TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates; truck-traffic watch; Barton collision

(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:19 AM: This morning’s big question is whether the city/port plan to keep trucks from backing up again today (details toward the end of our Thursday coverage) will work; two texters before 6 am reported signs of a backup, but we’re also hearing police (via scanner) on the case, so we’ll see. And we’ll be watching outbound traffic as always.

6:58 AM: An emergency response in the 3000 block of SW Barton is blocking the westbound side of Barton, per scanner. No other details.

7:03 AM: We should also remind you that Monday (January 19th) is a federal holiday, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, and that means transit changes – Metro will be on the “reduced weekday” schedule; the Water Taxi will not be running; schools will be closed.

7:29 AM: Our crew went to 30th/Barton to find out about the emergency response. A motorcycle rider has been taken to the hospital after his motorcycle collided with a car at 31st/Barton. Police don’t have information on his condition but apparently his injuries are not major, as TCIS is not being called out and the westbound lanes will be reopened soon (a tow truck is there now).

(WSB photo: Police officer, tow-truck driver at motorcycle/car collision scene)
Eastbound traffic is not affected.

8:02 AM: Police/fire en route to a reported two-vehicle crash in the 5600 block of 16th SW, north of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). At least one person is reported hurt.

8:35 AM: Last sign of that crash is an SPD vehicle by the north entrance to SSC. We’re now headed to check on the port-truck situation.

8:49 AM: Nothing visible on the bridge itself. Checking the surface streets and port vicinity next.

9:09 AM: Here’s what we saw a few minutes ago:

From an overlook in east Admiral, we saw a few trucks queued at Terminal 5. Will check back around midday.

3:50 PM NOTE: We were going to write a separate story reassuring folks that there’s no truck trouble this afternoon – not even the routine queue shown in our photo above – but unrelated breaking news is getting in the way of that, so we’re just mentioning it here. If you see anything different at any point, please text or call (when you can do so safely/legally, of course) – 206-293-6302.

13 Replies to "TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates; truck-traffic watch; Barton collision"

  • Jim Kee January 16, 2015 (8:06 am)

    There was a backup this morning again around 6AM. I am noticing that WSDOT has turned the Spokane Street traffic cam in such a way as to NOT show this area on the web. Nice. That helps who?

    • WSB January 16, 2015 (8:49 am)

      Jim – Which camera are you referring to? The ones we use in this report every day (currently) are pointed the same way they’re always pointed, including the one looking east on lower Spokane. Anyway, if there’s another one you’re looking at, I’d be interested in checking it out. Meantime, we have just crossed the bridge. No backup on the bridge itself; we’ll be looking next to see what’s happening on the surface street and at the port. – TR

  • Jim Kee January 16, 2015 (9:28 am)

    The WSDOT Spokane Street Cam – yesterday was pointed toward the west so you could see the congestion – it is pointed now (still) off into nowhere so you cannot see that area at all. Not the SDOT cams, the WSDOT on I-5.

    • WSB January 16, 2015 (9:32 am)

      Jim – re: camera, OK, thanks. That one usually just shows the cloverleaf overview, which is why I don’t even bother with it, but it is WSDOT-controlled. Re: “work slowdown,” the situation which some call a slowdown and some call mismanagement has been happening for months. The port’s explanation of why suddenly the truck backups erupted this week is in our Thursday coverage (linked above) …

  • Jim Kee January 16, 2015 (9:32 am)

    It would be great if this “problem” went away today. But doesn’t that raise questions about why and how this occurred to begin with? It seems “manipulated” and being done on purpose. I called the Port early yesterday morning about this. They (multiple people) told me this was the result of a “work slowdown” at the Port. I could care less about their politics personally, my point was – please inform the public! Lets not look like New Jersey here.

  • IR8trucker January 16, 2015 (11:01 am)

    This particular slowdown has been happening for several months now. (It’s been affecting me personally since late Oct./Early Nov.) Port mismanagement is a constant problem with PMA operated ports. The relatively recent chassis issues, increased exports and the bigger ships are what created the perfect storm of the mess we have this week.

    These kinds of crisis resulting in congestion and backups seem to erupt during every contract negotiation cycle, so yes it is something that should be planned for and mitigated before it became this bad. Somehow it always seems to catch those in charge by surprise.

  • IR8trucker January 16, 2015 (11:04 am)

    Almost forgot. SPD was on location at 4am this morning. Trying to keep a handle on the situation before it gets out of control it appears.

    • WSB January 16, 2015 (11:10 am)

      That was part of the action plan that was added to our Thursday coverage in the 4 pm hour, with more elaboration from the city arriving around 10 pm. We started work around 5:45 and heard the discussions over the scanner, too.

  • Wendell January 16, 2015 (11:40 am)

    To the downed motorcyclist. Get well and back in the saddle soon.

  • snowball January 16, 2015 (2:30 pm)

    I have to leave work soon and was wondering what the status of the truck situation is – is it all backed up again?

    • WSB January 16, 2015 (2:33 pm)

      Snowball, we haven’t had any backup reports all day. I am leaving the house right now to look firsthand – first place I’ll be able to post is via comment here as well as Twitter … stand by!

      • WSB January 16, 2015 (3:06 pm)

        Update: No problems. Just checked the bridge and surface streets. Barely a truck in sight.

  • snowball January 16, 2015 (3:08 pm)

    Thanks WSB – just saw your update on twitter! I don’t know what we would all do without you! :)

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