TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, ROAD WORK: Monday watch, as low-bridge camera ticketing begins

5:40 AM: It’s Monday, January 11th, the 294th morning without the West Seattle Bridge.

LOW-BRIDGE CAMERA ENFORCEMENT: It’s also the first day the enforcement cameras on the low bridge will be activated, SDOT says, photographing vehicles so that $75 tickets can be sent to owners of unauthorized vehicles crossing between 5 am and 9 pm.

For a reminder of the rules, see our story from last night.


Delridge projectHere’s the plan for this week. 9:59 AM UPDATE: The Thistle closure east of Delridge hsa begun:

Arbor Heights projectGas-line replacement work on SW 104th is expected to start today.

California and MyrtleThe sewer-repair project continues – if driving/riding on California, watch out for the bumps.


West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way is back in alignment:

Highland Park Way/Holden:

The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):

The main detour route across the Duwamish River, the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map) . Here are two cameras:

The other major bridge across the river – the South Park Bridge (map). Here’s the nearest camera:

Going through South Park? Don’t speed. (Same goes for the other detour-route neighborhoods, like Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge.)

To check for bridges’ marine-traffic openings, see the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed.

You can view all local traffic cams here; locally relevant cameras are also shown on this WSB page.


Metro – On regular schedule – if you’re not subscribed to alerts, you can watch @kcmetrobus on Twitter for them

Water Taxi – On regular schedule

Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.

45 Replies to "TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, ROAD WORK: Monday watch, as low-bridge camera ticketing begins"

  • West Seattle Coug January 11, 2021 (6:41 am)

    Watching the two SDOT cameras (Chelan Ave. & on the bridge), I’m seeing lots of revenue for the city flowing back and forth! It would be nice if the city could report on how many violators their cameras caught this first day of ticketing…

  • Delridge January 11, 2021 (7:00 am)

    Looks like nagging them about the traffic camera helped. Emailed them twice. Maybe they’ll see all the traffic (again) and encourage them to get the Bridge back up sooner, ha!

  • smittytheclown January 11, 2021 (7:50 am)

    Seems like such a lazy solution.  All that concrete going empty when it could be used to lighten traffic on West Marginal.Why not day of month – or bi-weekly – exceptions by plate number?  Photo’s could certainly be run through a database to confirm it was “your day”.  Allowing 5% of traffic to use the lower bridge would not slow down any emergency response.

    • AMD January 11, 2021 (8:54 am)

      That would either be a giant headache and a waste of taxpayer (my) money to have someone sit down and pick days for everyone that would be “their” special exception day, or if we let people choose the day for themselves, everyone would use their exception day when there was an incident or backup on the 1st Avenue Bridge–the exact time we need the low bridge to stay clear the most so Emergency Vehicles still have one reliable option.

      • CR January 11, 2021 (9:54 am)

        It’s not all that difficult. In Bogota they came up with an easy way to do this by allowing vehicles based on the last digit in your license plate # and the day of the week. It’s used in other places as well:

        • Anne January 11, 2021 (10:25 am)

          If for one second you think Seattle would adopt a logical alternative-from anywhere-  you are dreaming. Follow  the rules or pay the fine ( or not).

        • AMD January 11, 2021 (12:16 pm)

          Or, you know, people could just plan their commutes accordingly and we can level the low bridge as open as possible for First Responders.  This does seem like the easiest possible solution.

          • reed January 11, 2021 (3:34 pm)

            So true AMD.

            “West Seattle: It is everyone’s fault but mine.”

          • L January 12, 2021 (8:20 am)

            I would think that we could open up the lower bridge to more cars (let’s get creative)  and still leave it open to first responders by using the traffic lights that close the bridge to maritime traffic.   Anytime there is an ambulance that needs to cross the bridge, turn the traffic light to red and the ambulance can drive around the traffic easily.    But such creative solutions don’t conform to SDOT’s car-hating philosophy.     

    • alki_2008 January 11, 2021 (7:35 pm)

      If making space for emergency vehicles was really the issue, then motorcycles and scooters (Vespa’s) would not be restricted from the low bridge.

  • psps January 11, 2021 (7:50 am)

    We’ve already informed our clients that, beginning today, we can provide on-site service anytime it is required with the proviso that, if it’s between 5 AM and 9 PM, there will be a $200 surcharge. (Until now, we were providing on-site service only between 9 PM and 5 AM.) Every single client said they had no problem with it. Everyone knows how Seattle rolls on these things. It’s all about the vig.

    • Foop January 11, 2021 (9:43 am)

      Nice thing about the free market, I can tell your business to shove it.

    • Joe Z January 11, 2021 (10:33 am)

      Sounds like the $75 fine needs to go up for repeat offenders. 

  • Chris K January 11, 2021 (8:30 am)

    Hurray for more traffic on Marginal.

  • Bob Hull January 11, 2021 (8:45 am)

    Does anyone know where the camera(s) are located?  On this side of the bridge or the other side. Depending on the location of the camera,  people could potentially get a free ride when traveling eastbound if they are going to Harbor Island.

    • GGG January 11, 2021 (10:55 am)

      They are pole mounted on both sides of the bridge and aimed at each traffic lane when coming up the bridge. There may be clever ways to obscure a plate with plausible deniability depending on how it’s mounted on a vehicle.

    • AB83 January 11, 2021 (7:43 pm)

      Bob Hull….. A free ride to Harbor Island (laugh) The Spokane Street bridge goes to Harbor Island… Harbor Island workers should be able to access their job location. Harbor Island workers have used that bridge for years. We are not the same as people crossing the bridge to cut down on our commute. Why can’t people see this(Baffled)

  • Chuck Jacobs January 11, 2021 (10:01 am)

    Remember, if your car is photographed violating the bridge restrictions, and you receive a ticket in the mail, and you weren’t driving it at the time, you just need to sign a statement saying it wasn’t you and the violation is canceled. 

    • reed January 11, 2021 (11:21 am)

      You mean commit fraud?

      • Chuck Jacobs January 11, 2021 (12:04 pm)

        How is it fraud to not pay for a violation you didn’t commit?

        • reed January 11, 2021 (3:37 pm)

          What do you suggest Chuck? That people trade cars with their friends and neighbors so when a ticket shows up they can claim innocence? That loophole make work the first time, but eventually you will get caught.

          • Chuck Jacobs January 11, 2021 (8:17 pm)

            I didn’t and wouldn’t suggest any such thing. You can read what I said as well as the RCW linked below to confirm it.  I think that everyone should obey the letter and spirit of the law to the best of their ability.  If they’re caught breaking the law, they should pay whatever penalty is adjudicated by the criminal justice system.

    • skeeter January 11, 2021 (12:51 pm)

      Chuck Jacobs are you sure about that?  My understanding is the fine is applied to the vehicle, not the driver.  So the fine is the obligation of the vehicle owner regardless of who the driver is.  Similar to a parking ticket.  Maybe I misunderstood.

  • Will S. January 11, 2021 (10:04 am)

    I live near the California-Myrtle project, which extends to the corner with Frontenac Street. My wife was out walking the dog this morning around 7, and at California and Frontenac there was an ambulance attending to a bicyclist who had suffered injuries that seemed serious–in that a stretcher was needed. It wasn’t clear whether the bicyclist had wiped out on the large construction-related bump, or been hit by a car, or something else. I hope the bicyclist will be ok. Has the blog heard any news?

    • WSB January 11, 2021 (11:04 am)

      First I’ve heard of it. It’s only logged on the SFD real-time log as an “aid response,” which is the loeest-level medical response, so that rules out major injuries.

      • Jen FW January 16, 2021 (3:58 pm)

        I wish the “aid response” log truly ruled out major injuries. She was admitted to the Trauma ICU at Harborview with multiple internal and external injuries :(

        • WSB January 16, 2021 (4:05 pm)

          Sometimes when people get to the hospital they turn out to be in worse shape. I am sorry this didn’t turn out to be the case. But it’s all we have to go on if assessing situations that we didn’t hear about at the time. Usually bicycle/motorcycle/pedestrian injury incidents are dispatched as Medic response, 6 per rule. By the way, this project is on the agenda for next Wednesday’s Morgan Community Association meeting – one other venue to bring up a concern, as in addition to the danger posed by the road bumps themselves, they didn’t get advance wider community notification out about this project (as with the SPU project on Sylvan today and tomorrow) … TR

    • Patty C January 11, 2021 (5:12 pm)

      The bicyclist hit the bump. I was one of several who saw the crash and stopped. The bicyclist was conscious and complained of back pain, so probably needed the stretcher in case of back injury or to prevent causing further injury. Hoping the cyclist is ok.

      • Jen Finkle-Weaver January 16, 2021 (9:02 pm)

        Hi Patty,It was my wife who had the bicycle accident. Her injuries were pretty severe. Would you be willing to share what you saw? Thanks so much. Jen

      • Bob Anderton January 20, 2021 (11:40 am)

        Hi Patty-I am a lawyer and represent the person on the bicycle who crashed and was very seriously injured.

        Would you please call me to discuss what you saw? My phone number is 206-262-9290. You can also email me at

  • CarDriver January 11, 2021 (10:50 am)

    SDOT claims emergency vehicle is important. What do they say about the(at times)VERY clogged up Chelan;W Marginal-Highland park and other intersections? I guessing they think the low bridge is the only place in WS that is important. 

    • Anne January 11, 2021 (11:17 am)

      I really don’t believe SDOT thinks that-but low bridge is a more central access  point to get to various parts of WS-maybe more importantly is central access to go east to Harborview  other hospitals. 

  • rpo January 11, 2021 (11:32 am)

    Watching the live video feed today of the 5 way intersection to see everyone who are earning tickets is really making my day.

  • CarDriver January 11, 2021 (12:06 pm)

    FOOP. psps is not unique. I’ve heard MANY service providers-plumbers;electricians;carpenters that will either charge people the ticket cost or will tell them they’re not going to come because they can’t afford the extra commute time. The “free market” isn’t free all the time.

    • WSB January 11, 2021 (12:48 pm)

      And we have many service providers of the type you mention in West Seattle as well as in points south that don’t require bridge crossing. You have options other than dealing with somebody who’s going to charge you for a bridge ticket or claim they don’t have the time. (Disclaimer, I have no idea what field PSPS is in, so there’s a chance s/he/they could be one of the rare one-of-a-kind service providers.)

      • John W January 11, 2021 (2:13 pm)

        Thank you WSB Editor.I for one appreciate monitoring some of the anecdotal reports like ones that imply that all service people, plumbers, electricians carpenters and tradespeople apparently live and commute from downtown Seattle. -Just a glance to the WSB advertiser scroll contradicts this.

      • alki_2008 January 11, 2021 (7:40 pm)

        Of course, that assumes that all such vendors are of the same quality/competence.  Or that there are enough West Seattle vendors that customers can get service in a timely manner. Not everyone can wait several days for a service call because the vendors are West Seattle are too busy.

  • abovealki January 11, 2021 (12:50 pm)

    Tracy — It was stated above that “saying it wasn’t you” would cancel a violation. Could you find out if that is in fact true? BTW, I myself have not once driven on the low bridge since it was closed to the general public.

    • Reed January 11, 2021 (6:42 pm)

      RCW  46.63.075

      Safety camera infractionsPresumption.

      (1) In a traffic infraction case involving an infraction detected through the use of an automated traffic safety camera under RCW 46.63.170 or detected through the use of an automated school bus safety camera under RCW  46.63.180, proof that the particular vehicle described in the notice of traffic infraction was in violation of any such provision of RCW  46.63.170 and  46.63.180, together with proof that the person named in the notice of traffic infraction was at the time of the violation the registered owner of the vehicle, constitutes in evidence a prima facie presumption that the registered owner of the vehicle was the person in control of the vehicle at the point where, and for the time during which, the violation occurred.(2) This presumption may be overcome only if the registered owner states, under oath, in a written statement to the court or in testimony before the court that the vehicle involved was, at the time, stolen or in the care, custody, or control of some person other than the registered owner.

  • Smittytheclown January 11, 2021 (12:50 pm)

    They do it all over the world.  It would also encourage carpooling.  Oh, tomorrow  is YOUR day?  Let’s carpool!

  • CarDriver January 11, 2021 (1:49 pm)

    WSB. Agreed. There are many excellent service providers in WS. But there’s no stopping anyone from adding “the cost of doing business” An example is a family member that services a lot of WS businesses. Problem is that his warehouse is in Kent with a secondary pick up point is in SODO. necessitating a trip out of WS daily. While he HASN’T gone across the low bridge his employer does “add in” his extra time on the road.

    • Foop January 11, 2021 (3:08 pm)

      If someone wants to charge me more to selfishly take a course of action that is a net negative to society and my local civilization (low bridge being blocked and an emergency occurs for example) I won’t ld happily pay their competitor much more for simply helping us to function civilly and with empathy towards situations we may not understand. Or, just to give psps the middle finger.

  • CarDriver January 11, 2021 (1:57 pm)

    Anne. I’m guessing that anyone that lives in Highland Park or south of there is not taken across the low bridge but across the 1st  S bridge.

  • Mj January 11, 2021 (10:39 pm)

    Reed – the RCW 46.63.075 is Safety Camera Infraction.  Driving across the low level bridge IS NOT a driving safety issue.  The use of the low bridge is a political issue.  Any fines associated with the use of the low level bridge should be treated similar to a parking violation since there is no nexus to driving safety identified.

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