TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: Battery Street Tunnel is open again

October 11, 2015 at 6:04 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | Comments Off

6:04 PM: If you were headed for Highway 99 any time soon – northbound from here, or southbound toward here, you should know there’s a big problem right now: The Battery Street Tunnel is closed in both directions.

6:16 PM: Scanner indicates the fire suppression system in the tunnel went off though there was no fire, and that a shutoff is in the works – “shouldn’t be long” is the exact quote.

6:55 PM: SDOT says the tunnel is now open again, both ways.

FERRY ALERT: Fauntleroy route runs canceled because of vessel trouble

October 10, 2015 at 7:37 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | Comments Off

7:37 PM: If you’re using the Washington State Ferries Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route tonight, note that M/V Tillikum is having mechanical trouble, so WSF has cancelled at least three runs, including Vashon 7:35 pm and Fauntleroy 8:00 pm departures.

11:04 PM NOTE: WSF has continued sending alerts about delays throughout the evening – check here for the latest, if you’re heading out.

UPDATE: President Obama’s three-hour Seattle visit is over

October 9, 2015 at 3:06 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 16 Comments

(Added: Photo by David Hutchinson, seen from Don Armeni)

3:06 PM: As of a few minutes ago, Air Force One had left Eugene and was headed this way, so, as expected, the president should arrive at Boeing Field by 4. He’ll be headed to downtown, and then back to Boeing Field 7-ish. Updates to come.

(Added: Photo courtesy Jonathan – AF1 approaching Boeing Field)

3:43 PM: Air Force One landed a few minutes ago. Northbound I-5 is closed from Albro northward, awaiting the motorcade.

3:56 PM: Regional media at Boeing Field say the motorcade’s heading for downtown. The onramps to I-5 close for this too, so if you’re heading for the eastbound bridge, you can expect to be stopped until President Obama has passed.

4:07 PM: The onramps have reopened, so traffic on NB I-5 should get back to normal again soon. Downtown, you’ll see these restrictions and these bus reroutes until the president’s visit is over. Metro also issued a general alert about “service delays for routes heading south from downtown Seattle.”

6:34 PM: Regional-media coverage indicates the president’s speech is over and he’ll be headed back to Boeing Field momentarily. This WSDOT tweet underscores that:

If you need to get to the east side of the West Seattle Bridge, particularly Southbound I-5, we’d advise waiting a bit.

6:49 PM: The freeway has reopened; the president is at Boeing Field.

7:02 PM: Wheels up for Air Force One, now headed for San Francisco. If you like the behind-the-scenes details, here’s the “daily guidance/press schedule” for today, information routinely published by several news sites.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates, including President Obama’s pm visit

October 9, 2015 at 6:59 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 2 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:59 AM: One traffic alert to start with – the investigation of a deadly shooting at 4th Avenue S. and Royal Brougham has the northbound lanes of 4th closed. Buses are rerouted off 4th in the area as a result. The shooting happened three hours ago.

PRESIDENTIAL VISIT: Looking ahead to the afternoon/evening commute – President Obama‘s schedule is projected to be about the same as what we were discussing yesterday, arriving at Boeing Field before 4 pm, heading to the Westin downtown for two events, leaving around 7. The transit reroutes planned for the visit are detailed here; the downtown security zone is detailed here. He’ll be coming here from Eugene, OR, where Air Force One will remain during his visit to Roseburg (shuttling via helicopter), so we’ll have a good short-term alert when he’s on the way.

8:01 AM: 4th is now open both ways, per SDOT:

8:05 AM: One weekend traffic reminder for West Seattle – 2-5 pm on Sunday (October 11th), the Fauntleroy Fall Festival is happening at venues on both sides of the 9100 block of California SW. Our preview has details, including the entertainment/activity schedule.

8:11 AM: If you’re headed for southbound I-5 from the West Seattle Bridge, it could get a little problematic – there’s an SFD response at Albro.

8:13 AM: The 4th Ave. S. bus routes that were rerouted earlier are back to normal except for one thing: “The northbound stop just north of Royal Brougham Way remains closed,” per a text from Metro.

8:38 AM: That stop has now reopened.

9:01 AM: All SB I-5 lanes are now open at the scene of the fire call mentioned above, south of the West Seattle Bridge (though two northbound lanes remain blocked).

9:43 AM: From Washington State Ferries:

Starting Monday, Oct. 12, customers are advised to prepare for at least a week of longer than usual wait times due to a temporary vessel downsizing on the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth route. The temporary downsizing is needed to maintain a 3-boat sailing schedule while the Cathlamet is out of service for its annual maintenance and U.S. Coast Guard inspection. The F/V/S route will be served by the 124-car Issaquah, 87-car Tillikum and 87-car Evergreen State.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday alerts and updates; presidential visit tomorrow afternoon/evening

October 8, 2015 at 6:59 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 9 Comments


(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:59 AM: No incidents in our area or the nearest outbound routes so far this morning.

PRESIDENTIAL VISIT FRIDAY: After President Obama visits Roseburg, Oregon, tomorrow to meet with families of the college shooting victims, he will be heading this way for a Seattle fundraiser stop. We’ve looked and listened in a variety of places but we’re not finding the schedule yet. (The aviation alert for Eugene, from which he will travel to and from Roseburg by helicopter before heading to Seattle, runs until 3:15 pm, and the one for Seattle runs until 7:30 pm.) **ADDED** Sen. Patty Murray‘s campaign, presenting the Seattle event, says it starts at 5 pm. … **2ND ADD** SPD has some downtown-specific information for Friday here. He’s going to downtown Seattle for a 4:30 pm party roundtable and then the Murray fundraiser, says Channel 7. **3RD ADD** Metro has added some reroutes related to street closures – look for the 10/9 listings here. ** More as we get it.

(back to original traffic watch for the day)

7:38 AM: Still relatively quiet, aside from the usual backups. Transportation headlines from the past day, in case you missed them: Next Alaskan Way Viaduct inspection closure is set for Halloween weekend … Speaking of The Viaduct, did you see the video explaining what’s happening with the tunneling machine?

8:23 AM – NEED AN ORCA LIFT CARD? If you qualify for the ORCA LIFT discount-transit-fare program but haven’t gotten around to enrolling yet, there’s a new place to do it in West Seattle – the city will have staff at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way SW) from 1-6 pm every Wednesday starting next week (October 14th). Not sure if you qualify? Check here.


10:02 AM: Washington State Ferries says heavy fog has the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run at least half an hour behind schedule right now.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Rainy Wednesday updates

October 7, 2015 at 7:04 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 29 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:04 AM: Rain’s back. One incident just reported – a crash toward the east end of the SW Roxbury corridor, at 3rd and Olson.

7:44 AM: The SFD call for that crash has closed.

7:59 AM: As commenters are noting – traffic is just a general mess. As the WSDOT traffic tweeter put it:

8:34 AM: Alert texted/tweeted by Sound Transit: “All ST Express buses are experiencing 20-40 min delays due to slow moving traffic due to the rain and previous collisions or disabled vehicles blocking lanes.” (The Express buses include Route 560, which runs to/from the Westwood area.)

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday updates & alerts

October 6, 2015 at 6:28 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | Comments Off

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
No incidents of interest to our area, so far.

ROAD WORK ALERT: The city says it’s continuing work at the intersection of 21st Ave SW and SW Genesee St on Pigeon Point (as seen here on Friday) and that the intersection “will be closed to southbound traffic” for a few more days “while crews install new sidewalk and curb ramps. A signed detour will be in effect to direct southbound traffic around the work: From 21st Ave SW travel east on SW Charlestown St to 20th Ave SW; then travel south on 20th Ave SW to SW Genesee St. … Crews have also begun surveying the area where 22nd Ave SW merges into 21st Ave SW. As part of the greenway project, we will install a new sidewalk, pavement and curb ramp.” This is part of the Delridge/Highland Park Neighborhood Greenway project.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Published here on Monday, here’s first word of a big project that will affect one mile of Delridge Way next year – the complete replacement of the streetlight system between Myrtle and Henderson, plus a lighting upgrade for the SW Holden stairway.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday updates & alerts, with football tonight

October 5, 2015 at 6:41 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 2 Comments

(Three WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:41 AM: Good morning! So far this morning, no incidents in West Seattle or on the major outbound routes from here. Big story later will be Monday Night Football, with the Seahawks hosting Detroit, 5:30 pm kickoff at CenturyLink Field. The West Seattle Water Taxi will have extended evening service, with the last run from downtown set to leave at 10:30 pm.

10:32 AM – WEEKEND PREVIEW ADDED: Quiet morning so far. But alerts for the week ahead will likely be emerging – like this one from WSDOT, of note if you use I-90:

Westbound traffic between Bellevue Way and Rainier Avenue South will be reduced to one lane and detoured to the I-90 express lanes from 11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9, to 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 12. Drivers heading to Mercer Island must exit westbound I-90 at East Mercer Way. There are no westbound exits to Mercer Island from the express lanes.

Since it’s westbound, it won’t cause an I-5 backup like the earlier eastbound work did, but still something you’ll want to know about if you’re crossing the lake over the weekend.

TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: SB I-5 crash scene now clear; 5 hurt

October 2, 2015 at 10:11 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 3 Comments

10:11 PM: If you’re heading back this way, southbound, sometime soon – you’ll want to avoid I-5. A crash on southbound I-5 by the West Seattle Bridge is blocking all lanes, with rescuers working to get people out of vehicles and at least five people hurt. We can’t quite tell if it’s affecting the exit from the eastbound bridge but it is definitely backing up southbound I-5 from some point north of the bridge. More to come.

10:31 PM: The image above is from earlier, when the WSDOT camera was showing the scene more closely. You can check the “live” camera here.

10:46 PM: Still blocking SB I-5 – SFD says one person has serious injuries and four have minor injuries – and the traffic snarl is compounded now that the Mariners’ game is over. And just in from the State Patrol:

11:03 PM: SFD has cleared the scene and WSDOT says some traffic is now getting through:

12:32 AM: WSP and WSDOT report the freeway’s clear again. No life-threatening injuries, per WSP.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates, alerts, changes

October 2, 2015 at 7:26 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | Comments Off

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning. So far, no incidents in the area. Two notes:

BRIDGE REPAIR WORK POSTPONED: The road-repair work that was to close one lane each way toward the Fauntleroy end of the West Seattle Bridge from tonight through Sunday has been postponed, Seattle Public Utilities says. No new date yet.

MONDAY ADVANCE ALERT: The city sends early word that – if you weren’t already well aware – the Seahawks are on Monday Night Football this coming week, so the stadium zone will be very busy Monday evening. 5:30 pm game.

…AND BEFORE THEN: The city’s official weekend preview reminds us that the Mariners are closing the season out at home, 7:10 pm tonight, 6:10 pm Saturday, and 12:10 pm Sunday, while the Sounders host L.A. at 6:40 pm Sunday.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday updates, alerts, previews

October 1, 2015 at 6:53 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 9 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
No incidents so far this morning, in West Seattle or on the primary outbound routes. But we do have a bus-trip cancellation:

Our followup with Metro, originally scheduled for last Thursday but postponed because of the Aurora Bridge crash, is now set for today – any specific questions or observations, please comment or e-mail us – thank you. By the way, video of the City Council meeting at which the cancellations were discussed is finally up, here.

BRIDGE WORK THIS WEEKEND: If you missed the announcement – road repair following Seattle Public Utilities sewer work is scheduled to start 7 pm Friday and continue through Sunday, closing the inside lane in each direction on the Fauntleroy end of the bridge.

8:52 AM NOTE – TRAFFIC TALK: So far, still no incidents. So we’re mentioning that a participant in the WSB Forums has opened a general “traffic talk” topic, if you’re looking for a place to discuss (and/or vent) not tied to a daily issue/incident – find it here.

WEEKEND ROAD-WORK ALERT: Bridge lane closures Friday night through Sunday

September 30, 2015 at 10:19 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 1 Comment


Planning your weekend? This might be of interest, just out of the inbox:

Seattle Public Utilities is conducting roadway panel replacement on the West Seattle Bridge/Fauntleroy Way SW Express ramp heading eastbound and westbound. From Friday, October 2 at 7:00 pm to the evening of Sunday, October 4, crews will repair the roadway following an emergency sewer repair project in the same location. The inside eastbound and inside westbound lane will be closed during this time and drivers should allow extra time for their trips due to possible congestion in this area.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday alerts & updates

September 30, 2015 at 7:00 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 33 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
No incidents so far on the routes through or from West Seattle.

TONIGHT – DELRIDGE GREENWAY/NATURAL DRAINAGE INFO: One transportation-related meeting tonight, a “drop-in session” at the Salvation Army in South Delridge (9050 16th SW), 6-7:30 pm, with information about the Delridge-Highland Park Greenway – which is under construction – and the Delridge Natural Drainage System project, which is about to get going.

7:19 AM: Speaking of South Delridge, SDOT reports a crash at Delridge/Cloverdale. No SFD dispatch at this point. (Not hearing anything about it on the scanner, either.)

7:25 AM: Multiple reports via comments and Twitter of a long-running low-bridge opening:

The cargo ship Elliott Bay is what’s going through, according to The day’s highest high tide was just about 10 minutes ago.

7:30 AM: The low bridge is open for surface traffic again. If you’re new, there’s a big backstory with the city attempting to keep the bridge from opening for maritime traffic during rush hours; the US Coast Guard has said no multiple times over the years – some history here and here. The sixth of 27 possibilities in the new West Seattle Bridge-Duwamish Waterway Corridor “action report” suggests “developing a relationship” with vessel operators so that in case of an incident affecting traffic elsewhere in the corridor, they can at least get “early warnings” of the bridge opening for maritime traffic. (That’s one topic you might want to discuss at the just-announced meeting about the report and the corridor, 6:30 pm October 19th.)

7:49 AM: The “low bridge” is open again but that’s not showing on the @SDOTBridges twitter account. We happened to hear Harbor Island-bound emergency vehicles (checking out a fire alarm) mention it over the air as a reason they’ll be delayed.

8:28 AM: Via e-mail, reader says the bus-lane-enforcement officer is/has been out again today.

UPDATE: Hit-run crash at SB 99 ramp to westbound West Seattle Bridge

September 29, 2015 at 6:50 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 16 Comments

6:50 PM: If you’re just about to head this way – you might consider 1st, 4th, the low bridge, or I-5 because of a crash at the southbound 99 ramp to the westbound high bridge. SFD has just cleared, but police are still there.

6:59 PM: SDOT says the scene has cleared but “residual delays” are likely for a while.

8:34 PM: In comments, KJB says a hit-run driver is to blame and is asking for help if anyone’s seen a “silver wagon-type” vehicle with “significant damage to the passenger front.”

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday updates and alerts; NB I-5 crash; stalled vehicle on EB WS Bridge

September 29, 2015 at 6:47 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 43 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:47 AM: The morning starts with trouble on northbound I-5 downtown, a deadly crash that has left only one lane open at Mercer.

6:57 AM: While SDOT described it as a lane, traffic reporters say it’s just the shoulder at one spot. WSP says the scene of the crash, which killed a motorcycle rider, stretches across 150 feet. As noted in comments, other northbound routes (especially 99) are slowed by the spillover.

7:14 AM: Thanks to Erica for calling with the tip – a stalled vehicle is blocking one lane of the Fauntleroy end of the bridge, not too far past Fauntleroy.

7:18 AM: Just heard the dispatch on that, so police are on the way to check it out.

7:21 AM: Again, NB I-5 remains almost completely blocked on the north side of downtown. WSP now says the crash scene stretched across 400 feet.

7:33 AM: While monitoring for updates, we’ll mention two other transportation notes:

BUS BRIEFING: It was late Monday afternoon before the City Council, as the Transportation Benefit District Board, finally heard from Metro leadership. We’ll be publishing the full story when the Seattle Channel video of the meeting is available; in short, there was no specific explanation of why West Seattle routes seemed to be disproportionately affected, just a couple things we’ve heard before – that the overall cancellation rate systemwide is miniscule, and that it should all be better in October (mid-to-late) when they finish hiring, which was described as a lengthy process. (So far this morning, the cancellations tweeted by Metro are NOT on West Seattle routes.)

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE CORRIDOR ACTION REPORT – SPECIAL MEETING: Announced even later in the day, but with three weeks’ notice – City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen will host a meeting in West Seattle about the report covered here a week ago, suggesting 27 possibilities for improving the “West Seattle Bridge-Duwamish Waterway Corridor.” 6:30 pm Monday, October 19th, at the Sisson Building (home of the Senior Center) in The Junction, California/Oregon. (Here’s our story from last night.)

7:51 AM: Via scanner, we’ve heard police just say the eastbound high bridge is now clear – but still affected by the backup from the northbound I-5 crash (where one lane is open, no ETA for investigators to clear the scene).

8:39 AM: Still just one lane at the NB I-5 scene. We’ll continue to update here past the top of the hour, even once we move to other news at the top of the home page. Meantime, even school buses are affected, the district tweeted:

8:48 AM: Mike Jensen reports via Twitter that there’s (still?) a stalled vehicle on the eastbound bridge, parallel with Nucor. So if you’re going to brave the backup anyway, Admiral/Avalon might be better than the Fauntleroy entrance to the bridge … Mike Lindblom has tweeted that the backup stretches quite a distance back on Delridge Way.

9:28 AM: Per an exchange overheard via scanner a few minutes ago, apparently 911 didn’t have word about THAT stalled vehicle. A police unit told them about it and is now handling it.

9:33 AM: I-5 northbound lanes are all open at Mercer following the motorcycle-crash investigation, but backups are still reported northbound just about everywhere – will take a while to clear.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday alerts and updates

September 28, 2015 at 6:51 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 5 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:51 AM: Good morning! We start with a transit alert:

WATER TAXI RUNNING LATE: King County just texted that the West Seattle Water Taxi is running about 15 minutes late due to “a vessel swap for mechanical reasons.” Water Taxi Watch shows the backup vessel Melissa Ann headed toward Seacrest right now.

7:15 AM: Metro just texted/tweeted this bus cancellation:

Metro’s general manager Kevin Desmond is to brief city councilmembers about the cancellations when they meet this afternoon as the >Transportation Benefit District Board, which is supposed to oversee how the voter-approved tax to raise money for more bus service in Seattle is spent.

7:23 AM: West Seattle Water Taxi’s back on schedule, per King County alert.

7:30 AM: From commenter NewNative: “Looks like a #56 stalled on the Seneca hill. Still there when we approached and our driver #57 sat there not knowing how to pass it. Despite a metro supervisor directing traffic.”

4:27 PM: Another cancellation just announced:

The meeting we mentioned earlier, with a briefing expected by Metro’s GM, is just now under way at City Hall; we’re monitoring via Seattle Channel online.

4:55 PM: And another one:

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates, alerts, incidents

September 25, 2015 at 6:59 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 8 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:59 AM: Highway 99 *is* open again this morning; it reopened late last night, 12 hours after the deadly crash on the Aurora Bridge. Right now, no incidents in the outbound area (an earlier crash on the 1st Avenue S. Bridge has cleared).

BUS CANCELLATION: Tweeted by Metro:

Our followup interview scheduled for yesterday about the ongoing cancellation issue had to be postponed because the Aurora crash required the Metro ops center to focus on reroutes all afternoon and evening; we’re awaiting a new time next week.

7:25 AM: It’s not on the SFD log, so apparently no injuries, but a texter says a crash at the bottom of the Highland Park Way hill is backing up traffic. (Photo added)

Also, trouble on I-5 both ways that could back up those exiting from the east end of the West Seattle Bridge – northbound, a crash on the “collector-distributor” lanes at James St.; southbound, a crash reported at Boeing Access Road.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday updates, alerts, previews, presidential departure…

September 24, 2015 at 7:38 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 9 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:38 AM: Good morning! No incidents in the area so far. The president of China is heading from downtown Seattle this morning back to Paine Field in Snohomish County to end his two-day visit; we’ll update here when we hear the motorcade’s on the move. I-5 express lanes are already closed and regional media is expecting the “mainline” to close shortly, as the state’s traffic cams are blacked out.

Other notes:

METRO CANCELLATIONS: One for Route 55 was announced earlier this morning via Twitter and text (as were two others, for non-WS routes). This afternoon we’re getting a closer look at the system, by request – do you have a question or concern beyond the obvious? Please comment (or otherwise message us) so we can be sure to ask about it.

REMINDER – METRO CHANGES SATURDAY: Metro’s next “service change” is Saturday. Not much in it for this area but here’s the breakout we published previously.

TONIGHT – WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center, WSTC’s meeting will include a Port of Seattle Commission candidates’ forum as well as discussion of the city’s new West Seattle Bridge Corridor “action report” (first reported here Sunday night, briefly discussed at the City Council Transportation Committee meeting Tuesday).

REMINDER – 35TH & ROXBURY WORK NOT DONE: In case you missed our followup last night – we talked with the project manager for both, to get a status report, about midway through SDOT crews’ work on both arterials.

8:14 AM: Along with the express lanes, I-5 NB from Northgate north to SR 526 is closed for President Xi’s departure.

8:26 AM: WSDOT says the I-5 NB closure now extends south to 85th.

8:44 AM: And now it’s all reopening. P.S. Too soon for schedule/details but if you missed the recent reports, President Obama is visiting Friday, October 9th – that’s two weeks from tomorrow.

5:25 PM: We’ve been covering the Aurora Bridge crash all day at the top of the home page. Also, right now (thanks for the comment), the signal on 35th at Alaska is reported to be cycling too short to keep traffic flowing, so SB traffic is reported to be backing up. SDOT tells us engineers are or will be checking it out.

5:37 PM: Fixed, says SDOT. And our crew’s verified, no residual backup.

ROAD-WORK UPDATE: Crews out on 35th, Roxbury for 2 more weeks

September 23, 2015 at 7:51 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 39 Comments

(WSB photo from Tuesday night, 35th/Trenton)
In the third week of work on the Roxbury and 35th SW safety projects, SDOT crews are still out, especially at night. After spotting the workers in our photo, using torches last night to install markings, we asked project manager Jim Curtin today for a progress report on what remains to be done:

There is still quite a bit of work to do out there but we hope to complete these projects within the next two weeks. Both corridors are active work zones and we appreciate reminders to the traveling public to slow down in construction zones. Here’s a quick summary of the remaining work:

-Pavement markings and signage: We still have more than 150 pavement markings and signs to install including turn arrows and bus lane legends. [top photo] These markings should help drivers adjust to the new design. We’ll also be back to complete our channelization work on SW Barton Street where we’ll be formalizing the channelization and adding left turn pockets.

See the image [above] for more details.

-Signal adjustments: We’re monitoring these corridors closely to determine if additional signal timing changes are needed. We’re currently keeping a close eye on the intersection of Roxbury and 26th Avenue SW as well as the segment of 35th Avenue SW in the vicinity of Webster and Holden.

-Radar speed signs: We will install two radar speed signs on Roxbury in November near 6th Avenue SW (facing westbound traffic) and 12th Ave SW (facing eastbound traffic). We’ll also replace the radar speed sign on 35th Ave SW and SW Brandon Street around the same time.

While neither of these projects are complete and we’re still working on a few issues, traffic has responded quite well to the design changes. We will begin collecting vehicle and transit travel times in the near future to quantify the effects of this work.

The Roxbury plan was finalized in April (WSB coverage here); the 35th plan in July (WSB coverage here). If you have specific feedback, you can contact Jim at

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday updates and alerts

September 23, 2015 at 6:35 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 5 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:35 AM: Good morning and welcome to fall, which arrived very early this morning. No incidents so far. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit continues; regional media is reporting that he won’t be leaving downtown Seattle for a full day of touring until about 10:30 am, so don’t expect any morning-commute effects on the major routes. The later edge of the evening commute might be a different story.

7:30 AM: We’ve heard from two people, including Steven in comments, about a water problem in the northbound lane of Delridge south of Juneau. It’s been reported to Seattle Public Utilities. We won’t be able to check this in person any time soon, but be aware that you might encounter a city crew in the area at some point.

10:25 AM: As expected, the presidential motorcade is on the move or about to be.

The biggest chance for disruption anywhere near our area is this evening – possibly the 6 pm hour – when President Xi will be heading from Tacoma to Seattle.

12:29 PM: The presidential motorcade’s heading back to downtown, as expected, affecting southbound I-5 north of downtown right now.

12:52 PM: Also:

2:34 PM: The motorcade is on the move again. Northbound I-5 is closed from James St. to 520.

3:17 PM: The president is arriving now at Microsoft in Redmond.

4:22 PM: And now, from Redmond to Tacoma.

4:56 PM: Next leg of the trip is projected in the 6 pm hour or thereabouts – Tacoma to downtown Seattle. As has already been advised – if you’re going to the Sounders game tonight (7 pm), go early!

6:36 PM: Reported to be headed NB on I-5 from Pierce County.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday updates, with the arrival of China’s president

September 22, 2015 at 6:16 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 31 Comments

(SCROLL DOWN for updates on President Xi Jinping’s arrival/Seattle-bound travel)

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:16 AM: Good morning. It’s Tuesday. So let’s get right to Topic A:

ABOUT THAT PRESIDENTIAL VISIT: The warnings started last week, that the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping could lead to a regional traffic nightmare from his arrival this morning through his departure Thursday morning. Here’s the newest information:

-Arrival: His 747 is bound for Paine Field in Snohomish County, original estimate 9:30 am-ish per the Everett Herald, which says he’ll be welcomed there by a delegation including Gov. Inslee and Mayor Murray. (Check flight tracking here or here.)

-After that: He’s headed to Seattle. Exactly where/when hasn’t been announced. But overall – here’s a one-sheet from SPD:

-Metro bus reroutes: Listed here. As we reported last night, no West Seattle-specific routes are listed.

We’ll update with any more info we get through the day, particularly affecting I-5 and 99.

OTHER WEST SEATTLE ALERTS: On the eastbound bridge, you’ll see the new red bus-lane markings (here’s what we found out in the work zone last night) … At 9:30 am, the City Council Transportation Committee meeting includes discussion of the new West Seattle Bridge-Duwamish Waterway Corridor report (first published here Sunday night), with 27 potential action items … Also on that agenda, SDOT director Scott Kubly‘s periodic report. It previews more speed-limit cuts citywide next year:

Vision Zero Partners Meeting occurred on August 31 to discuss 2015 implementation and start developing our 2016 work plan.
 20 mph speed limit on non-arterials streets citywide
 25 mph Citywide arterial speed limit (unless otherwise signed)
 Gateway signage at all entrances to Seattle
 New red light camera installations
 Educational outreach highlighting crosswalk law

This year, some arterials are being lowered to 30 mph – including Roxbury and 35th in West Seattle, as they’re being rechannelized – and some neighborhood streets, to 20 mph (Admiral-area signage changes got a little more attention because of a signage snafu, you might recall).

8:24 AM: TV traffic tweeters are reporting that the southbound I-5 express lanes have been closed ahead of the Chinese president’s arrival, though his 747 hasn’t landed at Paine Field yet.

8:47 AM: KING’s crew at Paine Field says the landing is expected in about 15 minutes.

9:08 AM: Multiple regional-news crews at Paine Field have shown the 747 touching down moments ago. With the southbound I-5 express-lane shutdown, it appears that’s the route he’ll be using to head to downtown Seattle from there, but no word yet how soon. We’ll update when we hear that’s under way.

9:49 AM: The presidential motorcade is now reported to be headed southbound toward Seattle. We’re moving on to other news atop the home page but will update here when there’s word he’s arrived and anything else major during the day.

10:30 AM: Following the arrival downtown, this from WSDOT re: I-5:

11:30 AM: Stalled vehicle reported toward the westbound inside lane(s) of the West Seattle Bridge, midspan.

4:12 PM: The presidential entourage is expected to stay in downtown Seattle for the rest of tonight, so there are no “on the move” advisories expected during the commute – but tomorrow, he has stops including Redmond and Tacoma, so expect more effects at more times.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday updates & alerts

September 21, 2015 at 6:49 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 18 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:49 AM: Good morning! No incidents in/from our area so far. Alerts/reminders:

THIS WEEK’S BIGGEST ALERT: First circulated by the city on Friday – word that traffic, particularly downtown, could be snarled during the visit of China’s president tomorrow through Thursday morning. As we note, though, he is flying into and out of Paine Field in Snohomish County, not Boeing Field as is often the case with VIP visits, so that means his arrival and departure will *not* have those “I-5 closed near the WS Bridge” effects.

RED PAINT FOR THE BUS LANE: Also announced late Friday by the city, the bus lane on the eastbound bridge will get red markings, as have several other non-West Seattle streets, in hopes of deterring illegal non-bus use of the lane. The painting was supposed to start last night but rain postponed it; the work will be done over three nights once it resumes, which could be tonight.

Related to that …

27 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE/DUWAMISH WATERWAY CORRIDOR TRAFFIC: The bus-lane markings are the first of 27 items on a “project list” that’s the result of a long-promised look at what could be done about bridge-and-vicinity traffic. Our report published last night is your first look at the list and accompanying report, which will be formally presented to the City Council Transportation Committee tomorrow.

9:22 AM NOTE: If you missed it in comment discussion below: Did you see a “Viaduct Closed” beacon-equipped sign flashing this morning? No, The Viaduct was *not* closed; responding to our inquiry via Twitter, SDOT says there was a “malfunction.”

ADVANCE TRAFFIC ALERT: President of China in Seattle for three days next week; mayor warns that traffic ‘will be disrupted’

September 18, 2015 at 9:57 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 14 Comments

In case you haven’t heard … the city is warning of a possible traffic-tastrophe when the president of China, Xi Jinping, visits next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Mayor Murray issued this alert late today, including:

Intermittent closures of freeways, regional arterials and downtown streets are expected. The flow of buses and cars in downtown Seattle and around the region will be disrupted. Travelers in Seattle are advised to plan ahead and expect traffic delays on all three days. Those who can postpone trips downtown or work from home are encouraged to do so.

He’s flying in and out of Paine Field in Snohomish County, reports The Times, not Boeing Field, so that likely means less disruption here on the south side of the city; some more-general info about his visit is on Gov. Inslee’s website.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates & alerts; bus cancellations

September 18, 2015 at 7:05 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 37 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
No incidents reported so far in, or outbound from, West Seattle.

NEW WATER TAXI TO BE DEDICATED TODAY: The M/V Doc Maynard, which will take over the West Seattle Water Taxi run this fall, will be dedicated today at Pier 50 at 11:30 am (as first announced in August). You can catch a free ride there from Seacrest at 10:45 on the Spirit of Kingston.

REMINDER: FERRIES START FALL SCHEDULE SUNDAY: Washington State Ferries starts its fall schedule this Sunday (September 20th); for Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth, that means fewer weekend sailings.

UPDATED 7:35 AM – METRO CANCELLATIONS TODAY: 3 announced for West Seattle so far this morning:

Colleen adds in comments that a RapidRide run was cancelled, unannounced, in the 6 am hour.

WEEKEND CITYWIDE ALERTS: Here’s the SDOT list of what’s up around the city this weekend (though there’s one omission not far from here – the Fiestas Patrias parade in South Park on Saturday morning at 11).

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Back-to-school Thursday; bridge, I-5 woes

September 17, 2015 at 6:37 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 79 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:37 AM: Eight days later than originally scheduled, Seattle Public Schools start classes today. West Seattle is home to 16 of them; the times when you’ll see the flashing school-zone beacons are listed here (for all schools in the district). Four school zones now have speed-enforcement cameras – Louisa Boren K-8 STEM/interim Arbor Heights Elementary on Delridge; Roxhill Elementary and Holy Family School, which has been in session for two weeks, on Roxbury; and Gatewood Elementary, on Fauntleroy Way.

ROAD-WORK REMINDERS: With rain last night and more on the way later this morning, you might not encounter crews this morning, but remember for starters that the Roxbury and 35th SW projects are now under way, so if you’re driving Roxbury between 17th and 35th and/or 35th between Holly and Roxbury for the first time in a while because of school (or some other reason), be aware that the lane configurations have changed – primarily one lane each way with a center turn lane.

7:18 AM: If you use northbound I-5 through downtown, there might be some backup through the commute because of a lane closure at Mercer related to repairs from an early-morning crash.

7:20 AM: Crash reported at California/Charlestown and SFD is en route to check out a 17-year-old boy for possible injuries.

(Added above – photo from Bryce – thank you. The crash is in the outside northbound lane just north of Charlestown.)

7:29 AM: **Transit notes** – commenters say the first Route 57 and a Route 21 bus have been no-shows this morning. We haven’t seen any text or tweet alerts from Metro.

8:10 AM: The aforementioned left-lane closure on NB I-5 at Mercer downtown continues, with a miles-long backup reported.

9:11 AM: Texter says a broken-down vehicle is in the left lane near the crest of the high bridge, no emergency vehicles on scene, leading to trouble not just because of the blocked lane but because of vehicles diverting at the last minute.

10:35 AM: Have been in the thick of this for the past hour and a third; headed out after the last update with an hour to make it to the UW for a presentation at a student-journalism conference. Instead, by 10:20, we were still on the bridge; called to say we’d never make it, and now we’re in a parking spot downtown updating before heading back to the bridge and home base. The stall turned out to be a collision; it was cleared by about 9:50 – we only saw the police lights in the distance – but the gridlock had started at Alaska/Fauntleroy and continued eastward. I-5 in the distance was sluggish too. If you have been waiting to leave, things might be a bit better now – once we got onto 99, it was slow until the Viaduct rise, and then finally everybody was up to 30 mph.

10:41 AM: WSDOT has tweeted that the NB I-5 lane is finally open again:

11:14 AM: Just came across the bridge westbound. Eastbound is STILL jammed, from Nucor eastward. And northbound 99 doesn’t look much better than it did when we were on it last hour.

6:24 PM: Crash at Olson/Myers – don’t know about the traffic effects, but be careful in that area.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Avoid 4th Avenue S near stadiums; also, crash on SB 35th near Trenton

September 16, 2015 at 3:52 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 14 Comments

3:52 PM: With peak pm drive time approaching, you might need to know this: Northbound 4th Avenue S. is closed in the stadium zone because of a crash at Edgar Martinez Way. This is also affecting buses – Route 21, for example, is routed off 4th in the area. The crash involved a motorcyclist who has “significant injuries,” says SPD, after the rider hit a pole; all are advised to avoid 4th TFN.

4:18 PM: Another crash, this one on SB 35th just south of Trenton. A damaged pickup truck is blocking the southbound lane – no emergency vehicles on scene; drivers are using the center turn lane to get around it.

4:31 PM: We’re just back from the 35th crash scene and now hearing via the scanner that police have arrived and are calling for a tow.

6:07 PM: We went through 35th/Trenton about half an hour ago and the scene there was clear.

6:40 PM: SDOT says 4th Avenue South is now open again.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday notes, including road work

September 16, 2015 at 7:47 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 8 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Another no-incident morning commute so far in this area.

SCHOOLS & SCHOOL ZONES: As a result of developments yesterday, Seattle Public Schools will open tomorrow (Thursday, September 17th). So that’s when to expect school buses, families dropping off kids, people walking and biking, etc. And as noted here last night, West Seattle will have a fourth speed-enforcement camera, on Delridge Way by Louisa Boren K-8 STEM/interim Arbor Heights Elementary.

RECHANNELIZATION REMINDER: Work continued last night on Roxbury (which is being rechannelized between 35th and 17th) and 35th (between Roxbury and Willow). Other changes are planned on both in addition to the restriping.

48TH & 49TH SW: The Seattle Public Utilities sewer-repair projects are under way or getting under way – the work on 48th at Edmunds is expected to last all week; work on 49th SW in Seaview could start as soon as today.

ADDED 8:10 AM – NEW WATER TAXI, CLOSER LOOK: As we’ve mentioned, the new West Seattle Water Taxi, M/V Doc Maynard, has arrived in Seattle and is on test runs, prior to its dedication Friday, though it won’t be on the WS run for another month or so (it’ll be filling in on the Vashon run while its twin M/V Sally Fox goes in for maintenance). Thanks to those who’ve sent more photos – starting with this one from Mike. We hadn’t seen the skyline detail before:

Here’s a full-length look, also at Seacrest, from Lise Thivierge:

The Friday dedication is on the downtown waterfront but you can ride the current Water Taxi to and from the event as space permits, per King County’s announcement (starting with the Seacrest departure at 10:45 am).

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