With apocalyptic predictions of gridlock, the state and city have been urging people to prepare for a nine-day closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, which began today (see our previous post about biking during the closure).
Initial reports from the morning commute from West Seattle suggests that traffic on the high bridge was actually better than on a typical day for some of the morning commute, reports West Seattle Blog.
So, how was your bike commute this morning? Airport Way users, did you encounter worse traffic? Dexter?
Here’s a photo from Saturday’s walk on the Viaduct event, which was a lot of fun. Do we really need to keep the downtown section open for four more years? Do we really need a $2 billion tunnel? (oops, I said that word…)
I ride from WS to downtown via Marginal and there were a few more cars that usual but that didn’t effect my ride at all. I have to say, I love the view driving on the AWV but will not miss it when it’s gone.
Rode in about 6:30 a.m. (usual time) and got to work about 7:10 (usual time).
Saw lots more cyclists on my usual pedal commute this morning (remember newbies – ride to the right so you don’t have a head-on collision with other cyclists and if it’s dark, light up!).
It was a bit dicier crossing E. Marginal, had to ride up the sidewalk past S. Hanford to do so. The new eastside/northbound bike lane between S. Hanford and S. Spokane Street will be difficult, if not impossible to access during rush hours. And it looks like there is a left turn pocket now at S. Massachusetts which will allow a safer left turn into the optional bike detour. But be careful merging with traffic before then since the bike lane actually ends about 100 yards south of the turn pocket, forcing a blind merge. Drivers are moving faster than normal with heavier traffic volumes so it’s difficult to make a merge after the bike lane ends…
And watch out at the King St. intersection. An 18-wheeler and other renegade car following truck ran the light there, driving on the wrong side of the road and another 18-wheeler made a right turn on red, ignoring the “walk” signal for peds/bikes and cut off those of us waiting for that signal.
Lots more drivers heading south on Western. Lots of engine gunning and fast speeds southbound from about Virginia on Western. Not good for peds or cyclists. Some drivers seemed confused as well.
This afternoon will be hairy. Ride slow and pay attention to what’s going on around you.
BUT – the ride was nice and quiet with no Viaduct Traffic!
I left my house around 8am and rode my bike a mile on Delridge to get to the bridge trail. WAY less traffic there than usual: only half a dozen cars passed me the whole way, while often traffic is stop-and-go the entire time. I think all the VIADOOM!! news stories scared people out of their cars. Traffic on the lower bridge worse than I’ve ever seen it, though. I usually merge with traffic after the bridge, and then turn left on East Marginal toward downtown, but today the trail was a lot safer and faster.
I did appreciate the new lane configuration at terminal 46! I take back my snarky comment from last week about the port police dept.
Very wet. Caught out in the 5:30AM down pours. Nothing different about traffic on my south Seattle route at that time of day. I expect things will be different going north up into Seattle this afternoon.
Came up Airport Way in the late afternoon / early evening. Didn’t seem like there was any additional vehicle traffic.
it was so strange how quiet and dark it was riding north on e marginal way toward downtown (right before 7 am) – no cars on the viaduct! e marginal was fairly quiet during my ride, but lower w seattle bridge was much busier than normal. i loved the apocalypse-like view of the partially disassembled upper level of the viaduct while the sun started rising behind it. was late for my ferry tho, so i didn’t have time to stop and snap a picture.
For those of you who may be bike commuting for the first time, but are otherwise experienced cyclists — please, mind your speed. I am extremely happy that you chose to use a bike in this circumstance, but please keep in mind that you will be encountering slower cyclists and pedestrians. They may not be expecting you. They could easily step into your path. If you are hammering, the result could be disastrous for you, fatal for them. Nobody wants that.
Apparently 45th was a mess today because I-5 was so backed up. Didn’t affect me, but my wife (who changes buses in the U-District) was delayed a lot.
Rode to work for the first time in years from N. Greenwood to 2nd Ave. S. and S. Dakota. Still a bit iffy on my route in places. Took Dexter in, it was fine. Lots of folks along E. Marginal, most all riding carefully. Because of my route uncertainty, got caught waiting for some long-ass cycling walk lights at several intersections. Harriest leg of commute was coming back over Ballard Bridge side walkway-have ridden over it many, many times since coming to Seattle, but it creeped me out way more tonight.
Going home Western was total blockage from the market to Yesler. Being on a bicycle I took the right side between the two door zones and a bit of sidewalk riding. I’ll be riding over Capital hill for the rest of the closure time. It didn’t feel unsafe, just ridiculously crowded.
My normal commute takes me south across Denny where you exit Aurora southbound. At 6:40 AM it was EMPTY! There was about 1/3 the normal traffic. Since Aurora was closed at the tunnel this was the last exit for anyone going south on Aurora and I was thinking it would be jammed.
While my bike commute from West Seattle to Capital Hill on Monday and Tuesday has been pretty uneventful, I found myself having to drive over to the east side in the evenings both days as well. Getting onto I-90 from the West Seattle Bridge is a breeze since the I-5 on ramp becomes the I-90 exit, but the reverse is not true. From the I-90/I-5 interchange to the West Seattle Bridge exit on I-5, traffic was completely stop and go and took 15 minutes instead of less than 5. Completely stop and go. I mention this only because I expect someone else to point it out as further justification for the viaduct/tunnel project.
Scary! I was stuck at work Oct. 27th so started my commute home when I reached Dexter at 4pm instead of 2. I saw one SUV drive on the bike lane AND SIDEWALK to pass traffic on the right! Spotted 2 other cars driving along the bike lane and just before Dexter crosses Mercer there was an enraged fool in his extended cab/extended bed truck blocking both the southbound bike lane and road yelling he is fed up with the traffic.
Why are there no cops on bicycles on Dexter during this time!?