Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Viadoom or the Coming Carmageddon

The Alaskan Way Viaduct was closed forever Friday night at 10pm.  That would be the 11th.  The police had trouble getting people off the bridge because there were many who wanted to be the last person to drive off.  Saturday hundreds of people walked on to the bridge to watch the sunset for the last time.  It was a nice day and they wanted to see it.  The police were all up in their hair about the danger.  Right, this is the same elevated highway that hosted bike rides and foot races.  Sometimes Seattle is such a nanny state!

It makes me sad, the Viaduct is part of what made Seattle who Seattle is.  It was old and noisy, but driving on the upper level on a nice day was special.  You could see West Seattle, the Olympic Mountains and Elliot Bay, because you were on an elevated highway.  There has been the usual high falutin’ drivel about connecting the water front to the rest of the city by tearing the Viaduct down.  I personally don’t get it.  Alaskan Way, which is a four lane road running through Seattle is between the water front and the city.  It’s the route to the ferry dock, so it’s heavily traveled.  We’ll see.

There is also the fact that the Viaduct carries 100,000 cars a day.  For the next three weeks ALL of those cars will need an alternate route  So far, ridership on the ferry from West Seattle to Seattle has tripled.  Many people are taking the bus, and there is the ever popular working from home in one’s sweats.  Despite all of this, the commute is starting an hour earlier, and commute times have doubled.  In three weeks the tunnel (with its tolling) will open with two lanes in each direction, rather than the three that were previously provided.  Traffic planners are predicting the next five years will be grim.  KOMO did an article about the bad times to come due to constant road construction.  The planners are all saying it will be totally worth it.

This is looking south.

alaskan way viaduct 2

Looking north.  Those are the Olympics in the distance.

alaskan way viaduct 3

Some of the southern sections are already being demolished.

alaskan way viaduct 5

It will be interesting to see how the next three weeks go, and whether people can stay out of their cars.  Eventually, they’ll have to go the grocery store for toilet paper.  Amazon Fresh may see an uptick in orders.


  1. When I read this, I thought, "Wait! Aren't they in ARIZONA?" But I'm guessing this is one of those posts you illustrated with retrospective photos? Or are you traveling in Seattle at the moment?

  2. We are in Arizona. All photos were liberated from the internet!

  3. Yay! I found you!!! In Arizona no less!!