TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday watch; new 99 exit ramp’s third morning

(SDOT MAP with travel times/ Is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE/ West Seattle-relevant traffic cams HERE)

6:27 AM: Good morning! No alerts or incidents reported in our area so far.

25 Replies to "TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday watch; new 99 exit ramp's third morning"

  • JS February 21, 2019 (7:36 am)

    Has anyone else noticed that buses are not using the bus lane at the top of the new NB 99 off ramp at Dearborn? It’s turning into a bottleneck even on light traffic days like today. 

    • PMS February 21, 2019 (8:30 am)

      Yeah, I noticed this too. I was behind the C-line this morning and it was a cluster when traffic (cars) are trying to get to the far right lane while the bus was occupying the normal traffic lane, the bus lane and the far right turn lane all at the same time. As more people use this option, there will be accidents for sure. SDOT needs to improve pavement markings, and Metro needs to adhere to the rules of the road or reroute busses to a less congested intersection.

  • JWinWS February 21, 2019 (7:48 am)

    Our C line, which left Alaska Junction at 7:30, took 4th avenue this morning? Seems just as quick asthe 99 trip yesterday morning

    • Kathy Humphrey February 21, 2019 (1:30 pm)

      J.WINWS — about how long is the C-Line ride taking to the first stop in downtown now at that time? The schedule online still has arrival times of pre-Viadoom days…  Thanks.

      • JWinWS February 21, 2019 (5:53 pm)

        First stop seems to vary as each driver chooses differently. It was about 25 minutes from Junction to Madison/3rd

  • smittytheclown February 21, 2019 (8:50 am)

    Still waiting for the other shoe to drop (schools out this week?) but is anyone else amazed at how well the tunnel traffic is flowing?  I guess no  “S-curves” and fewer on-ramps and exits are making the difference?  It’s extremely efficient for us in West Seattle.  So far…….

  • Busrider February 21, 2019 (9:12 am)

    I left a comment with Metro to provide a stop in pioneer square for C line into town. With these new routes metro has an opportunity to stop in south downtown by public/govt offices. WSB if there is a  news meeting event with metro can you ask them why they are not using the southern RR stop at 3rd and columbia?

    • MA February 21, 2019 (10:36 am)

      I did the same. My guess is that they’re not going to do it because they want to keep 1st Ave. moving. I don’t fully recall, but I thought I saw that the long term plan is to have the buses use Alaskan Way once the viaduct comes down and avoid 1st avenue.  If so, it would still be nice to have a stop on Alaskan Way prior to turning right into downtown (i.e., closer to Pioneer Square).

    • Delridge Resident February 21, 2019 (11:13 am)

      I also sent a message asking to add a stop or two in Pioneer Square for West Seattle bus routes. It would make my commute so much easier. It seems silly not to stop there since the buses are already driving through!

    • East Coast Cynic February 21, 2019 (12:47 pm)

      Regarding Pioneer Square stops, don’t any of the local buses heading downtown, e.g., 21L, stop in Pioneer Square?  I would not want express buses such as the C or the 21 express used for Pioneer Square stops since commuters such as myself use them as time sensitive transportation to get to downtown as soon as possible.   The express buses would become quasi-local buses that would potentially be subject to more traffic lights and more traffic, causing delays for downtown commuters.Commuters interesting in getting to Pioneer Square could take link at University Street one stop backwards, as counterintuitive as it would be, or take a local bus.

      • CAM February 21, 2019 (1:45 pm)

        The C is already stopping at those same stoplights. It just isn’t opening it’s doors at any of them. While I appreciate your need to get to your job quickly, so do the people who work in Pioneer Square. The local buses that serve that area take far longer to get there. A bus that goes direct from West Seattle to Pioneer Square is still an express bus because it is skipping a ton of stops in between. The other Rapid Ride buses aren’t express buses either, so it being a rapid ride shouldn’t prevent it from adding stops. Lastly, there are a number of other express options available to get to the same place downtown without making any stops in Pioneer Square. One of those buses coming from the Junction area could add a stop farther south without it too terribly taxing the system or other riders. 

      • KBear February 21, 2019 (1:56 pm)

        The C shouldn’t make every stop downtown, as it is a RapidRide, but it seems reasonable that it should make a stop soon after it gets downtown and is close to the light rail, which would be Pioneer Square.

    • Meyer February 21, 2019 (2:08 pm)

      FYI, the 116, 118, 119 and 120 all stop in Pioneer Square. None of these buses go through the Junction though.

      • dunnkld February 22, 2019 (12:25 am)

        I rode the C line leaving the Alaska Junction at 5:05 pm February 21st. I pulled the bell in Pioneer Square and the driver informed me he would stop because Metro planned on installing a stop for the RR C line in Pioneer Square next week. He believes the northbound stop will be on the block between Jackson and Main (1st Ave). That’s where he let me off. Not sure where (if any) a southbound stop would be in Pioneer Square.

        • Jon B February 27, 2019 (8:02 pm)

          Well, it’s next week now, and still no sign of a Pioneer Square stop. It feels pretty silly driving along all these surface streets past major offices, government buildings, and transit hubs without an opportunity to disembark. 

  • CAM February 21, 2019 (10:30 am)

    Just as an update from a couple days ago, I had reported to Metro that the driver of my C line had skipped the Madison stop. They responded today and the response suggests that is an official stop and they were going to notify the driver. It sounds like this isn’t an isolated incident based on other comments so hopefully it gets more consistent if people are reporting it. 

    • carole February 21, 2019 (6:26 pm)

      Took the C downtown leaving the junction about noon. Bus took the Dearborn exit but did not stop at Madison, which has a RR marker at the stop. 

      • carole February 21, 2019 (9:20 pm)

        Trip planner lists 3rd and Madison NB as a stop.

  • wsn00b February 21, 2019 (10:31 am)

    @smittytheclown There is still some congestion in the tunnel’s gentle curves especially on the northbound exit curve. However, yes, the fact that the merges into the tunnel happen in non-curvy area. It also helps that the merge from EB WSB to the NB 99 doesn’t immediately turn into a bus lane causing all the frenzy due to early merging that happens on NB99.I’ve been clocking 14-18 mins garage-to-garage from Gatewood hill to SLU for the last 5 drives. So beautiful. I am looking forward to the first Tuesday – Thursday commute session after schools reopen. 

  • JM February 21, 2019 (10:58 am)

    At what point will the buses figure out which routes and stops they will be going to permanently? Also, I am not a fan of buses being routed on 1st through pioneer square.  In the afternoons there is only one lane going south because there is parking on the right lane. 

    • sam-c February 21, 2019 (1:31 pm)

      Won’t buses use 1st Ave until the viaduct comes down, and the buses move over to Alaskan Way?  In the meantime, maybe those parking lanes on 1st Ave should be changed to bus lanes during commute hours (7am – 9 am going north, and 4pm- 6pm going south), just like what they have along Delridge Way.

      • ARPigeonPoint February 21, 2019 (3:42 pm)

        This is a great idea.  I got trapped behind the buses on 1st on the way downtown this morning.  Was wishing they’d stay in the right lane instead of camping in the left.

    • West Seattle Coug February 21, 2019 (5:04 pm)

      The long range plan is to go on Alaskan Way then up on Columbia, which is going to turn into a two-way once the viaduct is torn down.  The bus lane on the new ramp will be extended to at least there. 

  • Stopped February 21, 2019 (11:25 am)

    I have been impressed at how smooth the commute to downtown from WS has been with the new 99 exit ramp, but I agree that the Dearborn ramp to 1st is going to be problematic as traffic increases.  It seems very inefficient to shuttle all traffic into downtown through 1st Avenue in Pioneer Square.  So many stoplights in that section of 1st, and then after 9:30 am or so (admittedly late for most commuters), people can park in the right hand lane.  But going straight on Alaskan and then trying to figure out where to turn right to head into downtown seems less efficient too.  Will be interesting to see what it is like next week when school is back in session….

  • Arlene Geist February 21, 2019 (2:11 pm)

    I drove the tunnel for the first & only time earlier this week and found the grating on the road surface very disconcerting.  I drive a light-weight prius and felt the car was wiggling around between the grooves in the pavement.

Sorry, comment time is over.