TRAFFIC ALERT: Camera installation on West Seattle low bridge Thursday

(Reader photo)

A week and a half ago, we reported that the low-bridge enforcement cameras would be installed this week. SDOT says that’s happening tomorrow (Thursday, December 10th), and that means a traffic alert:

New cameras will be installed Thursday, December 10. On Thursday, the Low Bridge will be reduced to one lane (so that vehicles can travel in only one direction at a time) from as early as 9 a.m. to as late as 3 p.m. A flagger will be present to guide people who are authorized to drive on the Low Bridge. Please be aware that the flagger is present and be prepared to stop if you are driving in either direction.

The cameras are expected to be activated in January. Here’s an update from SDOT on exactly how the camera enforcement system will work, as well as a refresher on current rules regarding low-bridge use.

38 Replies to "TRAFFIC ALERT: Camera installation on West Seattle low bridge Thursday"

  • AB83 December 9, 2020 (8:32 pm)

    This is ridiculous…….

    • BW December 9, 2020 (8:57 pm)

      Truer words….stupidity.

    • LR December 9, 2020 (9:18 pm)

      It really is.  I think they have a more important problem to focus on.

      • Darius December 10, 2020 (6:53 am)

        This will free up the police officers that have been handling the enforcement to focus on those “more important problems”. You should be thrilled! Unless, of course, your concern wasn’t truly for the use of public resources, but rather personal inconvenience.

    • Scott Collins December 10, 2020 (9:58 am)

      Ridiculous why?

      • AB83 December 10, 2020 (3:41 pm)

        It’s ridiculous because I work on Harbor Island 95% of the people that are using it are trying to cut the traffic …… I’ve always used the low Bridge to get to work I didn’t just start using it because the west Seattle Bridge got shut down….. it’s ridiculous because I shouldn’t have to potentially accrue a penalty/ticket simply because of my job location it’s ridiculous ……because people are being given priority versus people who used to use it on a normal basis 

        • Pc December 12, 2020 (10:21 am)

          If you work on harbor island you can get a pass that exempts you. 

    • AMD December 10, 2020 (9:59 am)

      Truly ridiculous that we can’t just count on people to follow the rules and instead have to fine them so they follow the rules.

    • Question Authority December 10, 2020 (10:49 am)

      It is ridiculous that the fine isn’t higher and increases every time you get caught.

      • Frog December 10, 2020 (11:28 am)

        It’s ridiculous that they didn’t place a toll on the lower bridge to raise money for repair of the upper one, and let people decide whether it’s worth it to them to take the shortcut.

  • Chuck Jacobs December 9, 2020 (10:11 pm)

    Unless the state legislature has changed the law recently,  automated cameras cannot be used to enforce this law, regulation, code, or whatever it is. Also, if the registered owner was not driving the vehicle at the time the photo was taken, they do not have to pay the fine.

    • WSB December 9, 2020 (10:13 pm)

      Yes, the state Legislature changed the law recently.

  • bfly December 9, 2020 (11:13 pm)

    Well, that’s just a fine “how do you do”. 2020 keeps on playing the hits.

  • Omg December 10, 2020 (12:20 am)

    Oh, you poor privileged people. You wont be able to use the lower bridge now,  omg, what are you going to do now.  

    • Cat December 10, 2020 (6:41 am)

      There are a lot of people that work in West Seattle providing essential services that struggle daily to travel to and from West Seattle to serve the community – nurses, doctors, care givers, other clinic staffs, grocery workers etc. and they are not allowed to use the low bridge except after 9:00 pm. That adds massively more stress to an already challenging situation.So its not just about whether some people who live there feel entitled to use it.

      • Omg again December 10, 2020 (11:24 am)

        Yes Cat , that is privileged too. People need to change they way they do things,  and breaking the law must be ok to you.  I was just by there and down to one lane,  and you should see the cars going over the bridgeCan’t fix stupid, they just moved to west Seattle

        • Cat December 10, 2020 (1:43 pm)

          They should change the law to allow essential workers to use the bridge when they need to. If not, then I guess you’ll be fine with no longer having the privilege of seeing your doctors, nurses and other service providers at the times you would like to!

          • Question Authority December 10, 2020 (6:24 pm)

            I can hear the never ending justifications for exemptions coming soon – I do this, I do that, I’m more essential than you blah blah blah.  There are drawbacks to living on a peninsula, they have now come home to the residents who live there.

          • AMD December 10, 2020 (7:04 pm)

            Pretty much everyone who’s still working is deemed “essential.”  Hospital workers, transit drivers, grocery clerks, delivery folks from every delivery company out there, utility workers, teachers, anyone in shipping, receiving, warehousing, or logistics, tug boat captains, commercial construction workers, the list goes on.  Limiting is to “essential workers” is barely limiting it at all.  

          • Question Authority December 10, 2020 (7:27 pm)

            Well played, thank you.

    • Lance December 10, 2020 (8:25 am)

      Being forced to take the detour adds an hour to my round-trip commute and the closing doesn’t make sense because ambulances still have sirens to clear traffic. But nice work throwing around your Privilege accusations like I’m sure you do in all of your other troll jobs. It’s very 2020 of you. 

  • Pinky up December 10, 2020 (5:58 am)

    ^noobBuy a Semi to commute in duh! 

    • Andy December 10, 2020 (1:16 pm)


  • Eldorado December 10, 2020 (6:50 am)

    Great news. Now the violators can take solace in being a contributor to the ‘repair the bridge now fund’ AND as an extra bonus traffic on the detour routes will be worse. Yay!  The money it takes to install, monitor, sustain, and manage these cameras could certainly be spent in a better way IMHO… 2021 is only gonna get worse.I am proud to say, I’ve never used the low bridge illegally during all of this; I use the detour routes as I’ve been told, and it sucks, but i also think installing these cameras is a slap in the face to West Seattle Residents… 

  • SJ December 10, 2020 (7:29 am)

    This is a good idea. The lower bridge is too full–I was on it once (after 9 pm) and an ambulance had a hard time getting through. I hate the traffic as much as anyone, but emergency vehicles need to be able to get to Harborview for trauma cases.

  • James Brady December 10, 2020 (8:33 am)

    If their rationale for this is to free up lanes for ambulances to leave West Seattle then why do they need to limit traffic west bound back into West Seattle? Also, the bridge still opens for boats right? Wouldn’t that cause a far greater delay for an ambulance? The nice thing about ambulances is they have sirens and cars move out of the way for them. It is HIGHLY unlikely that you would have such bad gridlock in both directions on the bridge that cars literally couldn’t make room for an ambulance. Also, having the bridge closed 9pm to 6am is absurd. If you have to limit the use, limit to just the 5 or 6 hours of rush hour.

    • WSB December 10, 2020 (9:05 am)

      Just to be clear, the low bridge is open to all 9 pm-5 am. Restrictions are 5 am-9 pm.

    • skeeter December 10, 2020 (11:00 am)

      Why are people so fixated on ambulances and sirens?  The big volume on the lower bridge is busses.  Hundreds cross the lower bridge every day.  We can’t have busses gridlocked and waiting through 8 light cycles to cross the bridge.  

  • norsegirl December 10, 2020 (8:40 am)

    Does anyone know if the city counsel members who live in W. Sea are cleared to be able to use the lower bridge at any and all times?

    • WSB December 10, 2020 (9:04 am)

      We have answered this question several times already. No, they are not, nor is anyone else who isn’t covered by the published rules.

    • skeeter December 10, 2020 (11:04 am)

      Norsegirl – I’m not a councilmember, but I’ve been cleared to use the lower bridge at all times.  On my bike, on my feet, or in a bus.  Yeah, it’s lousy my brand new Escalade sits in my garage but these are challenging times and I realize I need to make sacrifices.

  • Rick December 10, 2020 (8:48 am)

    How would you go about identifying the driver of the vehicle if they are wearing a mask as per Jay?

  • smittytheclown December 10, 2020 (8:49 am)

    Has it ever been explained as to why – if there were an emergency vehicle need – that traffic wouldn’t be able to pull over to the side(s) like we do everywhere else to create a path?  Is it too skinny? If they want it just for public transportation just say so.

    • wetone December 10, 2020 (10:57 am)

      The bridge roadway is plenty wide for emergency vehicles to travel in center if cars pull to side. Seen this multiple times going back and forth from marina, lots of room and no issues. I think the main issue is intersection/lights on west side backing traffic up across bridge at rush hour. I really see no reason why its not open longer to all, and off limits like 7-10 am  3-6pm. I truly believe it’s city, port and special interest groups pushing this agenda. Next on list will be city working with state on tolling 1st ave bridge ;) 

  • L December 10, 2020 (2:25 pm)

    The bottom line is that traffic is going to get horrifically worse due to this camera situation and the reopening of society that is going to really start to happen in earnest in a few months.   We HAVE to find a better way to utilize the lower bridge until the high bridge can be repaired.   How about carpools?  What about loosening westbound lanes since emergency vehicles aren’t as impacted?    How about loosening the ludicrous 5am-9pm closure by a half hour or hour on either end?   Maybe there are some technological solutions that we haven’t thought of?   There has got to be a better way.

  • westseattleisbroken December 10, 2020 (2:45 pm)

    The buses and freight are the ones that broke the upper bridge – so why are they – especially freight that is already using marginal way as well – able to use the lower bridge no problem, but everyone else is blocked off? Have they even TRIED opening it up for people, and seeing where traffic would be? Have they tried doing a toll across the bridge to let people decide of the cost was worth it? Because, honestly, this city keeps laying it on west seattle residents, and we pay an extremely high cost to live here (have you looked at the average cost of a 3 or 4 bedroom home north of the morgan junction recently?). and some of us, especially those with children, can’t just take a bus or a bike to downtown for what we need. 

    • Yourebroken December 10, 2020 (5:57 pm)

      Ha, what broke the bridge was a s–t design and not monitoring it.

  • no December 10, 2020 (5:35 pm)

    where can i rent or buy a semi for cheap?

Sorry, comment time is over.