Monday, March 10, 2014

New cracks in viaduct while Big-Bertha still sleeps...

News that you might want to be aware of -- especially for those of us who travel off the island.

Check it out at
http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/News/2014/03/10_SR99Inspections.htm

The important part is that the Alaska Way viaduct is going to close on March 22 for a spell... so engineers can inspect:

..."new cracks, as well as movement and widening of existing cracks, along girders and supports near Spring and Seneca streets. "    from WSDOT


And in case you would like to read further commentary and reporting on all things West Seattle, including transportation and over-development  -- check out the westseattleblog.com
(who always provides real time and pertinent West Seattle news).

I know I have said this in previous posts, but it seems relevant given today's news and certainly deserves another posting...

My husband and I have always called the Alaskan Way viaduct  "the IHOP" -- which of course stands for "International House of Pancakes".    From day one of living in Seattle (when we moved here 20 years ago) -- and we read about the double-decker death trap of a viaduct... we knew it was a potential "flattening" mechanism of demise.  Yet, we continued to drive it... what choice do Seattleites really have when I-5 is a parking lot from dawn to dusk? 

So --we would choose to drive on the viaduct with a rather macabre sense of humor -- calling it the IHOP while we drove as fast as we could to get off it.

Now it continues to crumble -- and you can actually see cracked concrete and "stuff" when you drive across it -- especially from the lower deck.   And to make matters worse... Big-Bertha, our state-of-the-art "digger", continues to be inoperable, delaying the viaduct's replacement tunnel construction. 

Two major unknowns here as far as I can see:
When will the viaduct fall down?
Will the viaduct be replaced before it falls down?

The third question that goes along with the first two is:
When will Big-Bertha get fired so that we can get on with actually replacing the viaduct?

Oh, one last thing -- some people believe that it is the tunneling project that has brought on new cracks -- sounds like a reasonable deduction. 

Have a great day and pay no attention to the recent, major, tectonic activity along the West Coast...





Monday, February 17, 2014

Times a wasting! Hop to it West Seattle...

It is time for action my fellow bridge warriors!


For the love of all things sacred!  *and especially the love of West Seattle

Take Action: Send Email to Seattle City Council

I strongly encourage you to join forces wth the rest of us who are urgently concerned about the over deveopment of West Seattle (especially given there seems to be little to no legitimate oversight.)

I personally support the agenda presented by Getting It Right for West Seattle http://gettingitrightforwestseattle.com/ and I have taken their recommendation about writing a letter to Tom Rasmussen, our Transportation Chairperson, re: the proposed development at 4755 Fauntleroy Ave. SW.

 I implore you to do the same.  Here is their suggested letter, which I have cut and pasted here, for your convenience:

To: Tom.Rasmussen@seattle.gov
CC: tim.burgess@seattle.gov; sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov;
sally.clark@seattle.gov; mike.obrien@seattle.gov;
kshama.sawant@seattle.gov; nick.licata@seattle.gov;
bruce.harrell@seattle.gov;  jean.godden@seattle.gov;
BCC: info@gettingitrightforwestseattle.org

Dear Transportation Chairperson Tom Rasmussen:
{INTRODUCE YOURSELF}
I’m concerned that the proposed development at 4755 Fauntleroy Ave SW, as designed by Weingarten Developers, directly conflicts with the recommendations of the community-developed and approved West Seattle Triangle Plan. I’m also concerned the current proposal will make our traffic problems even worse as tractor trailers, delivery trucks, and more cars block traffic on Fauntleroy Ave SW. I urge you to withhold approval of the proposed megaproject and require Weingarten Developers to submit other design alternatives that will not worsen traffic and are consistent with the West Seattle Triangle Plan.
Sincerely,
{YOUR NAME }
{YOUR ADDRESS}



















Look familiar?  This is my commute, EVERY DAY of the week -- twice over.  
The responsiblities I have as a parent require me to drive downtown and return to West Seattle, only to turn around later in the day, cross the bridge again into downtown, and return again to West Seattle.  I am a person who sees the bridge situation for what it is -- a clear indication that THINGS ARE BROKEN in West Seattle.  And guess what -- it is fixing to get WAY, WAY worse.  I am not an alarmist, I am simply stating the obvious.

Your Bridge Buddy
See you on the bridge!


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Year but same old same old...

Today's commute -- what can I say?   Words really can't describe it, but I'll try.....

"Cuckoo-crazy" is what first comes to mind.   For me, that just about sums it up.  

Now don't get me wrong, I love all my bridge buddies dearly (and by "bridge buddies" I am referring to all you other commuter people who find yourself stuck with me on that God forsaken chunk of concrete,  trying in vain to get from point A to point B)  but sometimes I just want to drive across the bridge by myself.

Today I asked the gods that be to "please let me cross the bridge" without incident.  But of course the answer that was given was "NO!  No, no, no, no, NO!  You can NOT cross the bridge without incident"  

Why can't I cross without incident?  BECAUSE,  many other things are on the bridge thwarting my efforts and crushing my meager dream of an incident-free bridge crossing.
What kind of "many other things" are hindering my crossing?  Things such as all of the following, and a few more that I'm sure I have inadvertently left out: 

wrecked cars, cars out of gas or otherwise disabled carsaid cars, fire truck, police car, tow truck, lower bridge opening, ten billion other cars, and a donkey


What about you? 
 
What do you have to say about the bridge commute?   

Please leave a comment  or  share a story below.....



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.