:32 pm)

    Which part? California? Patrick went to Thriftway a little while ago and got through OK (plus that road grader I’ve been talking about in the narrative above has been by a few times) BUT new ice likely pretty darn soon now that night’s falling … so go soon if you need to go!

  • Kayleigh December 23, 2008 (4:32 pm)

    Got super lucky coming home from downtown. Waited just a few minutes for a 55 at 3rd & Pike. 55 went down 3rd Avenue, turned down Columbia, then left at 1st and went down 1st Ave, then over the bridge.

    This 55 was full, but just a few people standing and not packed.

    Saw a 54 headed to downtown up California—almost empty.

  • cruiser December 23, 2008 (4:36 pm)

    Phew, just made it from my TV all the way upstairs to grab a beer and back down. I used my legs without chains and managed to negotiate all the kids toys. Hope this helps.

    Merry Christmas all

  • WSB December 23, 2008 (4:38 pm)

    Alert – keep an eye on the narrative if you are traveling within West Seattle – getting e-mail and text updates about multiple traffic problems in Junction area – adding photo in a min – TR

  • MargL December 23, 2008 (4:38 pm)

    4:30PM just got our mail in Arbor Heights! Yay!

  • raindance42 December 23, 2008 (4:42 pm)

    Just returned from Westwood Village QFC. It was busy but not as bad as I would imagine. No line for the U-scan checkout. They are completely out of eggs and eggnog, and getting rather low on a lot of other dairy items (including refrigerated biscuit and crescent roll tubes). I brought the baby in her stroller and it is pretty difficult to get around the shopping center with a stroller–some sidewalks partially cleared, some with compact snow, some with deep snow that is impossible to roll through.

    On the bright side: everyone I met seemed to be in the Christmas spirit despite everything!

  • GenHillOne December 23, 2008 (4:45 pm)

    cruiser, sounds like we have the same commute – though I’ve eliminated the stairs in this nasty weather!

  • dawn211 December 23, 2008 (4:46 pm)

    35th Ave SW southbound is really backed up but is moving.

  • Kestrel December 23, 2008 (4:51 pm)

    Just saw a little Bobcat tractor-type snowplower going up the steep hill on Concord, scooping up snow and dumping it on the side… first time I’ve seen anything on these little side streets going up the Fauntleroy hills (near the ferry dock). Any idea if this “little engine that could” is part of the city fleet?

  • robt December 23, 2008 (4:55 pm)

    Does anyone know how mayor half-dime is getting around? After reading tha article about the city’s silly approach to clearing the roads I am more frustrated than before.

  • Renee December 23, 2008 (4:58 pm)

    Husband called Roxbury Safeway a little while ago and they now have EGGS (as of 5:00 pm)!!! He walked down to get some (and has verified that they are indeed in stock). He did say they were out of eggnog though.

    No mail here and we are just a few blocks from MargL. :(

  • Scott B. December 23, 2008 (4:59 pm)

    Even if the front-end loaders were to start working at the snow, there is no place to dump it (except into a dumptruck, and then they would need to use most of the street). Front-end loaders can’t move material sideways very well, either, compared to an angled blade like on the front of the City’s trucks. AFAIK, the City is not hauling any snow away.


    Even if no cars were parked and no cars were driving through, the City’s trucks with an angled blade on the front have to push the snow somewhere onto the City right-of-way since the City is not hauling snow away AFAIK. They are unlikely to push the snow onto the sidewalks, so they only have two choices: center of the street, or sides of the street. It’s a moot point now, since the rubber/plastic dropped down from the steel cutting edge can’t cut compact snow or ice.

  • WSB December 23, 2008 (5:02 pm)

    Kestrel – define “little.” Is it red? We have published two photos in recent days of a red scooper operated by a guy at Thriftway – who reportedly lives up near Sunrise Heights (35th/Holden/Webster vicinity). Also, we had a large grader (yellow/Volvo) going back and forth up here (I posted a photo above) for a while earlier.

  • P December 23, 2008 (5:02 pm)

    I love that beer commute! I got an automated call from Wastless Management (I hate them) we will not be getting our garbage pickup in the Arbor Heights area tomorrow. (I am not complaining, because if I am not able to get around I know that they cannot get around.) Mail did arrive at 106th and 28th ave sw after 4. Interesting, at work on Fauntleroy and Raymond we usually get it at 4:30 but we have been getting it around noon!

  • kathy December 23, 2008 (5:13 pm)

    California – from Fauntleroy to the Junction – is a mess – full of ruts. Very slow-going – with all the traffic that’s trying to use it. Also – is anyone getting UPS deliveries? We expected some things on Saturday – now they said they’d be delivering today, but so far – have not seen any trucks.

  • JH December 23, 2008 (5:19 pm)

    Warning to Costco shoppers-don’t go! Maybe this has been talked about before, but it took me 1 1/2 hours to get home from Costco. Some dumba** truck driver decided to get stuck in front of Costco, which made it impossible to turn left (going north) after shopping. So…everyone had to go right on 4th Ave. The street was completely blocked going north, and also north of the truck in the southbound lane. Does that make sense? So we all had to go southbound, right at Dawson, right at 1st, somehow turn around, and so on. What a nightmare.

    On a good note, some nice man got my cart unstuck in the snow in the Costco parking lot, and another incredible man put my firewood box in my car. Thank you to both of you!

    Oh, and I bought 18 eggs and really only need about 6 or so-let me know if anyone wants the rest!!!!

  • Gina December 23, 2008 (5:20 pm)

    Walked by the Mayor’s house today. His street has not been plowed. The cross streets by his house have not been plowed. His alley has not been plowed. His garbage and his recycling has not been collected. Sidewalk is shoveled, looks like a garden spade was used.

    Unchained sedan cars are parked in front of his house. Snow has been cleared off the cars.

    Don’t bother going to his house for eggs. Admiral Way is much easier to access, and Metropolitan Market has plenty of food.

  • WSB December 23, 2008 (5:27 pm)

    Gina – thanks for that note. During the first round of ice last week I drove that street just out of curiosity, thinking there’d be a scoop if it was magically cleared, but not expecting it (the night he had his porch light on during Earth Hour, nobody much cared anyway) … and no, it looked as bad as the side street on our south side.

  • Kestrel December 23, 2008 (5:30 pm)

    WSB, the vehicle on Concord definitely wasn’t the large yellow grader… I did find the photos you published earlier of the Thriftway snowscooper (that Google search feature isn’t always the easiest to use!) and it looked more like that one… I think the one I saw was red too

  • Alice December 23, 2008 (5:31 pm)

    just caught 55 at 3&bell. lving 3&stewart now.

  • Aim December 23, 2008 (5:31 pm)

    THANK YOU to the anonymous neighbor who shoveled our car out. It was entirely buried in snow. Whoever you are, we REALLY appreciate it!

  • GenHillOne December 23, 2008 (5:33 pm)

    Did anyone else see KING reporting from Everett that Snohomish County has used 6000 pounds of salt?

  • Elisabeth December 23, 2008 (5:33 pm)

    Note about the Costco parking lot: I have found the best way outta there is to head south in the parking lot, go along the side of the gas pumps, veer left, go under the 4th Ave S bridge, left again, and that little road/alley brings you right back to 4th heading north.

  • toddinwestwood December 23, 2008 (5:34 pm)

    LOL Gina.

    I wouldnt go to his house for the last anything in Seattle.

  • JenV December 23, 2008 (5:37 pm)

    thank you thank you thank you for the update on the traffic clusterf*ck in the junction. We came down Findlay, hit Fauntleroy, crossed the Huling Brothers parking lot to Alaska Street, took that to 35th and we were home in 5 minutes! This is opposed to the nearly 20 minutes it took us last night to travel such a short distance.

  • Lokilani December 23, 2008 (5:39 pm)

    5:35 pm West Marginal Way is still messy tonight. It’s still down to one lane going north and one lane going south. Be careful driving on the road midway – it’s very icy. Best to slow down at that point.

  • WSB December 23, 2008 (5:41 pm)

    2 things:
    –We will start the evening thread at 6 pm. Just a heads-up.
    –Maybe the mayor is staying downtown. Just found this line in a P-I blog entry about people shopping:
    >>>Nickels, who lives in West Seattle, was spotted at Pacific Place, purchasing a small globe (thanks for the props, Mayor!), then again at Bed, Bath and Beyond.<<<< Not sure if that is Westwood Village BBB, or is there one downtown?

  • Darren December 23, 2008 (5:44 pm)

    I just say a story on KOMO TV and they said that the City of Seattle has a surplus of salt sitting doing nothing. I wish to heck they would use it. The roads around here are TERRIBLE. We got out and drove down to Admiral from Arbor Heights and thought the shocks were going to go because of all the bumps. THIS IS TERRIBLE !!! USE THE SALT !!!!!!

  • WSB December 23, 2008 (5:47 pm)

    It’s a little ways away but if you want to mark your calendar, just found the mayor’s next two call-in appearances on his “Nickels Newsletter” in our inbox:
    # Weekday with Steve Scher — Call in to Mayor Nickels on KUOW 94.9 FM — Monday, Jan. 12, 10 a.m.
    # Ask the Mayor — Seattle Channel — Wednesday, Jan. 14, 7 p.m

  • JH December 23, 2008 (5:48 pm)

    Elisabeth-it was impossible to go north on 4th ave. out of Costco. It was completely blocked by the dumba** truck.

  • JenV December 23, 2008 (5:52 pm)

    there is a BBB downtown. thank goodness Hizzoner is safe and dry downtown and doesn’t have to sully his loafers here on the West Side. Mayor Nickels, if you’re reading this- to quote Bender: “Bite my shiny metal a**!”

  • JH December 23, 2008 (5:52 pm)

    There’s a Bed & Bath on 3rd Ave. near Macy’s (I think I have the right street!).

  • Gretch December 23, 2008 (5:53 pm)

    Kathy, UPS came to our house on 17th and Thistle this afternoon…probably 3ish. But we haven’t been missing deliveries like some.

  • Darren December 23, 2008 (5:55 pm)

    Also wanted to say that the Thriftway at California and Morgan had plenty of eggs and egg nog. Also they have the only plowed parking lot for the grocery stores. I let the checker and the manager know that we saw pictures of the tractor clearing the lot and decided to go there and not worrying about falling.

  • Darren December 23, 2008 (5:57 pm)

    I finally called UPS today because last night saw a UPS truck drive by my house on SW 105th at 9:45pm and didn’t stop. I guess they are really backlogged and not sure if my package will be here by Christmas. Still haven’t got our mail today. First day it has been late since the snow.

  • add December 23, 2008 (6:01 pm)

    Thriftway rocks. As always!

  • WSB December 23, 2008 (6:02 pm)

    OK – evening post is now launched! Please re-gather over here:


    We’re still looking ahead to snow expected to return late tonight so this should be a lively one … sigh.
    Once again, THANK YOU ALL for the info-sharing which is benefiting many thousands more who don’t join in but are checking in to read what you have to say.

  • Darren December 23, 2008 (6:05 pm)

    I do know of a few employees at Thriftway that will now be reading the Blog. They thought it was pretty cool that the parking lot was on it.

  • miws December 23, 2008 (6:09 pm)

    Careful there, cruiser!


    Studies have shown, that the heavier accumulation of beer, the more difficult the negotiation of stairs becomes! ;)



  • Matt December 23, 2008 (6:31 pm)

    To the woman who stopped in the middle of Thistle tonight to SCREAM out the window of her minivan her criticism of the job I was doing freeing our car from snow that was two feet tall and packed tightly, after I had spent 90 minutes shoveling and scraping: we have a rule at our house. If you want to criticize the job someone else is doing, you are volunteering to do it yourself. Keep your comments to yourself next time.

    However, to the man with the Toyota 4Runner who pulled over to help push our car out: thank you. People like you are what make West Seattle a great community to live in.

  • ToddinWestwood December 23, 2008 (6:34 pm)

    Mike, I think I see beer clouds coming my way also. Seems to look like SNOW CAP! May have to stay off the stairs completely.
    I may try to melt the snow with a Jameson/Kahlua/Baily’s first.

Sorry, comment time is over.