(Top L, north of 1st Av. S. Bridge; top R, 1st @ Holgate; below L, I-5 on south end of downtown; below R, 12th headed for bridge to Beacon Hill, where there’s alternate WS Bridge access)
We’re kicking off the afternoon/evening commute coverage. “Expect heavy congestion” is the warning again today, but at this point, there’s no reason for it to be worse than yesterday. Updates to come!
3:40 PM UPDATE: Reminder for Metro riders – the reroute used today may not be the same one as yesterday; they are trying to be flexible. Meantime, we’re not sure why, but beware, if you’re heading OUT of West Seattle shortly – the eastbound “high bridge” is moving slowly right now, as shown on the live-video feed linked from the lower-right section of the city map.
4 PM UPDATE: Via Twitter, Sarah says the low bridge westbound (and feeder street) is backed up all the way to Alaskan Way, and adds, “Metro supervisor at First/Hanford directing buses to Marginal reroute due to congestion along Hanford & Alaskan.” As for the eastbound “high bridge” backup, KING 5 traffic ace Tracy Taylor blames it on a NB I-5 wreck at the WS Bridge exit point, but says it’s clearing.
4:39 PM UPDATE: We’re heading out to look at the commute (traveling against the flow so we’re not contributing!), starting with the low bridge. Expecting to see some bicyclists; note that Cascade plans a commute station by the “low bridge” again tomorrow morning, followed by a “bike train” ride.
(Photo taken 4:40 pm)
Meantime, we’ve just arrived by the low bridge; traffic flow’s good till you get to its east end, and now there’s a bit of a backup. From the right side of eastbound lower Spokane off the low bridge, you can divert onto the brand-spanking-new East Marginal Way Grade Separation flyover … we unintentionally did just that. It takes you over the tracks and southbound onto East Marginal.
5:04 PM UPDATE: The 1st Avenue South Bridge also looked pretty good when we traveled over it a few minutes ago. Now we’re checking out 4th Avenue South – right now, heading TOWARD downtown looks worse than heading away!
5:19 PM UPDATE: Overall, still no problems. We are now downtown checking on the Pier 50 water-taxi line. Will have a report on that from the co-publisher in a couple minutes. Assessing comments, FB, Twitter, etc., bus drivers are diverting when they can, to avoid trains; sun glare is perhaps the most frequently mentioned problem, since it’s even brighter than it was yesterday. We were asked on FB to mention again that the northbound Viaduct over downtown is open by design – all along they have said it would be open from the stadiums north, 5 am-7 pm during the weekdays this closure week. If you have to head north past downtown, you can get to the onramp at Royal Brougham Way, but it’ll close again at 7 pm.
5:34 PM UPDATE: Water Taxi lineup a few minutes ago was all the way to the gate.
Now we’re back on the road, homeward bound (sorry to compound the congestion). Just passed 1st Ave. S. in Pioneer Square, all brake lights heading south. We’re trying 4th in hopes of getting to the 1st Avenue South Bridge. 4th looks OK southbound past the train station and “the Clink”…
5:56 PM UPDATE: Made it across the 1st bridge. Only real hangup was a few blocks of stop/start just before making the right turn toward the bridge onramp. On Highland Park Way now, getting dark already on the east slopes (nice sunset off to the west). Still no major problems to report. (The 5:45 pm Water Taxi left more than 20 people behind at Pier 50, though, Bill Schrier reports via Twitter, with this photo.)
6:53 PM UPDATE: Concluding the commute, sounds like those who traveled in the more traditional time frame after 5:30 hit some snags, so if you can leave earlier tomorrow, you might get a better shake. If you’re tracking Water Taxi ridership, this morning’s totals are now posted on the county website. More commute-tracking in the morning, and of course, we’re watching traffic the rest of the time too, because without the Viaduct, any major problem can have worse ripple effects than usual.