FOLLOWUP: West Marginal/Highland Park Way traffic camera on the way

Since the bridge closure six months ago raised the volume of traffic through the West Marginal/Highland Park Way intersection, people have been asking about getting a traffic camera there, to see backups and incidents. When six new traffic cameras were announced elsewhere in May, we asked about it, and SDOT said no additional new cameras were planned. Then last week, while talking with SDOT’s Heather Marx about the overall West Marginal plan (WSB coverage here), we asked again, and she said it was a possibility, so they would look into it. Today, we just got word that a temporary camera is now in place at the intersection and SDOT is working to make it accessible via its traffic-info map. SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson has one caveat: “Because there is no fiber-optic connection to this intersection, the camera will need to use cellular data to send images. This means that the public will see still images updated every minute, and not a constant video stream. This will be an interim solution as we investigate what it would take to install a permanent camera at this location.” The camera should appear on the map “by next week,” he adds. The image above is a framegrab taken during testing.

P.S. The West Marginal plan will be a topic during this week’s West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meeting, noon Wednesday (September 23rd) – here’s the agenda. SDOT tells us that from now on, the meetings will be livestreamed on YouTube – here’s the link.

5 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: West Marginal/Highland Park Way traffic camera on the way"

  • Chemist September 21, 2020 (8:37 pm)

    YouTube is probably the better venue for a general public that’s not permitted to comment.  An added benefit will be that recording/ability to watch later will be an added feature of YouTube, probably with auto-generated closed captions for those who desire.  I just hope they figure out how to handle breakout sessions on youtube and pay attention to the feed quality…  the general public doesn’t get info packets to flip through and has to make do with what’s on the screen and breakouts into separate topics has been done in the past.

  • One is better than none but not better than 3 September 22, 2020 (11:01 am)

    Thank you West Seattle Blog for continuing to ask this question, which in turn may have prompted SDOT to install a the first of what I hope will be multiple cameras so that SDOT has a full view of the problematic light timing at this intersection and related path to the 1st Ave bridge.

  • Jfc September 22, 2020 (7:45 pm)

    More cameras, speed limits, speed bumps, bike and transit lanes… Just a good way to watch the traffic back up. How about trucks have to use low bridge instead of 1st ave or everyone can use both to create better flow and less traffic. 

    • Jort September 24, 2020 (1:20 pm)

      Just an FYI, the traffic is backing up because of “cameras,” it’s backing up because there are too many cars on the road. If you’re in traffic, you ARE the traffic. 

  • Alki resident September 23, 2020 (12:03 am)

    Thank YOU WSB for staying on top of SDOT and pushing for answers/solutions. We appreciate everything you do!

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