West Seattle snow: Thursday morning updates

(That’s the latest live image from The Bridge, looking east)
ORIGINAL 6:08 AM UPDATE: From Seattle Public Schools

February 26, 2009: All Seattle Public Schools will start two hours late today and buses will operate on snow routes. Due to weather concerns, all schools will start two hours late today. Buses will operate on snow routes. There will be no door-to-door service, no Head Start and pre-school, and no half day a.m. kindergarten or half day p.m. kindergarten. Full day kindergarten classes will be in session with a two-hour start delay. Before school breakfast service will not be available.

ADDED 6:15 AM: Holy Rosary will also have a two-hour delay. Highline Public Schools, also 2 hours late.

Posted on February 26, 2009: Because of the snow, school will open at 10AM today. BASE will be open on time.

6:30 AM UPDATE: The Vashon Island School District confirms the comment you saw earlier on this post.

Due to icy road conditions school will be two hours late. No morning preschool or kindergarten. Normal bus routes.

ADDED 6:39 AM: Metro says some buses are being affected by the weather, though its page doesn’t list any West Seattle routes at the moment. Here’s its list. And it’s snowing lightly again.

ADDED 6:55 AM: Chris confirms via Twitter that The Bridge is bare and wet (and you can check the latest live picture at the top of this post). Also via Twitter, from SDOT:

Plows dedicated to the West Seattle Bridge and Alaskan Way Viaduct. These roadway structures are in good condition. … Crews throughout city treating main roads, focusing on inbound commute routes. Roads have snow and ice in places but traffic is moving. …

You can check more West Seattle-relevant cameras on the WSB Traffic page. Another driving note via Twitter: Roads on Vashon are reported to be icy.

ADDED 7:09 AM: Superior and District Courts are all on a 2-hour delay, according to King County, which is adding other changes to a list on its home page. Also note that there are multiple reports of Metro delays/no-shows in West Seattle and elsewhere (one via Twitter from Ravenna Nation) that are not listed on the “adverse weather” page so far; we are checking with Metro to see what’s happening with that.

ADDED 7:20 AM: We’re also collecting road reports from Facebook (where you can “friend” WSB at “WS Blog“): Renee says, “Genesee hill by Pathfinder school wet, but not icy. Traffic moving as if it rained.” Colby says, “Highland Park hill down to 99 was clean at 6:15ish.” Lisa says, “2600 SW Holden is okay. I just drove up from Georgetown, up Roxbury to Delridge then Holden and it’s good. The main roads are clear and it’s not icy.”

ADDED 7:30 AM: Beware the breeze, which just kicked up for a moment and blew a serious wave of snow off the roof. Also, this photo doesn’t quite do it justice, but the Olympics’ peaks are snow-covered and currently visible, illuminated by a sunbreak beneath the clouds:

Thanks to Renee, who added to her Facebook report on Genesee Hill (as mentioned above) by e-mailing this photo, taken near Pathfinder K-8:

And thanks to everyone else who’s been sharing updates – we’re watching e-mail, FB, Twitter, the WSB Forums, among other places. (Hap just reported in the forums about spouse’s hourlong bus wait at Genesee and Avalon – the 21 finally showed at 7:09 am but was “jampacked.”)

7:49 AM UPDATE: Latest from SDOT:

SDOT crews were on standby last night. The weather forecast at midnight predicted no “road snow,” but cautioned that the situation could easily change. Night crews patrolled for ice, and when it began to snow, around 4 a.m., standby crews were called in to assist the regular nightshift crews.

Between 4 and 6 a.m., snow dumped on Seattle streets, leaving approximately one and two inches, varying according to location. All available trucks with plows and sand treated major arterial streets throughout the city.

Crews were dedicated specifically to the West Seattle Bridge and the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and salt was applied to make sure they remained in good condition. Roadway Structures crews inspected bridges and overpasses to make sure walkways were passable and snow was not presenting a problem for opening and closing the moveable bridges. Trucks with plows and sanders were also directed to trouble spots in West Seattle and Southeast Seattle, called in by Seattle Police and King County Metro Transit.

By 7 a.m. air temperatures were rising and snow was turning to slush on many streets. Crews will continue plowing and sanding as long as they are needed.

7:57 AM UPDATE: Thanks to Sheila for calling (206-293-6302, 24/7) to report the 125 is “not going from (South Seattle Community College) down to Delridge – it’s backtracking.” And via Facebook from Talani at Stor-More (WSB sponsor) on Yancy at Avalon in the Luna Park business/residential district:

Cars are moving on Avalon and Yancy by the Stor-More Self Storage sign, but are covered with snow. There are slick spots, so be careful out there neighbors!

Talani also shared photos on FB, including this one:

8:07 AM UPDATE: Metro says EVERYONE should expect delays – here’s the newest update:

The weather is clearing, and snow has stopped falling in most areas of
King County. Still, the weather-related traffic conditions this morning
are causing problems for Metro Transit buses. As of 8 a.m., more than
two dozen routes were rerouted for a portion of their normal routes.
Others, had been rerouted for a very short period of time, but are back
to regular routing now.

While routing may be normal for the other routes, the travel times
aren’t due to the traffic. But that varies by location and by time. It’s
just the same as if you drive this morning. You might be able to go 60
mph for awhile, and then suddenly you’re at 15 mph for 10 miles, then
back up to speed. So, all bus riders should expect delays due to traffic
conditions this morning.

8:36 AM UPDATE: From Twitter, a report that a ferry worker told Vashon riders that Fauntleroy’s dock doesn’t have Metro service. We have NOT confirmed this but are passing along because we have been receiving in general the most updated/detailed info from riders themselves.

9:40 AM UPDATE: Excellent point from Mpento (echoed by others) in comments: Be sure to clean the snow off your car before driving. This was relatively fluffy, dry snow, and it is blowing off cars that take off without clearing it – that can blow back at you or others and cause a dangerous visibility problem. We just took a drive over to Westcrest Park and back (no road trouble at all, some light snow cover still on alleys) and noticed that challenge, compounded with the bright sunshine and the glare off the snow covering yards, parking strips, roofs. Just a few swipes with an ice scraper or squeegee will clear it fast since it’s not wet enough to stick to your car and even up here on a high-ish hill, it didn’t turn to windshield ice.

38 Replies to "West Seattle snow: Thursday morning updates"

  • angelescrest February 26, 2009 (6:13 am)

    Vashon’s late start as well.

  • JayDee February 26, 2009 (6:42 am)

    It’s @#!&* snowing again in Alki…Off to 61st and Alki and play an encore round of the Metro Mystery Bus Challenge…

  • ASH February 26, 2009 (6:53 am)

    So nice of Metro to update it’s adverse weather page….not!
    I give up! Cocoa instead.

  • Julie February 26, 2009 (6:58 am)

    How’s Admiral Way?

  • Jon B February 26, 2009 (7:01 am)

    From 6:00 to 6:30 there was no bus service in either direction on 35th between Avalon and Alaska. For some of that time there were police vehicles blocking the traffic to allow plows to operate; but even after the traffic began to flow no Metro service at all, except for one bus marked “TO TERMINAL” that was probably dead-heading the 21 route (and which wouldn’t stop to get me to my vanpool on time, naturally).

    Since the 21 and the 5 are usually the same bus, Metro really ought to point out that anytime the 5 is having problems the 21 will be affected. This is the first real test the system has seen since Snowpacolypse, and I’m sorry to say it looks like they’ve failed.

    Vanpool long gone, I am now settling into a day of work-from-home. Thanks as always, Metro.

  • Dustin February 26, 2009 (7:11 am)

    Waited for 45 minutes at SW 106th and 26th Ave. SW for the 113 and nothing showed up. Of course metro never has no mention of a service delay or cancellation for this route on their page. Grrrrrrr

  • WSB February 26, 2009 (7:16 am)

    I am checking with Metro to see what the deal is about that. The neighborhood-news site operator in Ravenna just posted a similar report on Twitter – TR

  • Loke February 26, 2009 (7:24 am)

    Admiral Way was clear from the top of the hill to the West Seattle Bridge. West Marginal Way was clear as well. Drive slow regardless!

  • miws February 26, 2009 (7:25 am)

    Just a little bit of clarification regarding Jon B’s post. Route 54 & 55 busses are the ones that through route (in most, but not all cases) with route 5 busses. Routes 21, 22, 56, & (I believe) 57 through route with 15 & 18 (again, most, but not all cases).



  • toddinwestwood February 26, 2009 (7:27 am)

    Traffic seems to be moving at a normal clip on Roxbury going both east and west.

  • chrisw February 26, 2009 (7:33 am)

    I waited for close to 50 minutes on Delridge waiting for a bus. Finally gave up and walked to Spokane st (under the bridge) where I caught one after about a 10 minute wait.

    Once again, Metro, you disappoint me…

  • swimcat February 26, 2009 (7:33 am)

    Looks like Bellevue got more snow than WS- almost 3 inches over here (I’m housesitting) and it was quite a surprise. I should have looked out the window BEFORE I started to get ready for work since I can’t go now. Snow day!

  • Jill Loblaw February 26, 2009 (7:39 am)

    Commute to Issaquah not too bad. The slush was most heavy on I-90 between Factoria and Issaquah. Pavement is wet not icy. This section of the freeway seems to get quite a bit of snow typically.

  • BoyElroy February 26, 2009 (7:42 am)

    The 54 local I was waiting for at Calif and Raymond didn’t show at it’s regular 7:00am time, and others had been waiting through at least 2 other missed times. I couldn’t wait due to a morning meeting, but hope the other folks didn’t have too much longer out there.

  • Loree February 26, 2009 (7:44 am)

    Anyone been brave enough to try Admiral hill yet?

  • Dam February 26, 2009 (7:48 am)

    Long wait for bus at 35th & avalon. several folks who had been there longer than i gave up. the few busses are very full. on a packed 21 now. Roads are fine.

  • B'sMomma February 26, 2009 (7:49 am)

    Admiral Hill, from the West Seattle Bridge all the way down to Alki is clear & wet.

  • JayDee February 26, 2009 (7:49 am)

    The 7:00 56 left on-time, though from the number of people at the stops, it may have been the first. He stopped at the hill stops, and was SRO by Baskin Robbins–we may have been picking up 55 line riders too. Admiral seemed OK, slushy at the top but the bus had no problems, and the WSBridge was fine.

    Snow melting downtown, hopefully this is a memory by 5.

  • rockergirl February 26, 2009 (7:54 am)

    Commute to Bellevue not too bad on I-90 – 405 is another story though – way backed up and slow, slow, slow – take Bellevue Way or get off at Factoria. Side roads compact snow and icey – 3 inches over on the eastside and still snowing occasionally.

  • Chris February 26, 2009 (8:17 am)

    People have been standing at the 54 stop at Myrtle and Fauntleroy since before 7:30 — no buses since then. Mybus.org reports we might see the 8:21 arrival.

  • Jen V. February 26, 2009 (8:19 am)

    roads are fine and buses are running along California Ave with regularity. I’ve seen two just since I got here. I was shocked by how much snow was on my car!

  • sam February 26, 2009 (8:20 am)

    Metro gets another F.
    I checked its website and WSB at about 6:15.
    125 was NOT listed to be on re-route.

    However, at 7:40, I saw the 125 head west on SW Orchard (at Home depot), and turn right on Delridge- that is a re-route.

    they still don’t list 125 on re-route now, but don’t know if other 125s are taking the right way, but..

    I was just checking to get a read on the roads that 125 travels on, so did not have to wait in the cold for a bus that didn’t come, and I feel for my neighbors if they did.

  • mayjune February 26, 2009 (8:22 am)

    Does anyone know which WS bus stop has the most routes heading downtown? The junction?

  • sam February 26, 2009 (8:25 am)

    Oh- looks like Sheila already reported the 125- anyhow- I don’t know what Metro’s problem is, and the roads are pretty much just bare and wet.

  • WSB February 26, 2009 (8:26 am)

    Sam, thanks – I posted above a little while ago after Sheila called to report on the 125. After the commute, I do hope to hear from Metro what the problem was with the adverse-weather site this morning … TR

  • Living in West Seattle since 1985 February 26, 2009 (8:27 am)

    Slush in North Admiral side streets by Hamilton View Point and the north and of California Ave.

  • Jen February 26, 2009 (8:36 am)

    Reroute or no, if the buses aren’t running, it does no good. My normal 125 stop is after the reroute turn, and although (as noted) the Metro site didn’t show the 125 on reroute, I walked on 16th south of Holden (before the bus gets rerouted), just in case. I waited from 7:25 to 8:10 – no bus. I had meetings I can’t miss, and had to drive in, which was a bit dicey getting off my residential street on a hill. I wonder if Metro will pay for my gas and parking today?

  • Jen February 26, 2009 (8:39 am)

    And for the record, the hill at 16th Ave SW & SW Dawson that would’ve caused the 125 to be rerouted? Bare and wet. No problem getting down it at all. And I don’t have FW or 4WD.

  • sam February 26, 2009 (8:46 am)

    thanks WSB- good job as always. however, we shouldn’t have to rely on WSB for current bus info.
    that’s Metro’s job.

  • Kayleigh February 26, 2009 (8:52 am)

    Waited on California for a 22 or 54 for about 20 minutes. Finally got on a 22; it was packed by the time it left the Junction. It took over an hour to get downtown, the bus totally hot and uncomfortable and crowded and smelly!
    Roads were FINE! Hey, Metro: What the heck?

  • mpento February 26, 2009 (8:52 am)

    Please please please make an effort to remove the snow from your car before you get on the road.

  • Sue February 26, 2009 (9:18 am)

    I agree with mpento about cleaning off snow from cars – while waiting 40 minutes for my bus, I was constantly smacked by snow flying off cars that were speeding down Fauntleroy.
    So after waiting 40 minutes for a bus and getting on a 116 that finally showed up (and not from the ferry – it had gone the opposite way down Fauntleroy 25 minutes earlier – I remembered the bus number). While on the bus at 8:30 I heard an announcement that all buses in West Seattle should be back on regular routes. Too bad nobody told us they might’ve been changed to begin with.
    I am in awe that such a non-snow event can cause such delays in buses!

  • annon February 26, 2009 (9:19 am)

    Husband took in a vehicle to downtown today after buses did not come. WHY can’t Metro get it right?!?!

  • Sue February 26, 2009 (9:31 am)

    My husband just told me that two 54X buses came past Dawson at 8:25 or so, just after I got on that 116. Bet they were empty too. Great job at efficiency, Metro. Especially since the last bus at that stop should’ve been around 8:02.

  • WSB February 26, 2009 (9:35 am)

    County Council Chair Dow Constantine is looking into it and I expect to have an update from his office later on where the disconnect was this time … will post that as a separate story.

  • Julie February 26, 2009 (9:41 am)

    FWIW: Tilden School, as always, is “open and on time”! ;)

  • miws February 26, 2009 (10:20 am)

    mayjune, Maybe too late for today, but for future reference, 35th & Avalon would probably be your best bet for more route options:

    21 Local
    21 Express


    The only downside, is that it’s pretty far from the originations of each of those routes, so it makes the chance of already filled to capacity busses passing you by, quite possible.



  • Left Turner February 26, 2009 (1:17 pm)

    Ah yes, another “F”ine day for metro!

Sorry, comment time is over.