FOLLOWUP: Here’s how West Seattle low-bridge access applications are going

Four weeks after SDOT opened applications for more categories of drivers to use the low bridge during restricted hours (5 am-9 pm weekdays, 8 am-9 pm weekends), we wondered how many they’ve received and how many have been approved. Here’s what we heard back: 800 businesses and individuals have applied for authorization. SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson tells WSB, “We have approved 469 of these applications (including 100% of the people with lifesaving medical needs).” Applications received by May 15th were reviewed for authorization to start June 1st – here’s the breakdown so far:

105 people with lifesaving medical needs
201 on-call medical providers
116 West Seattle area businesses
47 maritime / industrial businesses

The next round of applications are due by June 15th to be reviewed for possible authorization July 1st (except patients with lifesaving medical treatment, who will be reviewed/approved as quickly as possible, the city says). Application links are here.

31 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Here's how West Seattle low-bridge access applications are going"

  • Michael Shaw May 25, 2021 (6:52 pm)

    Here’s an idea – how about fixing the bridge! It’s been a year and …….

    • Mike May 25, 2021 (7:39 pm)

      For anyone that thinks more government control and giving government more money to solve problems is good, hopefully they’ve been paying attention this past year + on the complete failure of how that works out when gone unchecked and without accountability.I want a federal audit of our city, county and state.  It’s beyond insane.  Far too many special interest groups getting billions in tax dollars with citizens getting little to no return, many times resulting in worse conditions.

      • Sam May 25, 2021 (9:02 pm)


      • bill May 25, 2021 (11:30 pm)

        Let me get this straight, Mike: You want a government to audit another government because governments can’t be trusted to spend tax money. And you would be ok with spending tax money to do this. True, you didn’t actually say the latter, but forensic accountants don’t work for free. 

    • psps May 26, 2021 (12:12 am)

      “Applications for access” is rather silly. Although it isn’t necessary very often, I do use the bridge whenever I need to for my business without any “permit.” It’s just a camera ticket which has no effect on one’s driving record. In other words, it’s actually just a toll (half of which goes to a private company in Arizona.) I bill the client for any “ticket” I get in the mail (I’ve gotten none so far) and they’re happy to pay it. They know that’s just how things are done in Seattle.

      • Anne May 26, 2021 (7:50 am)

        Well goody for you-never ceases to amaze me -the selfishness of others & their justifications for it ( & for breaking the law) . 

      • Auntie May 26, 2021 (9:49 am)

        Wow, aren’t you special and above it all. Just how “important” is your business that you ignore the rules? If everyone thought the way you do, the bridge would be a parking lot.

      • wsresident May 26, 2021 (9:51 am)

        The tickets are two months delayed. I know someone who was using daily – then received a $3000 bill in the mail. You do realize that the fine is to keep people off the bridge because there is a capacity issue, in order for the bridge to stay stable? Your sense of entitlement is astounding. 

        Who cannot use the low bridge weekdays, 5 a.m. to 9 p.m and weekends, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

        • No personal vehicles (cars, minivans, carpools, etc.)
        • THAT IS YOU! NO PERSONAL VEHICLES – not “If you can afford the ticket, feel free to pass”  if you were a stand up person, you’d let your client know that they are paying an unnecessary VIOLATION fee, because you’re lazy NOT A TOLL. Sounds like great business practice, grateful I’m not your client. Stay off the bridge so the people that actually NEED access can utilize it. 

      • westwood May 26, 2021 (10:33 am)

        “I bill the client for any “ticket” I get in the mail (I’ve gotten none so far) and they’re happy to pay it.”

        Your statement is completely contradictory.

        Could it be that, in addition to being a total douche…you’re talking out your a$$?

    • Ant May 26, 2021 (11:49 am)

      That is literally whats being done. You know you can’t just go to the bridge store and buy another one right? Maybe the private sector can do it better – what, wait – it takes Boeing 4 years to design an airplane. Seeing that it’s our money being spent I’m happy the process is thorough, fair, and transparent. 

    • K May 26, 2021 (8:29 pm)

      Seriously. They finished the shoring work in Dec and doing design/planning/prep until this Nov. 11 months. Fix the damn bridge.

  • Swedish Bound May 25, 2021 (10:37 pm)

    The process for obtaining access for lifesaving medical treatment was far quicker than I had anticipated – no, it’s not ideal to be without the high bridge, but it is helpful to be able to cross the low bridge for treatment now.  I appreciate the opportunity to use the low bridge for the next year and appreciate the prompt attention to my application.

    • Pigeonpt May 26, 2021 (12:42 pm)

      I hope your treatment goes well!

  • Al King May 26, 2021 (12:33 pm)

    Auntie. Come across the low bridge after 9pm(it’s LEGAL then-for now) It’s backed up to 99, if not further. Do you believe that the bridge should be off limits 24/7??? If keeping it empty is the goal it should.

    • Auntie May 26, 2021 (8:58 pm)

      Al King:  ?? Not sure to what comment you are referring. I don’t believe I said anything about keeping the bridge empty… I was merely commenting on the attitude of the person who is totally ignoring the rules as they are now.

  • Mj May 26, 2021 (2:53 pm)

    The low level bridge has significantly more capacity than SDoT is allowing. 

    Many businesses and people have conducted a cost benefit analysis and have determined that paying the $75 toll is worth it in some cases.  Further, anyone running behind schedule for an appointment, say pick up a kid from daycare, can elect to pay the toll to save time.

    • SA May 27, 2021 (9:33 am)

      anyone running behind schedule for an appointment, say pick up a kid from daycare, can elect to pay the toll to save time[looks at $75 fine]Wow, that’s an interesting definition of “anyone” you have there.

    • Auntie May 27, 2021 (9:57 am)

      How often do most people actually run late due to circumstances beyond their control? It has been my experience that most tardiness is due to poor planning and some people just tend to be chronically tardy.  And isn’t the “fine” for picking up a child late from daycare less than $75?

    • Reed May 27, 2021 (11:11 am)

      Yep, poor time management should cost you.

  • airfoxnine May 26, 2021 (11:29 pm)

    You know you can’t just go to the bridge store and buy another one right?

  • airfoxnine May 26, 2021 (11:31 pm)

    I appreciate the opportunity to use the low bridge for the next year and appreciate the prompt attention to my application.

    • JenT May 27, 2021 (10:20 am)

      If you’re counting on access until the high bridge re-opens in mid-2022, I recommend watching for SDOT announcements. They have *repeatedly* said they can and will revoke access for many by end of 2021 because of “freight needs.”

      From their blogWe can restrict or revoke access at any time. We will notify people in advance if this is the case. We will reduce or revoke access on the low bridge for many groups in late 2021 so that the bridge has capacity for increased freight traffic. 

  • Concerned citizen May 26, 2021 (11:56 pm)

    Still waiting for an answer on whether our esteemed Seatttle City Council and King County Council members who live in West Seattle are considered “urgent” and given access to use the lower bridge????  They really need to be role models in the process and show that through their shared sacrifice of time understand what their West Seattle constituents are enduring.  WSB:  would so appreciate you getting an answer to this question since it would really help if we felt like the “decision makers” were also feeling the pain from the closed bridge.  Thank you!

    • WSB May 27, 2021 (12:46 am)

      We have already asked that multiple times, and it has been asked in public meetings; SDOT has repeatedly said no.

  • Concerned Citizen May 27, 2021 (12:02 am)

    PS.  I have not received a response to my email sent to Lisa Herbold’s office asking this question.

  • gambaplancha May 27, 2021 (9:02 am)

    I’d like to know how many emergency vehicles have had to cross the low bridge since the closure. If this is the main reason for not letting people use it (during rush hour at the least), show us that it’s needed. These vehicles can still cross if there are cars, they are supposed to get out of the way.

    • AB83 May 27, 2021 (10:17 am)

      I’d like to know why parking enforcement uses the low bridge? What emergency could they possibly be responding to? Just another poor use of an approved user group not following guidelines!
      I have screenshots of the traffic cams to prove it

    • Echo May 27, 2021 (4:15 pm)

      I’ve waffled on the low-bridge issue since the start – that is until I had opportunity to use it on a weekend night at 10:30PM – and holy crap – the low-bridge becomes a parking lot that is backed up onto 99. It takes a significant amount of time to get over it and into West Seattle.Now, I imagine that rush-hour traffic volume is significantly higher than 10:30PM traffic on a Saturday night – use of the low bridge would backup Del Ridge Way and Avalon AND Admiral Way – and make it even more of a nightmare to get out of West Seattle – and I can only imagine that 99 would back way up because of asshats wanting to cut the line and try to merge last minute onto that exit.

  • Al King May 27, 2021 (5:42 pm)

    Auntie. SDOT claims emergency vehicle access is the reason for low bridge restrictions. Come across after 9 on a weekend and it sure meets the criteria for “parking lot”.  When Terminal 5 is in full operation it will be a parking lot of semi’s. Do you really believe SDOT will restrict them?? What will be their answer if an emergency vehicle can’t get through. I get it, low bridge would be a plugged up mess if it were open to all at all times. My problem is that it’s clear SDOT has no clue how to make effective use of the low bridges capacity. Do you? 

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