TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Second post-Viaduct weekday – AM coverage

(SDOT MAP with travel times / WS-relevant traffic cams / Water Taxi schedule, other helpful info HERE)

5:29 AM: Good morning! Welcome to a foggy Tuesday. Among the things you should know as we start coverage for the second weekday of three weeks without Highway 99:

RIDE2: King County says “Customers can again request trips for Ride2 West Seattle using the app or via phone calls. Our contractor is monitoring the system after making fixes last night.”

5:54 AM: The fog is expected to hang around through the entire commute – a “dense fog advisory” through 9 am.

6:10 AM: High bridge looks busy. Regionally, travel times are reported to be “above average,” so people are commuting earlier again today.

6:26 AM: Texter says police are out watching the new 4th Avenue temp bus lane. SDOT did send us a revised map (PDF) of the lane as it exits the eastbound West Seattle Bridge.

6:34 AM: Thanks to the texter who just let us know that two buses, Routes 50 and 37, got into a bit of a scrape on Alki:

I am just leaving to catch the water taxi shuttle for the water taxi into downtown and there is a bus collision, it’s on 61st and Alki Ave.

It hasn’t started to cause any trouble but just wanted to let you all know! Not too bad, looks like one of the buses clipped the other and knocked off the side mirror.

6:45 AM: Also on the topic of buses, Colleen reports via Twitter that her C Line was full from The Junction and skipped the remaining WS stops. One other Twitter report, from Mary: “6:10 #56 almost full before reaching California Ave. New early crowd for sure.”

6:59 AM: Our crew is now at the Water Taxi dock to see how things are going. First three sailings: 113, 60, 120. That first one was more than yesterday, but since both boats hold 200+, there’s still plenty of room. And if you don’t have anyone to drop you there and can’t get to a bus/shuttle, usage of the temp (free) lot at Pier 2 did not get anywhere close to maxing out Monday, so that’s an option (entrance is across from the Harbor Ave 7-11).

7:13 AM: 81 people on the 7:05 Water Taxi. And reps at the dock confirm Pier 2 has plenty of room to park. The bridge, meantime, looks full, but in our experience, this seems to be the start of peak time anyway.

7:44 AM: City traffic engineer Dongho Chang has tweeted bicycling stats from Monday. Major jumps from comparable dates the past two years – 1,666 riders counted yesterday.

8:06 AM: The roads definitely peaked early. Meantime, more West Seattle Water Taxi numbers – 190 at 7:25, 99 at 7:40, 165 at 8 am.

8:34 AM: Bridge and I-5 are still busy – if you’re trying to avoid jams you probably need to wait at least another hour. Also remember that the Coast Guard has agreed to limit low-bridge openings for marine traffic between 7 and 10 am and 2 pm and 5 pm – there was one low-bridge opening around 6:30 on Monday – so if you avoid the low bridge because of the unpredictability, it might be more feasible here during Highway 99-less-ness.

8:48 AM: Looking ahead, the rain is now expected to stay away until Thursday morning. So we’ll likely have two rainy commutes, and then next Monday is the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

8:57 AM: If you are headed northbound beyond downtown, take note – three lanes of NB I-5 are blocked near Northgate by a semitruck on its side.

9:04 AM: Our crew is back from spending the past few hours at the Water Taxi dock and reports, “It’s slick out there.” … Got questions? We’ll be on the multi-agency media conference call again at 11:30 (yesterday’s participants included WSDOT, SDOT, Metro, Sound Transit) so let us know.

63 Replies to "TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Second post-Viaduct weekday - AM coverage"

  • JHU January 15, 2019 (6:00 am)

    Depart seaview at 5:25. On dexter via I-5 and Mercer at 6:00.

  • John January 15, 2019 (6:23 am)

    First 37 wrecked into a parked 50 at Alki… Several of us just jumped on water taxi shuttle.Ride2 is a fail…keep getting a network error.

  • WestSeattleNative January 15, 2019 (6:32 am)

    You all took yesterday off, didn’t you? Waze estimating 45 minutes White Center to downtown Bellevue at 6:15. Pain points: 1st and Spokane and 1st and Edgar Martinez. Occidental may need to be an I-90 exit only lane. 

  • B January 15, 2019 (6:37 am)

    Left 6:05a Alki to First Hill via high bridge – 4th – James. 30 minutes. Biggest backup on 4th ave offramp. Police presence on ramp. Smooth sailing on 4th ave once on.

  • Paul January 15, 2019 (6:44 am)

    Left at 545 and got to downtown Bellevue at 620.  5 min longer than yesterday where I left at 530.  

    • Kristina January 15, 2019 (7:00 am)

      That was my experience too – left at 6am but had a 5 minute longer commute to Bellevue today.

  • CatLady January 15, 2019 (6:45 am)

    I’m on the C line that left Alaska Junction at 6:30 and it is PACKED! Yesterday was definitely a fluke. Seeing lots of fog & lots of traffic. 

    • JWinWS January 15, 2019 (6:57 am)

      Agreed! C line fuller than yesterday but also not seeing as many buses close together like yesterday.

  • Kristina January 15, 2019 (6:59 am)

    Our carpool leaves my home near the WS Nursery at 6am and heads to Bellevue High School off Bellevue Way.Yesterday it took 28 minutes; today it took 34 minutes. A bit nervous about tomorrow!Yesterday evening we left BHS at 4pm and it took us about 35 minutes to get home. I suspect that it will be longer today, but only time will tell.

  • admiral don January 15, 2019 (7:05 am)

    Admiral to Northgate:  Yesterday 40 minutes at 530a with accident just after Madison.  Today, accident at Mercer, 35 minutes.  Each morning, new accident.  Love that I-5.  good luck all. 

  • aRF January 15, 2019 (7:08 am)

    Departed Admiral 6:20am. 30 min to Cap Hill via low bridge, Colombian Way, 15th/14th.

    • Sleep Mode January 15, 2019 (8:40 am)

      Thanks for the info about the low bridge. I left at 6:20 am and it took 40 minutes from High Point to Beacon Hill on the upper bridge. May try the low bridge tomorrow. 

  • Sam January 15, 2019 (7:15 am)

    Walked out to 57th-Alki at 6:00, WT shuttle arrived a few minutes later.6:15 water taxi then the (awesome) Free Waterfront Shuttle to Seattle Center by 6:40. Cannot complain at all, other than being up a little earlier than usual.The stop for that free shuttle is not marked well. From the boat, cross Alaskan Way at Marion, then go left to the corner of Alaskan-Madison. The stop is at the line where a vehicle would wait for the light at Madison.

  • Hpdp January 15, 2019 (7:23 am)

    Sidewalks and roads in high point are slippery and crunchy with thick frost. Please be cautious and safe.

  • NRV January 15, 2019 (7:27 am)

    Left North Delridge at 6:42AM, arrived at 1st and Virginia before 7AM.  Woke up before 5AM, not sure I can do this for 3 weeks. 

    • Eddie January 15, 2019 (8:11 am)

      I did it for 35 years. A person can stand on their head for 3 weeks.

      • Brianne January 15, 2019 (12:28 pm)

        Good for you, Eddie. Good for you. 

  • SuperAwesome January 15, 2019 (7:35 am)

    Tried the #50  bus leaving Alki at 6:10, it never showed.  Then the next 50 got in an accident with the 3#7 bus that tried to go around it.  Bus driver said the next 50 would arrive in 18 mins.  Google maps said I could drive it in 20 mins so  I went home and got in the car.  Parked in SODO 20 mins later.   I’m trying to be a good citizen and take my single driver self off the road but the universe is conspiring against me.   Second day in a row I would have arrived much much fast if I had just driven at the beginning of my journey.

  • Peter S. January 15, 2019 (7:42 am)

    Definite uptick compared to yesterday, as expected/feared.  A couple of car drivers either still clueless or didn’t care that right hand lane from Spokane to 4th Ave So. exit is now bus-only.   Second day in a row that 06:45 light rail at SODO didn’t show up, causing the next train to be so full that it was almost impossible to board.  I opted to wait for the next one, so I can only imagine what it looked like by the International District station, which is a major connection point with Sounder Trains.  Bottom line:  +30 minutes for me, compared to yesterday when leaving house at same time.

  • JCW January 15, 2019 (7:43 am)

    26th/Roxbury to 5th/Mercer in about 65 minutes– that’s better than I was expecting! I was remote yesterday, but can only do some of my days without leaving the peninsula.For those coming from White Center, the 113 was quite smooth coming in. Regular routing up 99, exiting to Spokane, SODO busway, and cutting back over to 3rd just past King St to match up with the regular downtown route. The park & ride at Olsen-Meyers Way was only about half full at 6:45. 

  • Blinkyjoe January 15, 2019 (7:52 am)

    Left Fairmont Park at 0615, arrived at I-90 east (via 4th ave) at 6:35. Not bad. 4th ave north and south were wide open. Much less crowded than most Tuesdays. 

  • Alki commuter January 15, 2019 (7:53 am)

    Not off to a great start with Metro from Alki. The scheduled 56 at 7:33 was a no show (61st and Alki), 37 10 minutes late. Get it together Metro! I reported all information via the Metro comment form. If anyone has a suggestion on how to better communicate these issues, please share. Safe travels everyone. 

    • Dw January 15, 2019 (8:29 am)

      If you use the app, you can report it there. Click the arrival time in the schedule, and you see all the detailed stops – at the bottom it says report a problem with this bus. Click that. I do that for no shows, though not sure if it helps. I suppose you could tweet metro.

    • Jon Wright January 15, 2019 (10:08 am)

      Contact King County Councilmember Joe McDermott’s office. His web page is

  • Peter S. January 15, 2019 (7:58 am)

    Related:Does anyone know if southbound 4ve ave to westbound Spokane St.  is now allowed in the afternoon?  I normally pass on this option because it’s so backed up below the viaduct, but yesterday it looked wide open @ 4 PM.  There were a couple of traffic control officers at the intersection and I couldn’t tell if they were there to stop drivers from making a right turn or just to make sure the intersection stayed clear.  Too late to make the turn by then, so I kept going south.  Thanks.

  • CAM January 15, 2019 (8:01 am)

    C line from 35th and Avalon at about 7:15ish had no one standing but every seat was full. Pulled up at Yesler and Prefontaine at 7:40. I think that’s actually faster than when I’ve taken the C line via the viaduct at the same time in the past. Going from Alaska and Fauntleroy I did see at least 4 C lines pass by, but that span of time also included a pit stop for coffee. So it was probably about 10 minutes. And then getting to Pioneer Square my C line was passed by another C line so I’m definitely feeling like there are an increased # of buses at the peak time. 

    • West Seattle since 1979 January 15, 2019 (10:36 am)

      Does the C stop at Yesler & Prefontaine?

      • JWinWS January 15, 2019 (1:22 pm)

        C line to downtown stopped at Yesler and Prefontaine this morning as well at 3rd and James. But did not yesterday. 

      • CAM January 15, 2019 (1:52 pm)

        They are supposed to be stopping at either Yesler and Prefontaine or 3rd and James for now. Metro said they would only eliminate those stops if they proved to create big backups I believe. If the driver isn’t stopping there I’d let them know. Officially though, according to the route map, the first stop was planned to be Madison so that is what appears on the marquee. I pulled the cord and the driver stopped though. 

  • Admiral Commuter January 15, 2019 (8:17 am)

    Left Admiral (38th & Admiral Way) on a 56 or 57 at 7:20, transferred to light rail at the University Street Station and got off at Capitol Hill, walked the 10ish blocks to arrive at my office door at 8am. Not bad. God bless bus lanes. 

    • Railroaded January 15, 2019 (8:36 am)

      That is really fast under almost any circumstances.

  • B’s mom January 15, 2019 (8:23 am)

    Left Admiral area at 7:11 and got right behind the Blanchet High School bus headed down Admiral. That bus made it to the school (82nd and Wallingford) by 7:40. We made it to Swedish on the hill by 8:05. 

    • Susan January 15, 2019 (9:16 am)

      Can you share what route you took to get to Swedish? I-5 or via Columbia and 15th? Thanks!

      • B’s Mom January 15, 2019 (9:27 am)

        We took I-5. 

  • ktrapp January 15, 2019 (8:32 am)

    My normal 21x that arrives downtown around 7:30 was about 75% full, when it’s usually standing room only.  We arrived maybe a couple minutes later than normal.  Definitely seems like people are heading in earlier.

  • wscommuter January 15, 2019 (8:35 am)

    Definitely need police presence to monitor the bus lane cheaters – so many folks doing their best (taking mass transit or if driving, following the rules patiently).  At this time of maximum congestion, I’m all for severe enforcement against those selfish cheaters.  Saw five of them in a 10 minute span this morning going over the high bridge.  On the positive side, I also saw the vast majority of folks being patient and allowing merges, etc.  I want to believe most of us are behaving more thoughtfully just now.  Not surprising traffic worse today – many people work flex schedules where they have either Mon or Fri off.  Tues-Thurs is always heavier volumes.  

  • Alissa January 15, 2019 (8:37 am)

    I’m a regulat c line commuter. The 8:11 bus from C&P was faster than usual using the bus lane on the bridge and the busway through SoDo. Made it downtown in under my regular committee time of  40+ min. The only slow up was in the ID and was on par with the

  • JL January 15, 2019 (8:39 am)

    Pretty much a normal commute by bus. Caught the bus at 7:36 on the C at the Morgan Junction, 4th Ave exit had cops enforcing bus only Lane, reached 3rd and Pike at 8:15, walked up to my work location upper DT/SLU by 8:30. 

  • Lauri January 15, 2019 (8:58 am)

    Caught 120 in N. Delridge, yesterday and today, at 6AM.  Standing room only.   Having that dedicated bus lane on the Spokane Street Viaduct is fantastic!Today’s driver stopped at Lander to let off a few Light Rail commuters and take on one passenger who wanted off again a few blocks later.  First downtown stop today was 3rd and Marion (yesterday was 3rd and James), at 6:19.   Pretty quick commute, but I’m with NRV above:  not a huge fan of getting up so early, but I guess I’ll get used to it!

  • newnative January 15, 2019 (9:08 am)

    I walked faster down Ferry Ave to the Water Taxi but I still missed the 7:05. Had time to pick up a muffin at Marination and got on the 7:25 departure. Our arrival time doesn’t coordinate with the Waterfront Shuttle, so that is a bummer. I  walk the whole way to Lower Queen Anne. 

    • JCW January 15, 2019 (10:48 am)

      @NewNative – have you looked at taking the Waterfront Shuttle? I head to Seattle Center and some of our regular ferry commuters have mentioned that it’s reliable enough for commutes and has plenty of capacity!

      • newnative January 15, 2019 (11:47 am)

        That’s what I said, that my arrival doesn’t coincide with the Waterfront shuttle. I don’t see it roll up Alaskan way until I’m at least 20 minutes in my walk, just around the last stop before Broad. I jumped on it yesterday there and it took me to 1st Ave, not an official stop. So, it only saved me a hill climb but today I took the Bell St. Pier elevator to Elliot. I’m obese so I’m hoping this will help a little bit to get in better shape. A shuttle would be nice in rainy weather, though. 

  • beef January 15, 2019 (9:13 am)

    Lower Bridge was open around 7:50. Or at least the yellow light was blinking as I came down Delridge.

    • WSB January 15, 2019 (9:22 am)

      Nothing on the log.

      • beef January 15, 2019 (3:26 pm)

        I couldn’t confirm if it was open, as I took the flashing lights warning and headed to the upper bridge.

  • CycleWS January 15, 2019 (9:32 am)

    Had a nice bike ride from Westwood to SoDo. Left a little early, but not needed. Less traffic on Delridge to the bridge than usual. Still plenty of aggressive drivers. 

  • momosmom January 15, 2019 (9:37 am)

    @NRV…I’ve been doing 4am for 35 years … older you get the harder it gets, least with me it does. Gotta luv the Produce biz for these early hours!

    • Kathy January 15, 2019 (12:25 pm)

      Thank you, produce producers! We love produce!

  • TSurly January 15, 2019 (9:44 am)

    Bike commute was a breeze again, even with some frosty slick spots. I will say that it is absolutely blissful riding on Alaska Way without the noise of cars on the heap of junk formerly known as the Viaduct.

  • Trickycoolj January 15, 2019 (9:51 am)

    Not that anyone cares about driving south away from downtown but there’s a broken down dump truck with a mechanic blocking both the left turn lane and the left lane at the bottom of Highland Park Way at West Marginal. 

  • Mj January 15, 2019 (9:55 am)

    Bike numbers way up including me, the weather was nice.  I would wager that rain will reduce the number significantly.  

  • dbrown January 15, 2019 (9:55 am)

    why can’t the 50 and 37 just get along ?  Easiest trip in on 910 water taxi (Victoria Clipper) today.  So much quieter and seemed faster than usual boat.  Boat was maybe 20% full. 

  • Lola January 15, 2019 (10:08 am)

    I took the WS Bridge today at 8:00 am as it did not look to bad.  It was stopped just over the crest of the first hill of the bridge going down.  It went fairly fast and I take the 4th ave exit.  What I did notice at the exit as you have your cheaters who like to be in that bus lane when you are on the bridge.  They like to stay in it till the 4th ave exit begins then get over to the left.  Now they have motorcycle cops 4 of them all off their bikes and standing in that lane at intervolt’s.  These are the Parade cops as I recognized every one of them. They are standing next to signs that say Prepare to stop, Workers ahead. Since I was in the left lane I had to wait and a bus starts to come down the right lane, the cops step aside and let the bus go, there is no work going on at all in the lane nor at the bottom. Wow. 

  • HBB January 15, 2019 (11:00 am)

    In yesterday’s comments, someone had asked about bike storage on the SAN JUAN CLIPPER: they’ve got temporary bike racks installed inside (same position as DOC MAYNARD) that can probably fit 10-12 bikes. 

  • Don Brubeck January 15, 2019 (12:20 pm)

    Despite a frosty morning with some icy spots, West Seattleites set a
    January day record for biking across the Spokane Street Bridge.1,666 on the counter! That may be more than any day but one in 2018 –
    there were 1,992 on August 11. All those people using bikes on the low bridge
    made room on the high bridge for other folks who need to drive or need a
    seat on a bus.

  • Lou January 15, 2019 (12:24 pm)

    Sad to see: folks driving in bus lane on north Delridge Way after Genesee this morning. Not cool.

    • bolo January 15, 2019 (2:04 pm)

      Lou, isn’t that lane open to all outside of rush hours?

      • sam-c January 15, 2019 (3:41 pm)

        correct- the sign designates it a bus lane from ‘6am to 9am, right turns permitted’.Outside of that time frame, it’s usually got cars parked there, that make it kinda hard to use that lane all the way through.

  • Maggie Santolla January 15, 2019 (2:19 pm)

    I take the 113 and it has been pretty smooth sailing both mornings (I had a work dinner last night and Ubered home, and traffic was super light). I have been taking the 6:23 that departs from 12th and Roxbury, arriving at my office a little after 7. Definitely slower than the Viaduct route at that time, but not too terrible. I am usually more inclined to take the 7:05 or 7:40 but have had 8am meetings and wanted the buffer. It’s kind of a bummer though because it is ruining my AM workout schedule. I wish the Water Taxi wasn’t so hard to get to from where I live (south end of Highland Park). It would take me an HOUR to take the bus and Ride2 doesn’t serve us. My husband and I share a car and he needs it during the day so driving and parking it all day isn’t an option. Fingers crossed the bus continues to be smooth. 

  • Darryll January 15, 2019 (2:45 pm)

    My request to car drivers: If you see a cyclist waiting at a stop sign or stop light for traffic to clear, please don’t stop and motion for me to enter the roadway. I realize you’re trying to be nice, but that violates the traffic laws, creates confusion, and could increase the chance that I’ll be hit by a car. Just please drive according to the normal traffic laws and everything will work out fine. My request to cyclists: Please remember to ride to the right.  The rules of the road are generally the same for cyclists as for drivers. Riding on the left side or right down the middle of the bike lane makes it hard or dangerous for faster cyclists to pass on your left.Thanks!

    • Kathy January 15, 2019 (4:30 pm)

      Agreed as to drivers…I frequently have this happen at the intersection of Genessee and 44th Ave SW.  44th one block west of California s commonly used by people biking as a calmer alternative. Many drivers on Genessee want to wave cyclists on 44th through, but the stop sign is on 44th and not on Genessee. I had one driver actually get mad at me when I put my feet down and wouldn’t move. They  seemed really frustrated, then suddenly started to turn left and almost got hit themselves by an eastbound car coming up the hill fast l (glad I didn’t go). I would like to see a 4-way stop at this intersection for safety but drivers probably wouldn’t like it. It’s very hard to see cars coming up that Genessee hill and they are usually gunning it.

    • KBear January 15, 2019 (9:46 pm)

      Agreed, Darryll! I call it the Seattle Standoff: I have the right of way, but I’m going to just FREEZE right here and wait for YOU to go out of turn! Don’t you realize I’m doing you a favor?

      • Darryll January 16, 2019 (7:13 am)

        Seattle Standoff. Hahaha! 

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