West Seattle snow and ice: Tuesday morning updates

(this post covered Tuesday morning; go here for ongoing Tuesday afternoon updates)

(latest image from city camera pointing east on The Bridge; refresh for updated image)

(latest image from city camera at Fauntleroy/Alaska, pointing NE; refresh for updated image)
First, to mention again the school delays we first reported last night:
Seattle Public Schools, 2 hours late (see the district website)
Highline Public Schools, 2 hours late (per district website)
Hope Lutheran will start at 10:30 am
Seattle Lutheran High School will start at 10
On Vashon, everything’s regular schedule except McMurray Middle School, which will start 3 hours late, with a bus meeting “commuter students” on the 10:20 am ferry from Fauntleroy
Kennedy HS (Burien) will start 2 hours late
West Seattle Montessori will start on time.
West Seattle Christian Preschool is closed for the day.

Now, some other links for reference:

WSB Traffic page with additional cameras/links relevant to West Seattle commuters
City info on snow/ice routes/procedures (including link to plowed-routes map)
County info on snow/ice routes/procedures (including Metro reroutes)
Metro “adverse weather” service status
King County road alerts
Latest forecast
WSDOT trouble spots via Twitter
Washington State Ferries “service bulletins”
Live 911 log for Seattle fire/medic calls

6:18 AM UPDATE: Commute report from Scott C: “Driving to Everett today was uneventful. 35th still has some icy places as expected. West Seattle Bridge was de-iced and was not a problem at all. … Saw one sanding truck near Morgan/35th, but it was parked. Airport road in Everett is an icy mess.” The forecast updated around 4 am as usual, and now it says:



6:30 AM UPDATE: Metro has updated its list of buses on “adverse weather” reroutes. Shorter than yesterday. 37, 53, 125. Also, the 128 “will not enter SSCC campus.”

6:40 AM UPDATE: Two reminders, from info first reported Monday: Seattle Public Schools told WSB they’re going ahead with the closure hearing at 6:30 pm tonight at Genesee Hill (Pathfinder K-8 building; the list of those signed up to speak is here); Seattle Public Utilities said trash trucks would try again today to pick up in West Seattle, after postponing yesterday’s pickups because of the icy side streets, but if you come home and your trash hasn’t been picked up, just bring it in till next Monday.

8:58 UPDATE: Commute report from Sharonn: Traffic is moving, but moving at a crawl down Avalon and on The Bridge.

9:19 AM UPDATE: Sheila e-mailed to say that despite what the Metro list says, the 125 is NOT on reroute (though, like the 128, it’s not going onto the South Seattle Community College campus).

9:52 AM UPDATE: Marco e-mailed to say there’s a fire truck blocking the right lane of 35th southbound at Morgan. (There’s no specific incident there so may just be an inspection or other stop.)

10:12 AM UPDATE: We’re asking SDOT for an official response on why side streets aren’t sanded/plowed, since so many are asking. We have linked to the official routes before; find that link again here. Also, there is an FAQ about snow and ice removal on the SDOT site here; it includes this passage:

Our 27 trucks with sanders and snowplows must take care of 1,531 lane miles of arterial streets. Once the snow stops and we are comfortable with the condition of the arterial streets, we may be able to take care of residential streets on a request-basis. However, many residential streets are too narrow for our plows to work in them safely.

11:04 AM UPDATE: KOMO‘s Mark Miller is at 44th and Alaska next to a closure sign. That would be the Alaska hill heading west. Satellite picture moments later shows moisture definitely on the way. Just stepped outside to get this photo looking north on California from Thistle – the unplowed “side street” stub of Cali is in the foreground:

11:16 AM UPDATE: We just read the latest “forecast discussion” from the National Weather Service. They believe the metro area snow will start tomorrow (Wednesday) morning – but maybe not be as heavy as a second dose Wednesday NIGHT. Read more here. For those who have been following meteorologist Cliff Mass‘s online writings, his post from just before 6 am talks about 4 am-4 pm snow tomorrow – and reminds us there’s another system coming in over the weekend.

11:45 AM UPDATE: Co-publisher Patrick is back from hitting a few local streets (he’s going back out and will come back with pix next time). He says Thistle east of 35th is “ugly.” Avalon and even steep Yancy (past Stor-More [WSB sponsor] and on to Allstar) are fine. Still looks bad down side streets, but many main routes look good.

11:50 AM UPDATE: This will be a separate post in a moment. Just got a response from Rick Sheridan at SDOT re: the residential-street problem. Here’s that link. We’ll also be starting the Tuesday afternoon weather post within the hour, will make a note here when that happens.

12:13 PM UPDATE: We’ll be checking next with Seattle Public Utilities re: the trash prognosis – heard a TV report that said they were “trying” again but not sure if that’s really from a new update (there’s no new news release out).

38 Replies to "West Seattle snow and ice: Tuesday morning updates"

  • Kim December 16, 2008 (6:43 am)

    Does anyone know if studded tires help driving in this situation?

  • WSB December 16, 2008 (6:47 am)

    I don’t have personal experience but this WSDOT page has interesting info under the “What’s the matter with studded tires?” heading a short ways down:

  • Kim December 16, 2008 (7:00 am)

    Thanks, that is very helpful.

  • WSratsinacage December 16, 2008 (7:26 am)

    There were two police cruisers sitting in the right lane, east bound west seattle bridge just past where you exit to I 5 south. It caused a back up on the bridge leaving WS. Seems like one cruiser was disabled. This was about 6:45 AM

  • add December 16, 2008 (7:29 am)

    Wondering if anyone found out if the SPS bus snow routes are posted online anywhere??

  • rbj December 16, 2008 (7:32 am)

    does anyone know how admiral way heading to the bridge looks?

  • Bradley5 December 16, 2008 (7:35 am)

    Thanks for the garbage pick-up note, I was wondering if we just missed it yesterday!

  • Eddie December 16, 2008 (7:40 am)

    Re: Garbage pickup – If they don’t come this week, don’t charge me. Who cares if they’ll pick up extra next week for no penalty. I won’t have extra. If they don’t provide service, don’t charge me.

    Seems simple enough. If they don’t pick up, they didn’t pay fuel this week, they didn’t pay to haul it away, etc.

    Stop dreaming, back to reality. Where do I send the check?

  • eileen December 16, 2008 (7:41 am)

    any news on 99 north to UW?

  • GenHillOne December 16, 2008 (7:54 am)

    add – sorry to say, SPS transportation page (not easy to find, but under Family section) says Snow Route page is under constructions…not too helpful


  • Aim December 16, 2008 (8:07 am)

    For those who were asking yesterday, I took Delridge to Roxbury to 509 to 1st into SODO this morning and it was fine. However, side streets (Trenton up into Highland Park, Barton at 16th, etc) are still an absolute disaster. Avoid them if you can. And those of us who live on alleys know that the alleys are downright treacherous.

  • Peaches December 16, 2008 (8:07 am)

    Here’s the Westside/Explorer West school road report: 28th Ave SW is MUCH better than it was yesterday. Road in front of the school is bare and dry (thank you, yesterday’s sun!). The more shaded parts of 28th from Roxbury south are still pretty thick with ice, but the trip should be less eventful than yesterday.

  • add December 16, 2008 (8:12 am)

    Thanks GHO. How hard can it be to upload the documents that they send home? Guess we will have to brave the elements once more to get the kids to school since I don’t know where/what time the snow route pick up is.

  • Jen V. December 16, 2008 (8:20 am)

    strangely enough, 36th between Dakota and Genessee is now completely clear. Fauntleroy still looks good, as does California. Findlay at California is still a skating rink. I have a pretty limited commute, so that is my “word on the street”.

  • Sue December 16, 2008 (8:21 am)

    The crosswalks on my walk to the bus this morning were a teensy bit better – the sun managed to put enough “breaks” in the ice that you can at least get a foothold with every other step. It’s still unnerving, but a little less so. And the bus driver was kind enough to wait for me to get to the bus AND pulled into the curb today. (It’s an earlier bus than I normally get.)

  • SD December 16, 2008 (8:41 am)

    For Eileen–99 is clear. I went to a meeting yesterday in Wallingford and took 99 to 45th–no problems at all. There’s no snow or ice at all on the streets there, even the side streets. Same on Capitol Hill–I took I-5 and then James to get to an event at 12th and Spring last night and no problems at all. It’s like a different city once you’re out of West Seattle.

  • RS December 16, 2008 (8:53 am)

    It really is amazing that the entire rest of the city is completely fine! No snow, no ice, nothing! I work in South Lake Union and it’s as though there was no storm at all. Poor West Seattle. :(

  • Sue December 16, 2008 (9:23 am)

    RS, the great irony is that when the storm started, I was watching the real-time radar on weather.com, and it showed it showing everywhere *except* WS – and I was so excited that it might actually pass us by, or at least be really minor. Glad I didn’t make any bets on that. :)

  • KT December 16, 2008 (9:55 am)

    Come on up west of California between Admiral & Alaska junctions and see the hell that is our burden. I live off dakota and still no signs of any city activity on the side streets. Does anyone really feel Nickels deserves another term?

  • Newby December 16, 2008 (10:07 am)

    How about California from Admiral to Hamilton Viewpoint? Does anyone know? Any info is greatly appreciated.

  • GenHillOne December 16, 2008 (10:09 am)

    KT – yes, on Dakota (and the other side streets)! KOMO was live on Dakota last night and another camera was there this morning filming (not live). Making the drive to Sealth this morning, via “arterials” – Fauntleroy to Avalon to Delridge – was cake. Made me realize why people might arrogantly think we’re whining over here. BUT, you can’t GET to those arterials. We live pretty close so can slip our way over, but if we lived 3-4 blocks to the west, it would be impossible. I’m still watching a pick-up full of lumber trying to get out of a sticky situation now. And we’ve talked to a couple of folks walking who have indeed already taken spills; one was limping. You’d think we’re a different city by looking at things.

  • WSB December 16, 2008 (10:12 am)

    Certainly, elected officials are ultimately responsible for what happens, so e-mail, call, write the mayor and city council if you have feedback; in the short run, I am asking SDOT for an official statement on why side streets are not deiced/sanded, even in a situation like this where just one section of the city is hit the hardest so theoretically it’s not like the entire city is full of side streets crying for help. There is a line in this FAQ that suggests some MAY be addressable at some point:

  • KT December 16, 2008 (10:14 am)

    I look at that hefty property tax bill of mine and wonder why I can’t get BASIC city services. Start emailing now and do not stop until we get some attention…

  • B'sMomma December 16, 2008 (10:17 am)

    Can anyone tell me the status of 35th Ave. going up to Target?


  • JenV December 16, 2008 (10:20 am)

    the BF reports 35th is sanded from Roxbury to Avalon, B’sMomma. Don’t know about Barton 35th to Target, or about Target’s parking lot. It seems like a lot of parking lots are skating rinks still.

  • B'sMomma December 16, 2008 (10:22 am)

    Thank You JenV!

  • KT December 16, 2008 (10:45 am)

    I just figured it out, it’s so simple. This is some diabolical conspiracy between the Mayor and SDOT to sucker us into voting for a new $500 million tax levy for snow removal.

  • What The December 16, 2008 (10:58 am)

    It’s Nickels master plan to keep “Nickelsville” from moving back….sorry, the roads are too bad for you to come here….

  • DWS December 16, 2008 (11:27 am)

    I would like to support WSB & KT in letting city officials know that the response to road conditions in West Seattle has been, well, comical for a major city. So with deafening silence broken only by the hopeful whirring of spinning tires I submit this to our good Mayor:

    Dear Mayor,
    The response to road conditions in West Seattle and Arbor Heights has been, and continues to be dismal, unacceptable and irresponsible. Where is my tax money going? Reports of open arterial and side roads throughout the city continue to infuriate those of us who have not seen a shred of activity on our impassible streets. Wake up and get some help to those stranded in West Seattle now!

    Remember, Mayor Nickels wants to hear from you

  • Gina December 16, 2008 (11:30 am)

    I am so thankful to be living back in the Admiral district, with the variety of groceries within walking distance, and the bus on a nice flat stretch of California.

    Lived for 15 years in the Genessee Hill valley, and I don’t miss the iced over hills, the mystery snow route bus stops, the trek to the grocery store…

  • JenV December 16, 2008 (11:33 am)

    Amazon Fresh is now two days out on grocery deliveries, just an FYI.

  • eileen December 16, 2008 (11:47 am)

    Thanks for the info on 99 SD! This formum is a great help.

  • WSB December 16, 2008 (11:50 am)

    Just got a response from SDOT. Will post separately. If you have a street you want to report for plowing/deicing, call 386-1218 – they’re trying to get to residential streets NOW. Look for separate post in a moment, I’ll put link here.

  • WSB December 16, 2008 (11:56 am)


  • Renee December 16, 2008 (11:58 am)

    I live in the Arbor Heights neighborhood and it was awful trying to get our cars out of there this morning (yesterday hubby took the bus and I didn’t have to work)! We live on 100th going toward 32nd and our hill is just an ice rink. Once we made it out to 35th (took us a while and was a little scary), driving was completely fine. I work in Kent and had no problems at all once I got out of the side streets. I take 599 to I-5 and all was clear. However, I am dreading going home tonight and dealing with the icy streets again. While I totally understand that the side streets are last on the list, they should have been sanded by now. If they can’t fit the sanding trucks down some of these side streets then they need to figure out a different way to deal with the streets in these areas.

  • Kim December 16, 2008 (12:35 pm)

    Famous footwear in westwood has yakjax!! To prevent slipping while walking. I think it is the last local place in stock.

  • mannamc December 16, 2008 (12:41 pm)

    Re: Amazon Fresh, I had an order scheduled for delivery this afternoon (placed the order on Sunday) and I just received an email from them saying that “due to the inclement weather, they will not be able to deliver my order as scheduled.” Bummer!

  • WSB December 16, 2008 (1:01 pm)

    Just started the afternoon post here:
    please share further updates in those comments, and once again, we say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! (Kicked off that post with an update on Sno-Melt availability, BTW) – TR

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