West Seattle Transportation Coalition talks bridge-closure ‘mitigation’ with SDOT and Metro

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Exactly one month after the West Seattle Bridge‘s sudden closure, the West Seattle Transportation Coalition hosted this week’s third community meeting about its effects.

Guests at Thursday night’s online WSTC meeting included Heather Marx and Adiam Emery from SDOT and Chris Arkills and Bill Bryant from Metro. As WSTC chair Michael Taylor-Judd reiterated at the meeting’s start, the focus was on “transportation mitigation” – how is everyone who drove across the high bridge going to get around now?

Marx opened by acknowledging that as a West Seattleite who was also surprised to hear about the bridge, “whatever you’re feeling, I’m feeling too.” She explained that she’s heading the project group – engineering, communications, etc., so if you’re looking for a point person, “I’m the one.” She went through the same slide deck as Wednesday night’s meetings (which in turn was mostly the same as Monday’s City Council briefing and last week’s “might not be fixable” media briefing), including a pitch for signing up for Alert Seattle “because the worst COULD happen.” (Not just bridge-wise.) She also acknowledged the letter SDOT had received from WSTC, and had new slides pointing out actions taken – or planned -from WSTC suggestions. They included:

The “individual street plans” will still boil down to “neighbors helping neighbors,” though, Marx warned. And she addressed WSTC proposals they were rejecting:

Pressed on the low-bridge restrictions, Marx warned that “we have to keep it small for right now” but that they will be open to revisiting it at some point. For now, though, “please encourage others to follow the low-bridge restrictions.”

In Q&A after Marx spoke, first question was from WSTC’s Victoria Nelson, who asked how much transit capacity Metro really would have for supporting West Seattle. Arkills said they’re “having discussions” now, “taking this seriously and gearing up for the future.” Marx added that they are talking with “all of our transportation partners in the region” and “brainstorming” even “crazy” ideas.

Second person pointed out that not everyone from West Seattle commutes to downtown. Marx said they’re well aware so that’s why they want the people who DO to use what’s available. The questioner also said she’d hear West Marginal Way might close under the bridge. If the bridge was in danger of failure, “or some kind of controlled demolition” was needed, that might happen, Marx said, but it’s nothing that’s currently planned.

WSTC’s Larry Wymer asked about data collection/monitoring along various routes. Emery fielded that one: They have 10 sites where they’ve installed data stations and will send WSTC the list. (We will ask for it too – though we suspect it’s the same one Councilmember Lisa Herbold has been publishing in her weekly online update, including the update posted today.)

WSTC’s Deb Barker asked if The Junction and Morgan Junction could be included. Emery and Marx said there’s certainly the possibility for more, though Marx warned the data stations are costly. “But this is a big deal,” Barker countered. Marx agreed, but added, “The West Seattle Bridge is the most important thing for SDOT but it’s not the only thing.”

We asked how soon the traffic mitigation plan will be ready. Marx said they’ll have results of a “traffic analysis” next week – but they don’t know what the post-COVID traffic situation will really be; the only thing she said they know for sure is that there’s not enough room on the alternate routes for ALL the traffic previously handled by the bridge.

Another question: Will SDOT have a West Seattle Bridge Advisory Committee? Marx said probably not, but mentioned again that a Technical Advisory Panel will be assembled. She also said she’s available to brief ANY local group on request.

Then: What are the capacities/volumes of the 1st Ave. S. Bridge and South Park Bridge? (We’ve been working on stories about both; WSDOT says it does not keep volume stats for the former.) Marx said that would be part of the “traffic analysis” ready soon.

Chair Taylor-Judd asked if setting up a transit route from West Seattle to an eastside park and ride, or a new one through the 99 tunnel, might help replace some of the car traffic. Arkills said the Metro working group is “putting all ideas on the table.” Bryant added, “One way to look at the West Seattle transit network is to see it as three different routes -not everyone is going downtown, but MOST are” – so there are the downtown routes, the through routes like 50, and the shuttles that go to the Water Taxi. “As we look at when demand picks up, the Water Taxi is central to that,” and he sees that service ‘significantly ramped up” with shuttle service beefed up too, maybe even new routes. But he noted that new bus routes “would cost money” and both the county and city “are facing serious financial challenges” because of COVID – he also acknowledged that they don’t know how long-term social distancing will affect long-term transit usability.

WSTC vice chair Marty Westerman asked about the low bridge’s condition. Marx said it’s “getting a great deal of loving care because we understand how important it is” with last weekend’s pedestrian-gate fix, plus this summer, a project to improve the communication involving the bridge.

Another question: Could lots in the Alki area be used as park-rides for shuttles getting people across the low bridge? “The Parks Department doesn’t love using its property for transportation purposes,” Marx nted, adding that Metro currently – even before coronavirus cuts – doesn’t run much transit in that area. Bryant said that while the city and county have discouraged park-and-rides in Seattle for a while, this situation could be cause for change. They’re also looking at whether vanpools to park-and-rides like Olson/Myers could be an option.

WSTC’s Mark Jacobs said there’s been a lot of talk about funding woes but the city seems to have been spending a lot on other unspecified non-priorities for a while. Councilmember Herbold answered this, saying they are waiting to hear what the projected costs will be, and when they do, she will “advocate with urgency” to spend what’s needed. She also mentioned again that she has long been against spending for the Center City Connector streetcar, and said Councilmember Alex Pedersen, the Transportation Committee chair, is an ally on that. While the money can’t be moved because the streetcar was going to use debt financing, she said that if that project can use that type of financing, certainly the higher-priority bridge could. As she has mentioned before, she also noted that she would be talking with US Rep. Pramila Jayapal. She also repeated that she has advocated for, and will continue to push for, paving on streets whose deteriorated condition is all the more glaring now.

In the meeting’s chat window, Jacobs also asked, “Can Metro look into exempting the need to stop at RR tracks on the east side of the low level bridge?” Bryant replied, also in the window, “There are a handful of railroad crossings where Metro has received a waiver that allows us to cross tracks without stopping. For that to be possible, the tracks need to be very clearly out of service. Many tracks that appear abandoned are technically still in service and/or have limited freight service, but our team will look into whether that location could qualify for a waiver.”

The guests left at 7:49 pm; Herbold spoke briefly, thanking WSTC for helping “keep government focused” and saying that she’ll advocate for expanded transit for the underserved areas. She said her staff is working hard on getting answers to all the questions consttuents continue to send.

Also speaking briefly, County Councilmember Joe McDermott said he’s “leaning into” the Metro work, being as “supportive – and pushy – as needed” regarding bus and Water Taxi service, “thinking outside the box,” considering additional routes, etc.

The WSTC meeting adjourned shortly thereafter; next month

54 Replies to "West Seattle Transportation Coalition talks bridge-closure 'mitigation' with SDOT and Metro"

  • chemist April 24, 2020 (11:45 pm)

    I’d feel better if Marx was talking about shared sacrifices the rest of the city is going to make to double or triple the peak-hour seats on buses available in West Seattle.  SDOT couldn’t buy any more bus service at peak and KC Metro was having trouble hiring operators even with plenty of Seattle transportation benefit district funds available.  I’m not sure what Post-COVID plans are, but they should be looking at runs in other parts of the city that can be reassigned to peak bus runs serving West Seattle’s commute for the next few years.  It might even be limited stop express routes that can take folks from a WS transit hub to another transit hub in the city (northgate, UW, Renton etc) because you also need to entice folks to use it with convenience.  Dumping 3x as many West Seattle bus transfers off downtown sounds awful but if someone works in northgate area, a one-seat ride to walking distance of the destination would be helpful at directing this surge in bus traffic throughout the system.

    • Jon Wright April 25, 2020 (7:11 am)

      I fear that given Metro’s limited ability to provide more service because of a shortage of drivers, buses, and bus barn space, West Seattle is going to get a limited amount of additional  service hours. If we spend those service hours providing one-seat rides to various destinations throughout the area, that will come at the expense of more trips across the Duwamish, which is what the acute need is. Having to transfer on the other side is not ideal and folks may initially balk at taking transit if they have to transfer. My sense is that many in the community are in denial how bad getting into and out of West Seattle is going to be and ultimately there will be no choice but to suck it up and deal with transferring.

  • Elton April 25, 2020 (12:09 am)

    Amazing coverage, as always, by WSB.One statement irked me: ““The Parks Department doesn’t love using its property for transportation purposes,” We don’t love losing the high bridge, the Parks department will live. If we can’t afford to put a bunch more buses out there, the least we can do is improve PnR availability on weekdays (after we resume normal commuting). 

    • West Seattle Lurker April 25, 2020 (6:04 am)

      “The parks will live” speaks to the entitlement of people who think the West Seattle Bridge breaking should take precedence over everything else. It’s a just a bridge, we have others. There’s no need to ruin the parks around here. 

      • Elton April 29, 2020 (11:14 pm)

        Not sure what that’s supposed to mean, but yes we are entitled to a way out of West Seattle so that we can work and make money and help support the businesses inside of West Seattle as well. This is how an economy works generally. I don’t see why Park & Rides so that we can use mass transit to relieve traffic is a form of entitlement, we paid taxes in large part for infrastructure so I don’t think it is so crazy to ask for the city to make adjustments in light of the most busy bridge in the city being unavailable

  • chemist April 25, 2020 (12:51 am)

    BTW, 1st Ave S appears off-and-on in the traffic reports and flow maps SDOT puts out here.  Sometimes the flow maps have numbers but other times not.  2019 and 2017 reports say 1st Ave S, N/O Olson Pl SW 39,474 and 1st Ave S Bridge 50,900 Average Week Day Traffic (AWDT) (counts from year prior).  That doesn’t tell you about hourly capacity though.

    • BBILL April 25, 2020 (3:02 am)

      1st Ave S bridge is not a Seattle owned bridge, but a WSDOT owned bridge, and the AADT (Annual Average Daily Traffic) for both directions is about 102,000 (2018 WSDOT data). The West Seattle Bridge is also around 100,000 (SDOT data). A little over 200,000, I5 near Boeing field is about twice that (WSDOT data). As far as “hourly capacity” over a moveable bridge that’s constructed with a grated metal deck and has off ramps that could create congestion, that’s much more complex. I note that the 1st Ave South bridge has 6 general purpose lanes + 2 HOV lanes. The West Seattle Bridge has 6 general purpose lanes + 1 Bus Only lane. Both the 1st Ave South bridge and West Seattle Bridge have the same number of general purpose lanes and carried about the same number of vehicles in 2018, and presumably in 2019 (estimate using the data above). Whatever the max “hourly capacity” of 1st Ave South, the highway capacity goes way down when there are frequent bridge openings, I very much doubt that it’s anywhere close to 200,000 (the approximate sum of 2018 vehicle count of both the 1st Ave South bridge and West Seattle Bridge).

      • Mike Lindblom May 1, 2020 (1:47 pm)

        As a general rule, when a highway moves at the best possible flow (45 mph, no braking and weaving) each lane can take 2,100 vehicles per hour.  Well functioning freeways operate around 1,800 or slightly less. Gridlocked highways, such as SB I-5 approaching Mercer Street, drop all the way down to 700/hour on bad afternoons.  The paradox is that the more drivers try to go there, the fewer can cross the bridge — especially when there are occasional ship openings, or even a red signal on the west end that backs up traffic toward the drawbridge. The peak hour ability for 1st Avenue South bridge to absorb more traffic is minimal. I would expect that similar to the January 2019 closure of Highway 99, commuters in West Seattle and Burien will need to set out at 6 a.m. or earlier, to experience the “normal” 7 a.m. congestion.

  • LivesInWS April 25, 2020 (2:37 am)


    the only thing she said they know for sure is that there’s not enough room on the alternate routes for ALL the traffic previously handled by the bridge

  • J N April 25, 2020 (3:15 am)

    Can the Army Corps of Engineers build a couple of pontoon bridges?

    Not kidding.

    PS the low bridge would be closed for major repairs to the high bridge, or much longer for demolition of the high bridge.


    Field expedient ferry terminal?

    I have no idea. Glad I moved out of W Seattle although I love/miss it.

    • KBear April 25, 2020 (10:00 am)

      And where would you locate these pontoon bridges that would have convenient street connections and wouldn’t interfere with marine traffic? I can’t think of a place either. Maybe that’s why it’s not happening. 

      • Canton April 26, 2020 (10:08 pm)

        Sw Idaho st. across to S. Idaho st. Joking though, private property. 

  • David April 25, 2020 (5:50 am)

    I think that the city should install a ticket camera system on the low bridge and ticket every last car that crosses illegally. This alone might finance a new bridge with all the entitled rule breaking folks crossing it continually.

  • J April 25, 2020 (6:29 am)

    Until we get a vaccine mass transit needs to be a last resort. Gansu Provence, where Wuhan is located had real trouble with transmission on busses back in January, and listed mode of transportation as a risk factor for disease. Anytime you have multiple people sitting in an enclosed space risk of transmission will increase, because this virus is airborne. Here is the report that the CDC had picked up from the Chinese researchers… https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/6/20-0251_article.  We it may be better to find an outdoor job in West Seattle, park a private car on the other side of the pedestrian crossing, or telecommute until we have a vaccine. Also, think about the job you might be returning to. Are there going to be multiple people in an indoor space all day? How many people? Will they all wear masks? Are there operable windows? Does your employer take your health and this disease seriously? Who is going to pay the tab if you need a week of hospitalization or ICU? What if it leaves you debilitated with lung scarring or heart failure? I bet employers are pushing for a release of liability. Is going back to the office worth the risk right now?

  • WS4L April 25, 2020 (6:46 am)

    If only there was a way to ferry cars from West Seattle to downtown….  Oh wait!

    • WSJ April 25, 2020 (11:31 am)

      Are you trying to be glib and imply that there actually is some way? Because even if you ran boats continuously from Fauntleroy to DT, you wouldn’t even add 5% of the capacity needed for existing car traffic. 

    • Ice April 27, 2020 (3:31 pm)

      Smug posts like this make me laugh. How many cars per hour do you think a ferry moves compared to the West Seattle Bridge? How many ferries do you think Washington state has available? How much do you think a new ferry costs? How many additional trips do you think our ferry-docks could accommodate?

  • Anne April 25, 2020 (7:54 am)

    “Another question: Could lots in the Alki area be used as park-rides for shuttles getting people across the low bridge? “The Parks Department doesn’t love using its property for transportation purposes,” Marx nted, adding that Metro currently – even before coronavirus cuts – doesn’t run much transit in that area. Bryant said that while the city and county have discouraged park-and-rides in Seattle for a while, this situation could be cause for change. They’re also looking at whether vanpools to park-and-rides like Olson/Myers could be an option.”Seriously ?  This is an extraordinary situation -while it may last few years -for as long as it takes for repair/replace – it will be only temporary.  At least one or more park & ride locations could be extremely helpful -especially in   encouraging  new riders. 

    • vincent April 25, 2020 (11:06 am)

      There has always been an official metro park and ride under the bridge from chelan to Avalon, hardly anyone used it.Hearing people constantly complain about no park and rides in west seattle, is funny, and sad.

  • J April 25, 2020 (8:11 am)

    Take a look at the steps Wuhan is taking to try and improve safety in re-opening bus service… http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-03/25/c_138916766.htm

  • Jordan April 25, 2020 (8:28 am)

    The most disappointing part of these briefings is the bureaucrats in certain positions simply don’t get it.  They think that this is business as usual. And it isn’t. “The parks department doesn’t love using its property for transportation purposes” or “it might not be financially feasible to repair the bridge” are two pretty glaring  examples of this.These are our roads. This is our infrastructure. We own it.  We pay for it. Not only can we expect more but we should demand it. We haven’t gotten what we’ve paid for. It’s that simple. There is no urgency. There is no creativity. There is no imagination. This is a crisis and when normal traffic patterns return the default answer can’t be “No” or “that’s too hard or too costly” or ”that’s not the way we’ve always done it.”I strongly encourage every single resident of West Seattle to write your elected leaders including the entire city council, the mayor, and the county council. Demand action. Demand answers. Demand accountability. And if they can’t give it to us, vote them out. 

    • Cathy April 27, 2020 (10:31 am)

      Exactly!! what you said and said so well.  No more blah blah blah..well we can’t…Unacceptable.  Only talk about solutions and shut of mics of whiners and “oh we can’t” folks.  

  • Dunno April 25, 2020 (8:41 am)

    How about  start by making traffic lights smart instead of dumb on the detour route.   Counted over 50 vehicles, buses, trucks, cars, motorcycles, and bikes waiting for the Roxbury/35 SW light to turn.  It was green for the ghost vehicles going  east bound on Roxbury?  I know the waterfront lights are mostly dumb as you stop for nothing, not even peds?  I get that the focus for the past 7 years has been on fixing  the West Seattle High rise bridge.  At least they’re slowing down everyone in more ways than one.  Still crazy driving on 35th sw, had soemeone pass me at Trenton from the right hand lane.  The changes are making you feel safer?  Here’s hoping rents come down for many of you.

  • KayK April 25, 2020 (9:05 am)

    Can we ask Metro to look at splitting some routes?#131 coaches turn into #26 to north Seattle- if they could just turn around downtown and head back south could it speed up service? Like the #125 does currently.

  • Lura Ercolano April 25, 2020 (9:08 am)

    City, metro, county, state – they all need to be looking at and communicating alternatives along the lines of total maximum combined capacity of all modes of getting on-off the peninsula during high demand windows.  If all current options were fully utilized – the detour bridges flowing at capacity, water taxi runs full, social distancing concerns fade and all currently scheduled busses run on-time and full,  what is the combined capacity? I hear valid concerns about improving access to busses through park-and-rides, or improving drive times within West Seattle, but neither will  help if the busses and bridges are full.

  • KP April 25, 2020 (9:37 am)

    The ill timed lights have not been adjusted and need to be at 8th Ave SW along Roxbury and then Olson/Meyers. This whole stretch needs to be timed to allow efficient access to 1st Ave bridge and 509. Lights are set now for the majority of traffic to sit at all three signals causing backups and frustration. The current cycle at Olson/Meyers includes a west bound left turn arrow signal for a lane void of traffic 9 out of 10 times. 

  • WTF April 25, 2020 (9:44 am)

    Seattle wanted and put very obvious strategies in place to get cars off its roads. What’s that saying. 🤔 Oh yeah. Be careful what you wish for. 

  • East Coast Cynic April 25, 2020 (9:54 am)

    The city should consider the use and acquisition of bigger boats, i.e., Argosy, Washington State Ferries, to transport commuters from the Fauntleroy terminal to downtown, particularly if the low bridge has to be taken out of service to do damage or high bridge deterioration that endangers it.  The water taxis won’t be big enough to handle the crowds and it’s too time consuming for people in the southern part of West Seattle to get to where the water taxis currently deploy.

    • vincent April 25, 2020 (11:14 am)

      The city doesn’t own ferries, the state does. Where would the extra cash come for this? Considering the docks at Coleman are full with existing routes, when and where would a fauntleroy fantasy boat land? With zero traffic, the travel times would be double driving around, whats the goal given the massive expense, just to appease people who want to drive anyway?

    • Tsurly April 25, 2020 (11:31 am)

      Just so I’m clear, you are suggesting using larger vessels to transport people and not vehicles, correct?

      • East Coast Cynic April 25, 2020 (5:26 pm)

        I believe the city should work with the state to obtain larger ferries for use as foot ferries.  For use, primarily, by bus commuters if the low bridge is taken out of commission (Vincent).  The two back roads, if you can picture it in your minds eye, won’t suffice for funneling most of the bus lines that normally go downtown on the bridge.  Can you imagine all those buses in the traffic jams with the cars????

        • Tsurly April 25, 2020 (6:20 pm)

          Seems reasonable, I’d imagine you could get a lot of people on one full size ferry, assuming people would also occupy the car bays.

          • Rumbles April 26, 2020 (9:48 am)

            Somehow, having passengers in the car bays doesn’t seem workable.  Especially in the winter.  

  • Mj April 25, 2020 (10:12 am)

    I expect the City/Metro to provide viable options to WS.  This means adding midday, evening and weekend bus service, especially to the Admiral District that is most effected, to WS.  Penalizing people who use the low level bridge if the City/Metro do not provide viable options would be patently unjust once people start to get back to work.  

  • JG April 25, 2020 (10:18 am)

    I’m curious about the new bus rider limitations (12 to a 40’ and 18 to a 60’), how long these restrictions will stay in place and how they plan on keeping bus riders safe/healthy once these limits are eased up. Everyone is saying to take the bus, but the current limitations won’t be able to move many people in/out of west Seattle once more people need to go back to work, and sitting on a full bus – even with most wearing a mask- doesn’t seem very appealing for the coming months. 

  • j24 April 25, 2020 (11:40 am)

    I have sent to SDOT, Lisa and HPAC.  These are just ideas on the South End of West Seattle that might help.  Not looking to get bashed but to float ideas to help the traffic backup when we all go back to work.  Maybe we can build off of these ideas.Traffic improvements
    on Roxbury to Highway 509.
    I have lived most of my life at the south end of West
    Seattle. To go to work I usually go down 8th
    Ave SW to Roxbury and make a left to head east on Roxbury.  That light is very unfair due to very hard to
    make that left turn as cars from the other side either going straight on 8th
    Ave  SW or making a right turn to head
    east on Roxbury.  The only way we make
    that left turn is when no cars are there or they are making right turn to head
    west on Roxbury.We need to make that light work separately from each other.
    This way we can ensure that traffic is getting through.  In the morning the light would be longer for
    cars making that left turn to head east on Roxbury.  Timing could be changed later in the
    day.  They also need to look at retiming
    going East and West on Roxbury.At 4th and Roxbury, since the county repaved 4th
    Ave SW the light timing for cars going north to go down Olsen Way is about a
    minute to long.  Traffic backs up on
    Roxbury.Lights at Olson PL, Myers Way and 1st Ave South
    are way out of sequence, though they have made improvements as where the left
    turn from Myers Way to Olson PL on comes on when a vehicle has entered the turn
    lane. The light from Myers Way to 1st Ave S is a bit too long.I also suggest to repave the intersection at Olson PL, Myers
    Way and 1st Ave South, potholes and rough asphalt.Roxbury needs potholes filled from 4th to 35th. Two lanes each way again.Now for cars going to on-ramp to enter Hwy 509. We need a
    dedicated lane so we do not have to merge in with traffic from Hwy 509. This is
    what backs up traffic to the top of hill on 4th and Roxbury.  WE NEED TO REMOVE TH THE CARPOOL LANE as they
    are the minority of vehicles in that lane. 
    Then re-paint the lines that have the far left lane go to the now
    removed Carpool lane and the other lane also move left to the now middle
    lane.  This way the cars from up the hill
    will have their own lane going to the 1st Ave Bridge on Hwy 509.I sometimes use Boeing Hill or Highland Park Way.  For getting on the 1st Ave S
    Bridge, we need to make that right had turn prior to the bridge a dedicated
    lane and only one lane can enter from Hwy 99 instead of two.  I know this will hinder those coming from the
    South and I think this traffic should be diverted as much as possible to keep
    West Seattle traffic moving. Place merge signs that actually say sometime like
    Zip (use the Zipper method) to Merge prior to the Bridge. I would say most
    abide by this but a reminder would not hurt.Traffic improvements
    going South on Highway 509 off Ramp to 1st Ave South towards Olson PL,
    Myers Way.

    We need a redesign of the lanes going up the hill. We need a
    longer second lane that turns onto Olson Way. 
    Right now it is about 30 feet long and drivers stay in the middle trying
    to make up their mind what lane to get in. This causes backups on the onramp.  We should have 3 lanes up that hill.  One from South Park that becomes the lane to
    head up Myers Way and 2 lanes to head up Olson Way.  Speed limit should be reduced to 25 mph. This
    way cars can merge left or right depending where they came from and where they’re
    going.  Also the onramp to go up the hill
    used to be 2 lanes until they road dieted it.

    • BBILL April 25, 2020 (4:10 pm)

      ” WE NEED TO REMOVE TH THE CARPOOL LANE as they are the minority of vehicles in that lane. ” Every extra car passing is better than destroying an entire lane. Yes, I understand, maybe a shoulder is a good idea, but I’d rather keep the HOV lane, which carries people. I don’t have the data on that one, but the HOV lane on I5 generally carries about 1/2 the passengers.

    • James Walker April 26, 2020 (11:01 pm)

      I thought we were sniveling about the Port not the “Parks Department “, did I miss something?  It’s  hard to keep up with all of the self entitled wining happening in West Seattle.  Good grief! 

  • HS April 25, 2020 (4:05 pm)

    Please don’t forget the southseen end of WS. Lots of transit riders in this area and it’s ridiculous trying to get to the foot ferry from here.

    • Jon Wright April 25, 2020 (4:34 pm)

      Curious why would you want to take the water taxi from the south end of the peninsula. Short of an overturned fish truck I can’t imagine a scenario where bus to water taxi + water taxi would be faster than just taking the 21 or 120.

      • East Coast Cynic April 25, 2020 (5:30 pm)

        Then what will those 21 or 120 riders do if the low bridge is closed as well?  And they’ll need boats bigger than the water taxis if that happens.

      • KBear April 25, 2020 (9:54 pm)

        They’re just not “bus people” apparently. 

    • HS April 26, 2020 (9:21 am)

      Seriously? Maybe – I like to vary my transportation for interest and enjoy using the different options available. Maybe – if there’s a disruption in the bus lines this area needs a second option in order to access available WS public transportation. Maybe – the entirety of WS should have access to our local public transportation options. Maybe – the southern part of WS has traditionally been under represented in decision making.

  • David Witcraft April 25, 2020 (10:02 pm)

    No serious discussions about optimizing the alternative routes to move more traffic once “Stay at home” is lifted. Marginal is the only practical solution for Admiral and Junction traffic. Commuters from south on Delridge will hopefully try to go the other way, but Holden can’t move much traffic.

    I worked off Marginal last year, as a driver. Going through the Marginal/Delridge/Low Bridge intersection recently, it’s CLEAR, SDOT has done NOTHING to help move displaced bridge traffic effectively. The signal prioritizes Low Bridge traffic, practically to the exclusion of the other two streets named. The reason many people cheat is they wait four or five cycles to get through on Marginal, while the lane feeding Low Bridge is empty. Watching people cheat is extremely frustrating for those who don’t. There is no container traffic going West off the Low Bridge. That should be a slow demand light. The busses should get an IR hailing device, as used in many other cities, allowing them to signal the light control mechanism. Let the cheaters get stuck behind a light that never turns green.

    Marginal will be the primary bridge replacement. SDOT should take logical, easy cheap steps to increase the flow on Marginal:&nbsp

    ;-The light should HIGHLY prioritize Spokane St to Marginal traffic, with secondary priority to Delridge. Everyone else should be on at least 5 minute demand delay during Peak times. -The lane squeeze on the Eastbound side of Marginal after Delridge should be switched to Westbound. Eastbound is the shorter, tougher commute window. They could borrow land from the abandoned railroad easement and make Marginal two lanes in each direction too. 

    -The Westbound Chelan to Spokane intersection should be configured to keep two lanes of traffic moving through the righthand bend.-The W Marginal Way SW and Highland Park Wy SW intersection by the First Avenue bridge approach needs a complete reconfigure so Marginal to Highland traffic can be kept moving constantly. If the bridge will be replaced(as it should be), a short flyover from W Marginal Wy SW to Highland should be fast-tracked(CalTrans replaced a flyover in 90 days by offering the contractor cash incentives for speed and clearing all the typical delays).-

    Alaska season hasn’t started yet because of Corona. A significant portion of all goods going to Alaska during the summer transit season go through shippers there on W Marginal SW. The city should work with stakeholders to try to move that traffic to off-peak hours. West Seattle needs to work, Alaskans need to eat!

    -The key to First Ave bridge flow is the 99 intersection, just north of the bridge. This intersection needs to be altered so all southbound 99 traffic MUST get on the bridge, and all Northbound bridge traffic needs to proceed, uninhibited. Obviously, peak hour bridge raising should be eliminated. Everyone has to contribute. Four hour blocks, twice a day, when a small volume of boat traffic can’t move is a small price.

    SDOT is capable of doing all of this before the end of May, it will be insufficient to the task, but it is the logical steps that are availlable. I hope they’re planning this already, but 30 days in, I’ve seen NO sign of this, nor heard any conversation….tic, tic, tic

    • 1994 April 26, 2020 (11:13 pm)

      David W – you need a job at SDoT! I sure hope the 8 people at SDoT working on the WS mess read the blog so they can get some fresh ideas and figure them out by end of May. Great idea: The key to First Ave bridge flow is the 99 intersection, just north of the bridge. This intersection needs to be altered so all southbound 99 traffic MUST get on the bridge, and all Northbound bridge traffic needs to proceed, uninhibited. 

  • bfly April 26, 2020 (5:36 pm)

    Two things I’d like to see happen immediately:
    1. USE the Park and Ride from Avalon to Chelan again by reinstating the bus stops there for every route that passes by there.  It will fill up.  For those fearful of parking under the bridge keep in mind that that section is not where the cracking is occurring and that you’re driving under that section every time you go that way anyway.

    2. Open the low bridge to all traffic from 7pm to 7am. Traffic volume during this time is substantially lower.  Give us a break from going an extra five miles to get downtown in the evening. SDOT should share the data with us if this isn’t true that volume is lower.  A few extra vehicles during those hours will not stall or slow down freight, transit or emergency response vehicles.  Will the bridge won’t stand up to higher traffic volumes? If that is true, then we need to know that now and not defer maintenance on the lower bridge another day.

    And a question I have is: Will the lower bridge be reopened to all traffic, all the time, when the Stay at Home orders are rescinded? If not, then we really need to make #2 happen.

    • WSB April 26, 2020 (7:02 pm)

      The latter one, I can tell you. No.

      • bfly April 27, 2020 (12:13 pm)

        Because Heather Marx or because data shows that the bridge can’t take the traffic load?  Can you point me in the direction of an article that addresses this?  Thanks!

        • WSB April 27, 2020 (12:28 pm)

          The latter. That is a fact.

  • Sue April 27, 2020 (8:13 pm)

    West Seattle needs to grow a pair and lawyer up like Magnolia. Stop being so nice West Seattle. Pool together and hire the best lawyers and see how fast things move.

    • WSB April 27, 2020 (8:23 pm)

      Who’s suing over the Magnolia Bridge? I can’t find a reference. Thank you.

  • Ann April 30, 2020 (1:47 pm)

    Has there been any recent updates on the cracking?  Any ideas of “how” stable the bridge is currently.  For as much as I want to know what the long term solution is for the bridge to become operational again,  I’m willing to be somewhat patient as they tackle, first things first.  I know they’re monitoring the cracking (daily?) and added sensors to monitor remotely but how is that all going and is it sufficient?  I haven’t been near the bridge in about a week, but I am assuming that no construction has happened yet to start work on “stabilizing” the bridge.  If my assumption is accurate, why hasn’t anything happened yet on that front?  I don’t imagine that figuring out how to stabilize the bridge and making that the #1 priority for safety’s sake should be so complicated that work can’t start right away.

Sorry, comment time is over.