West Seattle traffic: 2nd morning of Viaduct-less workweek

(SCROLL DOWN FOR THE LATEST INFO – and let us know, in comments, how your commute went!)

(More cams on the WSB Traffic page; travel times on the city Travelers’ Info map)
Again today, we’ll keep a running narrative of the morning commute, and invite you to share your experience, either in comments or by another means of your choice … no trouble as we begin, just before 6. Our “Viaduct Crunch” coverage partners at KING 5 say WSDOT reported earlier this morning that the demolition work is on track. At the West Seattle Water Taxi dock, the line for the 6:15 am sailing is longer than it was on Monday morning. Here’s the special schedule; remember the Rachel Marie is back this morning, returning to service at mid-afternoon yesterday after repairs. KING’s “minute-by-minute” updates (including their tweets, ours, and other sources) can be seen here (click “play”).

6:13 AM: Our crew just arrived at the Water Taxi, and reports seeing more street traffic than this time yesterday. But the Don Armeni Boat Ramp parking appears a bit emptier, same for street parking, even though there are indeed more people taking the early Water Taxi (stand by for the official total). SDOT’s live-video cams on the high bridge show it’s a bit foggy, and starting to get busy. (added) 110 estimated on the first Water Taxi run – a few more than yesterday.

6:22 AM: And much like yesterday at this time, the eastbound high bridge is starting to slow down. Just noticed the Water Taxi ridership numbers for yesterday’s PM commute are published (the AM numbers were up early): 5:15, 5:45, 6:15 sailings were at capacity (150). [added} Metro‘s first morning report: No bus delays.

6:32 AM: A KING crew just drove Avalon onto the high bridge, and says it’s sluggish too; they’ve also noted Seattle Police patrolling for bus-lane violators on the bridge again today. (Via Twitter, Jana tells us “Two police cars and three vehicles pulled over for blocking the ‘bus only’ lane” when her bus went by.) Another of their crews is up at the Traffic Management Center in SDOT offices downtown, and reports that the patterns yesterday and today are indeed trending about an hour earlier than usual. By the way, if you’re taking 1st to get on the Viaduct at Royal Brougham, the ramp IS OPEN THIS MORNING (it was closed a few hours during the day yesterday; demolition work got too close).

6:45 AM: High bridge still slow going. Via Twitter, @pleonardo says that given the slowdown, “Glad the coffee is hot”! The 6:45 Water Taxi is down from yesterday, 111 compared to Monday’s 129. Parking for the Water Taxi is more available than early yesterday – more people seem to be getting dropped off. Special lot at Don Armeni still virtually empty.

7 AM: Bus riders are reporting “a breeze” so far this morning – at least those who left by 6:30! High bridge still busy. Low bridge not as busy. No surface trouble spots at major intersections that police are watching, like 1st and Spokane, per a “round robin” check of sorts we just heard via scanner. SDOT is telling KING’s Traffic Management Center crew that **4th looks better than 1st** so try the high bridge to the 4th Ave. S. exit if you can. (added) From Metro via Twitter: “Don’t be surprised if your bus takes a different route from yesterday to avoid morphing congestion. Bus won’t miss any stops.”

7:15 AM: Margie, via Facebook, says the lighted sign on Avalon warns it’ll take you 25 minutes to get to I-5. (added) The 7:15 am Water Taxi sailing had 128, unlike yesterday, which was at capacity with some left at dock. There’s also still parking in the Don Armeni lot, if you’re thinking about the WT. And the high bridge is still slow, more like a “normal” day than like yesterday. But KING’s chopper shows the low bridge continues to flow at an OK pace.

7:39 AM: Like yesterday, the high bridge is starting to thin out a bit. Our crew at the Water Taxi dock (which again is a magnet for TV crews – three trucks there now, according to Bill Schrier, who got to the dock just as the previous boat was leaving). He says it looks like everybody will make it on board – we’ll get an update on the passenger count in a few minutes. However, once you get downtown – 1st Avenue South is slow going, according to a KING crew currently stopped at 1st/Hanford.

7:48 AM: Water Taxi just left with 117 on board, down from capacity 150 (with some left waiting) yesterday. And the high bridge looks GREAT. The low bridge, though, looks slow heading toward downtown – the city just swung a live camera around that way. And westbound is wall-to-wall trucks. Back to Harbor Avenue – the Don Armeni parking lot for the Water Taxi now is almost full. But there’s some street parking along Harbor, west of Alki Tavern, on the water side.

8:05 AM: Haven’t been any crashes compounding things this morning, by the way, along the bridge or I-5. Bridge wide open.

8:19 AM: The 8:15 am Water Taxi run was again below capacity – but still, more than 110 people, including County Councilmember Joe McDermott, chair of the county Ferry District board. Bridge = a breeze. Surface streets downtown = 4th is faster than 1st.

8:30 AM: So if you had to take the bus, leaving before 6:30 or after 7:30 seemed to be the trick. Amy says via Twitter that her bus ride took only 20 minutes.

8:52 AM: And we have a “25 minutes to UW” report too, from SHQ via Twitter. If anything dramatic happens on the roads in the next couple hours, we’ll add it here; otherwise, we’ll have separate pm reports, as we did yesterday. We’ll see if the afternoon/evening commute is any better than yesterday, when train backups in SODO caused some misery, among other factors. The forecast looks good (tomorrow morning too).

10:24 AM: Results of this morning’s police operation on the bridge, from SPD Blotter:

24 Bus Lane violations
2 No Proof of Insurance
1 No Valid Driver’s License

86 Replies to "West Seattle traffic: 2nd morning of Viaduct-less workweek"

  • Rhonda October 25, 2011 (6:21 am)

    Easy car commute from Admiral junction to Pioneer Square. 4 minutes to the bridge, 2 to the 1st street exit, 13 to Pioneer Square. Cop on motorcycle at 1st street exit so don’t run the light.

  • ML October 25, 2011 (6:34 am)

    15 minutes from Hight Point to Lake Union today taking West Seattle Bridge to I5 and taking Mercer exit. Left my door at 6:00am. Took half the time it took yesterday when I left at 6:15. 6:15 seems to be the new morning rush hour! It will be interesting to see if it keeps up or if people start to revert back to the 7-8am morning communute later in the week. The lanes seemed wide open yesterday between 7 and 8!

  • Rockergirl5678 October 25, 2011 (6:40 am)

    Cops out again busting bus lane violators, trucks blocking low bridge westbound, overall not too bad Sunrise heights to I-5 took 15 minutes leaving @ 6:25 am.

  • Ben October 25, 2011 (6:43 am)

    Agree that rush hour has shifted earlier. Currently on 54 turning from Avalon onto bridge, cars are backed up along onramp. Don’t know about others’ reasons for heading in early but mine is not so much to beat morning traffic as to be able to head home this afternoon as early as possible – that’s the truly bad traffic.

  • helridge October 25, 2011 (6:43 am)

    The high schools have no school buses so my kid has to take two city buses just to get to his NEIGHBORHOOD school. The first bus he takes comes from downtown, so he’s been sitting outside at his normal time (One and a half hours before his NEIGHBORHOOD school starts) now waiting for this bus for forty five minutes. Same as yesterday morning. He does not get to White Center on time to connect with his other bus so he gets to school late even though he’s now leaving TWO hours before school starts! Unbelievable!!! Thanks BNSF!!!

  • Jamie October 25, 2011 (6:44 am)

    Breezy 20 min commute from morgan junction to cap hill, via beacon hill. Mind you, at 6am.

  • Sarah October 25, 2011 (6:50 am)

    The bridge traffic is terrible! We are crawling!

  • keden October 25, 2011 (7:02 am)

    I went over the low bridge eastbound at 6:15 or so. The trucks going to T5 were lined up and blocking the westbound low bridge. Several Metro buses were in the backup, so I’m sure some of them will be late getting into West Seattle.

  • Glenn October 25, 2011 (7:06 am)

    It’s filling up, but still appears to be quite a bit of room for the 7:15 water taxi.

  • keden October 25, 2011 (7:07 am)

    The SPD was definitely looking for bus lane violators! It looked like a parking lot where they were pulling people over-6 cars and 1 motorcycle.

  • HPCommuter October 25, 2011 (7:09 am)

    I used the low bridge from Delridge to cross over onto 1st this morning. My ultimate destination was Bellevue via I-90. It look me about 45 minutes leaving at 6:10 AM. Not bad actually!

    It was fairly scary because I was stuck behind a train but every few minutes the barrier would lift up and a car would start to pass through and then as the car was passing the barrier would go back down and a train would start barreling down and honking. The barrier was only up for a very short while before it would start to descend again.

    Hope everyone arrived safely to work and without too much delay!

  • CJS October 25, 2011 (7:20 am)

    Took the 6:15 Water Taxi again today. Even though I arrived at the dock at 5:50, there were about 20 people in line ahead of me, and of course a TV crew with their bright lights. Still, it wasn’t a bad wait, or a bad trip. I don’t think I’d want to wait in line if it were raining though. I hope this keeps up through the rest of the week.

  • West Seattleite October 25, 2011 (7:27 am)

    Water Taxi line at 100 people by 7am. Great to see so many people riding. Now, why isn’t anyone selling us coffee? ;)

  • Dan October 25, 2011 (7:41 am)

    Fifteen minutes to pedal from the Triangle to Sodo Station. Minimal train delay on Lander between 1st and 4th. Lotsa short-haul trucks on low bridge, as stated above. Buses were in that queue.

  • Clueless October 25, 2011 (7:47 am)

    Great reports re: low bridge, hi bridge. Please post any info on I-5 northbound please!

  • ama October 25, 2011 (7:47 am)

    Although most people are focused on getting out of West Seattle, I just took the low bridge out and I felt sorry for those taking the low bridge into West Seattle. It was majorily backed up and had police with flashing lights attempting to direct traffic at the entrance to Harbor Island that is closest to Marginal Way.

  • Bus is better October 25, 2011 (7:54 am)

    I took 6:30am #23 bus from highland park yesterday -it was fast! No delays at all. In fact it was faster than usual. At 6:30.

    So this morning I am taking the 7:30. It’s quite a bit busier a transition getting onto 509n and 1 ave bridge before getting onto 4th. We are moving but it’s slow. Not unlike regular 8:00am commute on same bus. I wonder how 4th will be.

  • Lynn October 25, 2011 (7:58 am)

    I was on a Metro bus going westbound across the low bridge, but the trucks going to T5 were lined up and blocking the westbound low bridge. Quite a few of us were late to work as a result, and we weren’t the only bus trapped. Would sure like to see the police ticketing the blocking trucks.

  • DRW October 25, 2011 (7:58 am)

    Dear Accomplished Bike Ridesrs, please help those who are not used to commuting on bikes. People on bikes need reflective clothing, reflectors on their bikes, a light, and hand signals. Drivers are not mind readers and if you wear dark clothes, don’t have reflectors and don’t signal, you will more than likely get hit by a car before the end of the week. I truely appreciate the two men I saw this morning who did all the right things. The third person, well, you should make friends with the men who were in front of you.

  • Pam October 25, 2011 (7:59 am)

    I find it frustrating to have the news stations driving in cars on the bridge, taking up a commuter space, to tell us that there is a lot of traffic. But that’s just me sitting at home watching it on tv – not having to commute.

  • Sue October 25, 2011 (8:00 am)

    25 min. from Jefferson Square to 3rd/Union today. 5 min. faster than yesterday. Bus had less than 20 people on it (a 54 and 22 had just passed 2 min. earlier, which I missed) and we flew across the bridge in the bus lane. It’s so much more pleasant without people needing to cross over the bus lane to/from the 99 lane.

  • work downtown October 25, 2011 (8:08 am)

    I usually drive downtown but I’m trying to help lessen traffic this week. I live north of Admiral. Left home at 6:50 carrying my 18 lb laptop, walked up to Admiral and California. Waited almost 20 minutes for the bus, both the 56 and 57 showed up at the same time. That seems silly. Get on the 56, ok down Admiral but then he has to pass under the park and ride on Spokane. Its backed up – takes another 10 minutes to navigate. But then smooth sailing on the bus lane to the 4th avenue exit. He travels up 3rd Avenue, so I had to walk up 2 steep hills with my laptop. I’m pushing 60 by the way. My wish list: more frequent bus service on Admiral and let the express skip the park and ride on Spokane. Be great if they traveled up 4th Avenue too but that might be asking too much. Thanks WSB for letting me vent.

  • supernova72 October 25, 2011 (8:12 am)

    Left south of Admiral at 7:05 a.m. and it took just 20 minutes to get over the bridge (I take Fauntleroy vs. Admiral Way). Made it to Bellevue Eastgate area in just under 30 minutes. I allowed an hour but was pleasantly surprised to have a stress free commute…

    Note: Three cars and one motorcyle were pulled over due to driving in the bus lane.

  • Darwin October 25, 2011 (8:23 am)

    38 minutes from the Alaska Junction to First Hill. High bridge to 4th and then up James.

  • chet October 25, 2011 (8:25 am)

    The “illegal to cross double white lines” area needs enforcement. Witnessed a lot of people cutting to the front this morning. Glad the police are busting bus lane violators. They had so many when I drove by that there was no where else to pull more people over.

  • Barb October 25, 2011 (8:27 am)

    Buses from WS to Downtown are moving fast down 4th UNTIL stadiums, where they get caught up in very slow moving traffic.

  • Mel October 25, 2011 (8:30 am)

    It’s kind of too bad that the Water Taxi has been shunned today after having a boat out of service and turning away commuters (to whom time is important).
    That was a chance to win new regular passengers, but it was bungled pretty badly.

    • WSB October 25, 2011 (8:47 am)

      Mel – it wasn’t exactly shunned but a few dozen people fewer per run, certainly. The boat being out of service did not affect what was offered yesterday – the Melissa Ann is exactly the same capacity as the Rachel Marie. But if they had been able to say yesterday “We’ll find a way to throw one more boat into the mix tomorrow” – which was explained to us as basically impossible in terms of loading/unloading capacity at the two docks – sure, maybe it would have increased instead of dropped. The county is pursuing a higher capacity for the boats (which requires a certification process) within a few months and also looking to build permanent boats with higher capacity. – TR

  • Oliver October 25, 2011 (8:32 am)

    Left 36th & Alaska at 7:15 and was at my office on 4th & Madison by 7:35 (via upper bridge and 4th avenue)

  • SA October 25, 2011 (8:37 am)

    High bridge was a breeze! Better than during a weekend day. I’d attribute the good commute to people staggering their commutes. My husband went early, me late. I hope these patterns can maintain even after the viaduct reopens.

  • kte October 25, 2011 (8:49 am)

    Enjoy a happy end to your evening commute with some West Seattle happy hour. Salty’s is extending their happy hour by three hours all Viadoom week long, 3-9pm. $2 prime rib sliders are delicious. Plus, will take an additional $3 off your bill if you took the Water Taxi over. Plus, they are participating in Seattle Restaurant Week 3 courses for $28.

  • DBurns October 25, 2011 (8:53 am)

    Hi – day two of my morning commute was, again, no problem at all! I-5 north via HP/Georgetown is all lighter than normal. I leave Highland Park at 7:30 and both days reach First Hill (James St. exit) by 8:05 which is pretty normal! Oh, one thing, I’m definitely not speeding by in the commuter lane – HOV is noticeably heavier so that’s a good thing!

  • LL on Alki October 25, 2011 (8:56 am)

    Mel-I don’t see the WT being shunned, not with those numbers. And I think the crew is doing a phenomenal job of keeping up with record demand, and staying pretty darn right on schedule. Bungled? Hardly, not even close.

  • raincity October 25, 2011 (8:56 am)

    Mel – the water taxi did not turn away passengers. The boat was full – it is only allowed to take as many people as it is certified for by the coastguard. The people who did not make it on board had to wait for the next ferry – 30 minutes which is likely no longer to wait than the people who were at the beginning of the line had to wait. The water taxi can cross puget sound in 7 minutes – you can’t do that in a bus or car from avalon and spokane to pioneer square.

  • Kara October 25, 2011 (8:58 am)

    At bus stop across from QFC, no traffic issues, but late bus issue. 22 was over 12 mims late. Hopped on the 54 instead and hit traffic on 4th near Jackson. Quite an adventure.

  • William October 25, 2011 (8:58 am)

    @ Mel, I agree with you. Time and reliability is very important to people that commute into the city. Everyone’s life is complicated with many commitments in work and personal life. Trying to sugarcoat the County’s handling of the Water Taxi does not respect this importance.

  • squareeyes October 25, 2011 (9:01 am)

    Left Seaview at 8am, 45 minutes to S Lake Union via the high bridge and 4th Ave.

  • maude October 25, 2011 (9:08 am)

    RE the “25 minutes to UW”, do you know what route they took?

  • rulefollower October 25, 2011 (9:26 am)

    I took my usual bus the 9am 56 to Sodo. I was worried the bus was going to be really late but it was only about 5 minutes late and I was here by 9:15.

  • SHQ October 25, 2011 (9:35 am)

    UW route: High WS Bridge to I-5! easy today. thanks to all who are flexing. I took 23rd home last night and it too was good.

  • DBP October 25, 2011 (9:35 am)

    Hope none of you are texting while driving. I believe that is illegal.
    I KNOW it is dangerous.

  • westseattletouwandback October 25, 2011 (9:36 am)

    As for the “And we have a “25 minutes to UW” report too, from SHQ via Twitter” – wonder what their magical route was?? Did they drive or bus?

    I left my house at 6:15am [Holden area], got on the 6:45 water taxi [1st time rider], then waited [ugg] in bus tunnel for about 25 min., got into my office at UW at 7:45. About 1.5 hr total. At least my car wasn’t on the road, eh?

  • Darren October 25, 2011 (9:37 am)

    Traffic seems worse than I remember it ever being. I agree the crew is doing a great job.

  • yo October 25, 2011 (9:45 am)

    Caught 54 express at 650 on Fauntleroy before Alaska. In my office at westlake at 725. Actually, better than normal 8am express.

  • Always confused October 25, 2011 (9:47 am)

    10 minute walk to the 7:50 (CA & Admiral) DART shuttle to the Water Taxi dock. Hopped into line, onto the boat, quick ride across on the 8:15 with pleasant company and sitting at my desk by 8:40. LOVELY. Crazy people who think the Water Taxi screwed anything up yesterday can stay away…fine by me :)

  • dbsea October 25, 2011 (9:50 am)

    I noticed that yesterday when the water taxi was heavily used the boat ramp parking lots were both full. Including the north lot which is reserved for vehicles with trailers. Signage could be a little clearer as to whether commuters may park there or not. However, if you read the signs you’ll know where you may and may not park.

    WSB, do we know if the police are ticketing or towing in that lot? didn’t appear to be yesterday.

    • WSB October 25, 2011 (9:59 am)

      I had asked that, didn’t get an answer. I would suspect they respond if there’s a complaint, which is how I hear parking-enforcement officers dispatched all the time around here. Not a big boating time right now, it seems?

  • Amalia October 25, 2011 (9:52 am)

    1 hr 40 minutes Gatewood-to-Juanita by bike via I-90 and I don’t have to go to the gym today :).
    Thanks to all the first-time alternative commuters for making the commute easier for everyone. Unbelieveable job!

  • em October 25, 2011 (9:52 am)

    Took the 54 and left my stop at 7:55, and we FLEW on the bridge and were are First & Lander at 8:07, from there it took 20 minutes- off the bus at 8:27 at 3rd & Union. Not bad!

  • em October 25, 2011 (9:52 am)

    Took the 54 and left my stop at 7:55, and we FLEW on the bridge (no traffic) and were are First & Lander at 8:07, from there it took 20 minutes- off the bus at 8:27 at 3rd & Union. Not bad!

  • Semele October 25, 2011 (10:07 am)

    I left at 7:40 and got on the bridge at Delridge, took the 4th ave exit to I-90 and made it to work in Bellevue in 30 minutes. Not too bad at all.

  • WAS October 25, 2011 (10:08 am)

    Sorry for the rant but last nights commute was a joke. Was going South on 1st last night at 6pm and encountered a train blocking access to Spokane St. Bridge so decided to go Marginal Way South and the Bridge went up. Thought the DOT was going to make sure these wouldn’t happen during rush hour of VIADOOM week.

    • WSB October 25, 2011 (10:13 am)

      The bridge commitment was only for 3-6 pm Monday-Friday this week. The bridge went up after 6 pm.

  • two four six October 25, 2011 (10:11 am)

    Water taxi was great today! The crew is doing a terrific job, and with good humor, too. That’s a lot of folks to load and unload. Probably I’ll jump on the water taxi tonight, which will be faster. As for my monday commute, bus only from seacrest to UW, one hour door to door. Awesome, considering. The return home, bus only, was 2 hours door to door. Delayed, but understandably so, due to trains. Sounds like the impending doom in all this is not so doom-y! PS: secret route from alki/seacrest to UW is the 37; no transferring needed downtown! 37 turns into 25; shhh!

  • Valerie October 25, 2011 (10:24 am)

    I took the 133 from Olson/Myers P&R at 6:55 and was at UWMC by 7:35. The P&R was already nearly full when I arrived there around 6:50 though; it probably maxed not long after my bus left. The bus ride up I-5 was just about as usual. Of course the bus can & does use the HOV lane as far as downtown; the other NB I-5 lanes were pretty backed up, and posted at 30 mph.

  • really... October 25, 2011 (10:25 am)

    @screwthecops – are you one of those hardworking folks who cheated and drove in the bus lane to get to work faster than all the other hardworking folks who followed the rules of the road? I highly doubt that the cops were taking advantage of the situation. They are trying to keep the bus lanes clear.

  • Danny October 25, 2011 (10:25 am)

    I just wanted to take this opportunity to offer a friendly reminder to everyone taking I5 northbound from the west seattle bridge. The speed limit on I5 is 60 MPH. It is extremely dangerous to try and merge with traffic on I5 that is traveling at 60, when you are traveling between 30 and 40 MPH. So let’s try and keep everyone safe, and use that long, long entrance ramp to get up to speed before attempting to get on the freeway.

  • MacJ October 25, 2011 (10:36 am)

    @screwthecops I think that by violating posted traffic laws your “honest hardworking commuters” are by definition not honest, however hardworking they may be.

  • Alex October 25, 2011 (10:38 am)

    Is there a way we can increase fines for crossing the double white line at the I5 onramp? And for using the bus lane? “cutting in line” should earn you a suspended license, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Danny October 25, 2011 (10:53 am)

    Agree with MacJ, Alex and the others on the lane cutting.

    When you cut to the front of the line, you are cutting off ‘more honest’ hardworking folks, who have been stuck in that line for a while. Additionally, that maneuver frequently causes the people in line to have to adjust their speed to accommodate the cutters and only adds to the traffic backing up in that line. By that token, the people trying to skirt around the traffic are often the ones creating the traffic.

  • datamuse October 25, 2011 (11:04 am)

    West Marginal to 1st Ave S bridge was definitely heavier than usual this morning. (I take 99 south so I go past it but it was definitely busy!)
    Btw, folks, if you’re taking the 1st Ave S bridge option: get in the right lane and wait like everyone else. Going all the way to the light and then cutting in by turning right is rude and increases your chances of getting pasted by a semi. Hope this helps.

  • clark5080 October 25, 2011 (11:06 am)

    To bad the police wern’t busting people on the bridge yesterday in the afternoon there were a whole lot of people int he bus lane

  • Brontosaurus October 25, 2011 (11:17 am)

    @screwthecops, the people using the bus lane aren’t “honest.” If they were honest, they wouldn’t be using the bus lane. Good job SPD! Go get ’em!

  • hatethebus October 25, 2011 (11:22 am)

    there shouldn’t even be a bus lane. It just takes away a lane of traffic and causes worse gridlock. It may be useful for the 20 buses an hour that use it, but not for the thousands of other commuters that can’t. Buses should wait in line with the rest of us.

  • Al October 25, 2011 (11:43 am)

    yeah, that’s it…let’s slow down the buses who move thousands of people every rush hour and provide a needed public service just so the single SOV’s can drive wherever they want. Seriously? Take away the ability of buses and other alternative commuting options to get around the very traffic you, hatethebus, are contributing to will only increase said traffic congestion.

    It’s been pretty amazing watching the commutes the last several days and seeing how taking alternatives (bus, water taxi, bike) really can improve the commute for everyone. The route back to WS wouldn’t be so bad if the 1st Ave onramp was actually open I think.

  • sarelly October 25, 2011 (11:44 am)

    Far fewer passengers on the 8:45 water taxi this morning – seemed like about a third of riders they had yesterday – and once again, a TV news camera crew was present, filming and interviewing.

    “Why are you here at the water taxi today?”
    “Because I want to get to work.”
    “Why do you want to get to work?”
    [cut to newsroom]
    “Jim, ask him if he wants to get to work on time.”


    The water taxi crew has been awesome, though.

    So far, the commute has taken me no longer than before the viaduct closure. At Seacrest Park they have moved the pick-up location of the Junction shuttle bus from the parking lot to across the street. This is a problem because the Alki shuttle bus parks next to the crosswalk, blocking the pedestrian view of traffic approaching the crosswalk. You kind of have to creep out past the shuttle to see if there are cars coming, and drivers will not be able to see you.

  • MacJ October 25, 2011 (11:56 am)

    To those doubting the usefulness of the bus lane, here’s a quick photo illustration. Now imagine those 50-60 extra cars in front of yours on the bridge.

  • raincity October 25, 2011 (12:14 pm)

    In response to the comments that the bus should wait in line “with the rest of us” – Metro has 500 trips across the bridge each day:
    Say – half in morning and evening – that’s 250 trips times say 30 people per trip and you would have 7,500 additional cars on the road each day. I know the bus does not work for everyone and there are things metro could improve (like more bus lines that bypass down town such as west Seattle to UW or WS to south lake union) but if you take away peoples incentives to take the bus, you end up with more cars on the road. Taking the bus can be inconvenient, but for those who are willing it helps out with traffic for those who can’t.

  • raincity October 25, 2011 (12:15 pm)

    sarelly – agreed on the water taxi shuttle parking too close to the crosswalk. I talked to the shuttle driver once and he said since it’s striped for the bus stop he could park in that area.I tried to find the parking/street rules for seattle that would say how far away you need to be from a crosswalk, but could not find anything.

  • bus rider October 25, 2011 (12:20 pm)

    Dear Hatethebus:
    you’re welcome :)
    Bus Rider

  • liveherenow October 25, 2011 (12:30 pm)

    @work downtown – Are you sure that’s not a desktop you’re carrying back and forth to work? I don’t remember laptops weighing 18 lbs. even in the ’80’s.

  • cjboffoli October 25, 2011 (12:31 pm)

    @ work downtown: Apple’s Macbook Air weighs 2.38 pounds and runs Windows like a champ. $999 is a pretty good chunk of change. But I expect it is less than your chiropractor and cardiologist bills will be ;-)

  • asteria October 25, 2011 (12:36 pm)

    I really appreciate having the water taxi, esp. the 9:45am run this week. Usually from California junction the 54 is quicker for me, but the ride on the water taxi is definitely nicer. I’d like to try making the shuttle/water taxi part of my regular commute to Northgate and back.

  • Amalia October 25, 2011 (12:42 pm)

    Let’s have a Drive-to-Work day, when all the alternative commuters get into single-occupancy vehicles, and see the difference.

  • soosan October 25, 2011 (12:53 pm)

    Yep, three cheers for the 37/25, which I do believe is the only way to get to UW from West Seattle without transferring downtown. The only downside is that it takes an hour due to its use of the scenic route through north Cap Hill. I’ve convinced myself that this is worth it because I get my reading done…but two hours a day on the bus is a bit much compared to what can be a 15-minute drive each way. Maybe if the tunnel really bypasses downtown we can get a straight shot route at it? (@twofoursix and I can’t be the only students over here…)

  • hatethebus October 25, 2011 (1:00 pm)

    must be nice to have a set schedule every day and live on a perfectly situated bus route that takes you door to door. For the rest that work odd hours in locations that dont have direct bus service and work multiple jobs at multiple locations in a day, driving is essential. Having a gigantic bus fly by stopped traffic at 60 mph in a bus lane is hardly safe.

    500 bus trips a day is 250 each way over 19 hours a day (5am-12am) which is 13 trips an hour each way or one bus every 4.5 minutes on average (maybe every 2-3 minutes during rush hour and 10-15 on off-times). That seems very efficient to eliminate an entire lane of traffic for the convenience of the VAST minority of commuters.

  • Paul in Gatewood October 25, 2011 (1:06 pm)

    I’m thinking screwthecops and hatethebus might be brothers. Next we’ll hear from their sister cantstandthewatertaxi.

    • WSB October 25, 2011 (1:10 pm)

      Thank you, Paul, you caught a rule violation I’d missed – same person using multiple user names in one thread. We don’t require real names on WSB and you don’t even have to use the same user name all the time BUT in one thread, you cannot pretend to be two (or more) different participants. So, hatethebus can stay but the other aliases are out. Thanks for the catch! – TR

  • Kayleigh October 25, 2011 (1:32 pm)

    Er, hatethebus: bus riders (I am one) sacrifice the privacy, convenience, and independence that car drivers enjoy. We sit next to people who have pooped their pants, listen to loud, cackling teenagers, and risk pneumonia on the germtacular rolling petri dish that is a metro bus. So it’s kinda petty to whine that we use a bus lane that gets us where we’re going just a little faster than you do.

  • JAT October 25, 2011 (1:34 pm)

    hatethebus – I’m extremely hacked that an aggressive tailgater zipped around me on the right this morning because at 6:05 at a comfortable 25 mph I let a 25 yard gap open up between me and the car ahead of me on the way to I-5 northbound. I think there should be a law and that that person should be beaten…

    but you know what? It’s a wacky diverse world and some people are rash maximizers just out for themselves and not everybody sees that the public roadways and traffic are a system built for the benefit of everybody and not just for themselves, and I just have to live with that.

    I think I’ll manage, and I think you will too. Far and away the VAST MAJORITY of people go to work in the same location at about the same time every day. We can put the cart before the horse and say-since transit doesn’t work perfectly for everyone then it sucks and should be scrapped, or we can have a little perspective and say-more and better transit would work better for more people.

    I know which world I’d rather live in, no beatings necessary.

    (well, maybe just one…)

  • MacJ October 25, 2011 (1:48 pm)

    @hatethebus I’d imagine people who work odd hours in multiple locations are the vast minority, otherwise there wouldn’t be such a thing as rush hour, which is composed of a lot of people making a trip to the same place every day at the same time. Busing as a means of commuting doesn’t work for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a net positive for most commuters regardless of mode of travel.

    And as for safety, really? I don’t know if any accidents have been caused by buses in the bus lane, but I haven’t heard of any.

  • Alex October 25, 2011 (2:26 pm)

    Hatethebus, I’d agree with you sort of about the bus lane being unfair, but you’re overlooking something important. The WS Bridge is FOUR lanes wide where the bus lane exists, and that span of road has no impact on causing congestion. We have a single bottleneck that causes our traffic jams: the single lane I-5 north onramp.
    It would make no difference if we expanded the top section of the bridge to be 100 lanes wide –as long as we have the bottleneck at the I5 onramp, traffic will just have to merge to get in that one lane anyway. Therefore, the bus lane’s existance is irrelevant to the traffic problem we face. All it really does is allow busses to cut the line a bit, which is pretty negligable to the traffic overall. The reason the cops are there ticketing people is that we can’t allow EVERYONE to cut the line, because then it would just be a huge merge, with nobody getting ahead, and the bus lane couldn’t serve it’s purpose –to facilitate bus usage, which reduces overall congestion.

  • maude October 25, 2011 (3:32 pm)

    SHQ, what time are you leaving West Seattle for UW?

  • workingbythewater October 25, 2011 (3:39 pm)

    Attention Water Taxi commuters! I’m seeing a lot of parking tickets on cars parked in two hour parking, too close to fire hydrants, Load/Unload zones. I know some parking restictions have been lifted, but not all. Pay attention to signs!

  • velo_nut October 25, 2011 (6:53 pm)

    I ran to work today… yes RAN. It was awesome

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