Viaduct-closure countdown notes: Challenge; cycling; coffee

Three more Alaskan Way Viaduct closure-related notes as the 7:30 pm Friday start time approaches (graphic at left courtesy of Hotwire Online Coffeehouse, whose news is item #3):

WEST SEATTLE POLITICIANS’ COMMUTE CHALLENGE: The idea was hatched at last week’s West Seattle High School open house about the Viaduct closure – but at the time, City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen told us, he and County Councilmember Joe McDermott just had to get County Executive Dow Constantine to commit to it. Apparently he has, because it’s just been announced that the three West Seattle-residing elected officials will showcase commuting alternatives this Friday in a race of sorts. McDermott will take the Water Taxi; Constantine will take Metro; Rasmussen will bike (weather permitting). The starting line: Heart of The Junction (California/Alaska), around 7:30 am Friday; finish line, City Hall, an hour or so later. The media has been amply alerted, so watch for cameras along the way …

RIDING YOUR BIKE? Thanks to Max for pointing this out – the Cascade Bicycle Club is going to give bicyclists a boost if they choose to head from West Seattle into downtown, with a special station on the west side of the “low bridge” on Monday and Wednesday (and a post-closure followup on Halloween morning), followed by a “bike train” ride. Details here.

VIADEALS: Stay home and save! That’s the message local businesses are starting to get out. Among the first: WSB’s original sponsor, Hotwire Online Coffeehouse in The Junction. Proprietor Lora Swift is offering a full hour of Internet access with a beverage purchase throughout closure week – and reminding commute-bravers that they can use TextWire to save time and order in advance. Read all about it here.

11 Replies to "Viaduct-closure countdown notes: Challenge; cycling; coffee"

  • CandrewB October 19, 2011 (6:16 pm)

    I’d say Constantine is going to lose this Challenge. I understand the difficulty Metro is in, but listening to a 54 (or maybe 55) driver explain the route some days back, I’ll take my chances driving or taking the Water Taxi.

  • Dawson October 19, 2011 (8:23 pm)

    Tom, really you won’t ride in the rain? The rest of us that are already or about to try riding will. Good on cascade for supporting ws

  • Patrick October 19, 2011 (8:54 pm)

    I ride my bike everday so not really a challenge…

  • Colleen October 19, 2011 (9:37 pm)

    too add to the Via-Deals Wingdome is doing Happy Hour Every day all day

  • raincity October 19, 2011 (10:20 pm)

    What good is a race this Friday BEFORE the viaduct is closed? Am I missing something?

    I do think it’s cool they are bringing more attention to WS, but it would be more effective to make people understand if they do it 7:30 am next Monday.

    • WSB October 19, 2011 (10:35 pm)

      I think the original concept, from my short conversation with CM Rasmussen last week, involved the actual closure. There are two realities, though: 1. They want to encourage people in advance to try commuting alternatives; 2. there is pretty much zero chance of media coverage of a stunt like this on day 1 of the actual closure. Media organizations big and small, including us, are throwing everything they have at ways to actually cover the traffic itself … TR

  • why_cause October 19, 2011 (10:37 pm)

    The viaduct won’t be closed during the “race”. What is the point? It doesn’t reflect the traffic nightmare of next week.

  • Neighborly October 19, 2011 (11:51 pm)

    I love the local incentives to stay put!

  • Admiral resident October 19, 2011 (11:59 pm)

    hmm, the challenge is irrelevant but we like the media’s attention anyways…
    it sounds like the start of a daily-reality-show-video-blog called: the Viaduct Crunch, who’s in? (king5 probably owns that name already btw, we’ll select another name) …depicting the true adventures of actual commuters with all types of transportation to meet their destination. Including the telecommuter…

  • Cowpie October 20, 2011 (11:53 am)

    1 hour by bike to City Hall???? Is he going to walk his bike? It takes me 25 minutes to ride my bike from Lincoln Park. And what’s up with ‘weather permitting’? Is our Councilmember afraid of Seattle rain? That’s a bad example to set. He should ride no matter what the weather. I always see the same group year after year on their bikes. The weather never stops a good ride. Sure if it snows I take my all wheel drive to work, but that’s around 5 trips a year.

  • Jasperblu October 20, 2011 (9:34 pm)

    What’s the point, other than “feel good” publicity stunt? The reality of making this commute during the actual closure, rain or shine, is what I’d like to see. Then maybe I’d BELIEVE them when they say the know how we feel, or what we experience, etc.

Sorry, comment time is over.