TRAFFIC ALERT: 35th SW narrowed to 2 lanes between Avalon and Alaska


Several people have pointed out the traffic snarl caused by a section of northbound 35th Avenue SW being torn up between Avalon and Alaska, near West Seattle Stadium. There was no advance warning of, nor alert about, this, so we don’t know (yet) exactly what’s being done here nor whether it’s related to the almost-complete mixed-use project nearby. But unless a crew returns sometime tonight, this could still be in place tomorrow morning, so this is a heads-up that you might want to avoid the area while outbound, if you can.


We’ll check on it by 7 am for an update in our morning traffic coverage, so check for an update on whether it’s fixed by then.

20 Replies to "TRAFFIC ALERT: 35th SW narrowed to 2 lanes between Avalon and Alaska"

  • Mike September 28, 2016 (8:24 pm)

    Is that why the bridge was such a cluster @#$$@ on the way home today?  Good grief, what a train wreck all the way to I5.

    • WSB September 28, 2016 (8:31 pm)

      There also was a stalled vehicle on the last leg toward Fauntleroy, according to a couple mentions in another thread.

  • TheKing September 28, 2016 (8:42 pm)

    The taped off area looks a lot like the rest of Seattle’s roads that aren’t taped off. 

  • Marlene September 28, 2016 (8:49 pm)

    As always, thanks to WSB for an explanation about tonight’s traffic mess! And if it doesn’t get resolved by tomorrow a.m., northbound 35th will really be a disaster.

  • ChannelingLewisBlack September 28, 2016 (9:15 pm)

    Hope officials address this.  Not cool and should not be allowed.  Am amazed how much tolerance WS has towards contractors and leaving streets in terrible shape.  The California work between junctions has been abysmal – albeit not leaving open pits and borders in the road.  

    • WSB September 28, 2016 (9:22 pm)

      We mentioned this in the recent coverage of the city council’s Transportation Committee – the city is working on tighter rules for road restoration and for when new pavement can be cut into, among other things – right now developers are allowed a really long time to restore the road. I’m sorry we didn’t know about this early enough for us to try to find out what it’s for and why – but we’ll be checking early tomorrow…

  • Pops September 28, 2016 (9:41 pm)

    This was a huge mess around 5:30. What the heck?! Pull this for evening rush hour and have traffic jacked up in all directions.

  • MsD September 28, 2016 (10:02 pm)

    Major road work happening on California as well between Andover and Gennesee.  Development has torn up this area over the past few years and I guess the city is having to go in now and fix what our Infill Overlords have done in an incredibly shoddy manner.

  • Jennie September 28, 2016 (10:07 pm)

    And did anyone see the guy at the corner of 35th coming off the bridge wearing a Trump mask and holding a full-size dummy of Hillary wearing an orange prison jumpsuit? Unfortunately, I was in the far left lane so I couldn’t quite give him a piece of my mind. 

    • wsn00b September 28, 2016 (10:29 pm)

      Yes Jennie. I saw that as I was driving by too. I could barely tell it that the second mask on the dummy was Hillary. The guy was making some explicit/sexual gestures as part of his act. The display was commensurate with the intellectual bar of the Trump supporting voter base.

    • Andy September 29, 2016 (7:00 am)

      I wonder how many Hillary supporters can afford to give away a piece of their mind. But then, I don’t want another 4 or 8 years like the last 7 1/2. 

      I remain deplorably yours,


  • wsn00b September 28, 2016 (10:12 pm)

    This was not a surprise (except for the actual date). If you’ve been driving on 35th and paying attention to the road (surface), you’d have seen that the 2 dug-up patches and atleast a few more of the worst patches up/down that slope of 35th were marked off with white paint indicating that SDOT was going to do something.  

    The entire slope from Edmunds to Avalon on 35th is what I fondly call the Cheese Grater. This is where regular vehicles combined with overweight buses have worsened the surface in the various braking zones in both the uphill and downhill sections. 

    I am actually shocked and pleasantly surprised that they are bothering to fix those patches without asking for another tax levy. At least we won’t have to dangerously swerve to avoid bad surfaces and/or do unnecessary lane changes on that specific part of 35th now. The rest of 35th continues to be entertaining and dangerous while driving.

    The backups are just a preview of the cluster that is going to regularly happen when the lanes get reduced by the rechannelization.

    Go SDOT!

    • sam-c September 29, 2016 (7:55 am)

      Yes, i too was dismayed by the preview of the future.

      We got stuck in around 6:30.  Horrible mess.  Maybe that is what SDOT should do before they make the mistake of reducing all of 35th into one lane each direction.  Try it out first (like this) and see what a mess it creates.

      • WSB September 29, 2016 (8:07 am)

        Please note, this section has NEVER been on the table for rechannelization – no changes north of Edmunds. The potential designs for Phase 2 reiterate that and are toward the end of the PDF that we embedded in our August report

        or see it directly on the SDOT project site

        (page 7)

        • wsn00b September 29, 2016 (12:05 pm)

          @ WSB , Please see what  Bob Neel mentioned below. Like you also said, the rechannelization stops at Edmunds ; which is one block away. Sure, some southbound traffic and slowly lumbering buses will turn off west onto Alaska. However, the merge point from 2 to 1 lanes is at Edmunds right after the blind crest at the end of a steep uphill. One doesn’t need a traffic engineering degree or computer simulation to predict that the merge mid-block right after the blind crest will surprise non-regular and inattentive drivers and cause exacerbated slowdowns due to the congestion on the uphill with even slower resumptions back to normal speed. That will backfire all the way to the bridge and possibly beyond in rush hour. 

          I’m still betting on big/daily SB backups once SDOT finishes the rechannelization. I will donate $250to SDOT’s  favorite charity if traffic doesn’t backup to the bridge on a regular basis :)

  • Mark September 28, 2016 (10:40 pm)

    SDoT  leadership needs to go.  They claim to be driven by data but ignore it when it does not give them the answer they want.  600+ motorists turning right onto Avalon from Fauntleroy in the AM peak and they are proposing to remove the existing right turn channelization?

  • candrewb September 29, 2016 (5:40 am)

    Looks like they are deploying traffic calming measures. Anyone who complains is selfish and wants pedestrians to die.

  • Rick September 29, 2016 (6:10 am)

    Just a covert traffic calming road diet.

  • Bob Neel September 29, 2016 (8:33 am)

    @WSB: yes, this is not located on the part of 35th road diet plan. But do you really think it would make a difference if the closure were ONE BLOCK south?!  We’ll have – for all intents and purposes – the same bottleneck. 

  • Wsgal September 29, 2016 (8:43 am)

    A sign of what’s to come!

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