UPDATE: Jackknifed truck in The Junction

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(Photo by Andi Szilagyi)

11:20 AM: Avoid California/Alaska – a jackknifed truck is blocking most of the intersection. No injuries. Police have arrived to direct traffic.

11:24 UPDATE: The camera view now shows the truck has moved a bit and is now blocking one northbound lane, north of the intersection.

11:36 AM: A tow truck has just arrived.

11:44 AM: Scratch that – it’s actually Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, which will be taking a report, and is hoping to get the truck moved further along within the next quarter-hour or so:


32 Replies to "UPDATE: Jackknifed truck in The Junction"

  • P.Dieter February 23, 2016 (1:33 pm)

    Point of Order: this is not jackknifed. Wikki has a pretty good explanation of the term. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackknifing

    • WSB February 23, 2016 (2:09 pm)

      Well, near-jackknifed then. Or, it might have been “stuck truck” but all we had to go on before we got there was a photo and the traffic cam *just* before I published the link. Thanks.

  • Lola February 23, 2016 (2:15 pm)

    Why all of a sudden are all these trucks getting stuck in WS?  I keep reading about it on the blog.  The one tried to go down a side street and got stuck so neighbors were going door to door to get neighbor’s to move their cars.  Really you can’t see that your 50 foot truck might not make it down a street lined with cars. 

    • Joe February 23, 2016 (3:04 pm)

      Agree. My guess is density/development is bringing these trucks and streets were not designed for them. Or people are parking illegaly because they can and it’s effecting truck driver’s ability to drive.

      • Joe Szilagyi February 23, 2016 (3:53 pm)

        It has nothing to do with density. Not every ill and woe that befalls West Seattle has to do with increased population growth…! The truck driver if they tried to take the right turn — look at the photo — from Alaska to California northbound had either badly misjudged the turn radius or whatever. It just looks like a screw up. 

    • wetone February 23, 2016 (3:49 pm)

       Many reasons were seeing more of these issues. A big one is new road designs that SDOT has and continues implementing in many areas, making roadways narrow than they once were and more confusing. Just like bus bulbs that have caused many issues for large trucks and buses.  Another reason is people use to be more polite and move over if they noticed big rig needed extra room.  Having all the new buildings (units) that are not required to have parking doesn’t help as it pushes more cars onto street to park, making streets much tighter than they have been in past.

      • Joe Szilagyi February 23, 2016 (3:57 pm)

        This incident has nothing to do with parking. When was there ever any time in the past 10-15 years at midday when 100% of the curb parking in the Junction wasn’t totally consumed? If you’re talking about the random narrow side streets around the Junction, then no, trucks shouldn’t be going down those anyway, and if they really need a delivery — like for someone moving into a house — they should arrange ahead of time for the proper closure like people do for major deliveries onto narrow streets. Like they do in every other major top 20 population city in the USA.

        • wetone February 24, 2016 (12:05 pm)

          Question was asked why WS is seeing more of these types of incidents.  Reasons I mentioned are ones from someone that has lived and driven  WS streets daily for very long time. As one that has a full size pick-up, used for work, for towing boat, car trailer and utility trailer total length under 45′ and much more maneuverable than big rigs, driving in WS has turned into a PITA from reasons I stated above. If the people saying reasons I stated have not had any impact on area traffic maybe they should go rent a 26′ box truck or truck & trailer and drive around WS for a couple days. Especially board members of the WSTC if they want to truly represent all, so they understand what and how driving conditions are now. Not from seat on bus, little car or bicycle. Trucks feed this city and road design needs to include them in all areas, making streets safer for all.  As city allows more builds in area having retail and live & work space, truck traffic will only rise. Online purchases continue to grow, products need delivered more trucks.  As Mayor Murray continues to allow build up of areas and SDOT Kubly continues implementing poorly designed road diets and road reconfigurations, traffic issues will get worse. Plain old common sense, poor planning, huge population increase and no infrastructure improvements to handle……  

          • Joe Szilagyi February 24, 2016 (2:46 pm)

            I have not been on the WSTC board since May 2015. 

      • Jon Wright February 23, 2016 (4:45 pm)

        When there is an axe to grind, I am always impressed by the ability to pull the issue in question into seemingly unrelated events. This post feels like the familiar “war on cars” and “there is no parking” memes. In the specific case of today’s stuck truck: I am not aware of SDOT redesigning the intersection of California and Alaska; even before there were new buildings that didn’t include parking, parking spots around the Junction were mostly always taken; and there are no bus bulbs in the Junction. So no, I’m afraid I am going to have to respectfully disagree with your analysis.

  • Karen Lyons February 23, 2016 (4:23 pm)

    What? I saw this incident and it involved a car inside of the turn the truck was making. THe truck couldn’t move because a car was wedged into the sidewalk by the truck turning, and both the truck driver and car owner could not figure out how to untangle it all. Not sure who was at fault. Truck cutting off car or car driver trying to turn, inside, while truck was turning on the outside?

    • chemist February 23, 2016 (5:15 pm)

      It looks like it was a right turn from westbound SW Alaska St to go north on California Avenue, which would be a tight enough turn for a truck to line up in the left turn lane and turn right. I could see a car get stuck in that by using the street as designed.

  • sc February 23, 2016 (5:36 pm)

    I also think that truck drivers not familiar with West Seattle may be using GPS and that is telling them “Go ahead and turn right!”

  • Karen Lyons February 23, 2016 (6:59 pm)

    I saw the truck driver talking to the car driver and he seemed like a nice guy trying to do the right thing. The car driver apologized and said she had to call the police. West Seattle just doesn’t seem to have the roads/traffic management for all the new buildings and arriving population ;-/

  • Doctorsues February 23, 2016 (7:38 pm)

    There is people and cars, cars and people, and then more people and cars,  people in cars people out of cars people everywhere… Growing pains and oh what a pain it is… Then there’s entitled people in cars and people on phones in cars. People driving slow people driving fast, people minding their business, people riding your a$@. People people everywhere.. People people in your hair.. Welcome to Seattle! 

  • AMD February 23, 2016 (7:59 pm)

    Vehicles of all sizes mis-judge turns on all kinds of roads in all kinds of conditions all over the country.  I have a hard time saying one incident in how many years is indicative of an inherent problem with the intersection itself. 

  • WGA February 23, 2016 (8:36 pm)

    I hope this wasn’t the same driver who knocked down the pergola in Pioneer Sq!

  • New thinking needed February 23, 2016 (8:58 pm)

    The Roxbury road diet has narrowed the  east bound lane on Roxbury at the intersection with 35th. I witnessed a huge white charter bus, full of what looked like students, north bound 35th make a right/east turn onto Roxbury. Just so happens a Metro bus was waiting on Roxbury westbound to turn south on 35th….so the charter bus couldn’t make the turn with the Metro bus sitting there. The charter bus backed up onto 35th somewhat, attempted to go east on Roxbury but his read wheels were hung up on the curb, went forward and then backwards again….finally the Metro bus got the green light and left Roxbury but now the charter bus was at a weird angle for the corner – – rear wheels went over the curb and bus narrowly missed the giant utility pole located on the corner….but in fact the bus window clipped the sign up on the utility pole while the students where shrieking and recoiling from the bus window in case it shattered from running into the sign.  Safety indeed! With the eastbound Roxbury lane narrowed larger trucks or buses can’t make the turn!

    • JanS February 23, 2016 (11:56 pm)

      this is about a truck on California Ave. at Alaska St.  Are you lost?

    • Joe Szilagyi February 24, 2016 (10:14 am)

      Buses do the bus shuffle all the time in a number of streets, here and elsewhere. So do trucks. The safety benefits of a road diet far outweigh people getting a few moments delay here and there. 

  • Roxy February 23, 2016 (10:11 pm)

    Cars regularly ignore truckers turn indicators especially when they need a wide right turn because they swing left b4 the right turn. If a truck does that give them room and wait – it’s safer for everyone.

  • AlkiRich February 23, 2016 (10:45 pm)

    The obvious problem is a huge 40 foot semi tractor trailer rig driving in a standard tight urban area where it never should be allowed in the first place.  These monster trucks have no business being used in the city at all. The intersections are just too tight and traffic too urgent. In my memory, all such oversized trucks were illegal in the city limits during daytime hours.  The need for this limitation has increased not decreased, so why was it terminated? Or is it just being ignored and not enforced? Vehicle size must be controlled in our Urban Villages where car usage  is already being restricted by huge condo development with no parking obligations imposed on developers.  High time for truck size restrictions too.

    • AMD February 23, 2016 (10:54 pm)

      There is a curfew downtown that prohibits large trucks (semis) during peak hours, but I’ve never known of a city-wide ban on 53′ trucks.  Businesses need deliveries and these trucks are how the goods get there.  I see semis make the turns into and out of the alleys downtown regularly without getting stuck and those are pretty tight and surrounded by cars.  I really don’t think the configuration of the road is the problem in and of itself.  A driver pulling up on the right not understanding that trucks (and buses in some cases) need both lanes to turn right seems like more of an issue.

    • Joe Szilagyi February 24, 2016 (10:15 am)

      When were trucks like this illegal on city streets? I don’t recall this.

  • AlkiRich February 23, 2016 (11:36 pm)

    Deliveries could be made in delivery sized trucks made for city streets if it was mandated.  Obviously trying to bend over backward to accommodate these monster trucks in an urban environment not able to handle them without frequent interruptions in car traffic is not the right answer. I see numerous smaller delivery trucks all the time making no interruptions in the flow of traffic. But every 53′ truck as you call them, is jockeying and having extreme trouble maneuvering.  Drivers are not the problem, much as some would like to make them out to be. Face it. The huge trucks ARE the problem.  Some people’s objectivity seems to be distorted in this situation for some reason. 

    • AMD February 24, 2016 (8:39 pm)

      Do you have any idea how many smaller delivery trucks it would take to stock your neighborhood Target or Safeway?  I’m guessing not.  Every semi is NOT having  extreme trouble maneuvering.  There are scores of these trucks on the streets every day with no issue.  Should we ban buses because sometimes they hit the curb going around corners?  Get real.

  • ELLY February 24, 2016 (1:42 am)

    Interesting read on lane widths: http://seattlegreenways.org/blog/2015/09/26/lets-talk-street-width/

    I still think many of our streets are too narrow, especially the “turn” lane from Fauntleroy to Oregon.  I also have had people “race” me at the AK Junction since the new building went in and parking is allowed on Alaska to avoid getting behind me when their lane dissapears. So annoying.

  • waikikigirl February 24, 2016 (7:49 am)

     ALKIRICH….maybe if you would give the “truck drivers” your itinerary of when you will be out and about driving they will oblige and not get out onto the roads until you are finished for the day???

    But just remember when you go to your local grocery store or restaurant and there is no food maybe it is because that “53′ truck” couldn’t make his/her deliveries because you were out on the road and you didn’t want them out there!  

  • TheKing February 24, 2016 (9:05 am)

    Isn’t that the area where that bike rack is bolted to the street? Haha. That still baffles me to this day. 

    • WSB February 24, 2016 (9:12 am)

      No, it’s not. The truck was turning from westbound Alaska, in front of Cupcake Royale, City Mouse, etc., to northbound California. The bicycle corral is along northbound California south of Alaska.

  • Born on Alki 59 February 24, 2016 (10:31 am)
    1. People need to be courteous to truckers who are simply trying to get our goods to market. As a CDL holder, I can tell you its no picnic trying to maneuver a big rig thru town. People do the dumbest things with no regard of simple physics, such as cutting off a 90,000 lb rig and slamming on the brakes or not watching truckers signals or intentions. Remember there are two sides of a big rig, the left (passing) side, and the right (suicide) side. I only wish all drivers had to be as responsible as a commercial driver…
  • West Seattle Hipster February 24, 2016 (11:43 am)

    Some of the comments on this story are hilarious!  I wish Almost Live was still around.

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