TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Rainy Wednesday updates

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:04 AM: Rain’s back. One incident just reported – a crash toward the east end of the SW Roxbury corridor, at 3rd and Olson.

7:44 AM: The SFD call for that crash has closed.

7:59 AM: As commenters are noting – traffic is just a general mess. As the WSDOT traffic tweeter put it:

8:34 AM: Alert texted/tweeted by Sound Transit: “All ST Express buses are experiencing 20-40 min delays due to slow moving traffic due to the rain and previous collisions or disabled vehicles blocking lanes.” (The Express buses include Route 560, which runs to/from the Westwood area.)

29 Replies to "TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Rainy Wednesday updates"

  • Nettles October 7, 2015 (7:17 am)

    Unusual backup on Harbor Ave headed to the bridge, for this time of the morning. Oh, rain!

  • lk October 7, 2015 (7:53 am)

    Wondering if the bridge is up or if it is just the rain–Traffic unusually bad.

  • sam-c October 7, 2015 (7:53 am)

    Yeah, Delridge and Andover backed up as bad as I’ve ever seen it. Saw the lower bridge was open for boats/ closed for cars, cyclists. (you know it’s bad when people think that cutting through the gym parking lot will save them time)

  • JW October 7, 2015 (7:57 am)

    Again, cars are using the Avalon bus lane. Today they are in it all the way back to the C line bus bulb where it starts. I wrote to metro today asking them to work with SPD to enforce this and consider painting it red like the bridge. Please consider writing as well. If you have an aggressive bus driver they’ll move out into what should be the car lane and then cut back in at bridge but many do not. Cost us 15 minutes today. Tracy, do you know the best way to contact SPD to ask for this as well? It’s just going to get worse. Argh!!

  • Erica October 7, 2015 (8:01 am)

    Delridge is backed up almost to Puget. Highly unusual traffic.

  • newnative October 7, 2015 (8:11 am)

    There were cars in the bus lane on the WS bridge again and just very slow traffic in general. Our bus driver (#57 new guy) is very good and aggressive and it took an extra 7 minutes to get downtown.

  • PigeonPoint October 7, 2015 (8:25 am)

    JW – I’m on a C line that just bypassed all the cars in the bus lane on Avalon as well, saves an incredible amount of time (which is backwards considering the bus lane should be empty!). If they wanted to paint a bus lane red, it should have been that one… Would love to see some SPD enforcement there as well.

  • Neighbor October 7, 2015 (8:28 am)

    Instead of painting the road red, they need something that squirts the red paint on the cars traveling in the bus only section.

  • Nancy F. October 7, 2015 (8:45 am)

    Amen. IMO, Avalon needs police traffic control on mornings like this. People using bus lanes, stopping in the thru lane in order to merge into the bus lane instead of rolling on, and people passing traffic in center merge lane.

    And don’t forget the people turning left from SW Manning (Luna Park Cafe corner) where they’re not supposed to.

    It’s illegal to block traffic folks. If you can’t get thru stop and grab a coffee. Read the paper.

  • Alex October 7, 2015 (8:47 am)

    Every time I stay out of the bus only lane on Avalon and try to get into the turn lane at the bottom of the hill, I get honked at and rude gestures from the people who were in line in the bus only lane. :(

  • Nancy F. October 7, 2015 (8:51 am)

    If you can, please check to see if the bridge is open. If it is, wait 10 minutes and check again. Why spend that time frustrated in traffic.

  • Nancy F. October 7, 2015 (8:52 am)

    Also, if you simply MUST use the center lane to pass, please take extra caution and yield to people who are using the lane correctly. (Can you guess someone nearly sideswiped me this morning?)

  • MrsL October 7, 2015 (9:16 am)

    Checked the SDOT bridges twitter page as we left our house in High Point around 8:00 and there was no update after the 7:33 bridge closure. We continued on Delridge and noticed that the bridge closure light was off but no twitter update. Bridge was open to people driving, walking, and biking as we passed through around 8:20 and still no twitter update.

    • WSB October 7, 2015 (9:22 am)

      I told Nancy this via Twitter but – the ‘bridge closings’ Twitter feed is supposed to be automated and therefore fairly infallible, but we caught at least one other glitch last week and called it to their attention. We noticed the lack of a “back open to (surface) traffic” tweet in this case too and checked the camera that almost always shows the low bridge – one of our featured four atop each one of these weekday traffic watches – and by 8 am, it showed the bridge back in (surface) service. – TR

  • Alan October 7, 2015 (9:21 am)

    The bus lane is currently well marked and signed, so I don’t think painting it red would make any difference. I think enforcement is the only thing that is likely to make a difference. There is no place to pull cars over, so maybe just add a traffic cam.

    @Alex, I get those same rude gestures from people when they are in the wrong. I always wish I had a reader board in my back window that could explain my position, such as “Dude, I’m going 35 in a 30. I’m not going to go faster just because you planned your day poorly.”

  • Sue October 7, 2015 (9:26 am)

    Alex, I have the same experience. I don’t drive that often, but I try to honor the bus only lane on Avalon, and then find that everyone treats me like I’m trying to get in last minute and mess them up by “cutting in.” It also annoys me how many people from behind me will end up passing me because of that, or block me from getting in, so it seems safer to just get in the lane. It’s a bad situation all around.

  • Nancy F. October 7, 2015 (9:27 am)

    Also, remember there is this helpful page Thanks WSB!

  • Nancy F. October 7, 2015 (9:29 am)

    @Alex, I’m sorry you are getting honked at by the people in the turn/bus lane. They ought not.

    There’s no great solution because this section of road is just miserable. At least you know you’re using the road the more efficiently than the honkers.

    I do wish people would learn that merging early is the wrong thing to do.

  • East Coast Cynic October 7, 2015 (10:04 am)

    If the cops can’t pull people over on Avalon and the DOT can’t install cams, then maybe the cops can stand/sit on Avalon and take pictures of the license plates of all the bus lane violators then use the information to send the violators tickets in the mail.

  • Sad October 7, 2015 (10:35 am)

    I remember when there was no honking or gesturing when driving around Seattle and West Seattle. It wasn’t that long ago. People also didn’t used to clog the various bus only lanes. What happened!? Development?

  • Neighbor October 7, 2015 (11:49 am)

    If they did enforcement we might not need a $900million tax package for transportation. On the other hand, if we had a lot of enforcement, they might be less injury accidents and less need for high priced improvements. When I bike up admiral in the afternoon, I hardly ever see any compliance with the 30mph speed limit.

    • WSB October 7, 2015 (12:14 pm)

      Speaking of the levy, I failed to mention in the narrative above this morning, where we usually do include transportation-related news notes, that tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting includes a sort of mini-forum on it – with guests pro & con. Details are in the daily preview:

  • jtm October 7, 2015 (12:54 pm)

    Can someone please explain how you are supposed to navigate Avalon without using the bus lane (if turning right)? At some point you have to be in the bus lane, right? I’m not trying to rile anyone up, just an honest question. Are you supposed to be in the middle turning lane, yielding to buses on the right? I will gladly do that, but as many commenters have noted, it appears that you are cutting off the many cars lined up in the bus lane! It is really messy, mostly on days like today.

  • sam-c October 7, 2015 (2:49 pm)

    I’ve had the same problem as Alex and Sue, except at a different location: on 35th, where you turn onto Avalon. I want to get in that lane to turn right when you are supposed to, but there are usually cars backed up in that lane that don’t want to let you in, and then you’re stuck there blocking a travel lane. Today it worked out though. We waited to enter that lane at the right time (closer to the corner), and laughed at the cars that got in that lane too early and got stuck waiting behind a bus! :)

  • Alan October 7, 2015 (3:36 pm)

    @jtm – You are supposed to stay out of the bus lane until it becomes a turn lane. Yes, that will block through-traffic, but you will not be blocking the bus lane, allowing the busses through, which is kind of the point of the bus lane.

  • wetone October 7, 2015 (3:49 pm)

    When it rains in Seattle we have traffic problems, always have always will. WS having more issues than most areas from limited ingress/egress. So what’s the big deal ? surely has nothing to do with large population increase to area that’s growing daily and no slow down expected, no infrastructure improvements that have improved motor traffic flow, road diets, poorly managed transit. What do you expect ? If anyone thinks the $950billion “Move Seattle” levy is going to improve motor vehicle traffic in WS or most areas in Seattle “Wake Up” Seattle’s transportation Director Scott Kubly has little experience in this field or how to assemble a proper work force for doing. Murray is paying Kulby for OJT. Passing this levy with an inexperienced SDOT director will only lead to more wasteful spending of our tax dollars. Seattle needs a good house cleaning starting with Mayor Murray as his answer for everything is raising taxes and larger government. Many will soon be taxed out of area or move because of the traffic issues. Blame goes to our inexperienced leaders with their poorly designed and run projects. Passing Move Seattle only enables them to continue……..

  • East Coast Cynic October 7, 2015 (3:57 pm)

    @Sad, Development and Density w/ West Seattle’s static infrastructure of a 1950’s street grid. Too many cars on the same sized streets.

    @sam-c, If I’m coming North on 35th, I just keep going to the Fauntleroy merge turn into the bridge; It’s much quicker than slogging w/ the traffic down Avalon–But I bus to work and haven’t driven to work in 7 years.

    There is an entry point for cars entering the bus lane on Avalon that could be much more clearly defined for the SOV’s if possible–paint? signage?

  • sam-c October 7, 2015 (4:38 pm)

    East Coast Cynic- That would work great for me HOWEVER my office is in West Seattle (and a mile and a half from my house). My husband does bus downtown but I “need” to drive to work because kids are in 2 different places and need to get picked up / dropped off in a timely manner while i get my 8 hours of work done. So i suffer the slog when it happens (but I still get to work on time- even if i have to park far away from the office building and walk the rest of the way, cause that sometimes turns out to be faster ! ).

  • JW October 8, 2015 (7:48 am)

    Jtm, there are two breaks in the solid white line of the bus lane about 50 & 70 feet before the light at the bridge. This is where the cars are to merge into the lane. Those honking, giving dirty looks and refusing to yield are actually in the wrong and you are in the right.

Sorry, comment time is over.