West Seattle snow: Monday morning/midday updates

(AM coverage is now closed; PM COVERAGE IS HERE; for a list of handy links and closed/open reports, CLICK HERE)

Live updates resuming. Please share road/bus stories for those who can’t stay home.

5:14 AM UPDATE: For bus riders – As of 4 am, as promised, Metro resumed updating its list of which bus routes are and aren’t running. See it here. A new forecast is out as of last hour; the accompanying “discussion” says some snow shower chances continue this morning but promises “DRIER NORTHERLY FLOW SETTING UP OVER WESTERN WASHINGTON TONIGHT.”

5:24 AM UPDATE: Words of warning from Linda Thielke, who should know because she’s coordinating media/public info for Metro and hearing from bus drivers all over: “Please warn everyone that road conditions are bad out there this morning. Even in the Seattle CBD (central business district), there are still snow-covered streets.”

5:36 AM UPDATE: Washington State Ferries says: “Normal service on all routes.” WSF’s service-bulletins list is on our list of links/what’s open/what’s closed (which we are updating for your reference IN ADDITION to including new info in this post as we get it).

5:52 AM UPDATE: Got word that the White Center Food Bank – which serves part of West Seattle too – REALLY needs help. From executive director Rick Jump:

The White Center Food Bank has 300 families scheduled to pick up their holiday baskets on Monday and another 300 scheduled for Tuesday. Our plan is to be open for those with appointments but I will probably need some additional volunteers to make this happen. A few of our loyal volunteers showed up last Friday and we served 144 families (out of the 300 scheduled that day). We will be open from 10am to 6pm. If there is anybody who lives within walking distance of the food bank OR has a 4 wheel drive vehicle and can safely get there we would greatly appreciate the extra help. I will also need help shoveling the sidewalks and part of the parking lot to make it safe for those who show up. Please help spread the word.

The food bank is at 10829 8th SW; here’s a map.

6:17 AM UPDATE: Via Twitter, WSDOT reports, “Road conditions in most areas of the state are compact snow, with ramps and overpasses still trouble spots.” We’re monitoring the scanner as well as TV, online, etc. And we’re watching airport-related news; a Twitter friend who’s at Sea-Tac says, “Departure lanes at Sea-Tac not moving – people getting out and walking to terminal.” Co-publisher Patrick reminds us we should mention this — the city DID NOT EXPECT to be able to pick up trash today (2nd Monday in a row for some of us) — we are checking with SPU to verify, but as of now, not that you can get it out anyway, likely not worth trying.

6:50 AM UPDATE: Our road report – looks like some clearing/compacting at California/Thistle (both arterials) but still very slow going. Thistle coming down the hill toward Cali:

And around the bend, heading north on Cali:

If you’re on an arterial (or other busy road), please send a pic if/when you can, particularly after sunrise – really helps in addition to the anecdotal reports in comments – editor@westseattleblog.com


7:02 AM UPDATE: Most efficient way to get statewide road problem bulletins: SDOT on Twitter.

7:19 AM UPDATE: That said, an e-mail exchange reminds us that not everyone realizes that local road conditions are being shared/discussed in the comments area. Here in the main text, we’re posting what we get from official sources, from off-site sources like Twitter/Facebook/scanner/phone etc., photos, and so forth, but be sure to read the comments (click on the headline to any WSB post to get the full post with comments on the bottom, OR click on the “xx comments” phrase beneath the headline) for the latest – and to post a question if you have one — thanks again a MILLION times to everyone who’s been participating in info-sharing this way, since there’s no official way to get road conditions at the neighborhood level. Meantime — Good news from our peek view: Vashon is visible this morning. This means that at least for now, IT REALLY HAS LIFTED!

7:29 AM UPDATE: Jason sends overnight video of snowboarding on Pigeon Point. Because we are oldish fuddy-duddies operating this newfangled (but commercial and journalist-run) news site, we must issue a disclaimer – Some of what you see might be unsafe/illegal. Nonetheless, it’s happening. And Jason says he had a “great time meeting the neighbors.” Here’s his video, 8 minutes worth. Also from the winter-sports realm, this succinct description of 2 West Seattle hills, via BikeHugger.

7:34 AM UPDATE: Traffic alert by phone (206-293-6302 24/7) – There’s a semi stuck at Fauntleroy/California intersection in Morgan Junction and people are having trouble getting around it. Also, bus waits are very long – the tipster who just called said her husband walked to the bus stop an hour before she did, and hasn’t gotten on board yet.

7:37 AM UPDATE: Here’s the long-awaited official word from Seattle Public Utilities – no trash pickup today (second straight Monday in West Seattle) – but if you can take it to the transfer station, it’s free!

Single-family residential garbage, recycling, food and yard waste collection has been delayed in Seattle today, Monday December 22, due to dangerous road conditions. Priority commercial customers, such as hospitals, will be served.

City collection contractors will attempt to service today’s missed customers tomorrow, Tuesday December 23, 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.

7:41 AM UPDATE: Bus update just texted (2062936302@vtext.com or program our e-mail address editor@westseattleblog.com into your phone) by Margie: “Looks like there is a shuttle to The Junction instead of the 55. The 55 is running from The Junction to downtown. Leaving right now, will let you know how it goes.”

7:46 AM UPDATE: Holly has now sent a phonepic of the aforementioned stuck semi in eastbound Fauntleroy lanes by Thriftway entrance:

Meteorologist Cliff Mass has posted an update this morning – he says we’re in “a break in the action” for the next 2 days.

8:05 AM UPDATE: Another text from Margie on the 55 bus: “(It) went Avalon to the low bridge, down 1st, which is good, turning on Jackson to 3rd, quite an easy ride once the bus came!”

8:11 AM UPDATE: Just texted to us: “Katrina on Alki here re: the 56 bus. More than 30 people waiting @ the start of the route. Some here for over an hour-No Bus :-( ” Meantime, just sent by cell phone (no name but THANKS!), from Arbor Heights, the view south on 35th SW from 106th:

8:40 AM UPDATE: Another bus report, this one from JayDee:

I caught the 56 (who knows which one—6:55ish?) at Alki Bakery – they are running shorty buses, and we were SRO by Starbucks at 41st, and no stops on the hills. The driver was nice, but he left the heater on full blast, and with a full bus it was real steamy. Since the 57 isn’t running, he went up first, stopping to let people off at each stop, and because there are so few buses, we were SRO until Marion . It took 1 hour to get to work. Who knows when I will get back tonight?

8:47 AM UPDATE: Timber sends this photo of SW Thistle looking east down the hill toward 35th SW:

… and this info:

Took our dogs around the neighborhood at 8:00: Saw a 21 Bus going southbound on 35th, only 2-3 people waiting at Downtown bound bus stop at 35th and Thistle. Saw two 4 X 4s going down Thistle to 35th, walked up it, some pavement peeking through in spots.

8:52 AM UPDATE: Austin just sent this report, with photos we’ll add afterward in a moment:

Arterials range from wet to slushy but are navigable with hills still offering some challenge. Neighborhood streets are mostly packed snow with some ice. Commuters out seem to be driving very carefully with extreme regard to pedestrians. All the people I encountered gave me a friendly greeting, spirits seem to be relatively high despite the trying weather. It seems noticeably warmer this morning than it was yesterday afternoon- I was beginning to get a bit toasty in my coat at the end of the walk.

Austin’s photos, starting with the view from the Fauntleroy footbridge, looking back toward the bridge entrance:

Here’s the Fauntleroy/35th intersection:

And 35th/Avalon:

8:54 AM UPDATE: Stu sent this via Twitter moments ago:

Made it to Alki bakery in time to get the word that the 56 is only making it to 26th and Spokane. No service to Alki.

9:05 AM UPDATE: JenV says in comments that she saw the stuck semi heading north on California – hopefully that’s good news for Fauntleroy/California (see photo earlier). Meantime, a YMCA services update from Josh Sutton (will add this to closure/open/links post too):

YMCA cannot open School Age Child Care at WS Elementary (High Point) – no heat @ school.

9:13 AM UPDATE: Somebody mentioned skiing to work downtown. Here’s a blogpost about a West Seattle man who did just that. The site author’s mom, Amy, also sent a photo of Admiral at 37th:

And via Facebook (“friend” us at WS Blog) from Talani at Stor-More Self-Storage (WSB sponsor) on the south edge of the Luna Park business district, Avalon northbound at Yancy (map):

Talani adds:

Stor-More Self Storage and Mailboxes are open today giving out free hot chocolate, coffee, mochas and free pens and candies. You don’t have to be a tenant to get your fun free stuff today! From phone calls, we know many of you are sad that you don’t have your Christmas tree out of storage yet and up in your home, so we have one up in the office to cheer you if you want to hike over … but it’s slick out there, so only come if you have great shoe traction. We walked for groceries and fell in the street, as we’ve seen many do…so please be careful, neighbors!”

9:27 AM UPDATE: Road report from Jon, Roxbury at 5th (map):

Looking easy towards Olson. Plenty of traffic going up and down the hill.

His photo:

Happy photo – we saw a sunbreak briefly hit Vashon a short time ago:

9:51 AM UPDATE: With many WSBers reporting trouble getting a 54 bus this morning – long waits, few sightings – we checked with Linda at Metro, who checked on the route’s status and just e-mailed back:

The control center tells me that at least two made it out to West Seattle earlier this morning, and they are working on getting more buses out on the route now. Driving conditions are really poor today everywhere, and we have to replace/repair a lot of chains out in the field on this — the 10th straight day — of snow operations.”

10:08 AM UPDATE: A few things … First, via Twitter (where he is relatively prolific), County Exec Ron Sims says Amtrak has canceled Cascades service for today. (Amtrak’s link is in our links/closed/open post.) And Lena sends news and photos from Admiral/44th (map), where she just saw some folks helping someone who got stuck. Love those stories – share ’em if you got ’em:

10:33 AM UPDATE: Two things. Now that it’s after 10 am, we renew the request to help White Center Food Bank if you can get there safely – they have HUNDREDS OF FAMILIES making food pickups pre-holidays, today and tomorrow, and need VOLUNTEER HELP most of all – full details, and a map, here.

Second, if you still need a Christmas tree and/or poinsettias, West Seattle Nursery just sent word:

We’re putting both our “naturally-flocked” (hehe) Christmas trees and Poinsettias on sale today. All Trees and Points will now be 30% off. The $5.00 coupon (tree coupon from the WSB COUPONS tab) will still be valid; however, we’ll be honoring the larger discount only (in most cases it will be the 30%), not both.

From the sidewalk, co-publisher Patrick reports, “It’s getting smooshy underfoot.” Temperature has risen to freezing (or even slightly above) in some places. Heat wave. He’s heading down (north) down the hill — well, will be, after yet more digging that will be required to get the car extricated (bottom line, don’t anyone expect fast getaways if your car’s been parked a few days). Now – from the beach, Alkiguy reports in:

I took a walk along Alki Avenue an hour ago, and the conditions seemed to be clumpy dry snow on top of ice. Most cars were making it fine but I did stop and help one fellow resident try to get his truck unstuck when he turned onto a side street. I sent along a few pictures (this was around 58th Ave) so people could see the conditions.

Stuck at home and bored? We hope to publish an “other news” update between the morning and afternoon snow posts. But also just got a tweet from NASA: spacewalk at 3:30 pm our time, you can even watch online. Meantime, earthbound and snowbound out front, co-publisher progress report: The snow is up to the engine block and frozen. Snow shovel abandoned, “regular” shovel procured. And the native Coloradan warns, “I think I can get out – but I don’t know if I can get back.”

11:12 AM UPDATE: Newest forecast says “snow likely” for tomorrow night. But then Christmas Eve morning, “snow changing to rain.” Also, good news from Rick at the White Center Food Bank re: our earlier relaying of his request for help:

This is the most amazing community around. Thanks to your post we have LOTS of volunteers here at the food bank to help distribute holiday baskets. Please let others know they should call first at 206.762.2848 to see if we still need additional help. Thanks again for your help in getting the word out.

There is an additional request in the WSB Forums for volunteer help needed in the White Center area – read about it here. Plus, in case you were wondering, a forum member called the West Seattle Food Bank to see if they needed people-power help – they’re OK right now.

11:39 AM UPDATE: Co-publisher Patrick just drove California from Thistle to Admiral. From WSHS to Admiral, “it’s beautiful.” The rest of it is a challenge, including The Junction. He brought back some pix; and via e-mail we also got a ton of WSB’ers’ photos just in. First, Jack Loblaw, looking south on California from Charlestown (that’s Charlestown Cafe at left and it’s open):

And looking north from that same spot:

From another photographer, eastbound SW Trenton from between Delridge and 20th:

Now a few Alki pix from Pete R, who first reports:

I was part of that crowd waiting for the 56 that never came this morning, but it just started running again; I saw one heading down the hill at 10:43; it came back up a short time later. I guess it’s catch as catch can. Meanwhile there was an eerie abandoned bus on the beach at a 37 stop. The door was open and the radio on… like they abandoned it in a hurry. I pictured Spooky Movie Guy saying, “Something bad happened here….” Most of Alki is still pretty buried, but the guys at Alki Auto managed to clean off their whole lot.

That’s the eerie bus – Pete also photographed the entrance to Schmitz Park:

12:04 PM UPDATE: For those who’ve been with us for the past several days, if you’re wondering when we’ll switch to afternoon post – within an hour or so. And now before we get to yet more photos, an update from Sea-Tac Airport, just texted by Christy:

Everything you’ve heard about the airport is true. Ticket agents are not re.booking @ the counters. Instead you are referred to an 800 number for rebooking. Fyi we got confirmed on Delta for a flight leaving tomorrow from vancouver for zero extra dollars. It may be the only option for people who got cancelled. No seats out of seattle till Friday or Saturday

Linda along Fauntleroy Way east of Morgan Junction reports she just saw a sanding truck go by! Here’s her (over)view looking west:

El Carlito in the Admiral District (see earlier) sends more pix via mom Amy:

Bulletin: Some melting is happening. Looking out the front window, we see water dripping from the eaves.

12:34 PM UPDATE: Another update from the West Seattle Family YMCA (WSB sponsor), re: the rest of today and tomorrow (all business/organization/meeting/restaurant/whatever updates welcome, editor@westseattleblog.com):

Monday Closure Times
Fauntleroy Facility Closes at 4 pm Monday
West Seattle Facility Closes at 6 pm Monday – Preschool closing at 5 pm, Pool closing at 5:30 pm

Tuesday – initial plans
Open West Seattle Y at regular time (5:30 am)
Open Fauntleroy Y at 7 am
Open WS Preschool Child Care for all licensed care families
Open WS Elementary School Age Care (if heat is on) for all licensed families

Couple photos from co-publisher Patrick’s recent trip along California – first, The Junction:

And between The Junction and Morgan Junction:

1:06 PM UPDATE: A few photos from the North Delridge area, courtesy of Mike Dady from the North Delridge Neighborhood Council – first an overview looking west toward The Junction:

And southbound on Delridge from Bubbles:

1:17 PM BULLETIN: Snowplow just came back up California, heading east on Thistle.

1:30 PM: Text message just in – “Target is busy but not crazy.” Also, Square 1 Books (WSB sponsor) in Jefferson Square IS OPEN and awaiting holiday shoppers. Check the coupon on the WSB COUPONS page.

1:52 PM NOTE: The afternoon-evening post is launched – please click here to go there to share ongoing road updates and other information (or questions if you need answers from somebody who can help) – thanks!

187 Replies to "West Seattle snow: Monday morning/midday updates"

  • Rick December 22, 2008 (5:21 am)

    Any info on Morgan Junction to Wallingford area? Thanks

  • Darren December 22, 2008 (5:26 am)

    Has anyone been down 35th to the bridge yet this morning ?

  • DB December 22, 2008 (5:29 am)

    Admiral West of California very slushy, light layer of snow from California thru the bridge. I-5 seemed ify going anymore than 35 in my Subaru, if they don’t plow it soon there’s going to be some spin outs.

  • Lori December 22, 2008 (5:57 am)

    I live in Arbor Heights and need to go to work in Wallingford. Does anybody know if they’ve been keeping up with plowing/sanding 35th from Roxbury northward? They haven’t come by my end of 35th since Friday. I’m hearing stories of gas stations running out of fuel. Has anybody seen evidence of that happening here in West Seattle? This is crazy, but I love the snow!

  • HTS December 22, 2008 (6:10 am)

    I have a 4WD vehicle and a doctor’s appointment downtown at 11:30. I am in SW Seattle. For those who have made the commute – is it doable? If you were me, would you reschedule?

  • AlkiRagdoll December 22, 2008 (6:10 am)

    I left WS at 5am and by 6am I am sitting at my gate at Sea-Tac. Thanks and Fantastic Raves to J&S Towncar, who picked me up on Alki at 57th. Alki is snow covered but passable. WS Bridge is passable and I5 looks like ALKI execept for 1 lane. There are tons in line for flights — key is dont check a bag. Travel light. I cant say enough about J&S Towncar (ask for Jay). I was afraid they would cancel on me, but he arrived on time. My street is impassable, so I had to walk down to ALKI to meet him. Whew… I am here. Jay wanted $60 for the ride.

  • Kayleigh2 December 22, 2008 (6:10 am)

    Going to try to get a 54 downtown today (tired of not getting paid; my employer won’t close.) Will report if I make it in.

  • WSTEE December 22, 2008 (6:12 am)

    Husband went in around 5 or so. He said is was hard to drive in on side roads because of the slushy snow. Admiral wasn’t the best but everyone seemed to be going slow. Bridge was ok-same as Admiral. It had been sanded at some point and was sort of slushy. Hope everyone drives safely!

  • Darren December 22, 2008 (6:12 am)

    I sure wish the TV stations would report on the downtown area !!!!! I might be able to make it downtown, but need to know what those streets are like.

  • WSB December 22, 2008 (6:17 am)

    Darren, we mentioned in the main text – even downtown streets are snowcovered, per Metro. I know that’s not specific but if they’re saying it, I’d say, believe it.

  • Spud December 22, 2008 (6:21 am)

    Road report…. Alaska to Fauntleroy was snowy and slick, but passable… Avalon had two sides plowed with a big median of snow in the middle… West Marginal is a disaster.

  • Alice December 22, 2008 (6:24 am)

    Guess what?

    You got it: http://tinyurl.com/AlicesMondayMap

    Keep sending in updates.

  • WSB December 22, 2008 (6:28 am)

    I’m adding the link to the links/closures/open post too (and above the bridgecam at the very top of this post) – but cannot embed it to display a small version; since we started embedding it a couple days ago we’ve had reports the site is locking up for some users. Just FYI. Google’s fault, not yours or ours or Alice’s.

  • Alice December 22, 2008 (6:33 am)

    Sounds good to me!

  • brittany December 22, 2008 (6:41 am)

    is the viaduct drivable this morning? gotta get to ballard….

  • Mary December 22, 2008 (6:51 am)

    Does anyone know if Shuttle Express is still operating their door to door service? I do have a pre-existing reservation, but they’re not answering any emails.

  • Mags December 22, 2008 (6:54 am)

    My husban’s office (DSHS on first and King) has just called and told him the office is closed. Lucky guy, my employees are dropping like flies, so I am going to try and brave the number 55. I’ll let you know what happens!

  • Rick December 22, 2008 (6:58 am)

    My gf just called and said Morgan Junction to Wallingford was about 30 minutes and not too bad.

  • Rick December 22, 2008 (6:59 am)

    Oh yeah, she took 99. Better tear that puppy down soon so it’ll only take 2 1/2 hours in GOOD weather!

  • Bogie December 22, 2008 (7:14 am)

    Anyone traveled 509 (Burien Freeway) this morning? Sounds like W. Marginal is a mess, but is it any better if you get to the freeway? Have a family member who needs to get to work near the airport. Thanks!

  • Justin December 22, 2008 (7:14 am)

    I just came doen Roxbury/Myers Way/Olsen Place to North 509 and then 1st Ave South. Once on to Roxbury (the center pile of snow is getting pretty substantial) it was pretty easy going. THe hills have some sand and my chains are doing th ejob. Once off of 1st the side streets are a completely different story. Bad! Best of luck to all!

  • P December 22, 2008 (7:22 am)

    don’t forget once you get to clear streets to take your chains off. Per KING 5 you can damage your car and the chains if you drive on regular pavement with them on. I don’t have chains, so I am not sure myself.

  • Shell Marr December 22, 2008 (7:22 am)

    Hubby (Shane) left about 5am from Holden… between 35th & Delridge)… headed down delridge to the WS bridge….to I-90…to Kirkland, took him about an hour with no problems in 4WD and many years of experience driving in the snow. But the poor guy forgot his lunch…. I even put in some Christmas cookies :( Hopefully someone will make a lunch run at his office at some point today.

  • Alice December 22, 2008 (7:24 am)

    Justin, Rick, Spud, WSTEE, AlkiRag Doll,

    Thanks for your updates!

  • Stuart December 22, 2008 (7:25 am)

    Anyone know if the 56 is running to Alki? I wasn’t clear whether Metro’s website message meant it was only running downtown or just not running on the viaduct.

  • karen December 22, 2008 (7:33 am)

    I’ve been watching these poor people at the airport. Can you imagine being stuck in a strange city with your kids, nowhere to go and 3 buck for a bottle of water? Sleeping on the floor. I am wondering why the Red Cross is not involved. Sure these people have shelter, but no where to sleep, eat, etc. Couldn’t the Red Cross bring in cots and blankets and the usual emergency stuff for these poor people? I see those families with kids and I just want to drive down there and bring them home with me!
    We were stuck at the airport with an infant once. Thee was no place to get baby food, diapers, or anything. And that was only for a few hours!!

  • WSTEE December 22, 2008 (7:35 am)

    Just got downtown. The roads seem really spotty-some are plowed, some are not, articulated bus sitting on the Seneca hill right off of the viaduct exit. There were “Closed Road” signs near my building (WaMu Center) but busses and cars were going right around them. I didn’t have any problems in my CRV. Good luck and be safe all!

  • Ericka December 22, 2008 (7:39 am)

    Any reports on the buses, especially the 21?

  • WSB December 22, 2008 (7:41 am)

    I just posted a bus update texted to us. Please check the main narrative above from time to time too. We’re getting more phoned/texted reports today.

  • Matt December 22, 2008 (7:43 am)

    Getting a bus that goes downtown is either impossible or very difficult this morning. I took a shuttle route from the Alaska Junction to Fauntleroy at 5:50 AM. The driver said he was going all the way to White Center.

    Once at Fauntleroy, I grabbed a triple latte (which would come in handy later) and headed back out to the bus stop on California around 6:20 AM. Someone there said he had been waiting for a bus for over 2 hours just to go downtown. I said forget that, I could walk home (the Junction) in 30 min.

    On the way home, each bus stop had a good handful of people waiting there. I made it back and a car stuck on 41st and Alaska, just off the road. They had tried to turn onto 41st and failed. I went home and grabbed a shovel. I was able to get that person unstuck, which was cool. I glanced over and saw the bus headed downtown still had not come (it was 7 by then.)

    Stay home if you can. You may not have a choice today if you take the bus.

  • John December 22, 2008 (7:45 am)

    The 6:02 #56 Express bus left right on time in front of Alki Bakery at 61st and Alki where it begins it’s route. However the bus would not make any stops on Admiral until it got to the top of at California. THe driver passed up riders along the way fearing that the bus would get stuck. He yelled out to them to either walk up the hill to California or down to 61 st and Alki. He made several stops on Admiral between California and 26th and Spokane (Chelan Cafe) and then got on the lower bridge turning onto the Alaskan Way VIaduct exiting at Seneca. He couldn’t go up Seneca so he turned left on 1st Ave. and then right on Pike St and stopped at 2nd Ave. He announced 3 more stops but I got out at Second. The Metro site that lists bus reroutes says that the #56 will not be using the Viaduct but rather First Ave. S. That may be correct if you’re not on an Express bus.

  • Ericka December 22, 2008 (7:46 am)

    Thanks, WSB—you are lifesavers!

  • Mary December 22, 2008 (7:46 am)

    Handford, east of california, is doing ok- cars are going down at a good pace despite 4-6″ of slushy snow. The only trouble they’re having are on the side roads.

  • Matt December 22, 2008 (7:53 am)

    Also of mention: that guy that was waiting 2 hours for the bus at Fauntleroy was, not surprisingly, having difficulty getting a taxi.

  • FriendO'Dingus December 22, 2008 (7:56 am)

    Roomie just got on a 120. He said it was half full, however there had just been four 120’s pretty much in a row headed North on Delridge. I guess they picked up most folks which left this one with the new arrivals/leftovers. Bad news is, accoring to mybus.org tracker, there are no 120’s down in Burien coming Northwards. It will probably be another hour or so until the first one gets back to Burien from downtown to start the loop again. FYI my fellow Westwood neighbors.

  • RobertSeattle December 22, 2008 (7:58 am)

    No 56 buses for the past hour or so (between 7 and 8) at California and Admiral. That Metro site is pretty useless – we need real time data.

  • WSB December 22, 2008 (7:58 am)

    thanks for the reminder about mybus.org, will add to the reference links/open/closed post

  • RobertSeattle December 22, 2008 (8:00 am)

    I’m sure it’s been commented on, but why are those big burly dudes in those huge heavy garbage trucks scared of the snow? I’ve gotten newspaper and mail delivery every day of the storm but I can get rid of my garbage!

  • RobertSeattle December 22, 2008 (8:01 am)

    Oops – meant can’t

  • cathy December 22, 2008 (8:02 am)

    Saw three young snowboarders “surfing” down 59th about midnight last night. They were having a great time.

    59th SW is still nearly impassible. Have not seen any cars in either direction this morning. I can see Admiral Way from here (in Alki) and it looks like cars are moving – slowly. I haven’t seen a 56 bus go by so I can’t say whether or not they are running.

    Older son is going to try to make it home from college today – FROM THE UW! – by bus. I never thought that would be a problem.

    We’re running out of food also, so will have to hike up the hill today to replenish the larder. I’ll try to take some photos while I’m out.

    This reminds me of living through Massachusetts winters. But they plowed all the streets there, so people were able to get around. The snow was beautiful and people’s lives weren’t disrupted.

  • WSB December 22, 2008 (8:07 am)

    thanks, Cathy! will be looking forward to photos as it gets light.
    is preferred
    but if anyone is uploading to Flickr, you can also upload to West Seattle Blog photo group, which we should use more often than we do … just don’t want to make too much work for people and we do like to receive directly for sharing here on WSB.

  • kittylove December 22, 2008 (8:10 am)

    a co-worker picked me up at 6:50 this morning and we drove in.

    his route was from white center on roxbury–right on 35th—left on avalon—right on alaska–right on california–(picked me up near wshs)–right on admiral–across west seattle bridge–and then north on viaduct.

    we took it easy and had no problem in his fwd honda accord (no chains). the packed snow is not too bad to drive on. the bridge was pretty much just a bit of slush. the viaduct was very smooth and passable.

    i would have driven myself in, but my car is buried.

  • kittylove December 22, 2008 (8:11 am)

    oh, and at about 1am snowmobiles were racing down california avenue outside of my apartment.

  • Michelle December 22, 2008 (8:11 am)

    Has anyone else taken Myers Way down the hill to 509? There’s a comment here from someone with chains that made it; I don’t have chains but I do have 4wd – any advice out there?

  • BatKeva December 22, 2008 (8:16 am)

    just out of curiosity, does anyone know how 520 is? I’m supposed to be to work in Redmond this afternoon but I’m a little loathe to try it. Boss said yesterday I could take the day, but I feel terrible sticking my co-workers with the long shift again because I’m nervous. I never thought I’d be wishing for 4wd!

  • Jen V. December 22, 2008 (8:17 am)

    BF got me from 36th/Genessee to California Ave no problems. Took the back streets – they were easier to drive on and fewer idiots. Would like to remind the idiots out there to clean the snow off your headlights. They don’t do a damn bit of good if they’re covered in snow, ya doofuses! I am talking to YOU, Mr. BMW SUV on 37th & Fauntleroy!

  • Wheres the 116 December 22, 2008 (8:17 am)

    Was at the Cali/Fautleroy stop and Metro said the 116 was running…they lie….just got through waiting over an hour for it and it didnt show. The clincher was a woman said she quit after waiting over 2 hrs for any bus.

  • FriendO'Dingus December 22, 2008 (8:17 am)

    Hi Robert. The answer to your question is liability. Newspaper carriers are contract employees so the paper itself can’t be sued in the event of a collision or serious accident, and governments (i.e. USPS) are notoriously difficult to sue as they have legal protection from litigation. The two private companies that contract to serve Seattle for solid waste don’t have protection from lawsuits if one of their trucks is involved in an accident. Of course FedEx and UPS have the liability issues, but I bet the only deliveries they are doing are Express/Next Day/Air. Margins on that type service are so high, they can afford the steep liabilty costs involved when operating a fleet in this type of inclement weather. Plus solid waste trucks must (because of who they are servicing) spend 90% of their time on side streets and alleys where the build up is the worst, and the likely hood of children playing is the greatest. They will get it all later this week or next I’m sure.

  • natinstl December 22, 2008 (8:18 am)

    Has anyone caught a 54 yet? I’m at California and Juneau. The mybus.org website states no info.

  • MNGirl December 22, 2008 (8:23 am)

    Looks like we are spending Christmas here instead of the sunny south…our NWA flight this afternoon has been cancelled and the earliest flights we could get out are on Saturday… everything is booked, which is no surprise. Oh well, who wants a holiday on the beach anyway. But at least they are offering full refunds and depositing frequent flier miles back in our account without any charge. Maybe we’ll just wait and go south for Mardi Gras…. probably cheaper rates too. Oh, we could fly first class to Atlanta and then drive to the Gulf Coast !! At a slight increase in fare! HA!

    And just wondering if the mayor’s street is plowed.! Sorry, I’m getting a bit cranky!!!!!

    Merry Christmas to all!

  • P December 22, 2008 (8:24 am)

    If you have an appointment at the Poly Clinic on Cap Hill, they are closed today.

  • P December 22, 2008 (8:25 am)

    JenV, you are on the same level as me! Also, if you do clean off your lights, TURN THEM ON!

  • Dustin December 22, 2008 (8:27 am)

    The wife and I are contemplating going to Portland today and think we could make it out of Seattle today. The real question is what do the roads look like south of Olympia (Centralia, Kelso, Longview, etc.)? Anyone here anything or got any good links?

  • FriendO'Dingus December 22, 2008 (8:27 am)

    Hey Natinstl. I just peeked at mybus.org and agree there are no 54’s indicated anywhere. There are however other busses shown, and the time counter in the upper right hand side is ticking (indicates the site is operating). This means the 54 route isn’t running (yet anyways). Alternate routes, hail a cab, or wait for the 54 route to start I am sorry to say appear to be your only options.

  • Jen December 22, 2008 (8:29 am)

    As FriendO’Dingus indicated, the 120 buses seem to be running in packs. I picked one up at about 7:20 near the Home Depot – it was #2 in a line of 3 120s running downtown. All were SRO by the time they got to that particular stop. I got lucky and only waited 10 min. or so from when I arrived. Others had been there 1.5+ hours. I’ll just have to cross my fingers about getting home later today!

  • greenie December 22, 2008 (8:30 am)

    How’s Thistle and Holden going west from 35th?

  • Peter December 22, 2008 (8:35 am)

    Not making it in to work today–while the WSB and I-5 are passible, I work in snow ho county and the news is saying that unless you have 4WD and chains–neither of which I have on my little honda–don’t bother.

  • duluc December 22, 2008 (8:37 am)

    For Ericka who asked about the #21 bus: they appear to be running. There was a northbound at 8:08 and a southbound at 8:13.

  • A December 22, 2008 (8:38 am)

    RobertSeattle did you really get your newspaper?? We only get the Sunday paper and nothing yesterday! Granted our carrier lives in Renton (WHY?) but still. Oh, and I only know he lives in Renton bc he gave us a card all addressed and ready to go for his Christmas tip!

  • GatewoodNeighbor December 22, 2008 (8:39 am)

    Waited for an hour at Fauntleroy/Caifornia for a bus, none came – one man had been waiting for 2 hours before that. No Expresses running (116 or 54) – one woman took shuttle to junction, but no bus came to take her downtown. I’m back home now, hoping someone from work will volunteer to come & get me. This was between 5:30 & 8:00 a.m.

  • Kayleigh December 22, 2008 (8:41 am)

    Waited 1.5 hours for a 54 to downtown, standing on California just before the junction. Nothing showed but a 128. Saw one 54 headed the other direction.


  • WSB December 22, 2008 (8:41 am)

    I will check with Metro PR re: the 54 situation.

  • brittany December 22, 2008 (8:43 am)

    made it to ballard via delridge/wsea bridge/viaduct/15th and it was pretty easy. got the bf to work safe and sound. then off to my work- back down the viaduct to georgetown and WHAT A MESS!! w marginal is a disaster, a good 18″ of snow in the center lane so you can’t turn left anywhere- had to go straight thru to michigan before i could turn. michigan isn’t much better. trucks and semis stuck all over 4th ave s, i ended up abandoning in what MIGHT be a parking spot on 1st south, because there’s just no turning down any of these industrial side streets. even the streets with stoplights haven’t been cleared for left-hand turns! STAY HOME!

  • SD December 22, 2008 (8:45 am)

    I received my PI this morning plus my Sunday Seattle Times and NY Times that didn’t come yesterday–better late than never ;-). I live on Fauntleroy near the Morgan Junction–not sure how many carriers there are for WS.

  • mar3c December 22, 2008 (8:47 am)

    dustin: traction tires are required on all roads in pdx, according to nw cable news.
    seattle should implement the same policy.

  • JH December 22, 2008 (8:47 am)

    Regarding Brittany’s post, would I be stupid to try to go to Costco today from the Admiral area?

  • Longfellar December 22, 2008 (8:48 am)

    Does anybody know how much snow and ice the power cable to your house will hold? I have about 4 inches thick ice on mine.

  • RS December 22, 2008 (8:49 am)

    Please provide any updates on the 55/56

  • Karen Hendrickson December 22, 2008 (8:50 am)

    The 56 is running I took it in to town this morning. It was running about 15 minutes late, it came at 6:45 instead of 6:30. It ran it’s regular route except it was a local instead of an express.

  • Jen V. December 22, 2008 (8:51 am)

    Just saw a 54 headed north up California. Cookin’. Must have been going at least 35. Looked like there were still seats available.

  • WSB December 22, 2008 (8:51 am)

    I just posted a firsthand account of the 56 to narrative above – as I mentioned earlier, getting more text/phone reports from bus riders today so there will be bus info there too. More pix starting to come in from arterials as well, thanks!

  • owen December 22, 2008 (8:53 am)

    If you need to get downtown, X-country skis are not a bad option. Just dusted off my set for the morning commute, and had a great time not waiting for the bus or worrying about other drivers (except at the few road crossings on the trail).

    There’s a couple bare spots under the Delridge on-ramp and at the gates on the low bridge, but otherwise the trail has snow the whole way.

  • WSB December 22, 2008 (8:54 am)

    and here’s another 56 account I’m just about to add, via Twitter four minutes ago from Stu:
    >Made it to Alki bakery in time to get the word that the 56 is only making it to 26th and Spokane. No service to Alki.<

  • beachdrivegirl December 22, 2008 (8:55 am)

    We drove in around 7 am this morning. The side roads are the worse part. We went up Admiral and it wasnt to bad. Defin; a bit slushy and still needs from Met Market to Alki plowed. The West Seattle bridge was great. Downtown isnt to bad either. However, many of the streets are closed (hills) in downtown.

  • M December 22, 2008 (8:58 am)

    Just made it in from 35th & Morgan to 1st & Cherry on the 21 (and then walked the last 4 blocks to 5th & Columbia). No problems – driver took it slow. There were about 10 people standing by the time we got to the bridge. Downtown streets are snow covered and slick. I saw cars slipping down the hill backward on Cherry between 3rd & 4th. There was a bus stuck at the corner of 4th and Yesler. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd all looked passable but the intersections have high spots which appear to be tricky. Be careful out there today.

  • emoticant December 22, 2008 (8:59 am)

    waited for the 54 from 6am to 8am this morning. Cali & Findlay. never saw a 54 that whole time. did see a bus marked “Shuttle” going north, but it didn’t stop for me. where is that shuttle bus going?

  • Jen V. December 22, 2008 (9:00 am)

    just saw that semi that was stuck headed north on California.

  • Helen December 22, 2008 (9:01 am)

    18th SW was passable, albeit slippery. My husband came home from his graveyard shift and decided to try taking Oregon/23rd/21st/Dawson. Even in my car (small Lexus SUV) he was still fishtailing around some. a coworker and I got back into that SUV and went south on 18th, north on Delridge, took the lower bridge and cruised up Alaskan way to Elliott. Again, slippery but doable when in low gear. In fact, the worst part of getting to work this morning was making the left turn into my company’s parking garage. :P

  • Helen December 22, 2008 (9:02 am)

    And…my uncle needs to get up to Walnut Ave SW, on the same block as WSHS. Can anyone give a first-hand account of the street and how slippery it is getting there? I was there Saturday morning, but that was ages ago. ;)

  • karre December 22, 2008 (9:05 am)

    Hi Dustin,

    I have family in Portland and i know it is very snowy and icy there. Portland is requiring chains. Also i have family in Olympia and it sounded like they have even more snow there than here (and Olympia has only 2 snow plows.)

    other than that, i am not sure about the driving conditions there.

  • atemybuick December 22, 2008 (9:08 am)

    Just made it to Southcenter on a 128. Caught it at California and Fautleroy where it is running the crazy route north Fauntleroy to Alaska, Alaska to 35th, then south on 35th back to Morgan. Took about an hour and a half. Driver was great. I must have just missed the excitement with the semi at the California and Fauntleroy.

  • atemybuick December 22, 2008 (9:09 am)

    Helen, Supposedly the “Shuttle” will take you to Alaska Junction where you can catch a bus to downtown. Only shuttle I saw was full so didn’t stop.

  • jo December 22, 2008 (9:10 am)

    we have to go to the airport. we are thinking of heading ambaum to 148th and get on 518…any comments about those routes would be appreciated…or of course other ideas…we are at the south end of west seattle, near thistle.

  • Sunrise Heights December 22, 2008 (9:15 am)

    I haven’t seen anything on getting up First Ave from the Bridge. Has anyone gone this way?

  • Shannon December 22, 2008 (9:17 am)

    This is just a reminder to people out walking…please don’t walk down the middle of the road! It is dangerous for both you and the drivers. My husband and I were driving south on California just south of the Alaska Junction and people would not move to the sidewalk. I understand the roads are more compacted than the sidewalks…but let’s be smart people!

  • Lori December 22, 2008 (9:17 am)

    Any word on Barton from 16th SW to Westwood Village? Need to get to Target.

  • Tiffany December 22, 2008 (9:19 am)

    I caught a 55at Fauntleroy/Alaska this morning at 7:40am and it was 2/3 full. The 55 that showed ten minutes before it was jam packed and went straight onto the bridge as it could not pick anymore folks. My co worker is currently waiting at that same stop and has not seen any busses in about 30 minutes. as a note, i only saw 55’s this morning…no 54’s.

  • wsguy December 22, 2008 (9:22 am)

    My wife just heard from her ofice in Bellevue -NE 8th -BelRed. They said roads were really bad and not to try coming in…

  • moe December 22, 2008 (9:22 am)

    How about we get someone to put cameras at the major bus/transfer stops for WS. This could be on the blog real time.

  • bigmark December 22, 2008 (9:24 am)

    My wife has an appointment at the Seattle Women’s Clinic downtown, but we’ve been unable to confirm the appointment. Been on hold for half an hour so far. Anyone happen to know if it’s open, and if so, is getting up Madison from I-5 doable (assuming we can get down Admiral to the Bridge in the first place)?

  • Kayleigh December 22, 2008 (9:24 am)

    I could have walked to the junction to catch any downtown bus, but was told that by the time the buses got to the junction, they were full, so it was better to wait along California.

    But now it appears that waiting at the junction is better. Now that I am home and trying to get warm, of course. :-( Jeez louise.

  • brittany December 22, 2008 (9:24 am)

    sunrise- i’m on 1st just north of the bridge. 1st ave is not pretty, but it’s drivable. be careful!

  • Mary December 22, 2008 (9:25 am)

    Waited over an hour, from 8-9am, for either a 55 or 56 at CA and Admiral. Some had been at the stop since 7:15 and hadn’t seen either bus going either way. Per metro’s site, both are running, they say the only change is that they are going down 1st not the viaduct, but if they are running, there was no sign of them. I heard that there is a shuttle on CA going to the Alaska junction, but didn’t see one and gave up.

  • Cheshire December 22, 2008 (9:27 am)

    And to think – I was this close to trading in my gas-guzzling SUV due to record high gas prices and global warming!

  • Holly December 22, 2008 (9:27 am)

    The 118 did run from the Morgan Junction. It was packed, but we finally made it downtown. It spun out right before the courthouse, but everyone was grateful to have made it!

  • brittany December 22, 2008 (9:28 am)

    JH- not sure i’d try costco today. with spokane closed, it’ll be tricky getting across anywhere else. you might end up going a pretty crazy way, like 1-5 S to michigan and then up 4th?? not sure, just think hard about what route you’ll take before you leave. the streets down here between 1st and 4th are a mess.

  • Oliver December 22, 2008 (9:29 am)

    My husband just drove South I-5 to Auburn after his boss told him he had to at least “try” to come to work. He made it but said that it was stupid to be driving south on I-5 as there are many areas of compact snow and ice. Visibility was limited by drivers changing lanes and stirring up snow. Stay home if you can.

  • midwestgirl December 22, 2008 (9:29 am)

    I grew up in Michigan, so am loving the snow! But am I being smart or ridiculous to be staying home today…I drive a fwd Ford Focus. (The bus isn’t an option for me…I carry equimpment in my car necessary for my job.) Can’t seem to get it into my head that snow can have this much impact!

    By the way, I love this blog!

  • Jenny December 22, 2008 (9:30 am)

    Helen, Admiral and California (near Walnut) should be passable. Walnut, the arterial section by Hiawatha and WSHS, has not been plowed as often as those more major streets…so expect more significant snow/slush. And, the residential portions of Walnut have not been plowed at all.

    Admiral is cleared almost down to the pavement just east of Cali. However, this is true for only one lane in each direction. I’m thinking passing, as if you had two full lanes, will be difficult today on Admiral.

  • datamuse December 22, 2008 (9:34 am)

    My husband called from work in Bothell to say that the freeways were all right as long as you take it slow (he went 35 mph the whole way). He went up Delridge to the bridge and reported the snow was pretty well compacted along Delridge, once again be careful.
    My workplace is closed today and I’d already budgeted it for vacation. I’m thinking I might walk over to Westwood, has anyone been there this morning who can report on whether anything is open?

  • J.See December 22, 2008 (9:37 am)

    Just tried to catch the 56 for an hour, thank you WSB for your twitter that the bus isn’t coming into West Seattle and only going to 26th & Spokane or else I would have been waiting in the cold for longer (like the other folks who had been there for 2 hours). The entire time I did not see a 55 and i still haven’t from my window. I did see a shuttle going north on California Ave coming from the junction just a bit ago, so if someone was stuck in the Admiral District you could probably catch that to the junction, then catch a shuttle to 35th and then maybe get a bus downtown? I however am not that adventurous and will stay in for now. My toes need to thaw.

  • MikeC December 22, 2008 (9:37 am)

    I live directly up the hill from Saltys (Brook Ave SW)…Ferry Avenue has been a complete mess all week, and as of 6:30 this morning was extremely snow covered and slippery (no surprise). We haven’t seen a plow or sand truck all week, either, and the only reason we’ve been able to get out is the 4×4 Range Rover and the fact that i grew up in Michigan. All the steets around us (Arch, Victoria, Holgate, Walnut) are pretty steep and pretty much useless for anything but sledding, although I wouldn’t recommend that, either…

  • mellaw6565 December 22, 2008 (9:41 am)

    Data – I would imagine that almost everything at Westwood is open. They’ve done a pretty good job at staying open all weekend and since today’s weather is better, I think you’ll have good luck.

  • P December 22, 2008 (9:42 am)

    Barton was plowed, both ways just about 30 minutes ago. I was waiting at WaMu for it to open and 2 plows went west and 1 went east up the hill. Target is open!

  • lenamegan December 22, 2008 (9:43 am)

    Just attempted to make it out of North Admiral. Cars are getting stuck and needing to be pushed trying to get onto Admiral from the side streets because of the height of the snow pile on the side. The side streets are very thick and even with chains my back end was spinning and I came close to getting stuck. After a couple of blocks I decided to turn around and go home. The small amount of snow last night seems to have made a big difference at least for my little Honda. Also hard to turn off of Admiral because of the snow pile in the middle.

  • WSB December 22, 2008 (9:43 am)

    JS, I will tell Stu, who sent the original tweet, that he saved somebody from more waiting. Another good reason for folks to consider adopting Twitter … we were slow to get on that bandwagon earlier this year but it is an amazing info source, even when you are away from your computer – TR

  • WSB December 22, 2008 (9:49 am)

    adding to main narrative but because I promised here to check with Linda at Metro re: the 54, she says: “The control center tells me that at least two made it out to West
    Seattle earlier this morning, and they are working on getting more buses
    out on the route now.

    Driving conditions are really poor today everywhere, and we are have to
    replace/repair a lot of chains out in the field on this — the 10th
    straight day — of snow operations.”

  • Megen December 22, 2008 (9:50 am)

    Not going into work again in Clyde Hill. My boss is more concerned about me getting to the airport than making espresso drinks for people. (which is a relief!) I live on 35th ave SW and Dawson. I am sure even if I can get out of my alley that I wont be able to make the left hand turn to go down the hill due to snow being piled up in the middle of the road! It blows my mind that they plow the middle here. Being from WI it makes no sense.

    Alice- For your map I have seen quite a few cars make it down and up the hill here. Mostly SUVS or cars with chains.

  • the_bridge_to_somewhere December 22, 2008 (9:52 am)

    just walked over to the WW Village — Barton, though plowed, has a fairly scary center lane with a 1.5 foot high pile of slushy snow that probably shouldn’t be summitted except by AWD or 4×4 or accomplished FWD car driver with chains. The WWV parking lot itself isn’t wonderful either — the Target side is ok enough, but other parts of the lot are on the untouched/impacted side. On the plus side: B&N is open (as is its Starbucks), and Target is as well.

    And it perhaps goes without saying: side roads (e.g., 29th/Cambridge) are a mess.

  • Kayleigh2 December 22, 2008 (9:53 am)

    Thank you, WSB. I know Metro is doing the best it can.

  • P December 22, 2008 (9:53 am)

    Megen, I agree, why plow into the middle! Being from the tundra of South Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota, I have never seen plowing into the middle of a street.

  • Preggo December 22, 2008 (9:54 am)

    This nice guy just shoveled the entrance to Fauntleroy from Dawson. I yelled out a big thank you to him. He’s still out there, shoveling away the ridges. It’ll make it better for all of us who may need to get out later.

  • J.See December 22, 2008 (9:54 am)

    Yeah, I love twitter on my phone!

  • datamuse December 22, 2008 (9:55 am)

    Thanks, mellaw6565 and the_bridge_to_somewhere. It’s about a two-mile walk from my house and I need the exercise, but didn’t want to head all the way there if everything was closed!

  • M December 22, 2008 (10:00 am)

    Just called true value and home depot; they are out of snow shovels BTW

  • JH December 22, 2008 (10:01 am)

    Brittany-thanks! I won’t even attempt Costco. I’ve never going to get my Xmas shopping done! Oh well. I think I’ll go cross country skiing once again today-the snow seems perfect for it.

    I think I may actually be glad when I can go back to work. Yikes!

  • Bloodyethel December 22, 2008 (10:08 am)

    I don’t know if there’s anyone who doesn’t know this, but on the mybus.org site, on the left side of the page are some buttons. Click on applications, then on the busview program. It’s a real-time bus tracker. We’ve been having fun with it this morning, trying to figure out when I can get to work. You can bookmark locations, and even set an alarm for when your bus passes a certain area. Currently, it appears there is exactly one(1)120 running, it’s on it’s way north. Hopefully it won’t be totally jam packed when it finally gets to me at near the north end of Delridge.

  • Rachel December 22, 2008 (10:12 am)

    Could anyone tell me how the roads are from the ferry to California? My dad is thinking about coming to get me instead of me trying to catch a 54. Thanks!

  • vbseattle1 December 22, 2008 (10:16 am)

    I just saw a 128 go by my place on California at Charlestown – heading south towards Alaska…at 10:16 am….

  • LInda December 22, 2008 (10:19 am)

    Regarding the stuck semi on California and Fauntleroy: he managed to get unstuck about 15 minutes after he got stuck this morning. I’d just decided to give up on a 54 and work from home shortly after he got stuck and he was rolling by the time I made it the two blocks to my back steps.
    Sorry not to respond sooner, just now taking a break from work.

  • Theren December 22, 2008 (10:31 am)

    My wife is trying to get to work downtown. She is waiting at the Delridge SW/SW Orchard spot for the 120 bus. She has been there 1+ hours. Not many buses, but saw one come at about 10:27…..FULL. She is still waiting.

  • Tiffany December 22, 2008 (10:33 am)

    Any early predictions for the commute home? I work in Belltown and am considering leaving early.

  • miws December 22, 2008 (10:36 am)

    Just saw an Emerald City Disposal truck slowly cruise by southbound, California, in the Morgan Junction block that Thriftway is on.



  • mikego December 22, 2008 (10:36 am)

    For major highway information, check out the UW highway info site. It shows weather conditions, road and air temperatures on stretches of interstate through Washington State.


  • sam December 22, 2008 (10:38 am)

    Helen- I think we followed you out of the neighborhood on Saturday- could tell by the license plate :)
    that was the last time we’ve been able to drive down 18th Ave SW. FWIW – the street is doable if you have the right kind of car/ tires.
    my husband dug out the car after an hour of work (RAVE: along with our amazing neighbor who helped with the digging)
    however, our wagon wouldn’t make it 60′ beyond our house.
    he walked to Delridge to catch the 120- and another RAVE: someone stopped to give him (and another person at the stop) a ride downtown before the bus came.
    now, hopefully- he’ll be able to get home, and hopefully we’ll be able to drive out of the neighborhood tomorrow.

    now that the snow has stopped, does anyone know if SDOT is still trying to plow roads?

  • RS December 22, 2008 (10:40 am)

    After waiting over an hour I managed to catch a shuttle from Admiral/California and then got on the 55 at the junction. The bus was packed and slow but I MADE IT! It’s really too bad that the metro website is of no help during this time.

  • WSB December 22, 2008 (10:42 am)

    Mike — I *think* Emerald City does business pickups (apartments too?), and those haven’t been canceled??? as far as I know. Though we wouldn’t be getting such updates through the usual media sources. SPU has stated clearly that all today’s residential pickups are postponed.

  • Stuart December 22, 2008 (10:46 am)

    J. See – Glad my tweet got to you in time. I passed the news along to a few more folks who were waiting at the stop a bit later. (One of them was singing the praises of the WSB, by the way. Natch. :-) )

    I had thoughts of trying to walk to the West Seattle bridge, but it’s a hard slog through that powder. Going to have to work remotely. Again.

  • Mo December 22, 2008 (10:46 am)

    Just waited for 1 1/2 hours at California and Dawson for a north-bound 54 . . . no luck. Gave up when my toes started to freeze and walked back down the hill. Good luck to all of you stalwarts out there! Be safe, there are some really crazy drivers out there. Snow, ice, reckless driving and cell phones certainly DO NOT make a smooth combination!!!

  • the_bridge_to_somewhere December 22, 2008 (10:48 am)

    You’re welcome, datamuse. One additional thing: I found walking on the sidewalk a LOT of work. It isn’t just snow, it’s a fairly slushy, slippery snow. In fact, as bad as the roads are they are world’s better than the sidewalks. Two miles in that stuff would be a nightmare for me — but also a great workout! :-)

    Snowshoes wouldn’t be a bad idea. ;-) But certainly waterproof boots are a necessity.

  • DB December 22, 2008 (10:51 am)

    We just got back from the airport via Roxbury to 509 – all was pretty good on Roxbury and the highways, though slow driving is a must. Lots of cars (6-7?) stuck on the side of 509 maybe from last night? Anyway, Henderson/Barton are plowed and pretty good but the Westwood parking lot will need a few trucks to park and clear out the snow before parking is very easy. Westwood is active and busy and will remain open mostly normal hours.

  • LJK December 22, 2008 (10:58 am)

    Anyone missing a dog?

    Since about 8:30 or 9:00 this a.m., there’s been a white dog with black speckled patches (saddle patch on back), kind of built like a German Shepherd only a little smaller, big bushy tail, pointy ears, collar, running around the Stevens/45th area. He won’t come when people call, so no one can check his collar and call his people. Might actually be a she.

  • thatgirl December 22, 2008 (11:02 am)

    the bad part about the airport isn’t getting there, it’s in the departure & arrival lanes. they haven’t plowed anything & it’s a big, slushy mess. the departure lane is a nightmare, recommend dropping people off at arrivals. we were there at 6:15 this morning tho, so others might’ve caught on to that already. oh, and the drivers out today are out of control – riding your backside, no chains, going over 35 or 40 in the high snow on roxbury/myers way. crazy!

  • changingtimes December 22, 2008 (11:03 am)

    i need to go to targets 4 for my last christmas presents! whats the best way to get there starting in the junction?

  • changingtimes December 22, 2008 (11:03 am)

    oops i forgot the main roads…is 35th plowed and sanded yet?

  • miws December 22, 2008 (11:04 am)

    TR Yeah, I thought all pickups had been canceled too.


    I think ECD services my building, and immediately looked out my back window to see if perhaps thet were going to come down Holly St, and then the alley. Didn’t see them, and would have been extremely surprised to see them stray from California.


    Heck, it was extremely surprising to see the truck at all! Maybe it was a snow mirage!



  • Lori December 22, 2008 (11:05 am)

    I drove from my home in Arbor Heights to my office in Wallingford (right off 99). Left home about 8:40; arrived at work about 9:30. The biggest issue was getting out of my driveway. The sides streets around Wallingford are pretty bad, but my awesome Outback made it. Main roads aren’t too bad. WS bridge is really clear.

  • JT December 22, 2008 (11:07 am)

    #21 is running and 35th is both plowed and sanded.

  • DB December 22, 2008 (11:21 am)

    Also – Home Depot is cutting up 2x4s and putting them in Safeway bags for $2 – plenty of wood there.

  • P December 22, 2008 (11:22 am)

    DB, ok, dumb question, but what are the 2 X 4’s for?

  • natinstl December 22, 2008 (11:25 am)

    Waited from 9:30 to 11:15 for a 54 with no luck. One came by around 10:30, but didn’t stop because it was full. I took the shuttle to the junction and waited for any bus, but had no luck there either. I decided to come home. I was only going in for a noon meeting since I had the week off. I’m better off doing a conference call. I’ll never make it on time otherwise.

  • Peggy December 22, 2008 (11:25 am)

    Ack! I asked to borrow my neighbor’s shovel when they were done, but it broke right at the base! They got most of their front path done, and now I look like a jerk. My brooming had worked pretty good up until today.

  • Roger December 22, 2008 (11:26 am)

    P, I think for firewood. During the Great Outage in ’06, Home Depot was giving away wood and ‘creating’ scrapwood for use in fireplaces/stoves. I think that’s great spirit, this time of year.

  • Matt December 22, 2008 (11:27 am)

    For those making the commute home: I don’t want to count my chickens but it looks like we are getting a little thaw. Places I shoveled this morning are bone dry right now.

  • Barb December 22, 2008 (11:27 am)

    Darn it! My nephew was flying home for a visit from North Carolina, got stuck in Houston last night because the flight into Seattle was cancelled. Now he’s not able to make it at all so heading back to NC. He said he could have maybe arrived on Christmas Day, but it was a very big “maybe” and his return was scheduled on the 28th. :( He was bringing his girlfriend to meet the family…

    At least we know he’s safe, and healthy and with his loved one. Just leaves all of us here missing him a bunch!

  • Peaches December 22, 2008 (11:34 am)

    Sunshine in North Shorewood! Really, I’m not just going stir-crazy! That’s real sun out there!

  • Brenda December 22, 2008 (11:37 am)

    I caught a 54 Express at 8:30 at Fauntleroy Way and Cloverdale. The bus driver was not supposed to go downtown. We got to the Junction and he asked the crowd how long they had been waiting. Some people had been there almost two hours. He decided to take us all downtown. He took us all to 1st and Jackson and said he wasn’t going in further downtown because it was a mess. We were all so happy we didn’t care. He was a great guy working under very difficult conditions. He told us the problem with the 54 was that the buses were getting all bunched up. So, you might have three in a row and they were all headed downtown and you could be sitting a couple of hours waiting in West Seattle for them to get back.

  • Scott December 22, 2008 (11:39 am)

    Okay, so we’ve seen all the buses jackknifed, stranded, off in the woods and otherwise causing lots of traffic problems because they weren’t chained up or on routes that they obviously shouldn’t have been on as directed by their “who’s the knuckle-head that thought of that” bosses… but my question is when they get in a wreck are their personal driving records held accountable or are they written up for causing damage to their coaches?

  • zero-to-life in West Seattle December 22, 2008 (11:39 am)

    I feel so badly for all the people stuck in airports right now. True misery. We just drove back from White Center Albersons (from 28th/Thistle). Our full-size truck has AWD and we got around okay, but those big piles of snow on the shoulders and in the middle of the road could really be a problem for smaller/shorter vehicles. It is amazing how much the ruts were “tossing” our truck around. Yikes. The snow does seem to be dropping off roofs and cars, which goes along with the warmer temps. Be extra careful for snow falling off trees, overhead lines and roofs of stores all of you on foot!!

  • cruiser December 22, 2008 (11:44 am)

    2×4’s for protection or firewood, your choice.

  • Lytepipe December 22, 2008 (11:48 am)

    Does anyone know if there are any buses are going to West Seattle from downtown?

  • Megen December 22, 2008 (12:00 pm)

    Had to push the sister’s car up brandon street (brandon and 35th ave) to try and get it into our alley. After much efforts by 3 of us pushing her car and another great neighbor helping as well we just ended up parking it as close to the curb as possible. :( Now we are going to go to a hotel near Sea-tac since our flight takes off tomorrow at 10:30 AM to Minneapolis, MN. Sigh. I hope everything works out because we really want to see our folks back in Wisconsin.

  • mar3c December 22, 2008 (12:05 pm)

    lytepipe: with thanks to bloodyethel, i just figured out what all the mybus.org hype is about. there’s a java applet that’s a map with all the buses on it, their current locations, direction they’re going, arrival times, schedules, etc. click the applications button on the left, then click busview. then you can narrow it down to the routes you want. it takes aminute to figure it out, but it’s very cool.
    currently there’s a 55 downtown and a 21 moving south on 1st ave.

  • Darren December 22, 2008 (12:07 pm)

    There was a car that went into the ditch on our road(SW 105th St) about an hour ago. Took them a long time to have it pulled out by a friend of theirs. Snow is beginning to fall off of trees.

  • Aim December 22, 2008 (12:08 pm)

    Trenton between Delridge and 18th or so is NOT DRIVABLE unless you have chains, and even then, it’s a crapshoot. Coming down the hill toward Delridge, I’ve seen 3 vehicles get stuck. 1 got stuck going up. All were large, 4WD vehicles with big tires and plenty of traction, or so it seemed until they were stuck!

  • Lisa K. December 22, 2008 (12:08 pm)

    Just got back in from the YMCA and a grocery store run….nice to get a break from my kids, and the Y was toasty! THANK YOU to Allison for the dance class this a.m.: you helped me maintain my sanity and the “gratitude” reminder was much needed. And a heap o’ gratitude to the three men who helped me get the minivan backed up out of my parking space at the Y!! (There was someone out shoveling the sidewalks around the Y, but the parking lots earlier were rather iffy. Unless you’ve got a lot of clearance, I would recommend parking on the street.) Roads are getting a little weirder as things warm up: the piles of mushy snow in the middle of the lanes and roads are getting pretty high, and it can be difficult to cross. Some “potholes” in the compacted ice/snow are also getting pretty wide–like 0-to-life, I was bouncing around a lot as I drove around WS. Saw lots of folks on Delridge waiting for buses, and saw one bus stuck on the Admiral hill coming up from the WSB. PCC’s lot around 11 am looked terrible, so I kept on moving to Met. Mkt, where it was being plowed. I’ve managed to make it around OK for the past few days on the arterials in our Toyota Sienna, but this morning was the first time I was experiencing more fishtailing or wheels spinning. Be careful out there!

  • Darren December 22, 2008 (12:19 pm)

    I can’t figure out why they can’t de-ice the downtown streets so people can get to work. I need to get to 5th and Columbia and haven’t been able to make it.

  • Karen December 22, 2008 (12:27 pm)

    My dogs are tunneling around the yard. Hope the gutters don’t fall off the house. Won’t be able to get out and down my alley until spring, Think they should call off the New Years Eve fireworks and plow the side streets!! SALT would be nice.

  • datamuse December 22, 2008 (12:37 pm)

    Hubby just got home from work and made it up Highland Park Way, no problem (he has AWD, not using chains). I can see patches of bare asphalt on 9th Ave SW where the snow has melted. Driveway where I’ve shoveled is wet, snow dripping off trees.
    Paradoxically, as some of you have discovered, this can make driving conditions worse: the water from the snowmelt slicks things up pretty badly. This is the first day we haven’t tried getting the Volvo into the alley because the incline is so slippery.

  • Sunrise Heights December 22, 2008 (12:41 pm)

    Thanks, Brittany. A friend just drove to Home Depot from Sodo and said there are trucks stopped on first, the bridge is fine, and Delridge is sketchy if you don’t have 4WD or Chains.
    I’m going skiing :)

  • Alyssa Coker December 22, 2008 (12:42 pm)

    HELP US! We are parked on Fauntleroy and are unable to find a shovel to dig ourselves out! Tried to buy one, but everyone seems to be out! If you’re willing to let us borrow your shovel for an hour or two I’ll bake you some thank you cookies! We’re at 4830 Fauntleroy in the Garden Terrace Apartments! Please help!

    (360) 970-9743

  • Deb December 22, 2008 (12:45 pm)

    I was on the 54 with Brenda and it was great of the bus driver to take folks downtown…while on the bus I was worried how I was going to get home this afternoon since I live in Fautleroy and the 54 was generally not going downtown on a regular basis…so, I opted to stay on the 54 for the return trip and come home…my work was closed Thursday and Friday but chose to be open today with more snow that those two days, go figure…I am just praying for some good ole Seattle rain…

  • Morganlf December 22, 2008 (12:51 pm)

    Just to let people in Gatewood know, we tried to get up Holden to 35th from 39th. We couldn’t do it and had to turn around and head back. Cars with chains and 4wd seem to be making it up fine though. The road is completely covered in snow that hasn’t gone slushy yet.

    We walked to Thistle and the road is slushy, but sanded. It looked as if it was okay, but who knows.

    And for the pedestrians who sit and laugh at cars stuck in the snow: it’s not that funny. We just wanted to get some groceries.

  • Megen December 22, 2008 (12:52 pm)

    Has anyone been able to get a cab around here?

  • marianne December 22, 2008 (12:57 pm)

    The missing black and white dog sounds like Sam, who belongs to my neighbors. 2600 block of 50th SW. I called and left them a message to check the blog. Thanks for posting about him.

  • Darren December 22, 2008 (1:03 pm)

    I haven’t had my paper delivered yesterday or today. I’m waiting for a package from UPS and they aren’t delivering. Actually the only news I need right now is the news here on the Blog !!! Thank you WSB !!!

  • JenV December 22, 2008 (1:05 pm)

    mail has not come yet. Anyone know if mail is being delivered today? Oh Mr. Mailman, I swept the steps just for you!

  • Megen December 22, 2008 (1:07 pm)

    The mail came at the 5200 block of 35th Ave SW. We also had UPS deliver a package to our neighbors. Both were about an hour ago or so. :) Hopefully you will see your mail soon!

  • Alyssa Coker December 22, 2008 (1:09 pm)

    As far as mail goes, my fiance and I helped out a mailman in the Morgan Junction area who’s chains broke off in a large bank of snow. So, someone is out there trying to bring the mail! It’s just been a hard day for him!


    (360) 970-9743

  • Caitlin December 22, 2008 (1:09 pm)

    Does anyone know if Thistle has been plowed/de-iced yet?

  • marianne December 22, 2008 (1:09 pm)

    Missing dog is not Sam. Talked to my neighbor, Sam is on the couch. Sounded exactly like him though.

  • Darren December 22, 2008 (1:12 pm)

    Thank you Megen, we’ve had our mail delivered everyday on time. Just waiting for that UPS delivery. I hope I get it today. I’ve been tracking it and the last thing I got was on the 19th: EMERGENCY CONDITIONS BEYOND UPS’ CONTROL

  • zizou December 22, 2008 (1:15 pm)

    For a shovel alternative–I’ve had really great success with 2’x4′ sheets of plywood from Home Depot.

  • Tiffany December 22, 2008 (1:15 pm)

    MAlyssa – My property manager, Richard, might be home and would let you use his shovel, we are at 4821 Fauntleroy, I believe he is Apt 14 (his has the only mail drop attached).

  • Peaches December 22, 2008 (1:15 pm)

    Had UPS delivery this morning on 28th Ave SW.

  • Alyssa Coker December 22, 2008 (1:18 pm)


    That would be a Christmas Miracle if I could use that shovel! I’ll have to head over here shortly! Thanks!

  • WSB December 22, 2008 (1:19 pm)

    Caitlin, I just added this to the top of the text below (switching to an afternoon post soon but there’s one more separate item I need to publish first) – snowplow just went around our corner, California heading eastbound on Thistle (toward 35th).

  • Aim December 22, 2008 (1:21 pm)

    Darren: I called UPS this morning, and despite the info on their website, the woman told me my package *IS* out for delivery today. It’s been sitting down in SODO at the UPS warehouse for a week!!

    My mail is also late today. However, our mailman travels almost entirely on foot, so I’m not surprised he’s a little slowed down in a foot of snow!

    Car that had 4 inches of snow covering it this morning, now has a bare hood. It all slid off in a giant sheet just a short time ago.

  • datamuse December 22, 2008 (1:22 pm)

    We’ve been getting mail and at least one UPS delivery but they have often come VERY late. Our mail came after dark a few days ago…at least it arrived! Those USPS drivers are kicking serious butt!

  • Gina December 22, 2008 (1:25 pm)

    Got a ride to 3rd and Madison from my brother with the spiffy 4WD! Thanks cmt!

  • MNGirl December 22, 2008 (1:26 pm)

    Shovel alternative : I used a cookie sheet…really…it worked great – my husband thinks I’ve lost it finally. Time to bake bread!! Thanks to all of you for the reports…

  • Julie December 22, 2008 (1:29 pm)

    My husband reports Roxbury/Myers Way from about Roxhill School plowed and bare, no chains. Cloverdale east from the freeway “a moonscape”: slippery, bumpy, and tricky. But he didn’t use his chains.

  • Elikapeka December 22, 2008 (1:31 pm)

    Just came back from a trip from Sunrise Heights to the Junction. Side streets are awful – even with 4WD we couldn’t get up the hill at Myrtle, so had to go over to Othello to get to 35th. (We’re on 34th, so had to turn left immediately onto the hill. If you start further down and can get up enough speed before you hit the incline, it should be okay.) You’ll need a fairly high clearance vehicle on the side streets, and it’s very slushy and slippery just under the snow.

    35th was in pretty good shape. There are spots developing “ice potholes”, and left turns are pretty much impossible – we had to go south to Holden before we could turn left to work our way back to our house.

    Morgan is closed from 35th to (I assume) California.

    Alaska was fine from 35th to California – FYI, there was a delivery truck stuck on 44th behind Jefferson Square, blocking the entrance. So you’ll have to access Jefferson Square from the main side.

    California is also developing ruts and ice potholes, but driveable. Oregon from California to Fauntleroy is a little exciting – one side is sanded, but we met somebody coming up the hill, so had to move over and ended up on the curb. We got down safely eventually.

    Most businesses in the Junction appeared to be open, but I’d probably call first if I have a specific errand. We stopped at Be’s for a late breakfast, so we know they’re open! The hobby/train store is closed. Liquor store is open, though.

    On the way home, 35th is down to wet pavement in spots, which will be really dicey when the sun goes down and it all turns to ice.

    Overall impression – if you don’t have the right vehicle and/or equipment (high clearance, 4WD or chains or snow tires) and the necessarly knowledge and skill, stay home!!!! Saw many cars stuck and blocking the road that clearly should never have left the driveway – your 2WD low clearance car will not go far. If you do get stuck, try finesse – rock back and forth, light on the gas, and try and work yourself out. Carry a bag of clay cat litter or sand and a shovel so you can dig yourself out and give youself some traction if you need it. There are too many people out who are completely unprepared for the conditions.

    And pedestrians – pay attention!!! We almost hit a woman who literally wandered off the sidewalk into the path of our car only about a foot in front of us. Luckily we were going very slowly, so didn’t hit her – even with other people waving and yelling at her, and our horn, she was completely oblivious – never even knew we were there. We saw lots of pedestrians stepping into the streets as though cars can stop as normal – they can’t. Even if you have the right of way, it’s cold comfort when you’re being run over. Please be careful.

    Home safe now – time for peppermint schnapps and hot chocolate!

  • BatKeva December 22, 2008 (1:39 pm)

    Just wanted to say again how nice people are in our neighborhood. My sister (Megen) and our roomie had to rescue me this morning when my Ion got stuck trying to get back to the house. That poor car is just not made for snow. 2 others who live in the neighborhood ventured over to help and we were able to get it safely parked. Now if we can just get to Sea-tac for the night!

    And a side note…it’s really funny trying to push a car that’s made mostly out of plastic!

  • JLS December 22, 2008 (1:50 pm)

    Has anyone been able to get back into West Seattle from downtown this afternoon? I’m going to try to head home soon and am wondering what I’m up against.

  • WSB December 22, 2008 (1:52 pm)

    Afternoon-evening coverage has begun (we will keep this one open all the way into late night, since no new snow is expected) – see you there! thanks again for all the reports, camaraderie, etc., soon it’s time to look toward helping folks get home thru the afternoon commute (and continuing to squeeze in necessary trips before dusk)


  • Aim December 22, 2008 (2:05 pm)

    BatKeva: Were you guys on Trenton? I saw a saturn being rescued by some folks in a Jeep in front of my place. If so, Howdy, Neighbor!

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