West Seattle, Washington
(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 or alerts currently.
TONIGHT: Sounders FC home match vs. Salt Lake at 7 pm, so the West Seattle Water Taxi runs into the late evening.
I sure hope it is a learning curve thing because people are still cutting over right away on NB99. You are creating the backup! USE THE ENTIRE LANE!
Part of the problem may be that the old striping is still quite visible where the shared lane used to end. So people see that and think they have to get over immediately. What a waste it was to do all that painting, especially since its continued presence makes the new configuration less effective.
“The Merge” is still a total mess. Thanks to our elected officials for helping our collective commute.
It will get better when more people decide it makes more sense to take the bus instead of sitting in their private, personal vehicle, taking up as much space as a bus. Time to take the bus, everybody!
As has been mentioned numerous times in previous comments, not everybody can take the bus. This idealistic call to action is not going to solve the problem at hand, because it is impossible.
Actually, everybody can take the bus. Universal accessibility is one of the most important parts of Metro’s transportation planning. Some people don’t like to take the bus because it’s icky and they have to look at a homeless person sometimes and also because they need to justify their multi-thousand automobile purchases … but actually EVERYBODY can take the bus. A smart city will make it as difficult as possible for people to drive their own cars and as easy as possible to take the bus. This is borne out in cities bigger and smaller than ours, richer and poorer than ours, warmer and colder than ours and denser and less dense than ours. Seattle will not be the first city in human history to solve traffic congestion by making it easier to drive your car. Time to take the bus!
Get off your high horse, Jort. Nobody, including yourself, is debating the physical accessibility of buses. Just because in your myopic view buses work therefore they must work for everyone, doesn’t make it fact. Maybe if we each described a day in our life in relation to why we choose the transportation we do, you can understand there are other lifestyles than your own and move on from the useless chasing- our-tails “No, *you’re the problem” criticisms. Even if a system works well for the majority, there will be some it will not work for. People will use a system that works. If they’re not using it, it’s because it’s not working.
Just curious- if everyone started listening to your rants, does the bus system have the capacity to take on all the commuters that you want on the bus? Are we going to pay for more busses? Your delusion is that the current Metro bus system somehow fills the mass transit void in Seattle. You’re correct in the thought that people should rise mass transit in a city of this size. Problem is, we don’t have mass transit. When we have dumb and dumber politicizing the design of light rail for their city council seat, it just continues the delay. No more studies, make a decision & break ground for the light rail. Until then, people will be in their cars and busses will become a less viable option with each passing day, month and year. Also- news flash, if 976 passes then this is really all a moot discussion then anyway. P
I used to! I love the bus. But with the new reroute, the traffic, the congestion on the bus… It doesn’t make sense anymore. I can take the C from outside my apt directly to SLU, then walk 10 min to my office. Whole thing takes an hour. It takes me 12min to do the drive (30 on the way home bc of traffic). If the bus takes 2x as long as driving, I’ll still bus. But unless transit improves I’m not going to willingly spend 45 more minutes per trip (and extra 1.5 hrs a day, or 7.5 hours a WEEK!) commuting. That’s practically an extra shift per week in travel time.
In the last three months, I’ve seen 1) two separate instances of assault and battery on my routes home to West Seattle and 2) two separate instances of folks shooting heroin into their veins on my routes home to West Seattle. And yet, as a two car owner, I still take the bus into and home from work about 98% of the time. What’s the issue? The issue is public transportation has taken a back seat in this city and until our tax dollars are used more efficiently (instead of giving our governments a blank check) nothing will change. So what’s my point? I don’t know exactly. But this stupid bus lane debacle is avoidable yet our government refuses to do the right thing based on DATA.
Please stop taking Jort seriously. He/she/they/it is only trolling you to get you riled up. I guarantee you that he/she/they/it fully understands there are many reasons why buses never have, do not now and never will meet the needs of all people in Seattle or any other city. I commuted by bus for many years and I’m definitely in favor of using public transportation, but the reality is that there will always be a need for other modes of transportation, too.
Let’s be brutally honest: we’re not going to get people to use the entire 99 merge lane because Seattle’s drivers are world class awful. This isn’t just my opinion: insurance industry data reflects this year after year. As someone who grew up and learned to drive on the east coast: Seattle’s drivers are hesitant, prefer to immediately give up the right of way rather than learn when to exercise it (or think it’s “nice” to do so), and immediately go to their brake when faced with a driving decision. This is a recipe for bad traffic flow.
That rant over, I might be willing to change my opinion on the bus lane if I had anything other than uncorroborated reassurances from Mr. Zimbabwe that it is helping buses. Exactly how much has the lane helped as he claims? Surely if it has, he’d have offered up some details, right? Interestingly, I put in a public disclosure request weeks ago for all information, emails, etc. about the decision to remove the bus lane and was told that it could only be gotten to me after Election Day. After receiving Mr. Zimbabwe’s response email on Oct. 11 stating that Metro has data showing the lane has “improved transit reliability”, I’ve put in another request for that data from Metro. Surely Mr. Zimbabwe and Metro can share with us by how much the reinstalled lane has improved things compared to the previous state.
+1 Gatewood GuyI cannot agree more re: the driving. I’m sad to say the bus lane is just not working (and I am the biggest supporter of bus lanes). I keep having to drive around people trying to merge immediately following by the traffic opening it up RIGHT where the bus lane starts. I then watch buses go the same speed I am going on the 99NB. (Just before people start chastising me for driving, I was taking the bus 4-5 days a week and now I am at 1-2 because of the traffic). I’m a data gal. Show me the data and I’m happy to consider otherwise!
This seems to happen everywhere there is a merge point in Seattle – it’s systemic, not just limited to this one spot. See it every day when taking the ramp from First Ave S. to the Westbound WS bridge. Folks want to merge in at the soonest possible point rather than use the full 300′ feet to weave into traffic.
One reason people try to merge so early is because if you wait, sometimes nobody lets you in. I tried to take Delridge to I-5 and found that it’s nearly impossible to get all the way over to the left lane as people adamantly refuse to make any space that far down. I take my chances with the traffic on 35th for that reason.
Sam Zimbabwe will be at Highland Park Improvement Club (7pm) tonight. Folks can ask him in person there!
As another commenter stated” not everybody can take the bus” no matter how long & hard others implore, beg, rant.
Yes people won’t use the entire lane to merge. I drove West Seattle Bridge to I 5 north for 20 years and it’s the same concept. People try to merge at the first possible opportunity so it is why or partly why the back up is so long on the bridge eastbound. There’s almost a mile of space before you have to take 90 eastbound. And people complain about waiting in line but they do it to themselves day after day.
I share your frustration, GatewoodGuy and others. I grew up in Seattle (in Gatewood), learned to drive in Seattle by a Seattlelite and drive opposite of what you describe. I see the same poor habits and it frustrates. I don’t know where these habits come from. I suspect it’s in part passed down parent to next generation of driver since drivers ed doesn’t seem a priority for most. I’ve also spoken with transplants who describe the unwritten rules of the road where they came from and being confused by conflicting unwritten rules here (for instance how to handle a 4-way stop or a traffic circle). The merging in particular is frustrating and does happen everywhere. I even experienced an elderly man who split two lanes on the Aurora bridge where construction was blocking one lane, to prevent me from driving all the way to the merge point! Such uninformed spite! The city needs to do regular PSAs on merging properly and then other driving protocol secondarily.
I’m not sure what “unwritten rules” you’re referencing. There are, in fact, written rules for most driving situations (4-way stops, for example), but no one bothers to learn or follow them – perhaps because, as you suggested, not enough people take Driver’s Education classes anymore. Instead, they make up their own “unwritten rules” and claim “well, everyone knows that,” and then rail against those who do follow the actual written rules. Most of these written rules are contained in the Revised Code of Washington and, now that we’re in the internet age, I’ve thrown out my shelf full of binders and I just access the state laws online. Try it. It’s enlightening.
Please keep emailing Sam Zimbabwe and Lisa Herbold with your concerns. When she was recently asked if the bus lane tweak worked she said she was receiving “thanks” emails. Really? Who thinks it’s better now? The lane needs to be removed so traffic can flow as it did previously. If the lane is to stay permanently we deserve to see data showing how it has improved bus commutes. Looks to me like buses are stuck in the same exact traffic. I also used to take the bus but don’t now because: A: it takes longer than driving so defeats the purpose and is usually crammed with people.B: I don’t feel safe. I witnessed numerous incidents involving mentally ill, deranged individuals threaten riders. I have also boarded a bus that had vomit all over the floor and witnessed a drunk individual vomit 2 seats away from me in which we riders had to jump out of the way to not get covered in it. So yeah, no thanks.
To the new readers. “Jort” is a TROLL. He/she has said in past posts they not only own a car but drive everywhere.
I hope you’re right. I would rather believe Jort is a troll because the only other option is they are just a stubborn and unreasonable person pushing some weird anti-car agenda. Sure, it’s funny to quip “stop driving” or “no more cars”, but that’s as unrealistic as it is unhelpful. I truly applaud folks who are able to fit public transportation, carpooling and biking into their daily lives, and I don’t think most car drivers think they are better/more important than those individuals. It’s just so draining reading comments from people who aren’t able to rationalize that the re-added bus lane Is Not Working and is causing backups for every vehicle on the road (buses!). This is not car drivers being whiny, or thinking they are priority over buses. It is a very observable fact that will most likely get worse after tolling begins. Advocates for the bus lane seem like they are living in another reality. Removing the entire bus lane moves traffic through the curve quicker, which moves all vehicles on the West Seattle bridge and 99 quicker. If you keep the lane, how much time is saved with it vs. extra time spent in the curve and merge??PSI hope Gatewood guy gets the metrics and can share ASAP. Very interested to see what the real data shows.
honestly, i’m surprised that WSB allows Jort’s constant repetitive trollish comments….
I think it speaks well of WSB that they don’t sensor opinion. That being said, most regular readers already recognize Jort as nothing more than a troll who gets off on trying to cause an uproar. He/she/they/it does seem to rile up the new readers, though, until they learn better. Makes me a little sad for him/her/them/it.
Move on down the line! Just do it! It’s easy!
Sorry, comment time is over.