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:
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.