TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday watch, with 99 changes

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

7:06 AM: Good morning! No incidents/alerts so far.

99 CHANGES: Reminder that changes were made during the weekend NB 99 closure including “adjusting” the bus lane. There’s also a change at the north end.

7:29 AM: Two texts so far about the sea-lion carcass near the Water Taxi dock. We reported on that Saturday night.

30 Replies to "TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday watch, with 99 changes"

  • smittytheclown October 14, 2019 (7:41 am)

    The extra 1000 ft of merge space on NB99 appears to working – at least during the ~6:45 commute.  I like the addition of double whites to keep people from merging too soon!  Smart.  Of course, it’s technically a Holiday, so we will see for sure tomorrow.Thank you to all who called and wrote.

  • Meyer October 14, 2019 (7:57 am)

    Smooth sailing on both the bridge and 99 today on the C line.

    • Marc October 14, 2019 (8:16 am)

      Not so much at 8:12 am.. still worse than before they added the bus lane, bus 120

  • mnw October 14, 2019 (8:18 am)

    It is a Holiday today (I have off and normally drive in). The true test will be tomorrow. 

  • Quora October 14, 2019 (8:39 am)

    Still waiting in a line to get on 99NB, but seems to be moving a little better.

  • Quora October 14, 2019 (8:43 am)

    Just drove through; people are still merging early going over the double whites. Not sure this is going to change anything at all.

  • Joe Z October 14, 2019 (8:50 am)

    Near-record speed on the 8 am C-line this morning. Now if they could only figure out the evening commute then I would use the bus every day.

    • Matt P October 14, 2019 (9:19 am)

      That will be partially fixed in Jan when buses switch to Columbia-Alaska route. Rest won’t be fixed until the 35th & Avalon nightmare is finally over and who knows when that will be.

      • Meyer October 14, 2019 (11:47 am)

        I think the Avalon and 35th construction will be done next month.

  • Craig October 14, 2019 (9:04 am)

    It’s a holiday, less people driving to work (e.g. no gov or bank workers) not the time to judge anything about traffic. That being said, I’d bet nothing will change Tuesday as the people I saw today were still immediately merging over the double white lines this morning and slowing the #1 and #2 lanes by doing so. I’ve vocalized my disapproval and emailed Sam Z with the suggestion that the bus lane be removed as we can’t accept this failure as the new normal by the people that are supposed to be working (not working today – it’s a holiday for them!) to make our lives better. At the worst it should be an HOV lane, or an downtown exit only lane, but 100% bus only? Jeez, no. 

    • WSB October 14, 2019 (9:09 am)

      Just a clarification. It is NOT a city holiday. Not a state holiday. Nor is it a school holiday. So while some may be off, it’s not the usual level of holiday reduction.

      • Craig October 14, 2019 (10:41 am)

        Ah! This is correct and good clarity WSB! My vision was cloudy because I have a few friends in Issaquah where they are doing their teacher work day today so no kids. Seattle is school as normal as you mentioned. City and state are also rolling today, but not the feds. 

        • Matt P October 14, 2019 (10:55 am)

          A lot of banks also have the day off.   

      • Elton October 14, 2019 (10:58 am)

        It is also Canadian Thanksgiving. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a number of folks in Canada given how many Canadians live in  Seattle. That being said, I doubt it caused a massive reduction of cars on the road. Isn’t Wednesday usually one of the heaviest days of the week though? I’d be more interested in getting through a full week.    

      • Railroaded October 14, 2019 (12:50 pm)

        Honest to goodness, TR, since I moved to the Central Coast of California, I do not miss the incredible snarkiness and sense of entitlement of SOME West Seattleites. I lived in Kirkland and then West Seattle since 1964; so I have seen many changes.Many want the roads fixed and then complain non-stop when they are being repaired.WOW.I am happy that I have left West Seattle.

    • TSurly October 14, 2019 (11:08 am)

      So bad drivers CHOOSING to cut over early rather than zippering is justification to remove a bus lane? Jeez, no.I just sent Mr. Z an email vocalizing the exact opposite of what you suggest be done.   

      • Mel October 14, 2019 (1:11 pm)

        That’s kind of spiteful and childish, Mr. Tsurly.The justification for removing the bus lane should be the fact that the bus lane wasn’t actually needed in the first place.

        • TSurly October 14, 2019 (1:30 pm)

          How so? It’s my opinion on how the road should be utilized, so I simply expressed my viewpoint to SDOT the same way that Craig did.   There is plenty of empirical evidence that shows when cars do not choke up that bus lane, buses get to downtown faster. I’ve ridden bus plenty of times recently where it blows by cars slogging along in the adjacent lane.

          • Mel October 14, 2019 (8:52 pm)

            And I just lent my voice in a comment to SDOT. ;-).There are bus lanes that make a difference, and there are bus lanes that don’t. That particular bus lane doesn’t, largely because it was a dedicated lane (exit) prior to being made bus-only. Also, traffic will decline when tolling begins. It’s unnecessary in that location.

  • Shawn October 14, 2019 (11:33 am)

    It might help to put some of those plastic dividers up on the double white divider to more strongly discourage merging too soon.  It does seem much better designed now. Anxious to see how the rest of the week goes. I deeply worry they might consider removing the lane, as some have suggested, if we don’t seem the kind of behavioral and traffic flow that are hoped for.  Such an action would be a devastating regression and loss for transit mobility in West Seattle.

    • old timer October 14, 2019 (1:18 pm)

      I second on the plastic dividers.  Painted lines, double or not won’t work.  Even entire painted lanes are not always performing as designed.  Maybe the threat of potential car damage is necessary.

  • Susan October 14, 2019 (11:45 am)

    Perhaps we need some TV/radio/print Public Service Announcements on how to zipper

  • Lynda October 14, 2019 (12:38 pm)

    I understand today is a “holiday”, but it was still nice to see some progress here. I like the double white lines, though I was still behind someone that braked and merged the exact inch it ended! Maybe some signs on zippering?! A diagram, a sign?! “Speed up till merge at bus lane”?!My contribution is to honk and/or drive around those that come to a complete halt (also, it’s really dangerous to do that!).The true test will be tomorrow, but I still think we need to make more efforts on driver education before we pull the plug on the lane. 

  • LJ October 14, 2019 (1:26 pm)

    We all know that this “solution” they have come up with is ridiculous.   You now have to merge twice just to provide for a half mile of bus lane.   Face it everyone, the bus lane was a stupid idea.   Get rid of it.   

  • old timer October 14, 2019 (1:27 pm)

    It is really odd how entitled some drivers can become.  Get into that metal cocoon, and suddenly, you are the most important person on the planet. No one else matters but you and whomever might be sharing your cocoon.  Blast that horn, disregard the bus signals, ignore the lane markings, I’m a god on my way to  my heaven and don’t you dare impede me.

  • Anu October 14, 2019 (1:50 pm)

    This might be a very naive question that’ll get me a lot of “are you kidding?” remarks, but I’ll risk it anyway. How was it that things worked when we had the bus lane previously on 99? Buses would get to downtown in 20-25 minutes because there was a bus lane on the bridge and on 99. The only slowdown was on the ramp. What exactly has changed with this new lane? I’ve been too scared to take the C line and have been taking the 116/118/119, so haven’t been able to see what’s happening firsthand. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been in some excruciatingly long commutes due to all arterials being blocked, but I also don’t want to lose the bus lane, because having it has worked in the past. I’m curious as to what exactly has changed with this lane. Thanks!

    • KBear October 14, 2019 (2:12 pm)

      First off, the old bus lane had the same problem. There wasn’t much room for cars to merge out of it, and the backup of cars prevented buses from getting to the bus lane quickly. The current “solution” of a longer shared lane might have helped in the old configuration, especially if they had been able to put in cameras to enforce the bus lane. What has changed is that now there is a downtown exit before the tunnel, and in order to use it cars must merge out of the bus lane, and then back into the exit lane. It will never work as smoothly as the simple exit only lane we had for the first few months, with the bus lane splitting off from that.

  • Craig October 14, 2019 (4:28 pm)

    My point could have been misread by Tsurly, so hope this rephrase can help –  My complaint to Sam Z was to disapprove of the concept of the bus lane in total, not because people are cutting over early across the double white lines. The cutting over the double white lines was an example of the confusion the recent actions caused, and one of many contributors to traffic slowing, all related to adding a bus only lane.  My high level point I was supporting was what others have also vocalized here, that the traffic moved faster before the dedicated bus lane and there are other options besides a bus only lane that could have been considered as alternatives. I.e. HOV, dedicated downtown exit, etc. 

    • Tsurly October 14, 2019 (5:48 pm)

      No rephrasing needed, I read you right the first time, and still disagree.Sure, car traffic may have moved faster prior to adding the bus lane, but who cares. The intent of the bus lane is to move buses filled with 50 to 100 people per bus, not personal vehicles. This concept works when cars merge properly by zippering AND allowing people to merge.

      • Kyle October 14, 2019 (9:02 pm)

        Tsurly, have you received any data from SDOT comparing bus times before the bus lane and after? If so please share. I ride the 120/125 everyday and have seen little to no difference in my ride. The choke point is just now on the West Seattle bridge. I’m in favor of bus lanes (like on the bus ride home), just where there were actually choke points. The changes SDOT and our other leaders seem to be making feel arbitrary, and lack data. If my commute was 15 minutes faster I’d be for it, but it’s not.

Sorry, comment time is over.