West Seattle snow: Scenes from the Monday night walk home

Many talked about this in various venues Monday night … in comments on our afternoon/evening snow updates, on Facebook, on Twitter … but we thought that before it recedes too far into memory, The Great Monday Night Walk Home should be commemorated with its own story. Jeff Johnson shared the top photo: “I gave up on the buses stuck in traffic and joined hundreds of others hiking our way back to West Seattle. … Warming up at home now!” The next one is from Brian Zenk:

He wrote:

Total trek time was from 5 to 8:15.
I sat on a bus between Denny Way and Pike for one hour.
I jumped off the bus around five.
I finally arrived at home after walking from Pike Street near the market. The bridges were blocked and I walked with many others who could not sit in the bus. We were blocked by a freight train and had to wait to cross the tracks. This was down near Home Depot. When we arrived at the lower West Seattle Bridge, there was no salt or gravel on the bridge and we could smell burning rubber of car tires.

Long Bach Nguyen captured this scene of people walking on the south end of California SW:

And Josh Wendt shared scenes from his trip home – he says he works at Harborview Medical Center and took about an hour and a half to get home to 37th SW. Note the bumper-to-bumper traffic along Alaskan Way:

And looking back at The Bridge:

Last but not least – we included this video in last night’s coverage, but it’s the only clip we have of The Big Walk. Bill Schrier, who shot it, was walking home from downtown – where he works as the tech boss for the City of Seattle:

Thanks to everyone who’s sharing their photos, video, and stories.

23 Replies to "West Seattle snow: Scenes from the Monday night walk home"

  • toddinwestwood November 23, 2010 (1:45 pm)

    Great set of pics. At one point last night, all routes out of W.S. were blocked. Unless you went south into Burien.


  • chris arkills November 23, 2010 (1:50 pm)

    The walk was kind of fun even though it was cold and windy. Outdoor Research on First was doing a bang up business selling gloves and hats to people walking by in SODO as were the bars at Pyramid and Hooverville. I walked as far as Skylark, where many other walkers “rested” after the windy walk across the bridge.

    I did feel sorry for the women in heels and the guy in clogs(what was he thinking when he left this morning?).

    Metro drivers and staff did a heroic job last night, but for those of us who walked it was a memorable night. And I worked off some fat before Thanksgiving…

  • k November 23, 2010 (1:50 pm)

    Yep– My husband had to go south through Tukwila to get North to WS last night.

  • 7 hour commute last night November 23, 2010 (1:55 pm)

    I left work in the south lake union area at 5pm last night. Waited 2 hours for a bus. Once on the bus it took another 5 hours to get to highland park. The traffic on 4th Ave in SODO was a parking lot. People were getting off the bus to smoke and pee. One guy that got on the bus in SODO had been idling in traffic for 3 hours and ran out of gas – so he got on the bus. It was a blizzard!!! Glad to be home. I am going to get the busdriver a starbucks card.

  • Theresa November 23, 2010 (2:01 pm)

    I walked home too last night. Parked my car at 6th & Hinds since I heard the bridges were closing off and on. That’s amazing that people stopped to take pictures! I was busy using my gloved hands to block the icy wind and snow from burning my face! When I got home, I checked the National Weather Service and it said with the wind chill, it felt like it was 10 degrees outside.

  • Ian Page-Echols November 23, 2010 (2:44 pm)

    I put up some footage of my further adventures last night. Got home and decided to go back out to shoot some video of the lower West Seattle bridge.


  • scootergrrl November 23, 2010 (2:48 pm)

    I picked up the 54 at 3rd and Union at 4:45, rode it 3 hours until we reached the Starbucks Center/Home Depot on 1st Ave and couldn’t take it any longer. Started walking for the Alaska Junction, crossed the low bridge, made it to Delridge where the nicest person, Ruby, was taking advantage of her 4×4 and picking people up to take them as far home as she could get. She wouldn’t take any gas money and just asked us to pay it forward the next chance we get. If anyone knows a young lady named Ruby who works for Enterprise, please be very good to her!

    The weather may have been hideous, but everyone dealing with it had the best attitudes, and most of all the wonderful Metro drivers who all deserve a break today.

  • Alki Resident November 23, 2010 (2:51 pm)

    Shane-thank you for keeping us entertained on here last nite.It was hard to break away and go to bed well past midnite.

  • wsgolfer November 23, 2010 (2:55 pm)

    I did the ” The Great Monday Night Walk Home” last night as well (love the name)

    Originally I intended to take the water taxi back, but that didn’t pan out :). I tried to wait it out at work, hoping traffic would subside, but since it didn’t, finally decided to hoof it back to WS at 7:30. I stopped counting after passing around 15 buses :). It took me an hour and half to get to the corner of Fauntleroy & Alaska, where my wife was able to pick me up and drive me the last mile home. I’m glad to be home safe!

    It is sad how poorly the city handled the situation. Like toddinwestwood said above, at multiple points over the course of the night, all routes into WS from the city were blocked. That is simply inexplicable. WS is the largest city neighborhood in terms of population, correct? And the city allowed all routes into WS to become impassible? WTH?

  • cathy November 23, 2010 (3:48 pm)

    Be Thank full that your able to walk.

  • cathy November 23, 2010 (3:48 pm)

    Be Thank full your able to walk.

  • KB November 23, 2010 (4:23 pm)

    One friend of mine reported a 7 hour commute home. She was stuck on the bus on First and one of the riders got off, ran over to Krispy Kreme and brought donuts back to the bus. The bus ended up stuck coming up Admiral and she hiked the last leg of the trip. I felt so lucky that got an early release from work!

  • Brian November 23, 2010 (5:09 pm)

    I am thankful I am able to spell and navigate the tricky waters of the english language. Oh, and that I learned to drive in Detroit.

  • Casey November 23, 2010 (5:20 pm)

    I too started walking from downtown just before 5pm yesterday. Saw that traffic was barely moving on 1st where I normally catch a 56 bus back to 48th and Admiral. Walked to the water taxi, only to hear that it was cancelled (a woman there had been on the last attempted docking at Westcrest before the boat gave up and had to return… terrible seas apparently). Failing that, walked back to 1st and basically walked the entire route the bus would normally take: 1st to Hanford to Western(?) over the bridge and up Admiral. I also was the grateful recipient of a ride from a kind lady driving a Suburban (forgot name, but will never forget the sentiment), took me and two others from mid-way up Admiral to our corner a mile further. Thank you! Thank you!

  • Cw November 23, 2010 (5:38 pm)

    I also did the walk home from right around home depot and along the way met a nice guy who’s wife was waiting on the other side of the bridge to drive him up Admiral. Big thanks to Ed for starting the walk with me and to Beau and Sarah for getting me up the hill. We have some great neighbors here in West Seattle. What a story to tell!

  • TC November 23, 2010 (5:58 pm)

    I did the walk too… got on the 23 at 3rd & Union around 3:50pm, abandoned ship at 4th & Michigan at 6:30pm. The driver was really cool, I felt bad for him… walked over the 1rst ave bridge rather than using the pedestrian walkway under it (and almost got blown over by the wind, no joke) and then up W Marginal Way. Two guys were out riding a 4-wheel ATV and a dirt bike down the hill; the nice lady I walked up the hill with offered me cold french fries! Got home around 7:20pm and felt absurdly pleased with myself, then had way too many Manhattans. Thank goodness today was a snow day.

  • Admiral Janeway November 23, 2010 (6:11 pm)

    I also did the Great Monday Night Walk to West Seattle. I boarded the bus at 4:35 on Seneca. One hour later, the bus made it to Pioneer Square. The driver opened the door and a small group left the bus with the intent of walking the rest of the way, but we weren’t alone. Up ahead, I saw dozens of fellow pedestrians.
    Traffic along 1st Ave was at a stand still. Near Home Depot, another bus driver honked his horned and opened the door, inviting us into his bus. No one boarded the 54. We all knew we were going faster on foot. Turning on Hanford and heading toward Alaskan Way, our group was delayed a train for a few minutes. It was the first time I felt the cold wind. As the train passed, we were again on our way. On to Alaskan Way and then Spokane Street.
    As we approached the lower bridge, a reason for the big back up was clear to see and hear. A sub-compact car was spinning its wheels, inching up the lower bridge. This car stopped both westbound and eastbound traffic, as it had crept into the eastbound lane. Amazingly, this car eventually crested the bridge.
    For us pedestrians, we were finally in West Seattle. I saw a group shake hands before splitting up. New friends from a shared adventure. I continued my trek up Admiral Way. A few cars were stranded in the middle of the road. Others were parked on the side of the street. I saw a good Samaritan in a pick-up truck, hitching and towing cars up Admiral. As I made my way home, I looked at my watch. It was three hours since I left the office.

  • 2wheels a-go-go November 24, 2010 (10:01 am)

    Don’t forget us cyclists. I made the commute from Queen Anne to North Admiral in 35 minutes. Besides not being able to feel my toes, it was not unlike any other day biking between work and home.
    Car traffic was a solid bumper-to-bumper parking lot from the Olympic sculpture park, all the way down Alaskan Way and East Marginal to the lower bridge. I just have passed literally about 3,000 cars going nowhere. Near Spokane Street, I started seeing the walkers. I’m guessing I passed at least 100 walkers from Hanford to Chelan Streets.
    Bicycle traffic was much less than normal, but we were still out there. I saw at least half a dozen cyclists while I was out, and a few more indicated by tracks in the snow.

  • Steph in WS November 24, 2010 (11:40 am)

    This is why I left work in Federal Way at noon on Monday. Maybe people should watch how things are going weather and road wise and leave early if they can.

  • Daffodil November 24, 2010 (2:35 pm)

    I love these stories. Especially since I haven’t been out of the house since Monday. I don’t dare drive my car and thankfully took the week off.
    Have a great Thanksgiving!

  • Bill November 24, 2010 (6:52 pm)

    Too bad we don’t have the Monorail…

  • deli boy November 25, 2010 (8:59 am)

    Man oh man oh boy oh bother. I had a dentist appointment that Monday. I got on the 120 bus at 3 from around Pike Place Market somewhere. I didn’t realize the roads were so bad! We took a snow route to who knows where. but we were stuck in traffic behind maybe 4 cars and a semi, for nearly half hour or more. finally the semi crossed to turn around or something, and we kept pushing… people got off the bus to walk… mind you this was only around 4. bumper to bumper traffic, inching our way so slow towards Burien… finally over one bridge which took another hour… on through 1st ave.. 3 hours or so into it the wonderful bus driver of the 3 oclock 120 bus numbers 2442, told us we would “take a potty break at the jack in the box on 1st”. this is around 5 or so? the snow had turned to dust, and it was as though we were in a blizzard, due to the high winds. a lady in a car next to us slamming her gas to gain traction. more got off. i look outside as i was sitting in the stair well many people got off to eat and use the bathroom in the packed place… I ran into some people i know. got back on the bus some stayed.. we pass over the next bridge and got over after a while. again. inching our way. we eventually reach the road by the sea freeze plant and the subway.. note this is the 120 bus on snow routes… making our way around and around everywhere. to get to the overpass near avalon.. my phone had died finally around this time. we cheered as we reached delridge. thanking the driver of the 3 o clock 120 bus 2442.some get off, some get on. the passengers just getting on look at us. not knowing what we had just gone through… a 6 hour bus ride.

  • deli boy November 25, 2010 (9:01 am)

    This was my first crisis during snow-times. It was horrible yet memorable. people were stuck for a lot longer. 12 hours. my friend had a 7 hour bus ride on a later 120 bus. another had her bf stuck on I-5 for around 12 hours.

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