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(More cams on the WSB Traffic page; travel times on the city Travelers’ Info map)
Will the “earlier rush hour” trend hold through today too? We’re watching the commute again this morning; let us know how it goes for you. No problems reported in the area right now.
6:02 AM UPDATE: We’re continuing our weeklong traffic-watching collaboration with KING 5; their crew that just drove onto the “high bridge” says it’s a little busier than yesterday at this time. We’re watching the bridge via the new live-video cams linked here (lower right).
6:18 AM UPDATE: Eastbound high bridge is now officially slow going. KING is showing a live chopper shot of both bridges – the low bridge is busy but not as slow. First Water Taxi run just left – 87 people, down from just over 100 each of the first two mornings of the week.
6:31 AM UPDATE: Our Water Taxi crew is diverting over to the 1200 block of Alki Avenue SW, where a water-main break is reported and police have been asked for “traffic control.” Back to the bridges – high bridge slow, low bridge not as busy. KING 5’s crew driving the bridge again reports police are back to enforce the bus lane, as they’ve done the past two mornings.
6:41 AM UPDATE: No “water-main break” – just an outdoor sprinkler malfunction, so there’s some water in the street but NOT a problem. Our crew’s headed back to the Water Taxi dock – by the way, here’s its Viaductless-week schedule – where there’s “only” ONE TV crew this morning.
6:51 AM UPDATE: 107 people on the 6:45 am Water Taxi (that’s down only a few from yesterday). KING crew timed their bridge drive from 35th/Fauntleroy to I-5 – 32 minutes. Probably about the same now, bridges still sluggish (you can check current travel times from the city map too – lower right, near the “live video” links). Low bridge busy too.
7 AM UPDATE: We checked Water Taxi parking. Don Armeni lot only about a quarter full. Street parking still available from parallel with Alki Tavern, westward. High bridge now looks stop-n-go. Commute times we’re getting via Twitter and comments similar to yesterday. KING’s reporter in the Traffic Management Center says the official city overview is about the same. Metro just sent its 7 am update – no problems, but “building traffic volumes” in SODO, which the city is seeing too:
(That’s the newest image from 1st South, looking north; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:17 AM UPDATE: KING’s roving crew is on 1st Avenue South – busy but still moving. Tried the 4th offramp from the bridge lately? Once you get there, of course – high bridge still slow. (added) 7:15 Water Taxi count, 114. Still room for you to give it a try if you’re still mulling commute options.
7:33 AM UPDATE: Don Armeni lot for Water Taxi about 3/4 full (so 20 or so spots left), and there’s still street parking. High bridge still slow – great sunrise, though. No problems or crashes reported anywhere.
7:47 AM UPDATE: Most recent view from KING chopper, looking at both bridges – low is moving a lot faster than high. 1st Avenue South Bridge looks OK, via its WSDOT camera. Looks foggy over the Sound to the west – toward Vashon – of note if you’re a ferry commuter. Has NOT looked foggy over Elliott Bay, though, and in fact, we should get our updated Water Taxi report any time now. … and here it is: 108. So the boat has not “sold out” yet this morning.
7:55 AM UPDATE: And we’ve just passed the magic moment, apparently – like the past two days, the high bridge is starting to empty out. Still brake lights on the eastbound stretch. Which reminds us, the Royal Brougham onramp to northbound 99 is again open till 7 pm, as it’s scheduled to be the next two days, so if you need to go north of downtown and 99 is your usual route, you can still do that, but the surface streets may take you a while to get to 1st/Royal Brougham.
8:05 AM UPDATE: We’re not sure yet if it’s going to cause serious trouble but there’s a medical call on I-5 northbound around Pine – so if you are leaving shortly and headed downtown, that 4th Avenue So. exit from the bridge might be a better choice. We’ll keep an eye on it.
8:23 AM UPDATE: Last Water Taxi report from our crew – 8:15 sailing had 110. High bridge moving along, but do note that downtown I-5 northbound incident is reported by WSDOT to be blocking two lanes, and this I-5 cam shows a jam (not that I-5 is usually anything else at this time of day, in our experience).
8:33 AM UPDATE: Definitely do NOT head for I-5 northbound. Now three lanes blocked through downtown. If you are going to the eastbound bridge, take the 1st or 4th exits, or head for the 1st Avenue South Bridge via Roxbury or Highland Park Way (or West Marginal if you are coming from north West Seattle)
8:57 AM UPDATE: High bridge still backed up, no doubt because of the northbound I-5 incident. We’ll keep the commute updates going till that’s cleared. (added) WSB commenters have been discussing the incident; our fellow neighborhood-news publishers at Capitol Hill Seattle say “person fell” in an area where falling/jumping is not uncommon.
9:09 AM UPDATE: The I-5 incident (a man died after either falling or jumping from overpass) is clear, according to KING via Twitter. Also via Twitter, some bicycling info from WSDOT: “Cool info: 125 cyclists checked in at WSDOT bike checkpoint in WS at Alki trail between 6:45 – 7:15 am! Thx for helping w/ commute!!”
10:20 AM NOTE: Ridership numbers for the Water Taxi are posted. If you add up and compare each of the past three mornings, there was a drop of almost 25% from Monday to Tuesday, but Tuesday to today didn’t lose that much. High-bridge still looks a bit slow, by the way, but moving.
AFTERNOON POSTSCRIPT: The police patrol of the bus lanes yielded fewer violators than the past two mornings – 19 bus-lane tickets today.