Cars slip and slide down the Counterbalance

Posted on November 22nd, 2010 by Editor


Update 11:57 p.m. Monday: Yet another car crashed on the Counterbalance heading up to Queen Anne, and there’s video:

Video courtesy of Fred Sayre.

Update 10:45 p.m. If there something that every Queen Anne resident knows, it’s not to drive up the Queen Anne Ave. hill in the snow. Just watch what happens with this Audi after it nearly reaches the top:

And that’s not all. Moments later, another Audi met the same fate. Watch here. Videos by JohnGoad via @markmurray98119.

Update 6:42 p.m.: Good thing the Counterbalance is finally closed to traffic, because there was quite an alarming pile up of cars stuck on the icy slope this evening, culminating when three cars (one a yellow taxi), all slipping independently, collided.

Pre-collision.

Post-collision.

We’re also hearing reports that many Metro bus routes servicing Queen Anne are no longer able to make stops on much of the hill. Check these route alerts here.

Update 5:18 p.m.: There have been reportedly two collisions along West Olympic/10th Ave W, however a reader says Taylor/5th Ave N is not too bad.

Update 5:01 p.m.: If you’re driving to the top of the hill tonight, avoid Queen Anne Ave N at all costs—there are now cars sliding around up and down the Counterbalance. At one point at around 4:55 p.m. there were five cars stuck at the intersection of Queen Anne Ave N and Aloha, about a third of the way up the hill. While most have made it through, many have had to turn around and slide back down the hill. If you’re not already on the Counterbalance, try to find another way home. Other suggested routes up the south slope: Taylor & 5th Ave N, and 10th Ave W.

If you’re planning to take Queen Anne Avenue home today, you might want to head back as soon as possible, because snow on the steep street is stacking up—and sticking.

While cars are still traveling up and down the Counterbalance regularly, in the last thirty minutes the pavement has quickly been powered with snow. It doesn’t look like the street will be open much longer.

On a more enthusiastic note, can someone say sledding tomorrow?

In the meantime, here’s how snow (and traffic) is looking at various points in and around Queen Anne.


  • Clare

    Mercer is at a near complete standstill – don’t try to take it if you don’t have to. as of 3:30/4 pm

  • Clare

    Mercer is at a near complete standstill – don’t try to take it if you don’t have to. as of 3:30/4 pm

  • Tegan

    I just saw a Volvo spinning wheels and struggling to get from Smith to McGraw on 2nd W at 4:00. I also saw a sanding truck on McGraw, so I think they’re trying to make things safer, but there are only so many sanders. If you have to drive, do so very carefully! Be safe and well, neighbors!

  • Tegan

    I just saw a Volvo spinning wheels and struggling to get from Smith to McGraw on 2nd W at 4:00. I also saw a sanding truck on McGraw, so I think they’re trying to make things safer, but there are only so many sanders. If you have to drive, do so very carefully! Be safe and well, neighbors!

  • Maggie

    Any idea if the 4 is running up Taylor ave still? Metro site says it is affected only “if Taylor ave is closed”…

  • Maggie

    Any idea if the 4 is running up Taylor ave still? Metro site says it is affected only “if Taylor ave is closed”…

  • vanderleun

    Good job today, Queen Anne View. Outstanding job.

  • vanderleun

    Good job today, Queen Anne View. Outstanding job.

  • likaco

    Anyone know what is the best way up QA then? The back way by Canlis?

  • likaco

    Anyone know what is the best way up QA then? The back way by Canlis?

  • Anthony

    Did 3rd up by SPU get sanded?

  • Anthony

    Did 3rd up by SPU get sanded?

  • queen anne girl

    I just spent the last 2 hours walking up and down the counterbalance laughing at all the cars spinning and trying to drive up one of the country’s steepest and most dangerous hills. Unless you drive a Range Rover (the only cars that were able to drive up with flying colors) why on earth would you even attempt that hill? At one point I saw a huge “dualie” slide backwards down the hill, just a few feet from a Jetta. Crazy. Stay home Seattle unless it’s absolutely necessary, i.e., you are a street sander or in the medical field.

  • queen anne girl

    I just spent the last 2 hours walking up and down the counterbalance laughing at all the cars spinning and trying to drive up one of the country’s steepest and most dangerous hills. Unless you drive a Range Rover (the only cars that were able to drive up with flying colors) why on earth would you even attempt that hill? At one point I saw a huge “dualie” slide backwards down the hill, just a few feet from a Jetta. Crazy. Stay home Seattle unless it’s absolutely necessary, i.e., you are a street sander or in the medical field.

  • David E

    Thanks for covering the snow. Really did a good job with the bus info, hill status, and snow reports. Thanks 🙂

  • David E

    Thanks for covering the snow. Really did a good job with the bus info, hill status, and snow reports. Thanks 🙂

  • Thanks for the job done.

  • Thanks for the job done.

  • Tonya

    Annoying, why wouldn’t they block off the road or warn people at the bottom instead of standing in the middle and laughing at people that are probably scared out of their minds.
    Rude.

  • Tonya

    Annoying, why wouldn’t they block off the road or warn people at the bottom instead of standing in the middle and laughing at people that are probably scared out of their minds.
    Rude.

  • Aloha

    I would recommend *not* taking 5th Ave N – it is as steep as Queen Anne Ave and does not go all the way to the top of the hill. I’ve been watching unsuccessful attempts to drive up 5th Ave N from my condo deck.
    Stick to Taylor Ave, it has a gentle slope and 3rd Ave W might not be so bad either.

  • Aloha

    I would recommend *not* taking 5th Ave N – it is as steep as Queen Anne Ave and does not go all the way to the top of the hill. I’ve been watching unsuccessful attempts to drive up 5th Ave N from my condo deck.
    Stick to Taylor Ave, it has a gentle slope and 3rd Ave W might not be so bad either.

  • Jen

    I don’t understand why QA residents would need a sign to tell you, hey maybe it’s not the best idea to drive up the 2nd steepest hill in the city while it is ice covered. It reaches its max incline at the top after you’ve lost momentum.

  • Jen

    I don’t understand why QA residents would need a sign to tell you, hey maybe it’s not the best idea to drive up the 2nd steepest hill in the city while it is ice covered. It reaches its max incline at the top after you’ve lost momentum.

  • Angie

    How’s QA’s road condition now? I work in the medical field and have to travel that route tomorrow morning…would like to have an update if anyone happen to live around that area…Thanks.

  • Angie

    How’s QA’s road condition now? I work in the medical field and have to travel that route tomorrow morning…would like to have an update if anyone happen to live around that area…Thanks.

  • Frankie Twospoons

    You people are so damn dumb,,, buy snowtires, put titanium studs in them,, drive anywhere anytime..
    you are all perfect examples of natural selection in action….idiots

  • Frankie Twospoons

    You people are so damn dumb,,, buy snowtires, put titanium studs in them,, drive anywhere anytime..
    you are all perfect examples of natural selection in action….idiots

  • Tom Riddering

    All my friends from Minnesota are laughing about Seattle putting chains on busses and shutting down the city because of a mere two inches of snow.

  • Tom Riddering

    All my friends from Minnesota are laughing about Seattle putting chains on busses and shutting down the city because of a mere two inches of snow.

  • anon

    Well Tom, I lived in Minnesota, and in Chicago, for 13 years. I drove through anything. It’s different there. It’s so dang cold that the snow doesn’t melt when it hits the streets, so it doesn’t melt, and it doesn’t form ice. Minneapolis’ hills are nothing compared to ours, and Chicago is flat as a pancake. Driving in the snow here is a whole other ball game. Your smug friends are as ignorant as I was before I moved out here.

  • anon

    Well Tom, I lived in Minnesota, and in Chicago, for 13 years. I drove through anything. It’s different there. It’s so dang cold that the snow doesn’t melt when it hits the streets, so it doesn’t melt, and it doesn’t form ice. Minneapolis’ hills are nothing compared to ours, and Chicago is flat as a pancake. Driving in the snow here is a whole other ball game. Your smug friends are as ignorant as I was before I moved out here.

  • Ole

    Back in International Falls, this type of thing would never have happened. Oh wait, that’s because International Falls is as flat as Kansas, just like the rest of everywhere else that gets any snow at all, and no one there ever has a chance to drive on an icy hill. Still, I’m certain it’s McGinn’s fault because he’s a feisty liberal.

  • Ole

    Back in International Falls, this type of thing would never have happened. Oh wait, that’s because International Falls is as flat as Kansas, just like the rest of everywhere else that gets any snow at all, and no one there ever has a chance to drive on an icy hill. Still, I’m certain it’s McGinn’s fault because he’s a feisty liberal.

  • Drake

    OMG I think one of those videos showed someone driving an Audi A4 like a douchebag. No fscking way dude!!

    I think we’ve all seen the occasional Audi A4/S4/Whatever driven exactly the way its entitled young driver feels. Perhaps the young person in the video above feels somewhat less entitled now? For the rest of us, I think it’s a good lesson on street parking in a snow storm.

  • Drake

    OMG I think one of those videos showed someone driving an Audi A4 like a douchebag. No fscking way dude!!

    I think we’ve all seen the occasional Audi A4/S4/Whatever driven exactly the way its entitled young driver feels. Perhaps the young person in the video above feels somewhat less entitled now? For the rest of us, I think it’s a good lesson on street parking in a snow storm.


copyright 2007 - 2010  Next Door Media website by: KILMERHANSEN Design