TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday updates & alerts

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:49 AM: Good morning! No incidents in/from our area so far. Alerts/reminders:

THIS WEEK’S BIGGEST ALERT: First circulated by the city on Friday – word that traffic, particularly downtown, could be snarled during the visit of China’s president tomorrow through Thursday morning. As we note, though, he is flying into and out of Paine Field in Snohomish County, not Boeing Field as is often the case with VIP visits, so that means his arrival and departure will *not* have those “I-5 closed near the WS Bridge” effects.

RED PAINT FOR THE BUS LANE: Also announced late Friday by the city, the bus lane on the eastbound bridge will get red markings, as have several other non-West Seattle streets, in hopes of deterring illegal non-bus use of the lane. The painting was supposed to start last night but rain postponed it; the work will be done over three nights once it resumes, which could be tonight.

Related to that …

27 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE/DUWAMISH WATERWAY CORRIDOR TRAFFIC: The bus-lane markings are the first of 27 items on a “project list” that’s the result of a long-promised look at what could be done about bridge-and-vicinity traffic. Our report published last night is your first look at the list and accompanying report, which will be formally presented to the City Council Transportation Committee tomorrow.

9:22 AM NOTE: If you missed it in comment discussion below: Did you see a “Viaduct Closed” beacon-equipped sign flashing this morning? No, The Viaduct was *not* closed; responding to our inquiry via Twitter, SDOT says there was a “malfunction.”

18 Replies to "TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday updates & alerts"

  • Wendell September 21, 2015 (7:12 am)

    Red paint. How’s that going to look on a dark and wet morning(?)

  • JayDee September 21, 2015 (8:05 am)

    Alaskan Way Viaduct Closed Flashers were flashing, and I took 4th in, but I don’t think it was closed. Can you verify?

  • Kate September 21, 2015 (8:12 am)

    Did anyone else see the “Viaduct Closed” sign flashing on Delridge? Google maps isn’t showing it closed. Heading there now so we’ll see.

    • WSB September 21, 2015 (8:23 am)

      Definitely NOT closed. We monitor direct sources – SDOT, WSDOT – nothing going on. (Also, not on the city ITS signs, I just passed one.) Call 684-ROAD about the light when you get where you are going.

      • WSB September 21, 2015 (8:41 am)

        Update, SDOT responded to us on Twitter by saying it was a malfunction that should be fixed by now….

  • TW September 21, 2015 (8:41 am)

    The RR C scheduled to leave Westwood Village around 7:30 was a no-show. Next bus was jammed full and skipped the last stop on Avalon. No announcement of cancellation from Metro.

  • EMF September 21, 2015 (9:23 am)

    8% of males are colorblind. For those on the severe end of the spectrum that red will appear a dark gray and be practically invisible. That is why road markings have traditionally been white or yellow.

  • Diane September 21, 2015 (12:18 pm)

    interesting factoid EMF; thanks

  • Diane September 21, 2015 (12:22 pm)

    anyone else think it’s weird that we all got charged an extra $60 on car tabs to increase bus service; instead we are seeing nearly daily cancellation of our buses

  • Mr E September 21, 2015 (12:23 pm)

    I’m not sure if the red paint will make any difference. This morning I saw a large truck and numerous cars use the bus lane to circumvent waiting in traffic. The only real solution to keeping drivers honest is to keep a police officer at the bottom of the bridge decline, ready to pull over cars (and trucks) for citations. Increasing the fines to an amount that would hurt a driver of any income would certainly make a difference.

  • Diane September 21, 2015 (12:39 pm)

    and, isn’t it lovely that Seattle has no traffic congestion and everyone is wealthy enough to just work from home, so our city can just tell us to “stay home” so the president of another country can visit, for days, and close our public streets for the people who live here, closed to the citizens who pay for our streets
    thankfully, this will not impact me, because I work in other people’s homes, and can easily avoid downtown; BUT, most of the low/middle income workers who cannot miss a day of work, who cannot just work from home, most are service workers, admin staff, etc in downtown offices; they cannot just “stay home” and will be severely impacted
    it’s especially offensive to see city executives who all make well over $100,000/yr going on TV news to say, just “stay home”

  • cluelessinws September 21, 2015 (12:44 pm)

    Agreed Mr E. I saw a truck this morning too or maybe we saw the same one. SPD everyday and increase the fine. Way too many scofflaws every weekday morning commute. The message is not being sent/learned.
    Paint or no paint, the lane is marked with overhead signage.
    Good point Diane. Ironic, huh? :)

  • East Coast Cynic September 21, 2015 (2:57 pm)

    An overhead camera capturing the license plates of the bus lane cheaters?

  • JAT September 21, 2015 (3:01 pm)

    a) Not sure that it’s ironic or anything else that when the president of a major trading partner comes to town that traffic is impacted – let’s not forget to whine October 5 when the Seahawks play host to Monday Night Football scheduled to accommodate east coast viewers with a 5:30 kick-off.

    b) Is it the belief of SDOT that people are using the bus lane to get around back ups? No, those people think you’re suckers for following the rules and that you’re not as important as they are. A little enforcement could spread the word and generate some revenue.

  • Kimmy September 21, 2015 (3:27 pm)

    East Coast Cynic-

    I think this would be a great idea. Do they use these types of cameras for toll-lane violators on 167 or 520? Not sure how those systems work, but if they do use cameras that could photograph license plates, it seems like an easy solution and less controversial that the red-light or speed cameras (maybe?) and possibly more cost effective in the long term than staffing one officer for the morning rush hour.

    • WSB September 21, 2015 (3:32 pm)

      Hi – Re: the suggestion of bus-lane cameras: Not currently allowed under state law BUT it’s one of the suggestions in the West Seattle Bridge-Duwamish Waterway Corridor Report detailed in the story we published late last night (I can’t copy the direct link right this moment but just scroll down the home page, it was immediately preceding this story) … if they could get legislative approval.

  • JAT September 21, 2015 (4:20 pm)

    I realize I left a clause out… “Is it the belief of SDOT that people are using the bus lane to get around back ups don’t realize they’re doing something wrong?” is what i meant to say. Sorry.

  • That Guy September 21, 2015 (4:34 pm)

    It’s true. Cameras and strict enforcement with serious fines is the only way. Other countries have had this down for a bit now. Wish we could get it together…

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