WEST SEATTLE LOW BRIDGE: Here’s who is using it now

Yet another update from today’s West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meeting: Current stats on who’s authorized to use the low bridge.

A new round of access authorization starts on the first of each month, with the application deadline on the 15th of the previous month. (Tomorrow’s the deadline to apply for August access – get the application here.) Patients who need to use the bridge to get to treatments for life-threatening conditions are granted access for three months.

One stat that wasn’t presented is one we’ve been asking SDOT about: Employer shuttles. In a major sign that some morkers are returning to offices, 116 employer shuttles now have access to the low bridge, SDOT tells WSB.

One CTF member asked whether unrestricted access hours – currently 9 pm to 5 am except 9 pm to 8 am on Friday/Saturday and Saturday/Sunday nights/mornings – would expand. Short answer from SDOT: No, though the topic is often revisited.

25 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE LOW BRIDGE: Here's who is using it now"

  • Lisa July 14, 2021 (5:17 pm)

    Allow motorcycles, please!!!

    • Derek July 15, 2021 (11:19 am)

      How is that fair? No.

    • HOV July 15, 2021 (3:41 pm)

      It’s restricted access.  Not an HOV lane. Sorry. You don’t get extra low bridge points by being a motorcycle. 

    • lb July 16, 2021 (7:44 pm)

      In my opinion allowing motorcycles onto the low bridge would be much safer for them considering how backed up w marginal is and considering how badly people drive down there. 

      • alki_2008 July 16, 2021 (10:51 pm)

        Not to mention that motorcycles can pull into the shoulder and get out of the way of emergency vehicles, which is supposedly one of the main determinants of why traffic is being limited on the low bridge……..And motorcycles weigh considerably less than cars as well.

  • Susan L Reed July 14, 2021 (5:25 pm)

    I am not sure why holidays are not included in the 9pm-8am Saturday and Sunday expansion.

  • HarborIslandWorker July 14, 2021 (5:34 pm)

    Got it…… But 90 people that work on Harbor Island and Live in West Seattle can’t use a Bridge they always have because 90 people will exceed capacity. 90 people that slow down freight from exiting Harbor Island every day. 90 extra people on the detour routes causing more traffic for everyone. 90 people that will never use the west Seattle Bridge to get to their location. Yeah……SDOT’S really on top of the traffic mitigation.

  • Dana Eberhardt July 14, 2021 (7:02 pm)

    What about uber/lyft?

    • WSB July 14, 2021 (8:01 pm)

      Ride-hailing/taxis are not in the categories eligible for authorization.

    • Derek July 15, 2021 (11:19 am)

      What about city cabs? This would be a nice way for cabs to make a comeback and counter the awful hyper capitalistic ride hailing companies. 

  • Jason July 15, 2021 (1:57 am)

    Morkers… Nanu nanu! I thought commuter buses had been previously approved. 

  • West Seattle Coug July 15, 2021 (6:40 am)

    Any chance we can get some numbers (count & dollars) on the fines being levied? It’s been crickets on stats ever since they started, and I see lots of folks who would probably be ticketed going across all the time. 

    • Joel July 15, 2021 (1:17 pm)

      tickets for this? what about RVs with no tabs…no insurance….being on the street over 72 hours….ones that have caught fire and left to sit on city streets (a few streets down from the senior most council member’s home) – seems very random enforcement or lack of for the laws.

      • Jerrold July 16, 2021 (3:53 am)

        Yeah, and if your storage room in your home ever caught fire and was contained, you shouldnt be allowed to live in your home anymore because its an eyesore correct?

    • JAT July 16, 2021 (9:20 am)

      I second this ( the curiosity about how many tickets are being issued ) (not the whinging about why aren’t we cracking down on shambolic mobile homes – that’s a different thread entirely)…I guess I would like to know, after a ludicrous delay in enacting an enforcement mechanism for what actually is a public safety issue, whether any enforcement is actually happening.

      • WSB July 16, 2021 (9:33 am)

        We already have a request out to SPD (from which that data comes), will publish a story when I get it. And yes, tickets have been issued, we published some early info a few months back. The most recent policy cited by SDOT is that you get a warning the first time your plate is caught, second and beyond, you get a ticket.

  • Access accountability July 15, 2021 (8:40 am)

    Does anyone know who has oversight for the SDOT committee that approves or denies low bridge access? I know of multiple small retail businesses not approved because they are a mobile retail service business instead of a retail service storefront. This is not part of the access policy. These blue collar businesses need access to parts and supplies for their customers just as much as any other business, and especially more than SDOT’s example last month at the Community Task Force meeting that a restaurant may have urgent need for low bridge access to purchase onions because otherwise their “pico de gallo won’t be as delicious!” Also, alarming to hear that on-call medical workers have been denied low bridge access because SDOT is only granting applications to on-call transplant teams and other life saving medical workers,  but not to on-call urgent care providers. There needs to be more oversight on this approval process.

    • WSB July 15, 2021 (10:28 am)

      There is no “committee” approving/denying access. There is a subcommittee of the Community Task Force that has an advisory role on policy overall but they don’t meet often. Applications are reviewed by SDOT staff. – TR

  • J July 15, 2021 (9:24 am)

    Its maddening that motorcycles aren’t allowed. SDOTs statement that they will cause more congestion has no basis in fact as numerous studies have been done worldwide showing motorcycles help ease congestion. Their other statement that SDOT has safety concerns about motorcycles riding next to trucks and busses is laughable because we ride next to both on other roads all over the city and state. If I have to take the detour to commute to my job, I’ll drive my car because sitting on a motorcycle in miles of stop and go backup is brutal. If I could ride across the low bridge, I’d commute on my motorcycle and would be one less car in the Roxbury/highland park way slog. 

    • HOV July 15, 2021 (3:46 pm)

      I could make a simile argument for my giant SUV filled with people all going to the same place. Having a motorcycle is not a legitimate life-safety emergency or economic factor. Sorry. It’s not an HOV lane. 

  • West Seattle resident July 15, 2021 (11:29 am)

    SDOT needs to be held accountable for what they are doing to the insurmountable and intolerable traffic that hey have burdened so many places in west seattle and south seattle that aren’t equipped to handle the thousands of cars, in white center there was a road rage shooting, accidents near Delridge neighborhoods and highland park are common now. What can we do to get their attention! 

    • Reed July 15, 2021 (1:41 pm)

      The blame lays on people who fail to grasp the reality that we live in a peninsula that had limited egress before the bridge went out, yet continue to drive single occupancy vehicles. I think everyone complaining about the bridge has forgotten these same issues existed and were complained about before the bridge went out and will exist long after the bridge reopens. Nothing can ease traffic around here except habit change, but people just plug their ears and shout la la la (or blame someone else) when this is brought up.

      • Derek July 15, 2021 (1:55 pm)

        A bit ableist and privileged to assume people can just ride bikes or take busses to jobs that are really far away. You want people to spend 3-4 hours a day on public transit if they work in Bellevue or somewhere further? How are non-abled people supposed to ride bikes or busses if they cannot walk for example or have issues walking? Super hyper entitled post.

        • Reed July 15, 2021 (3:59 pm)

          It’s all a choice to ride a bike, ride a bus, or drive a car. I ride a bike, so I have to deal with crappy weather and terrible drivers who endanger my life. If you take public transit, you potentially have to deal with transfers. If you drive, you have to sit in traffic. If you choose to live in West Seattle and work on the east side, that’s on you. It is not being an ableist, it is pointing out reality.

  • Jay July 15, 2021 (1:55 pm)

    The level of aggression that line cutters have, just going for it and nearly causing accidents every few minutes, is getting absurd. Why is there no enforcement? There are speed traps and tons of cops bothering families on the beach, but reckless driving is not a priority?

Sorry, comment time is over.