Monday, December 2, 2013

Bet ya didn't know that de-icer makes roads more slippery than ice.

Regarding the fact that cars are spinning out of control and crashing into each other on the West Seattle bridge -- this just in from Seattle DOT:

With colder temperatures approaching, SDOT applied liquid de-icer to the high-rise bridge as a pretreatment prior to the evening commute and football game.
Due to current warm temperatures, the de-icer can create a brief period of slippery conditions, especially if vehicles are traveling above the posted speed limit.
Out of caution, SDOT is applying sand on both directions of the structure to address any traction issues. We expect the bridge will reopen by 3:00 p.m.
Sounds like SDOT is trying to redirect the blame to commuters -- "traveling above the posted speed limit" Ha!  I just tried to get on the bridge to pick up my child from downtown and couldn't -- as the bridge was closed.  I turned around to go home and wait it out -- my tires spun while making a very slow turn off Avalon onto Fauntleroy.   The road was slick, it had nothing to do with my speed .  My wheels spun and I was barely moving.   I think it stinks that SDOT is trying to put blame on drivers when they clearly f-ed up.

Apparently the city is now putting sand on the road to make the de-icer not so slippery -- what?!

While they do that -- they have closed the bridge entirely in both West and East bound directions.   C-R-A-Z-Y.

Pretty funny if it weren't so terribly moronic...check out the coverage on the West Seattle Blog...

http://westseattleblog.com/

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Are we second class citizens?

It seems to me that West Seattle has become invisible to the rest of the city.   Or are we just the second class citizen neighborhood?  Maybe we're simply pushovers?  Easy targets?  Why else would our fine neighborhood be allowed to fall victim to roughshod developers?

We put our faith in city government, believing they would, at least, keep West Seattle's best interests on the table (when making decisions about city development and planning).  But we have sadly been foresaken by our elected leaders.   They have swept the best interests of West Seattle completely off the table and onto the floor.  What's left on the table, instead, is a pile of greed.

If we don't take swift and decisive action -- we are basically bending over and taking it in the you know what.

Have you driven around West Seattle recently and seen what all the cranes are up too?  Have you noticed the "proposed land action" signs that have popped up EVERYWHERE?   Have you driven across the bridge during commute time?  Have you noticed that free parking is starting to become a thing of the past, in West Seattle?  I often wonder how many condos and apartments the area can sustain -- and that frightens me because I am CERTAIN that nobody can answer that question and I'm fairly certain nobody who is in the development business, is actually working on answering this question.   Most likely, however, there is someone who is working to NOT answer the "how many is too many" question.

It is my opinion that West Seattle needs to have infrasturcture in place before any additional mega-developments are begun.  We can't stop growth, but we need to grow in an orderly fashion.  Too much growth is a bad thing.  Unplanned growth is a dangerous thing.   We are heading toward the danger zone in West Seattle.

If you want to really become educated and do your part as a responsible citizen -- take a look into the following links and decide for yourself what needs to be done:

West Seattle Transportation Commission

http://westseattleblog.com/2013/09/make-history-be-there-as-west-seattle-transit-coalition-launches/

http://genesee-schmitz.org/
West Seattle Green Space Coalition 

http://gettingitrightforwestseattle.com/




Friday, October 4, 2013

Good day to sleep in

I'm glad I slept in because the bridge traffic snarl up du jour was over and done with by the time I hit the pavement.  TGIF but watch out for those tricky closures of this lane or that lane, or this ramp or that ramp over the weekend.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hold the phone!!!!!

"Stop Freak'n and call Beacon!" 
Call Roto-Rooter, fast!

Hwy. 99 viaduct is muffed up AGAIN!  Nobody can get ANYWHERE!  And the Battery Street Tunnel seems to be operating more like a clogged drain pipe. 

In other words -- nothing new going on.  It is business as usual on the West Seattle bridge.

That is all.

Oops -- not quite all...... if you are thinking about leaving West Seattle -- don't do it.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Hells Bells!

I am so frigging tired of the West Seattle bridge situation!!!!!  Honestly -- it is so absurd -- we are morons to put up with this $#it.  

Accident investigation shut down 99 northbound -- so nobody could exit the bridge and get on to 99 North -- and that meant everybody and their dog was having to continue crossing the bridge and take  the I-5 or 4th Ave. Exit -- which means that all of us were late to anywhere we may have been going today.

I had the pleasure of crossing the bridge 6 times today.  Twice, the bridge was completely backed up to 35th Ave.   I kept thinking to myself "Do it!  Do it!  Just get out of your car, leave it running, and walk away!"  I would have LOVED to have done that -- just muck up the mess even more.  Does that mean I have a screw loose, or do other people ever get so fed up that they want to do irrational and stupid things too?

But I digress....

Apparently there was a horrible accident someplace up on 99 Northbound.   This required the police to position cruisers on the bridge, blocking the exit to 99 north so an accident investigation could commence.  That must have been one confusing accident (huh?) because the accident investigation went on forever -- 99 northbound was closed for about 4 hours!  I do feel horribly for whoever may have lost their life in that accident -- and for their family.  It is tragic and I am sure if it had been a loved one of mine I would very much want/need  there to be an explanation of what happened and why -- but how long does it really take to figure out how a fatal crash/accident happened?  I understand the need to close the highway for a certain, reasonable, amount of time -- but can't they take photos and review those for answers, along with talking with witnesses, instead of keeping the highway closed for hours and hours?   Geez Louise!  I mean REALLY -- knowing that portion of 99 -- there must have been about 100 other drivers who witnessed the accident.  Collect witness names and contact info, clear the accident, take lots of photos and video, and then get the heck out of there.  Having that highway blocked during prime commute time is INSANE.  

Oh, and to make matters worse - during the duration of this outrageously long closure of 99 north, a car ran out of gas or just stopped working in the middle of the bridge -- blocking another lane -- OMG -- just when you think it can't get any worse... it ALWAYS CAN get worse.

Oh well-- tomorrow is a new day and I'm sure this couldn't possibly happen two days in a row, right? Tomorrow's commute will be a dream in comparison to the misery that was going on today.  Plus, it will hopefully be "Friday Lite".





Monday, September 16, 2013

Packing peanuts from heaven?

Yesterday's bridge commute was irritating and entertaining at the same time.

Traffic was backed up going West, with one lane closed due to SDT truck trying to corral millions of green packing peanuts that had escaped from ???????   The peanuts were floating, falling, blowing around the traffic -- and forming drifts along the sides of the roadway.  It looked like snow, or nuclear fallout.   It also looked like an impossible job for SDT -- sort of Three Stooges in scope -- trying to pick up millions of packing peanuts that are crazily blowing around on a huge bridge.  The West Seattle bridge is continuously bombarded by crosswinds.  The wind was playing with the peanuts and making them dance and tumble and float and blow around EVERYWHERE.   How do you hope to collect them with that kind of wind blowing.  Not to mention SDT had to contend with the cars, cars, cars, and trucks, trucks, trucks, and motorcycles, and the occasional wayward and birdbrained bicyclist who were all attempting to get across the bridge.  So what is the solution?  SDT decided to close half the lanes off so they could catch the little boogers and clean them off the bridge.  Uh, that is a very ambitious goal -- or should I say "impossible" - but you gotta give it to them -- they tried.  I can imagine the crew that was dispatched -- they probably said something like this " You want us to go and do WHAT!!!????"  then under their breath "F-ing unbelievable -- what dumb @$$ came up with that brilliant idea -- oh well, it all pays the same so why do I care?" 

Several large plastic bags of packing peanuts were also rolling round on the East bound lanes -- getting ready to be busted open by oncoming traffic.   I guess it could have been much worse -- it could have been other things dropped off a truck and loose on the bridge -- such as chickens, or marbles, or thumb tacks, or super glue.

Anyway -- the packing peanuts were a huge distraction that slowed people down.  But actually it was the SDT closing off a lane that allowed all of us commuters a chance to study the aerodynamic properties of packing peanuts.   And of course it was a mess (the commute and the bridge covered with green, Styrofoam)..  But it was at least different and unique.   If we have to be backed up in traffic, like we are every day anyway, it might as well be because of something interesting and different -- and green packing peanuts filling the air and piling up like snow on the bridge qualifies as "different".

As a footnote -- I was chagrinned at the amount of packing peanuts that were set free into our pristine NW ecosystem.  I couldn't help but consider how long those packing peanuts would be around to muck up the Earth (I think they say Styrofoam does not decompose or degrade for at least 15,000 years).   At least they were on a trajectory to land someplace in the Duwamish River -- which  already produces three eyed frogs anyway.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Bus lane... wha 'dat?

Who can drive in the bus lane?  This should be a no brainer but based on my observations, it is very, very confusing for a small, but very annoying, percentage of West Seattle commuters.   Let me clear up the matter for ya...

A bus lane is for a bus.

End of story.

As a footnote:  
I am pretty sure all you people who drive your car (not bus) in the "bus" lane know darn well you are doing something wrong -- but you think you are somehow more important than others on the road and you also don't give a rat's @$$ about the bus riders who may be late because you pretended not to know what a type of vehicle is allowed to drive in a "bus" lane.  





Monday, September 9, 2013

Was it as good for you as it was for me? ;)

Talk about your commute by posting a comment under "post a comment"  below. 

    • Thoughts on the bridge situation welcome. 

      • Personal anecdotes particularly appreciated.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Why must they close the bridge?

Bridge closures piss us off.  Am I right?  Even when I know, by accessing my frontal lobe, that bridge repairs require bridge closures -- I still tend to have quicker access to my reptilian brain - which tells me that any bridge closure is a threat to my life. 

So why does the bridge have to close!?  Please, help me to understand! Paint me a picture!   Actually, photos are even better.   So a big "Thank you!" goes out to the Washington State Department of Transportation.  They have begun adding photos to their "driver alert" information.  The photos show actual damages requiring the dreaded bridge closures.  Photos are good -- they help me to understand what is not easy to understand -- such as why I can't get off I-5 and cross the bridge :(   After all, I must cross the bridge to get home, and if I am on I-5, I must have a way to get off I-5 and get on to the bridge, n'est-ce pas? (or “Capisce" -- since I'm Sicilian).  


If you have ever tried to read the WSDOT's website for road closure projects, then you know they are helpful but a bit convoluted.

Now that there are photos -- ahhhhh, much better!

Here is an example:

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/53B65512-42DE-477A-A2D8-DFDCF6B91121/0/I5_ExpansionJoint_and_DeckRehab_11x17.pdf


Here is the latest advisory, in case you are not aware -- it may impact your weekend plans:

August 20, 2013
  • Driver alert: The northbound I-5 ramp to upper S. Spokane St./West Seattle Bridge will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23 through 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 26 for paving work.


http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/i5/seattlebridgerepair/

Toodles!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What the F is a gore point?


Click here if you want to know
What the F is a gore point?

Word power is world power :)    So I hope you will take a minute to learn a new word.  You will never need it, but you will impress your friends.  

If you have ever driven across the West Seattle bridge, then you have seen a gore point.  And if you ever breach the gore point during your commute -- woe be to you!

If you want to know more about how this relates to the West Seattle bridge commute, just go to my favorite local news source, www.westseattleblog.com  and search on "gore"...

 

 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

No cross -- No Care!


Summer provides me great respite from having to commute across the bridge.

During this blissful bridge crossing sabbatical,  I have made a most astounding, albeit discouraging discovery.  I believe I have uncovered the mystery as to why there is such complacency, by many in Seattle, about the ridiculous and unbelievable West Seattle bridge commute situation.

The complacency of the multitudes of non West Seattle bridge commuters is quite simply the result of ignorance stemming from  inexperience.  Stupid non-commuters -- they don't care and they don't even care that they don't care.

Example:  I have a friend who all but dismissed my complaints about the horrendous nature of my daily commute across the bridge.   Whenever I would describe the utter moronic bridge experience -- and begin to foam at the mouth and rage on about how ridiculous and unacceptable it was -- she would simply nod her head and respond in a most unsatisfying  yet polite way.  "Yes -- that must be very frustrating."  she would say outwardly, while clearly yawning and playing the violin in her head.  She had grown weary of me crying about my commute -- she really had no idea of my pain.  That is the problem -- if you don't commute across the West Seattle bridge, you simply can't imagine the  stupidity of it.

However, today my friend's summer schedule requires that she cross the West Seattle bridge, daily.   And guess what?   She now "gets it" and has earned her stripes.  She is an angry bridge warrior.  And has become a vocal objector, posting complaints on FB. 

As much as I hate to admit,  now that the only commuting I must do is up and down Admiral Way on my way to Alki beach, I can see why most people don't care about those schmucks who must drudge their way across the bridge.  For goodness sakes, we have more important things to worry about -- like whether or not to have foam in our lattes.

And that is why we will likely never see the bridge crossing situation improve -- because the large majority of Seattleites have no idea, and therefore couldn't care less, about how messy, unacceptable, time wasting, crappy. f'd up the morning commute is on the West Seattle bridge.

In summation,  I give you this:   No cross -- no care.  End of story.

*** Please note that I will soon have to resume my place among the thousands of commuters I lovingly refer to as my bridge buddies.  

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Right of way people!

In order to "cross the bridge" you must first get to the bridge, correct?

This part is trickier for some than for others.   Unmarked intersections and traffic circles (or "round abouts") apparently push some West Seattle commuters way beyond their capacity to cope -- so they throw their hands up in the air and proceed to wreck things.   

Here is a pop quiz.  When you come to a traffic circle you are supposed to:

a.  Drive over it
b.  Enter it going in a clockwise direction
c.  Enter it going in a counter clockwise direction
d.  Avoid it all together
e.  Speed up and close your eyes
f.   Stop and scratch

If you are confounded by all this traffic circle business, take a looksy here...
http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/safety/roundabouts/









Monday, July 8, 2013

Don't leave home w/o checking "the blog"


If you live in West Seattle, then you KNOW what "the blog" is, right?

It is the West Seattle Blog, of course!

www.westseattleblog.com

If you want traffic alerts and updates regarding your ETA from West Seattle to anything East of the bridge -- then here is the place to go... the West Seattle Blog is always a sure bet:

http://westseattleblog.com/category/west-seattle-traffic-alerts
http://westseattleblog.com/category/west-seattle-traffic-alerts

Here is our illustrious West Seattle bridge -- I took this photo from a Beacon Hill vantage point -- a detour route I routinely traverse to avoid downtown I-5 traffic.

And if you just want to make some comments about your experience on the bridge -- please drop by my blog and do so any time.  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Accidents happen -- oh yes they do!

There was an accident on the bridge today.  Two tow trucks and smashed cars were observed.   Delays happened.  Yada yada.  That's all I got.  Good day and carry on.

Oh, one more thing... it is sunny and the Mt. is OUT!


Mt. Rainier as viewed from West Seattle

Friday, June 28, 2013

Local traffic updates.


The trusty westseattleblog always comes through...
http://westseattleblog.com/2013/06/traffictransit-today-finally-friday


And for today's selection / photo from my bridge crossings...
Life affirming...


Sometimes there are things we witness that are life affirming.
Seen on the West Seattle bridge -- foliage springing forth from what appears to be barren concrete

As you can imagine, I was at a dead stop on the bridge when I  snapped this pic.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A view from the bridge...

Some days it is OK being on the bridge...
I have taken some pretty nice photos while stuck in traffic (such as this). 
We do live in a beautiful spot.
West Seattle rocks!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013



Sometimes I feel (_________) while crossing the bridge...

Giddy
                                                     Confused 
                                                                                        Sucky                              Peachy                       
 Sour                 Salty
                                                                        Poopy               mommy            stupid              
                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                          pretty

         Blah
                                             Rage                   Shitty 
Pleased
                                                                                                             Ecstatic
                                                                   Peaceful
                           Disgusted
Dreamy
                                                                                                     Hostile
                                                         Squishy
                        Zen
                                                                                    blah

^^^^^^^^^^^What about you?^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Care to comment?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A blessing in disguise?


Could it be this horrendous bridge commute situation is actually a blessing in disguise?

Do we really, truly want West Seattle to be easily accessible?    Perhaps not.   If people continue to hear about how awful the bridge situation is -- and how long it takes to get across the bridge -- then just maybe less people will be inclined to move to West Seattle and we can keep this lovely, unique piece of heaven from becoming just another, overcrowded Seattle neighborhood.

If you are a West Seattle resident, then you certainly have heard the funny things other Seattlites have to say about where we live.   

When I tell people where I live, they often look at me as if I live on the moon.

"Oh?" they say, "...you live in West Seattle?" as if they may not have heard me correctly.   "Really?" they question, then add "West Seattle is a really nice place to live.  I'd love to live by Alki beach too, but its so far away!"  

Now those of us who live in West Seattle know that it really isn't "far away", but is actually "very close" to most things "Seattle".   However, once you get a reputation, it is hard to change people's opinion... right or wrong.   So for most Seattlites, West Seattle resides somewhere near Seattle,  but they somehow have a vague sense of where exactly it is... sort of like a lot of people in the US think of Alaska and Hawaii -- they're on the map, but sort of not on the map.  West Seattle is off someplace, but they're not sure where it actually is -- only that is is "far away".   Or so they've heard.

“A reputation once broken may possibly be repaired, but the world will always keep their eyes on the spot where the crack was.” 
― Joseph Hall

The above quote is spot on regarding how West Seattle garnered its "bad reputation" for being impossibly far away and hard to get to.   It speaks of  "the spot where the crack was".   This seems to refer to the West Seattle bridge's notorious history concerning its demise back in 1978, when it was struck by a freighter.  

Perhaps you've never heard the exciting and scandalous story?  About how the original bridge was destroyed by a freighter.  

Let me tell you...

Once upon a time, around 2:38 am on June 11, 1978 -- a freighter, named Chavez, bashed into the West Seattle bridge -- and basically destroyed it.   After the first bridge was no more, people became highly distressed and inconvenienced in their efforts to get in and out of West Seattle.  This went on for the next 6 years, between 1978 and 1984, after which there was a new bridge -- our's :)


It sort of puts our current hellish bridge commute into some greatly needed perspective.  All things being "relative" -- even I have to admit that the bridge situation we have now is better than no bridge at all.  

But I digress... back to the history of the bridge... 

In the beginning --  Seattle first built a bridge to West Seattle in the 1920's.   Then people started moving into the area ... more and more.  But sadly, and suddenly, the bridge was destroyed.  People found it highly inconvenient to get to and from West Seattle -- and so the popularity started to wane.  

Then a new bridge was built.  But alas, as they say "your reputation precedes you" --  and so it was with West Seattle and its bridge.   Only many of us are not dissuaded by bad reputations.  In fact, we may actually seek out that which has a tainted reputation -- we are rebels, we are rogues, we are West Seattle!

If you are titillated by this tiny piece of the West Seattle bridge history, might I direct you to read on...

http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=3428


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Seattle_Bridge


Here are a few photos I took of / on the bridge, 








Thursday, June 6, 2013

I'd hate to be that guy...

I feel badly for any sick or injured person who requires transport across the bridge, via aid car, during the morning commute.   Hopefully this morning's ill person was not deathly ill -- because trying to move an aid car around 10 billion cars on the bridge is no easy feat.   After all,  every second counts when you're trying to get a person to the ER and the bridge traffic doesn't exactly help speed things up.

I gotta say, when you have two lanes entering the bridge, and they are both backed up, bumper to bumper, and then you add an aid car into the mix --it gets messy.  Not exactly the traffic situation you want if you're experiencing some life or death emergency.   I really hope it all turned out OK. 

That concludes the story of this morning's commute.  Unfortunately, that is pretty much the status quo.  

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that at this same time,  the Mercer Street exit was clogged up on I-5 due to a semi hitting a car... which of course caused I-5 to back up, which of course didn't help the ambulance get across the bridge.  And so it goes...

Now I must sign off  -- it is time for me to cross the bridge again (I get to do it twice each day) so I bid you adieu.


  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Bridge Haiku

Because today's commute was Zen-ful, I had a Haiku moment:

Emerald city calling
Bridge halts my crossing
Dreaded cattle guard


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Bridge Ya-hoos and A-holes...

The bridge commute was nothing out of the ordinary today (same crowd as every other day).  As well, there were the same sprinkling of rude people as usual.

I took note of a few rude "regulars" on the bridge today, and I asked myself:

Why do some people  feel the need to speed up and refuse to let those "merging" get into the lane?   It isn't as if the mergers have any other choice - their lane is ending and they must merge.  Let them merge, for God's sake!  I'm not sure what this bad behavior is all about.

Why do some people, who are driving behind you, feel the need to speed up and pass you -- when the traffic is pretty much stop and go?  So they speed up, cut in front of you -- placing themselves just one car in front of you, and then they have to stop, because the traffic is still stop and go.  Hey buddy!  I can see you behind me, and I can see you pass me, and I can see you when you are now driving right in front of me for the rest of the trip across the bridge.  Somehow it was VERY important to this type of driver that they get one car ahead of YOUR car...why is this?   I'm pretty sure it is because they do not think you being on time is as important to them being on time -- they think they are more important than any other driver trying to get to work.  These types of drivers are pretty self-centered.  Or more simply put,  A-holes.

And lastly, why do some people refuse to put their blinker on when they clearly want to switch lanes?  

Do you have any insight into these behaviors?

This is one reason we continue to live in West Seattle and endure the "bridge" commute...
beautiful vistas!  I'm so fortunate I get to see THIS view from the  front steps of my house.
(where I captured Mt. Rainier in all its glory)


HOWEVER
 I also get to see this view almost every day when I cross the bridge:
I took this while stopped on the bridge one day.  I edited to B&W
 because most days look this gray way when I'm on the bridge..


Monday, June 3, 2013

Did summer start today?

Summer must have unofficially started today because I was able to cross the bridge in under 5 minutes.   Everybody probably already left on vacation.  Or perhaps it was just the sunny weather forcast that kept everybody from going to work?   Either way -- it was all good for me.


Has summer arrived in Seattle?  
It sure felt like it today...free and easy on the bridge (and sunny!)
Heading East on the WS bridge

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Bridge Buddy might be a secret agent?

Here we are, all of West Seattle humanity, entering the bridge.  All we want to do is get across the water and over to that grouping of buildings you see in the picture.  Those buildings are "downtown" -- less than 2 miles away.  Why can I take the water taxi and get there faster than driving a car or taking a bus?   Silly thing, those of us who drive across the bridge get lured into the trap, daily, of somehow thinking a bridge is supposed to get you somewhere.  When will we learn?
My sister  thinks I write a "funny" little blog about the West Seattle Bridge.  Easy for her to say since she lives in Texas where there are no high rise bridges, only dusty trails where people ride horseback.

She thinks I am writing a "funny little blog" but what she doesn't understand is there is nothing f-ing funny about the West Seattle Bridge.    After all, is it "funny" when you're 30 minutes late for work -- and you are the opening Starbucks barista?  No, not funny.   Is it funny when an accident on the bridge makes 500 people late for work and they all get fired?  I think not.

Nor is it at all humorous when your sister "outs" you on Facebook.  All I really wanted was to remain spinelessly anonymous to the world -- known simply as "Bridge Buddy".   Everyone knows when you post as "anon" -- you can say and do things you normally would not.   For example, I can insult whoever I like, or I can build up my importance.  I can be an expert in all things I know totally nothing about.   If I keep you in the dark as to who I am -- you might imagine I'm your neighbor (perhaps), or your check-out person at the grocery (perhaps) or a city engineer (perhaps), or your doctor (less likely), or your pastor (even less likely).  Perhaps the best part of being anonymous on a blog is the fact that you can lie an get away with it ;)  And there are no repercussions to speak of.   At least not so far.

Now back to my sister...   if she directed you to this blog -- she is totally confused and wrong about Bridge Buddy's true identity.

So for the record, Lisa is not my sister.


Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Lite

It is Friday and that means the bridge is more forgiving than usual -- or should I say more accommodating?  The radio personalities refer to this phenom as "Friday Lite".   

 Friday Lite is really just another way of saying lots of folks decided to skip going to work and start their weekend a day early. 

I have to say, today I was pleasantly surprised to find Friday Lite was actually  happening to me!  I zoomed across the bridge -- without uttering even a single expletive!

Any-who... while I was zipping my way off the bridge -- I felt very sorry for the other 90% of the commuters who remained on the bridge  -- and that would be everyone lined up trying to exit onto the 99 viaduct.   They did not get to enjoy "Friday Lite" and started their day off with the usual crappy bridge experience.   

On a side note -- our family lovingly refers to the viaduct as the "IHOP" for International House Of Pancakes.    If you happen to be on the viaduct during an earthquake, and it falls -- you will become ... a pancake :(






Thursday, May 30, 2013

Lane jockeying...

Today was the same old, same old... bridge backed up (no reason -- just because there are too many of us and not enough bridge)  But, luckily, traffic was still moving.   And then it stopped.  Big surprise.

It was moving just slowly (and just quickly) enough for me to observe the lane jockeying.   I am good at it too.  I know all of us who drive on the bridge have figured out our timing as to what lane to be in, and when to get in it.   And perhaps, when to get out of it.

But still -- I always look to see if there could possibly be a better strategy to get me across the bridge just a little more quickly.   Sometimes I doubt myself ... "Did I get over too soon?  Did I miss my chance to switch lanes?  Did I wait too long?  Should I have tried to be in the right lane for a bit longer -- or conversely, the left lane?  Didn't I pass that blue SUV a while back -- what's it doing in front of me? DARN!  I knew I should have stayed in that lane!"    

Most days I just stick to my tried and true routine of utilizing the left lane first, then once I pass the big merge -- hop over to the right lane and proceed up Beacon Hill.  But some days, I just can't help myself -- I get a wild hair and decide to shake it up -- and it usually ends up badly.   

Today I was successful in getting out of the scrum and making my way, painlessly, up to Beacon Hill.  Ta-da.   I felt so smug.
WTF!?  Indeed... you better not try and cross that double white line mister!



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What the hell?!

The bridge gets highest marks for consistency.   Traffic backed up yet again today... Fed Ex semi jackknifed and flipped, then caught on fire on I-5 southbound.   This effectively shut down I-5  for a "while".   Any I-5 injury refers pain down to the West Seattle bridge... so we all suffered.   

A friend  suggested that West Seattle developers be required to pay a special tax to help offset  transportation infrastructure expenses.   I am supposing that the very large condominium complexes being built will be filled in the near future.  I am so curious as to how more people can possibly fit on the West Seattle bridge?   There amazingly seems to be no thought given to improving /upgrading transportation infrastructure to meet the demands of increased West Seattle population.  How the hell are we all expected to get in and out of West Seattle?   The development of West Seattle is going gang busters and the traffic/parking/road congestion is already beyond capacity.  Developers are going to make a lot of money bringing in the masses to West Seattle.  Unfortunately, they don't yet worry about how all the new people get in and out of West Seattle.   Developers should be required to have transportation impact studies done and a transportation plan devised, and approved, before they are allowed to break ground for any new housing or business development.  Then they should be taxed so that they pay for some of the improvements to transportation infrastructure.   Perhaps there are already taxes in place for such things -- but if so, apparently they are not enough.  

Something has got to give -- the bridge continues to be an unacceptable mess.

Do other West Seattlites feel outraged as I do?   Do you feel my pain?  Are you wid me or agin me?



Were you my bridge buddy today?   Did you say a few choice words?
Do you wonder "WHAT THE HELL?"  as I do?
(I took this pic from a viewpoint on Beacon Hill)









Thursday, April 25, 2013

Parking lot

It boggles my mind that we put up with this bridge hell.  I say if you cause an accident on the bridge, there should be mandatory jail time.

Not sure what can be done about our horrific bridge situation.  I'm pretty sure we would get some governmental entity to pay attention if we...

stood united and made a big hairy mess on the bridge one day.   Say we all decided to get out of our cars one morning,  while stuck on the bridge, and not get back in -- just walk away and leave our cars (hundreds of them)  to be towed... that would probably make a good statement about how this situation sucks to infinity and beyond.  I honestly think this would be worth it -- in such a dire situation, I beileve the end justifies the means.

Today was one of those days where you just wish you had stayed in bed for several more hours.  Two lanes were blocked on the bridge due to a multi-car accident.

Accidents on the bridge always mean that lanes are blocked -- aid car, police vehicles, tow trucks... you get the picture.  This was Thursday's morning commute -- with traffic backed up to the 35th and Fauntleroy intersection, and beyond.

 Today's traffic-- luckily the day is GORGEOUS!
I took the long shot photos from a viewpoint on Beacon Hill -- where I sometimes detour to avoid I-5 traffic into Seattle.
Photo taken entering West Seattle Bridge from Fauntelroy and 35th intersection

Taken from a viewpoint on Beacon Hill.





Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A new Starbucks drive thru is opening on the West Seattle bridge! Not really, but wouldn't it be great?

It would totally work too.   Come to think of it, a car wash would probably do a good deal of business on the bridge as well -- just set up the automatic drive thru car wash thingy at the place on the bridge where we all "merge" getting on to I-5 north -- viola!  You are still late for work, but your car is clean and you have a latte.   I'm sure there are lots of other good ideas ,  n'est-ce pas?   

These are the important things that pass through my mind while I sit on the bridge.  


Back to the point of this blog -- all you really need to know is clearly illustrated in the "visual" below.  Visual compliments of  visualthesaurus.com/   *Copyright ©1998-2013 Thinkmap, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 


                      



In case you are confused by the above "visual", allow me to explain --The thin line, connecting the "traffic jam" with the "snarl-up", represents the bridge.  The red dot indicates the suggested location for the drive thru Starbucks on the bridge.   What is missing is the car wash and the ba-zillion commuters, but all that would make the visual too busy and not pleasing to the eye. 


What you see here is the highest point of the bridge, which is mid-span.
This was taken looking West.  Going West on the bridge is easy peasy. 


Here  I present my rant for the day:
Oh how I love crossing the West Seattle bridge during morning rush hour -- it is the absolute highlight of my day! Taking in the amazing vistas -- the cement plant, the steel plant, the stacks of rusting containers on Harbor Island. I'm utterly transported as I deeply inhale the scents of fresh car exhaust and dust. What a joy it is to spend 30 minutes crossing a half mile long bridge. At that speed, of 1 mile an hour, I'm given the opportunity to practice mindfulness -- and trim my hangnails. Never for a minute does it piss me off that, at one mile an hour, I could cross the bridge more quickly hopping on one foot than driving in my car. It's so awesome to see all the smiling faces of my bridge buddies -- oodles of them behind me, in front of me, beside me -- they are all so taken in with the beauty of the colorful, flashing, brake lights, that they sometimes fail to see me waving and extending my daily greeting ... "Howdy there! Nice seeing you again! How's it going?" These are my peeps, my neighbors, and I'm so lucky to get the opportunity to spend so much time camping out with them. In fact, I spend more uninterrupted time parked on the bridge with my fellow commuters than I do with my own husband! That is truly a blessing in disguise because I simply adore all of them! When they cut me off I think how frustrated they must be that they are running late -- I just know they have somewhere more important to go than I do and it doesn't bother me at all that they are more concerned about their needs than mine. What a joyful way to start the day! Not a minute of my life is wasted -- even though I rarely, if ever, get to my destination on time -- it just reminds me how important it is to remember that life is a journey, not a destination. With that in mind, coming to a complete stand still midspan never leads me to check the clock or say unholy words. You may think it gets old, day after day, driving across the bridge, like little ants, or lemmings, or cattle. But why would I find this monotonous? With all the bounty this commute gives to me daily? I absolutely heart the West Seattle bridge!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Comrades-in-arms (aka fellow West Seattle neighbors who feel my pain on the bridge every day) Please answer me this --

Why is there only one lane getting off the bridge to go Northbound on I-5?   

Seriously --  WTF?
That's what I'm talk'n about!   
The exit sign for I-5 North says it all.

"Merge" ... a strange sounding word but something that we must do.  It is compulsory.  I like the definitions and cool visual below, but what we do on the bridge is more accurately defined as "cram together".  


"Merge" visual provided by Thinkmap Visual Thesarus Image from the Visual Thesaurus, Copyright ©1998-2013 Thinkmap, Inc. 
All rights reserved

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Great news (great sarcasm) on the West Seattle bridge front...apparently the Alaska Way viaduct will be closing during some of the deep dig type tunneling for the viaduct replacement tunnel.   What this means for those of us who must cross over the Duwamish daily?   It means we will be even more screwed than we thought.

http://westseattleblog.com/2013/04/highway-99-tunnel-alaskan-way-viaduct-might-close-while-tunnel-machine-is-digging-beneath-it#comments

West Seattle bridge (Westbound)


Friday, April 12, 2013

Our West Seattle bridge commute situation is unacceptable... we need a revolution.

Just another day with my bridge buddies :)
What is happening here?
Why don't we stand together and make our voices heard ?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wow,  why do they allow the lower bridge to open during rush hour trafffic?!!!!

This morning, while I did not have to cross the bridge, my husband did.  I got the SOS call wondering if I could find out for him why he was at a dead stop on Spokane St. (along with every other morning commuter trying to get out of West Seattle).  He did note that the lower bridge was up...or open... or whatever -- nobody could cross it because a ship was going through.    Apparently it is not a drawbridge but a "swing bridge".

 I looked for answers here:

http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/bridgeopenings.htm

And basically found out something quite incredible and unique to this one particular bridge.  While all the other major bridges in and around Seattle have rules regulating opening during rush hours, the lower Spokane St. bridge does not -- it is open on demand, no matter what time it is.

And I quote:

"Southwest Spokane Street Swing Bridge (Low-Level)

The Southwest Spokane Street Swing Bridge opens on demand, even during rush hour. Commuters should be aware that marine traffic may go through the bridge at any time.

Flashing signs on the various approach roadways warn commuters that the low-level bridge is open for marine traffic and closed to vehicular traffic. Commuters can then use the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge.

Vessels should contact the bridge by radio or whistle signal when requesting an opening. Pleasure vessels are requested to use whistle signals as primary contact from 7 a.m. to dusk."


Here is more information than yo uprobably want and does not help you figure out the crazy, insane situation that most of you morning commuters encountered today:

"Bridges and Roadway Structure Bridge Openings

The City of Seattle operates three bascule bridges over the Lake Washington Ship Canal and one swing bridge over the Duwamish River. The openings and closings of these bridges have a major impact on the lives of commuters and boaters.

SDOT wants the use of these bridges to be as easy and convenient as possible. The following information answers frequently asked questions about the bridges, and should help ease the way for both commuters and boaters on their respective routes.

For more information about Seattle Bridges and Roadway Structures, call 206-386-4208.


Bridge Opening Procedure

When requesting a bridge opening from 7:00 AM - 11:00 PM vessels should contact the bridge by radio (marine Band ch 13) or use a whistle signal - one long, one short. Pleasure vessels are requested by the Coast Guard to use a whistle signal from 7:00 AM to dusk. Boaters please see the Rush Hour Schedule below, as bridge openings are restricted during these time periods. For bridge openings after 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM, please see section below titled Bridge Openings by Appointment.


Average Time of Bridge Openings

On the Lake Washington Ship Canal, a bridge opening averages about four (4) minutes, from stopping traffic to letting traffic resume at the end of an opening. Openings of the Spokane Street Swing Bridge average about 10 minutes in length. SDOT appreciates that delays are an inconvenience -- we get stuck in them too!"

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


BRIDGE






I found this really cool website that I would like to share.

The image above was generated using the Visual Thesaurus 

from http://www.visualthesaurus.com/.

The Visual Thesaurus offers stunning visual displays of the English language. Looking up a word creates an interactive visual map with your word in the center of the display, connected to related words and meanings. Copyright ©1998-2013 Thinkmap, Inc. All rights reserved.

Spring Break

I got nothing to share today, so here's a bit of drivel to chew on...

Sometimes the morning commute traffic is noticeably lighter than other days.  
Sunny Fridays, for example, because every *Seattleite knows that you do not go to work on a sunny Friday.

Friday traffic is sometimes  referred to, on radio, as "Friday lite" because is generally lighter on Fridays.   I guess a lot of people just decide not to work on Fridays?  Anyway, this "Friday Lite" is not so true on the West Seattle bridge.  Traffic often sucks just as bad on a Friday as any other day.  That's what happens when you have 10 billion people trying to leave West Seattle and one lane getting off the bridge to go North on I-5.  

           That is all.  

                         Carry on.
*  http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=seattleite




Sunday, April 7, 2013

Happy Sunday!

No crossing the bridge today for me :)   But if your day includes some fun or work related excursions to the East --read on...

Here are some very helpful links if you are trying to see the West Seattle bridge traffic before leaving your house (compliments of City of Seattle traffic cams):

View of raffice at 35th and Fauntleroy before getting on the bridge:
http://www.seattle.gov/trafficcams/35th_fauntleroy.htm

View of traffic mid-span heading East toward I-5:
http://www.seattle.gov/trafficcams/WSB_Mid-span.htm

Mid-span heading West:
http://www.seattle.gov/trafficcams/images/WS_Bridge_West.jpg

If you want more, more, more traffic information specific to West Seatte -- you can always count on good reporting from the West Seattle Blog (which really isn't a blog, but a news source):

http://westseattleblog.com/west-seattle-cams


Friday, April 5, 2013

Today on the bridge, during rush hour morning traffic, one of those super-duper long, multi-axel, semi trucks, became disabled.  It just so happened to break down as it was attempting to exit on to I-5 Northbound.   Of course there is only one exit lane to enter the on-ramp to I-5 northbound..   So basically, the exit was blocked and those of us ga-zillion others behind the truck?  Well -- it wasn't pretty.

Disabled semi truck =  one of many reasons the bridge needs
more than one lane to exit onto I-5.

 Crossing the bridge allows me to practice mindfulness.