Confirmation: The Mercer Mess is… still a mess

How long does it take to get through Taylor & Mercer? Forever!

Taylor & Mercer gridlock at 3pm…

Today, the Puget Sound Business Journal published an article on the Mercer Mess. Not the old Mercer Mess, but rather the current Mercer Mess. After spending $74 million for improvements to the Mercer corridor, data from TomTom shows that Mercer traffic is no better than it was two years ago.

According to PSBJ:

“Peak morning congestion, between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., on the 1.74-mile stretch of Mercer Street from Elliott Avenue to Interstate 5 has improved by two seconds since 2014, according to TomTom data.”

The City plans to spend $1 million to improve the light timing on Mercer, but according to KIRO, the City “acknowledged that would not speed up commute times” – so don’t expect any improvements anytime soon…

Seattle Public Utilities will work on 3rd Ave W groundwater issue this Saturday

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 12.14.33 PMWe’ve had several readers write in or tweet to us about the ongoing stream of water along 3rd Ave W near the Queen Anne Bowl. Aegis construction crews identified the water seepage issue as a Seattle Public Utilities problem.

To try and reduce the groundwater that is surfacing along 3rd Ave W, Seattle Public Utilities will be working on the area this Saturday from 7am to 7pm. The work may impact traffic, reducing 3rd Ave W to one lane for the day. A flagger will be on hand to direct traffic and parking will be restricted.

SPU will clean and inspect the groundwater pipes at the location, with the goal of reducing the constant stream of water. Thanks to SPU for responding to the issue, let’s hope the work reduces or, even better, stops the excess water flow.

Traffic Alert: Portion of 6th Ave W closed to traffic this weekend for repaving project

6th Ave WWe’ve had readers asking about the signs that have gone up on 6th Ave W, notifying residents of a road closure this weekend between W Crockett St and W Howe St.

Per our SDOT contact, this portion of 6th Ave W will be closed to traffic between 7am and 5pm both Saturday, June 25th, and Sunday, June 26th.

Here’s the info you need to know, directly from SDOT:

Paving on 6th Ave W on Queen Anne This Weekend

SDOT advises travelers that crews will close 6th Ave West between W Crockett Street and W Howe Street for grinding and paving this weekend. This work is weather dependent.

From 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., on Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26,  6th Ave W will be closed from W Crockett St to W Howe St:

–  6th Ave W will be closed to thru traffic, only Metro buses will have thru access

– Bus stops on 6th Ave W at W Howe and at W Crockett will be closed during paving

– All crosswalks and sidewalks will remain open

– No Parking signs will be in place

– Detour signs will be in place for 6th Ave W

– Southbound travelers head west on W Crockett, south on 7th Ave W, east on W Blaine St, back to 6th Ave W.

– Northbound travelers head west on W Blaine St, north on 7th Ave W, east on W Crockett, back to 6th Ave W.

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This project is part of SDOT’s 2016 Arterial Major Maintenance (AMM) program. The AMM program maintains our busiest streets by making strategic small scale investments at key locations on city streets.

Rock’n’Roll Marathon means road closures this Saturday

The annual Rock’n’Roll Marathon is this Saturday, June 18th, with a race start at the Seattle Center. That means early morning crowds at the Seattle Center and on surrounding streets. Plus, plenty of street closures to be aware of if you need to leave Queen Anne. Good news? The race ends at CenturyLink Field this year, not the Seattle Center.

SDOT advises drivers to stay off local roads early Saturday morning due to detours and associated delays. In addition to the crowds and detours on Lower Queen Anne/Uptown, all northbound lanes of 99 through downtown (the Viaduct) will be closed from 5am to 9:45am, along with several I5 and I90 on- and off-ramps.

Here are the details from SDOT, with a race map below:

SR 99 closure details

  • Northbound SR 99 from South Hudson Street to Roy Street.

I-5 ramp closures

  • The northbound and southbound I-5 off-ramps to South Dearborn Avenue.
  • The South Dearborn Avenue on-ramps to northbound and southbound I-5.

I-90 ramp closures

  • The eastbound and westbound I-90 off-ramps to Rainier Avenue South.
  • The southbound Rainier Avenue South on-ramp to eastbound I-90.

I-90 express lanes closure details

  • The I-90 express lanes will close at 3 a.m. The lanes will open westbound by 2:30 p.m.

A full list of road closures is provided in a tabular format here.

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Memorial Day weekend brings Northwest Folklife back to the Seattle Center

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 7.31.42 PMA reminder to those who’ve lived here for a while and a heads up to newcomers: Northwest Folklife Festival is this weekend, and that’ll bring crowds, traffic, and festival-ness to our neighborhood.

Folklife runs from Friday, May 27th to Monday, May 30th at the Seattle Center. Festival hours are 11am to 10pm, except for Monday, when the event closes up at 9pm.

Folklife celebrates a wide range of arts and cultural activities, with performances that include dancing, poetry readings, films, storytelling, musical acts, and more. Last year, Folklife featured 133 community showcases, 5,000 performers on 25 stages, 160 street performers, 90 hours of participatory dance, a Kid’s Discovery Zone, and roughly 235,000 attendees. You can get the full schedule of events for this year’s Folklife Festival here.

The City estimates that Folklife will bring 60,000 people to our neighborhood each day. Plan ahead, secure your parking spot, and be patient with the influx of people and traffic that comes along with them.


Viaduct to be open by Monday morning

You can breathe a sign of relief and perhaps the extra-heavy Mercer traffic will ease a bit. The Viaduct will be opening early after being closed for Bertha tunneling. Drivers can expect the Viaduct to be open starting tomorrow morning, Monday, May 9th.

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Here’s the scoop from WSDOT:

Alaskan Way Viaduct to reopen for Monday morning commute
Washington DOT Posted on May 8 2016 2:07 PM

After 10 days of around-the-clock tunneling, Bertha’s biggest hurdle is now behind her. That hurdle – the Alaskan Way Viaduct she was built to replace – will reopen for the Monday morning commute, bringing an early end to the much-anticipated closure.

Structural engineers with the Washington State Department of Transportation completed a thorough inspection of the viaduct on Sunday. Their inspection confirmed what a team of engineers observed throughout the past 10 days of tunneling: continued stability of the ground and the viaduct.

By Friday, the machine had successfully tunneled through complex soils only 15 feet below the viaduct’s foundation – the closest the machine will come to any structure at any point in its drive beneath Seattle. On Sunday, STP completed installation of the rings beneath this critical location, clearing the way for the final inspection and the early opening of the highway. WSDOT’s 24-hour command center will remain open until the machine has successfully tunneled 385 feet, the distance at which it will be completely clear of the viaduct.

Tunneling progress

Seattle Tunnel Partners has installed 47 rings and excavated 312 feet of the approximately 385 feet of tunnel to be completed beneath the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Crews continue to work around the clock to tunnel, build rings and perform ongoing machine maintenance.

WSDOT worked closely with Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Police Department, King County Metro, King County Water Taxi, Sound Transit, Community Transit and the Port of Seattle to keep traffic moving and provide travel options during the closure.

We are extremely grateful to those commuters that shifted their travel routes and timing during the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure. Every person that chose alternate transportation helped to reduce traffic regionally. Thank you for all your efforts.

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