2 West Seattle Bridge notes

Two bridge-related notes today:

COMMUNITY TASK FORCE MEETING NEXT WEEK: During last night’s District 1 Community Network meeting, West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force member Deb Barker broke the news that the WSBCTF will meet next Wednesday (January 13th). SDOT confirms to WSB that the meeting is set for noon Wednesday; no link or agenda yet. Though the WSBCTF, which is an all-volunteer group, decided to keep meeting, the other advisory group assembled and convened last spring – the Technical Advisory Panel – ended its work last month (as reported here last week).

FRIDAY UPDATE: The meeting viewing link has been added to this page along with a note that agenda items will include low-bridge access policy and Reconnect West Seattle.

LOW BRIDGE CAMERA-TICKETING REMINDER: We reconfirmed with SDOT today that the low-bridge enforcement cameras remain on schedule for activation next Monday (January 11th). Between 5 am and 9 pm, 7 days a week, the cameras will photograph plates (but not drivers) of vehicles crossing the bridge, and the owners of vehicles that aren’t authorized to be using the bridge at the time will get $75 citations. Need a refresher on the current rules? Go here.

30 Replies to "2 West Seattle Bridge notes"

  • CommonSense January 7, 2021 (2:04 pm)

    Get to work SDOT. Seattle could benefit from a normal society with working roads and bridges. Can that be on the agenda? 

    • BBILL January 7, 2021 (5:35 pm)

      They’re collecting data right now.

    • bill January 7, 2021 (10:53 pm)

      Commonsense: Evidently you’ve never planned a project more complicated than grocery shopping.

  • David January 7, 2021 (2:23 pm)

    Does anyone know whether the “Low Bridge Access Policy Subcommittee” (see text below, from the last link in the article) is actually still meeting, and/or whether the city is listening to them?

    We’re working with a subcommittee of the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force to inform this dynamic Low Bridge Access policy and recommend a balanced approach for Low Bridge access. The subcommittee currently consists of members who provide perspectives across these subgroups: West Seattle businesses, the maritime and industrial industry located close to the Low Bridge, other official users, and heath care workers/patients.

    It gives the impression that the question is still open. But it says the only “pre-authorized” people allowed to use it are

    select maritime/industrial vehicles proximate to Harbor Island, International Longshore and Warehouse Union vehicles, and West Seattle business vehicles.

    That wording doesn’t necessarily mean the question is absolutely closed. But on another seattle.gov subpage, it clearly asserts that the only way health care workers will be allowed to use the bridge is if they walk, bike, etc across it. And implies that they shouldn’t be so selfish, since everyone on Inslee’s list* is just as essential as health care in a pandemic.
    * – 14 pages single-spaced, everyone from “commercial retail stores” to musicians. It’s worded so loosely, it probably includes well over half the state.

    • WSB January 7, 2021 (3:16 pm)

      Yes, they are still meeting.

      • BBILL January 7, 2021 (5:41 pm)

        Do you know specifically who crafted the restrictions, and how they were passed into law? I have been unable to find a specific ordinance, but I have not performed an exhaustive search of every action from 2020, nor have I watched every minute of video of the City Council meetings.

        • WSB January 7, 2021 (5:46 pm)


          • BBILL January 7, 2021 (5:53 pm)

            What is SDOT’s process? I’m looking for documents, video, agendas, meeting minutes, whatever. Something, anything, to track this down.

          • WSB January 7, 2021 (7:52 pm)

            We’ve reported on the low-bridge plans incrementally since the bridge closed, many meetings and other stories. They’re all in our bridge coverage archive (we also have linked to agendas, embedded video, etc.). That’s all I got. You otherwise can certainly search SDOT Blog for their in-house writeups. Here’s our very first post about low-bridge restrictions, for comparison’s sake to what they have in place now.

          • AB83 January 7, 2021 (8:08 pm)

            If you click on the link of your archives it specifically says ….and access to Harbor Island….but that has changed because the general public could not follow the rules….

      • David January 7, 2021 (7:21 pm)

        Thank you for the info on the fact they’re still meeting, and the patience with the question.

        (The more I think about it, it wasn’t fair to ask the second part of the question. Not even the city may know whether they’re listening to them. (^_^))

      • HMC January 8, 2021 (10:24 am)

        For healthcare workers in W Seattle who take emergency call (e.g. sometimes need to get quickly to Harborview), is there an avenue for getting connected w SDOT to discuss options? Have tried emailing/calling with no response. Anyone have any ideas? Thank you!

        • WSB January 8, 2021 (10:35 am)

          Not currently.

  • CarDriver January 7, 2021 (4:23 pm)

    WSB. According to the city only rear plate will be photographed? Also, how long after infraction before ticket is mailed? 

    • reed January 8, 2021 (12:11 pm)

      within 14 days, but avoid it all together by not being a scofflaw.

  • CarDriver January 7, 2021 (4:30 pm)

    David. City has promised that they’ll watch traffic and see if they can add more vehicles. The bridge is underused now and can EASILY add more vehicles without impacting freight/emergency traffic. The REALITY is that they’ll “study” and agree with that oh, about a week before the repaired high level reopens.

    • David January 7, 2021 (7:27 pm)

      So some time around 2025, then? (^_~)

  • L January 7, 2021 (4:31 pm)

    Can someone tell them to hurry up?    The 5am to 9pm restriction is absolutely ridiculous.    We need to open up the bridge more once they start ticketing … but of course we know that won’t happen.   

  • Patrick January 7, 2021 (5:35 pm)

    Would be interesting to see who gets to decide ‘pre authorized’ vehicles, and how they would be identified separate from average everyday citizens.   I know it says Harbor Island/maritime vehicles, but suspect lots of people with connections to Seattle Transportation will suddenly be ‘working’ on Harbor Island.

    • AB83 January 7, 2021 (6:25 pm)

      I work on Harbor Island and we have to use the bridge the same as everyone else we do not have access to it even though we have been using that bridge for years to get to work

  • wetone January 7, 2021 (5:37 pm)

    City has had more than enough time to figure realistic common sense hours for bridge to be open for all. The 5-9 hours shows total incompetence, lack of concern and a money grab from SDOT and Mayor Durkan.  Nice they have it open for those coming home from the bar….  Let’s see the REAL LIST of who gets to use bridge (other than metro)and reasoning behind all then maybe I’ll change my statement… City and SDOT’s screwed up thinking is to control everyone. Having them ride a bike, walk or use transit. That don’t work for me, if it works for you great but don’t tell me how to live my life. I wouldn’t own a thing or have it still standing or if I ran things like SDOT and Mayor Durkan…….

    • David January 7, 2021 (7:36 pm)

      Wrt control… all I can do is shrug after Zimbabwe’s answer during the last big meeting, to lots of people asking about raising the speed limit on West Marginal. To me it came across as “We want zero traffic fatalities, so we’re not even going to consider it.”
      Well, I want a perfect world too… but I’m not going to hold my breath and demand everyone else hold theirs until we get one. Maybe a perfect world is possible, once all the groundwork has been laid for mass transit – but until then, we have to live in the one we have. By his logic, I’m surprised he hasn’t proposed immediately banning cars. (Or maybe he has, and I missed that meeting.)

    • Jon Wright January 7, 2021 (7:44 pm)

      Yes, it’s a bummer but some of us recognize that living in a city means that communal sacrifices and accommodations are sometimes necessary. The city is responsible for ensuring the integrity of the low bridge. I trust them to be better judges of what the low bridge is or isn’t capable of than random internet commenters. Everyone has a sad story–medical appointments! kids to school! tools for work! on call!–unfortunately for now the greater good requires limited use of the low bridge.

      • Some Guy January 8, 2021 (12:41 am)

        SDOT Responsible for ensuring the integrity of the low bridge? Lol if it’s similar to how they ensured the integrity of the west seattle bridge I’ll take my chances with the random internet stranger

      • wetone January 8, 2021 (1:36 pm)

        John Wright, if your logic  “The city is responsible for ensuring the integrity of the low bridge. I trust them to be better judges of what the low bridge is or isn’t capable of than random internet commenters”     BIG fail as city proved that with Highrise and many other roadways and elevated structures through out city that are failing. There is no sad story here, it’s called common sense. I also have lots of knowledge on what I’m talking about ;)

  • Morgan January 7, 2021 (7:42 pm)

    Meanwhile….$5bn more for a secondary train connection…for people to enjoy a decade for now.

  • bee January 8, 2021 (9:13 am)

    If the true intent is to keep a lane open for emergency vehicles then why not just cut normal traffic down to one lane like it’s a construction zone, keep one open for emergencies?? Or how about simply using traffic lights at the start/stop of the bridge to meter traffic down to a manageable level that can be cleared easily if emergency vehicles need to use it??  Instead of simple solutions like these that benefit the community they just install auto ticketing…  Kind of infuriating to be honest

  • WSB January 8, 2021 (9:43 am)

    SDOT has added the viewing link for Wednesday’s meeting to this page
    and a note that low-bridge access policy will be discussed as will the overall Reconnect West Seattle program.

  • wetone January 9, 2021 (7:53 am)

    Nice list of people representing businesses on both ends of Highrise, but I see not one name on list representing everyday people needing to commute for work, family or medical reasons on list. Who is representing those ? The hours that lower bridge is open needs changed including opening for a few hours mid day. So easy to control with cameras. If one can’t follow known hours ticket them. I also don’t like way city is misrepresenting bridge issue concerning width. Bridge deck is wide enough to squeeze third vehicle through in a emergency situation if needed. 

  • B. G. Bunting January 9, 2021 (7:56 am)

    Eastbound access from Delridge is currently denied by a “no u-turn” on the left lane access point and a “bus only” sign on the right lane access point. This needs to be corrected for 9pm to 5am traffic.

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