Reconnect West Seattle: They’ve got the questions; you’ve got the answers

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

One month after its first public mention of Reconnect West Seattle as an umbrella label for dealing with post-bridge-closure mobility issues, SDOT has just gone public with the tools for you to help shape it.

RWS has two goals – “to restore travel across the Duwamish to similar levels seen before the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge closure and reduce the impact of detour traffic in Duwamish Valley neighborhoods such as Highland Park and South Park.”

Toward the first goal, there’s a survey for everyone on the peninsula – more than 30 questions, from your commute/travel habits pre-bridge/pre-pandemic, to what you would need to try a different mode of travel – as shown in the graphics above (displayed at recent briefings), something they hope thousands of people will do.

Answer the peninsula-wide survey here.

The information will help SDOT and its partners – other transportation agencies such as Metro, primarily – figure out what they’re going to have to do to avoid total gridlock once people get back to cross-Duwamish commuting in much larger numbers. The questions all have opportunities for you to explain your answers if you want to, so give yourself some time – it’s not one of those quick one-pager types.

The other Reconnect West Seattle component that’s going public today: The Neighborhood Prioritization Process. Potential-project lists have been created for four areas that have been hit the hardest by bridge-detour traffic – Highland Park/Riverview/South Delridge/Roxhill, South Park, Georgetown, and SODO. People who live, work, and/or study in any or all of those areas are asked to review the lists – compiled from a slew of suggestions already made – and pick up to ten they think would help. (If you have a suggestion that’s not on the list, there’s a chance to suggest it.) Note that these aren’t all traffic-moving suggestions – the idea is to address the effects of the detour traffic.

Direct links to the survey-format prioritization lists:

Highland Park/Riverview/South Delridge/Roxhill
South Park

Both the all-WS survey and the neighborhood prioritization process are open until the end of the month. SDOT says it’s trying hard to be sure as many people as possible. If you know someone who would rather have a paper “ballot” for prioritization, here are PDF versions you can print: Highland Park/Riverview/South Delridge/Roxhill, South Park, Georgetown, SODO. (Each has instructions nn how to send it in.) Also, you can request paper ballots by calling 206-400-7511 or emailing

Other languages? The ballots are available in seven languages – Chinese Traditional, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese, Khmer, Korean, Oromo; the links will be available via a Reconnect West Seattle webpage that should be live soon. (11:48 AM: Here it is.) The city also is sending a postcard about all this via postal mail to every household in West Seattle – look for that in about a week.

So what happens after you’ve sent in your answers? The West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force will be involved in reviewing the results in August, at its August 5th and 19th meetings. A plan will be shaped from there, with action to follow. All the while, SDOT is also in discussions with those partner agencies – and your feedback can shape the path of those discussions too.

78 Replies to "Reconnect West Seattle: They've got the questions; you've got the answers"

  • Tsurly July 10, 2020 (12:26 pm)

    Perhaps I will beat Jort to the punch on this one: driving like you did i the past will not be an option. The city and rational people understand this, and are giving you and opportunity to provide feedback on what it would take to get you to us the ONLY options that will be viable when everyone starts going back to work. Do your community a favor and provide feedback and consider other options.

    • Duffy July 10, 2020 (2:13 pm)

      Are Jort and you dueling it out for Captain Obvious? We know all of this already.

      • Tsurly July 10, 2020 (4:14 pm)

        Soooooo many comments on this blog over the past few months would suggest that no, not everyone gets it.

        • PanicMonster July 11, 2020 (10:21 pm)

          Please consider approaching our fellow West Seattlites more empathetically as we all try to navigate this unexpected disruption in our lives. Some “solutions” just aren’t feasible for many. Take biking for example:

          1. – Not everyone has a bike (buy one sure, bus a quality one for commuting many miles on a near daily basis is out of budget for many).
          2. – not everyone feels safe biking (if you don’t even bike recreationally, how do you expect a novice to feel immediately comfortable the daunting task of bike commuting). 
          3. – not all are physically able (elderly, disabled, people generally out of shape… The fitness required to bike commute 20 miles per day, 5 days per week, even 1 day per week doesnt happen overnight and is not attainable for many). 
          4. – not everyone works 9-5 (biking to/from work after 12, 14, 16, or 24 hour shifts is much more exhausting, especially if one already spends those hours in a physically demanding job).
          5. – people commute with more than just themselves (a single mom, mother of 3 young children can’t exactly strap all 3 kids to the handle bars) 
          6. – not all people have safe/secure storage options (many workplaces don’t have bike lockers/garages, or even open bike racks. Parking one’s new commuting cycle on the street is risky, especially in bike theft hot spots outside of WS)

          I hope this offers some perspective. What challenges do you think exist for buses, water taxi, telecommuting, moving out of WS? Similar lists can be made for all.

          Kindly, PM

          • E. Steen July 21, 2020 (5:39 pm)

            Thank you for this! Very well put! Also did anyone else notice that the neighborhoods most heavily impacted by the detours are also the most diverse? We can’t ask our most diverse communities to sacrifice their quality of life here. We need something that works for everyone. 

  • Lispector July 10, 2020 (12:56 pm)

    It’s unfortunate the survey completely ignored traveling via motorcycles. It’s possible they might count as riding a motorcycle as driving alone, but they aren’t equal to driving a car alone in any way. With better gas mileage, HOV lane use, and a significantly reduced footprint in parking spaces all make motorcycles a better option. 

    • WSB July 10, 2020 (1:11 pm)

      Hope you wrote that in the “what’s missing” box toward the end! Or if not, email -TR

      • wendell July 10, 2020 (2:36 pm)

        Done. Thanks for the tip. Motorcycles are always left out of these surveys.

  • Andrea July 10, 2020 (1:03 pm)

    “driving like you did i the past will not be an option”
    TSURLY – Not correct. It WILL be an option, it will just look and feel different.  If someone wants to sit in traffic to get to where they need to go that is their choice. I personally am open to looking at alternatives to driving because I have flexibility in my schedule, not all do.

    • TSurly July 10, 2020 (1:15 pm)

      “Driving, in the same manner that you did in the past, will not be an option.” Is that better?

    • Anne July 10, 2020 (1:33 pm)

      Yep-it’s car for us-transit not convenient or healthy-if we have to sit in traffic- take new routes so be it. Everyone knows driving will not be anything close to what it was-but for many -with little or no flexibility it’s the only choice.

      • zark00 July 10, 2020 (2:07 pm)

        Hopefully we can back you up – if you need to drive, more of us will ride the bus to make room on the road for you.

  • Realist July 10, 2020 (1:21 pm)

    My bet is that this input will change nothing. Bottom line: The bridge is going to be out of commission for years, and when it (or something like a replacement tunnel) is up and running, WS residents will be paying dearly for it in the form of tolls or similar. Until then, the city needs to keep the WS residents appeased by having all these surveys and community meetings etc. They’re all for show and don’t change the ugly truth.

    • WSB July 10, 2020 (2:10 pm)

      The reason this is even happening is BECAUSE of community members’ advocacy. All four of the neighborhoods with project prioritization started pushing SDOT on mitigation early – we published reports on what Highland Park and South Park did, and I know Georgetown and SODO also made their concerns known. (If people in other neighborhoods had hollered in an organized manner too, there might have been more lists.) No, the “ugly truth” of the bridge being out isn’t going to change any time soon, but the impacts are going to be uglier if you just throw up your hands and decide not to offer feedback. Every question has an option for you to write in your own answer. – TR

      • Realist July 10, 2020 (2:20 pm)

        Sure, go ahead and provide feedback. My comment is that let’s all be aware that we’re shouting in the middle of a hurricane. Disaster has struck and little suggestions for addressing it won’t do much good.

      • zark00 July 10, 2020 (2:34 pm)

        Why did SDOT need to be pushed so hard by local communities?  Shouldn’t mitigating the massive impact of a huge transportation infrastructure catastrophe in Seattle be important to them?  I’m fairly sure it’s their job.I completed the survey.  It’s really only about collecting sentiment on SOV drivers and their propensity to use another form of transportation.  Open ended questions in a survey are basically useless.  It feels good to answer them, but they have to be reduced to a single, usable, metric so they lose all context.Best you can hope for is that some of the better write-ins are cherry picked as call-outs to whomever is consuming these reports.

  • Community Member July 10, 2020 (1:27 pm)

    The survey has a large section that asks about bicycle routes. They ask that you skip that section if you are not a bike rider. BUT that section includes proposals that require reducing parking to implement bike lanes.  Doesn’t seem right for those discussions to be limited to bike riders.

    • newnative July 10, 2020 (3:05 pm)

      It’s not limited to bike riders, it’s asking for input from bike riders and people interested in bike riding. It’s asking what would make the commute better. Why would you want to be included in that discussion if you have no interest in riding a bike? 

      • Community Member July 10, 2020 (3:47 pm)

        @Newnative – Because the cyclists-only discussion includes projects that may reduce pedestrian use, reduce parking, reduce social distancing, reduce equitable access to parks and businesses, deter bus ridership, or otherwise impact neighborhoods. If a project repurposes part of a road, it seems quite reasonable to include the voices of other possible users of that road. 

        • newnative July 11, 2020 (11:33 am)

          You missed the point and what I tried to emphasize. It’s asking people who ride a bike or wish to ride a bike, “how can the bike commute be better?”  If you don’t ride a bike and won’t ride a bike, then they aren’t asking you. The same reason I wouldn’t answer a question about making a drive easier, because I don’t drive a car and don’t want to drive a car.  Not every discussion is about you and your interests. 

          • Community Member July 11, 2020 (4:47 pm)

            No, I didn’t miss the point.  I understand what you are saying, and I answered your question. I truly believe that it is disingenuous to frame impactful questions as if they only apply to one group.

    • mok4315 July 10, 2020 (4:08 pm)

      Wish I read your comment before I skipped that section. 

  • Joe Z July 10, 2020 (1:32 pm)

    Several of the bike choices involve “clearing vegetation”. It would be interesting to see how people would react after the next windstorm if car drivers had to fill out a survey on which trees they want removed from the road. On the plus side, it’s nice to see they are finally considering Fauntleroy bike lanes. 

  • skeeter July 10, 2020 (1:32 pm)

    Hi Jort and TSURLY – what bike projects do you think would provide the most meaningful improvements?  I really respect your perspective.

    • Tsurly July 10, 2020 (2:14 pm)

      Everything outside of the red circle.

      • skeeter July 10, 2020 (3:38 pm)

        Thank you TSURLY.  I will keep that in mind as I consider the options.  Very helpful.

  • J. July 10, 2020 (1:41 pm)

    This plan completely ignores people with physical disabilities. I have somewhat mild physical disabilities and have used a cane since my early 20’s and going from bus stop to bus stop wrecks me. I can’t work if I have to bus in, I’m to exhausted. It isn’t possible. I get that the disabled community tends to be ignored, but I don’t think RWS really thought about disabled people at all in this. I filled out the survey and let them know exactly how this would affect people who can not use a bike, walk in, or don’t have the ability to walk from bus stop to bus stop. Disabled people’s lives matter too.

    • skeeter July 10, 2020 (3:36 pm)

      J. – I hear you.  I’ve never had a disability but I am sure it makes transportation exceptionally difficult for you.  I am committed to trying to help.  Since the bridge closed I have made my commute in/out of West Seattle 100% on bike.  My hope is that by biking more I am freeing up road space for folks like you who do not have that option.  Please let us know if there is anything else the walking/biking community can do to help make your situation any easier.      

    • bill July 11, 2020 (9:53 am)

      J. – Along with Skeeter I bike as much as I can to free up road space for those who absolutely have to drive (not to be confused with those who absolutely refuse to consider not driving).

  • zark00 July 10, 2020 (2:06 pm)

    The biking and walking numbers will not change no matter what anyone says – so they can remove those right now and make up for them in other places.The number of drivers will never be reduced by the numbers they are hoping for – just won’t happen no matter how badly we need it to.The only solution is more buses, better buses (they need wifi), and forced restriction of driving single occupancy vehicles.  They should quadruple the number of, and frequency of, buses – set up a direct to Bellevue bus route, direct to UW, direct to…?  and they might get close.   Transferring buses is a huge deterrent to riding the bus for commute.   Metro and Sound both know this very very well, but fixing it is extremely expensive.  They can’t do the ‘park and ride’ in this situation either, so it’s extra hard to fix.

    • Queenie July 10, 2020 (3:38 pm)

      I’m going to be honest – there is no scenario where I would voluntarily share air in a confined space with a bunch of people prior to getting an effective Covid vaccine. Not even with a mask. 

      • ARPigeonPoint July 10, 2020 (4:46 pm)

        What Queenie said.

      • me July 10, 2020 (4:59 pm)

        Same Queenie. I have no problem riding the bus, I will take three buses if I have to, even if it takes all day, I’m fine with it…but no way I’m doing it if it gives me a disease.

      • ScubaFrog July 10, 2020 (6:05 pm)

        100% with Queenie.  And I’m not walking nor riding a bike to downtown (far too dangerous, you may as well ride a motorcycle).

        • bill July 11, 2020 (12:01 am)

          Riding a bike to downtown is hardly dangerous, and I don’t know why walking would be at all dangerous. 

      • KM July 13, 2020 (11:28 am)

        Many don’t have this choice, let’s continue to advocate for better bus service for them.

    • Spooled July 10, 2020 (4:40 pm)

      You people so easily in favor of “forced restrictions” on things really scare me.What if I shared my thoughts on population / density control as vehimently as the anti-car crowd?

      • PigeonRidgeBen July 10, 2020 (6:07 pm)

        You can share your opinions here or even on the survey. They might be out of the mainstream but you can still share them. Most folks are trying to improve our collective situation. Restricting private automobile use is, in the opinion of many here and elsewhere, a component to improving our collective situation. 

        • Erik July 12, 2020 (10:27 am)

          Also a component, and a more effective one – “  population / density control as vehimently as the anti-car crowd”. 

      • heartless July 10, 2020 (6:28 pm)

        Well, now you’ve got me all curious about your thoughts on population / density control.  Do tell!

  • beanie July 10, 2020 (2:15 pm)

    I hope everyone in West Seattle takes the survey.

    Even with my cynicism that they’ll listen, if it doesn’t get filled out, they’ll have the chance to say “well, we asked, but not many of you spoke up and told us what you wanted.”

  • Smittytheclown July 10, 2020 (2:17 pm)

    Pre Covid I worked 2 days at home, 3 in the office.  Sounds like that will flip.  I simply can’t imagine that more companies are not doing similar.  I think the 10% telecommute will come in closer to 20%.  Also, on the days I do go into the office it’s 5-2 for me.  Lower bridge in, hopefully decent commute coming home at 2.  

  • Queenie July 10, 2020 (3:36 pm)

    Has there been discussion of a potential class action lawsuit against the City yet? From all that I’ve read it seems like they did a bad job with the initial contractor here and potentially with maintenance and traffic regulation since, resulting in the bridge failing decades earlier than it should. If property values in West Seattle fall and apartments empty, it seems like there’s a very clear case here for tangible damages as a result of city negligence? 

    • Realist July 10, 2020 (4:46 pm)

      Haven’t heard this floated yet. Anybody have any legal experience to know if there’s precedence for this sort of thing?

    • ScubaFrog July 10, 2020 (6:16 pm)

      I’m in.

    • bill July 11, 2020 (12:24 am)

      @Queenie – yours may be the looniest idea spawned by the bridge closure yet. You do realize the city is all of us, you, your neighbors, your coworkers, your clients, etc? You want the residents of West Seattle to sue the other roughly 90% of the city population? If we did that how much support do you think the bridge project would get on the city council?

      • Chelsea Clayton July 11, 2020 (7:56 am)

        I think the courts are intended to address issues of negligence and tangible damages, and I think that’s exactly what this case involves. The city, both in the past when the original contractor was retained, and quite possibly presently, when concerns about traffic and the impact articulated busses might have on city infrastructure were not addressed, have been negligent. I think that, as a result, a lot of businesses and community members will be damaged in a way that can be, at least in part, tangibly measured. I also think that in the months to come there will be a lot of competing demands for city and state money and resources, and that sometimes a lawsuit can clarify what the city’s actual obligations are here. I don’t especially want to spend two years waiting for studies to come back on this issue – I want the capacity and access that was lost due to this issue restored in full as expediently as possible, and if that doesn’t happen I have no qualms with holding the city responsible. 

  • Mj July 10, 2020 (3:55 pm)

    Zark is correct more transit is the only viable option, SDoT is delirious to indicate 500 walkers and a 1,000 bike riders commuting in the AM, the baseline number of bikers is 60.  Yet SDoT still has no plan.  Frankly it’s simple all day bus service throughout WS be provided once things open up.  Anything less is simply not acceptable.  

    • bill July 11, 2020 (12:39 am)

      @MJ – the lower bridge bike counter records several hundred bike trips every day even in darkest winter. A thousand or more is easily possible especially with practical electric bikes available. Walking to downtown is a bit of a stretch but if the alternative is an hour or more sitting in a car or bus, why not get the exercise and sell the car? Thousands of people walked home to West Seattle during Snowpocalypse, many of them in totally impractical business footwear. It can be done.

  • TJ July 10, 2020 (5:01 pm)

    35% traveling in cars is not even a realistic goal. It’ll be the same as it’s always been for people making commuting decisions, which is a cost/time benefit analysis. Traffic stinks now, and that’s with only a portion of people back to work. But, I suspect a lot of people will suck it up and take the added commute time over taking a bus that could require 1 or 2 transfers while limiting their freedom to adapt plans in their cars. Trying to “force” people to do anything as has been commented on here isn’t a option.

    • chemist July 10, 2020 (11:00 pm)

      Interestingly, the Westwood/Highland Park area is one of the locations that’s better served by frequent transit than the rest of the West Seattle urban villages.  It might make sense for a lot of folks to “park and hide” their cars in Highland Park when they’re taking transit out of West Seattle.  It took several years for the Alaska Junction RPZ to be implemented even after that pattern with the C established.

  • Claire July 10, 2020 (5:39 pm)

    I’m distraught! Besides not being able to use the low bridge to get to work at HMC, ( only a vital employee when it profits others)bus lines C, 3, and 4 have reduced services. There is no reasonably priced parking at the hospital or near HMC! What am I to do??? Is it time to leave Seattle???? 
    Will first responders ever be allowed to use the low bridge to get to and from work??????

    • Tsurly July 11, 2020 (8:02 am)

      Ride a bicycle. It is not far and if it is not hard.

      • PanicMonster July 11, 2020 (9:37 pm)

        That’s a fine solution for general commuting. However, when medical, surgical, and procedural teams are on-call, biking or walking in for unexpected emergencies isn’t a reasonable.

        Buses and water taxi are great, but they don’t fit the transit needs of staff who work at hospitals 24/7.  As it turns out, people become ill or injured outside of non-holiday weekdays between the hours of 9-5.

        • Tsurly July 12, 2020 (7:23 am)

          Huh, my wife was capable of doing it for the 7 years she was at Harborview, never complaining once.

          • PanicMonster July 13, 2020 (10:55 pm)

            Thank you, @Tsurly.  Kudos/finger-snaps to your wife.  I wish we could all bike from Arbor Heights to First Hill in less than 30 minutes when responding to on-call emergencies.Also: did you know that among the many logical fallacies, anecdotal evidence is among the most frequently employed?

          • tsurly July 14, 2020 (3:35 pm)

            Maybe so, but my cherry picked example still disproves your claim that an on-call physician (with a family) can’t use a bike to get to work. It is a lifestyle choice, like you living in Arbor Heights, that comes with trade offs and requires certain sacrifices to be workable.

  • anonyme July 10, 2020 (6:18 pm)

    I did not see a “what’s missing” box at the end.  Missed it, and thought I was looking as the survey didn’t seem to cover much.  The questions seemed heavily skewed toward 9-5, able-bodied workers, and not much else.  I wrote in comments when possible, but there were few questions I could answer in a way that made sense due to the way the questions were slanted.  Better than nothing, but there are a whole lot of people whose lives are affected despite not driving or working downtown.

  • anonyme July 10, 2020 (6:35 pm)

    Skeeter for Mayor.

  • Katie July 10, 2020 (6:54 pm)

    My solution is to move out of West Seattle.  I think is a a valid option that everyone should be considering.  I have been a homeowner in West Seattle for 10 years and have to commute to Renton daily. I am selling my house at a loss as well.If enough people leave, traffic won’t be a problem for those who choose to stay.It sucks to leave but I personally don’t have another feasible option with out quiting my job.

  • APM July 10, 2020 (7:18 pm)

    The option around cars that hasn’t been discussed to my knowledge (and yes, I put this in my comments) is for the city to work with the Pike Place/Alaska garages by the water taxi to offer overnight parking options. This would allow me, as someone who commutes to the East side but lives in Admiral to take the water taxi, pick up my car on the other side, and then drive East. Then, on the way back, I’d drive to the garage, leave the car there, and take the water taxi back.

    The fundamental problem we’re trying to solve isn’t car trips themselves – it’s car trips OUT of West Seattle. I feel like this should be talked about more as an option.

    I checked the garages down by the water taxi terminal and very few offer overnight parking. Also a way for these garages to create a few more jobs during this difficult economic time.

    • Joe Z July 10, 2020 (9:14 pm)

      Honest question—why do you live in West Seattle if you work on the east side? Does another family member work closer? I’ve been trying to figure out why so many people live in West Seattle and have to drive so far away. I feel like downtown is far away from West Seattle.

      • WSB July 10, 2020 (9:38 pm)

        No one has focused on bringing more good-paying jobs *here*. We’re lucky to live AND work here. But 1991-2007, I commuted off-peninsula.
        Aside from a handful of large employers (Nucor, Providence Mount St. Vincent, SSC, maritime & the Duwamish River-front industrial concerns), we don’t have a ton of good jobs people can do without leaving. Imagine if we had 100 ~hundred-employee companies like Tango Card … 10,000 more people who wouldn’t have to leave. – TR

        • HS July 10, 2020 (10:35 pm)

          Here, here! I was hoping that we’d see some businesses offering professional careers expand / open within the Urban Villages but I haven’t seen it happening yet.

      • Scott Collins July 10, 2020 (10:00 pm)

        Joe, that’s a strange question.  Why do you live here?  Because it’s beautiful, has a strong sense of community, great parks,  the ability to have most everything you need without dealing with “the city”, until recently all balanced by quick access to the city….and approximately 15% discount dollar for dollar on comparable homes in other parts of Seattle?  That’s why my wife and I live here.  Just didn’t anticipate that we would be living on an island, for her job in Bellevue or mine company in North Seattle.  Hard to plan for that!

      • Carole July 10, 2020 (10:06 pm)

        Well sometimes people get transferred.  When I bought in WS I worked downtown and bussed daily. I was transferred to First Hill for a few years (which would have involved 3 busses), then transferred to south end for many more.  (That would have involved 3 busses and 2 hours each way, assuming you make all the connections.)  I drove the 45 minutes each way south and back. You can’t just move when your job site is reassigned, something you have no control over.  Finding a comparable job in WS wasn’t possible.

      • APM July 10, 2020 (10:46 pm)

        I moved to the Seattle area last year and am a consultant, so my firm is based downtown and projects could be all over. My wife works downtown. Honestly before the bridge went out the East side was a great commute from West Seattle – 25 min both ways using Edgar Martinez to avoid I-5.

        Like Scott Collins said, it’s a beautiful place to live and I enjoy going to Alki, Schmitz Preserve, and many of our other spaces with my young son.

        I knew moving to Seattle I’d have a commute – and prioritized living in a place I knew my family and I would love. I just want to see SDOT turning every stone to make this better, and I hadn’t heard overnight Garage access downtown as an option presented.

      • bill July 11, 2020 (12:54 am)

        @Joe Z – The short answer to your question is life changes! My neighbors of ten years, for example, both worked downtown at first, but now one works on the eastside. They invested substantially to enlarge their house for kids. Their house suits their current and future needs. Finding a replacement elsewhere would be a huge task, potentially with little benefit if their employment changes again.

  • Matt P July 10, 2020 (10:44 pm)

    Telework will definitely be more than 10%.  I’m not sure why they aren’t targeting that more.

  • Bazoo July 11, 2020 (7:35 am)

    Bought an e-bike during the lock down. Have returned to work and am riding almost every day. Best part of my day is riding to and from work. Interesting that taking the bike is the same as driving the detour route time wise. 6+ miles each way.

  • 22blades July 11, 2020 (8:28 am)


  • Mj July 11, 2020 (8:54 am)

    Bill the SDoT goal of bikes is 1,000 during the AM peak hour not during an entire day.  I rolled over the low level bridge a couple of days ago around 1600 and saw about 600 counted on a really nice riding day!  Rain, dark and cold is a huge deterrent. 

    The reality the mitigation needed is blanketing WS with transit service, and hopefully get the high bridge repaired and useable again by early next year.  

    • bill July 11, 2020 (3:35 pm)

      MJ – I see. I did not understand the counts are for the single peak hour. But I wonder if the counts are taken at the combined peak, which is going to be the car peak, or the peak for each mode? I have seen easily 50 commuting cyclists waiting when the swing bridge is open, so I suspect 60 is an undercount. I’m also not convinced a peak bike count is representative since there are far too few bikes to cause traffic jams. The time it takes to bike at rush hour is far more certain than driving time. On a bike you don’t have to allow an extra 30-40 minutes for the vagaries of rush hour traffic. Bikes just flow along. I still think that if full reopening occurs lots of people are going to give biking a try after they spend a few hours parked on West Marginal and Highland.

  • Work From Home July 11, 2020 (10:56 am)

    My suggestion that I wrote in the survey was for the city/WSDOT/others have an OUTREACH PLAN directly to businesses explaining the WS bridge problem & encouraging business to consider work-from-home or other solutions for their employees who reside in WS. 

    Most companies have no idea about the WS bridge issue … let them know! 

    This won’t solve every problem so stop nit picking this suggestion (as some of you bloggers always seem to do), it’s one of many things we can try.  If companies are aware of this major problem maybe some of them would be willing to help out (i.e. work-from-home, change schedules, etc).

    This won’t work for some people, I get it, but there are SOME people (many actually) who could work from home once or twice a week, maybe the entire week. This is just one of many solutions that will be needed to avoid massive all-day-long gridlock.

  • Mj July 11, 2020 (5:34 pm)

    Bill – I bike ride a lot, but during the winter my bike is in the garage and I suspect the same is true of many others.  1,000 bikes during the AM peak period is not realistic.   

    • Tsurly July 12, 2020 (6:54 am)

      There is no such thing as bad weather, just a bad choice of clothing and a bad attitude.

  • M.C. July 11, 2020 (8:15 pm)

    I didn’t think of this on the survey, but I think there should be some special consideration given to West Seattle residents who work in jobs, locations, and schedules that simply can not be done from home or on the “island.”  I’m speaking of people like healthcare workers, transit drivers, and others of the like.  Telecommuting is simply not an option, and employers in these fields are not able to simply change their schedule needs.  Often they work 12+ hour shifts, nighttime commute, etc.  There should be a Good to Go type pass to allow them to use the low bridge.  In my case, I work 2-3 days per week in an urgent care clinic in Rainier Valley, and sometimes the Eastside, and depending on patient flow I may not be able to leave until 9pm or later.  My public transit option is to walk half a mile to the light rail, transfer downtown to a bus, then walk up the hill about half a mile home.  I’m sorry, but after 14+ hours away from home, and often needing to do the same thing again the next day, it’s simply more sustainable for my sanity to survive the traffic in the morning to get to work.  (Side note: please, please, for the love of everything, do NOT arrive at a retail health clinic within the last half hour of their stated open hours.  Their employer may require them to treat you, but it is soul-crushing to the employees, who often have a long commute home.)

  • Some people come here to work July 13, 2020 (10:56 am)

    Don’t forget about educators making the reverse commute to get to West Seattle for their jobs at local elementary, middle, high schools and community college.  I imagine that our local grocery stores also have a fair amount of traffic coming into West Seattle both by employees and clients.

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