Metro's Alert Page

It’s been snowing around the region for the last few hours with an expected 1-2 inches of snow falling today. All signs indicated that tomorrow will see the heaviest snow with between 5-14 inches of snows starting to fall in the early morning. For snow information follow the links; King County Metro, Sound Transit, Pierce Transit, Community Transit, WSDOT, SDOT, SeaTac. We’ll be tweeting and retweeting information throughout the day.

[UPDATE: Metro sent out a press release notifying riders of additional planned cancellations for Wednesday:

Due to the weather forecast for treacherous and impassable roadways, Metro is scaling back some service Wednesday to be able to operate the rest of its system safely and as reliably as possible. The routes scheduled to be canceled for Wednesday are: 2EX, 38, 42, 45, 46, 51, 53, 79, 114, 161, 162, 175, 192, 193, 197, 205, 210, 215, 216, 219, 224, 237, 251, 268, 277, 316, 355, and the Center Park Shuttle. […] But, service on those routes could be restored depending on overnight weather forecasts and actual travel conditions tomorrow.


38 Replies to “Tuesday Snow Open Thread”

  1. and unfortunately the information for ST is not given graphically – so really, really hard to understand…and I think has some errors in it.

  2. “From a @kcmetrobus email: Due to shortage of buses, the Route 41 Lake City Snow Shuttle is not operating, Xfer to Route 75 at Northgate TC.”

  3. Does sound transit ever just outright cancel routes? Or can I assume if my route doesn’t have any changes that it’ll be running even tomorrow. I understand that it may be delayed / slow / have increased headways…

  4. Wow, Lake City was an inch deep in slush and heavy snow, messy traffic (plows FINALLY came through)… the U District was super clear. The 72 seemed to be traveling with ease, but the 73 was missing, and some joker tore down all the metro schedules and signs so there’s no easy way to ask for info, and drivers had no idea what other buses were doing. :/

    1. This morning I waited at a crowded stop on 45th & the Ave for almost an hour – FOUR crush-loaded 7X buses passed us, too full to take on any more passengers. I wonder if the missing 73 set up a chain reaction? Or maybe more people were taking the bus to avoid driving in the snow?

  5. All the cross-lake routes are standing room only and far, far off normal headways.
    Bellevue Transit Center is rather empty but still really slow with maintenance vehicles in the way, poorly installed chains, etc.

    1. Update: Stranded bus is blocking Willows Rd; just saw another on Old Redmond Rd by the side of the road blocking a lane of traffic.

  6. Yesterday midday, the northbound 48 was turning around somewhere around 50th, instead of continuing to the northern half of the route. I asked the driver if anyone was continuing to Loyal Heights, and the answer was something like “Not today we don’t”.

    I’m subscribed to Metro’s SMS alerts for route 48, and I’ve been keeping up on the Alerts Center, but nowhere did I find any mention of this change. The 48’s snow route in its entirety is part of the ESN, and according to the map it is not truncated at all, only rerouted off of a couple hills.

    COMMUNICATION, PLEASE. Tomorrow’s supposed to be the big snow day, and I will need to get up to 85th. Do I try to take the 48 again, or do I go downtown and transfer to the 16? And will the 16 be also turning around somewhere unannounced?

    1. I would suggest you don’t try to go anywhere tomorrow, by bus or otherwise except if you want to walk.

      1. Good advice, as far as it goes, but some folks don’t have the luxury of that choice.

      2. Same with the Monorail, and possibly the streetcar (unless broken down buses or cars get in the way, or if they never added switch heaters). And our gondola network should function perfectly, and is the best way to get up and down our hills.

      3. @ Martin

        I’m actually counting on that as my dad needs to get to SeaTac mid morning. He’s spending the night at my place as Link is probably his best bet to get to the airport.

    2. There has been some confusion among drivers about all of these snow routes. many drivers are not familiar with the snow routes that they serve, which adds to the mayhem. I had a 358 driver who kept us informed as metro changed all routes to snow routes and what not.

      1. I think it would be more accurate to say that any data for a route on its snow route is inaccurate, but for a route (like RR-A or ST 550) that doesn’t have one/is operating its normal route, it would be accurate, or at least reasonably so.

    1. It would be spotty at best. It did seem to line up with my bus stop this morning (I saw 3 buses pulling away as I approached, just like OBA said), but didn’t mention the two 3’s that showed up a minute later and gave me a ride to work. Obviously anything on a snow route (like the 3’s) won’t be appearing correctly.

      1. I’d expect that it’s skewing each route by an amount proportional to the length of it’s detour. If I’m right, for every added yard of route, OBA will see the bus that much further forward on its route. You should be able to work out a “snow route adjustment factor” or some such for every stop of every route. Of course, ad-hoc changes (like hills that are theoretically served on the snow route, but when skipped when totally unclimbable) are totally unfixable.

        This is assuming that it is able to count accurately from trip start. I’m not sure that’s the case. I know they use RF beacons periodically passed by buses to re-calibrate their locations, but have no idea how the system works beyond that.

    2. On my commute home, it suggested that the 309 would arrive at Boren & Madison, when in reality the 309 was routed through downtown. Not sure what the problem was.

      1. OBA is only as good as the last check in point. It is not real time, hence the bus could turn a block away and it will roll merrily along, making it show up on time and leaving your stop while you never see hide nor hair of it.

  7. The 16 was running fine this morning, aside from an abusive couple who took exception to the snow route and berated the driver several times, despite his multiple announcements that it was on the snow route and would not be going through Wallingford. The 348 was a joke – waited over 45 minutes at NG for one to show. Roads heading into Shoreline were not good – 15th Ave NE was a mess. Finally saw plows in Shoreline, but no SDOT plows.

  8. I had a sweet ride on a 48 with automated stop announcements this morning! No snow then, but maybe we’ll get some :)))

  9. The route of the First Hill Streetcar is currently being served, in nearly it’s entirety, but the combined snow routes of the 2 and 12, at very high frequency.

    1. Indeed. It has occurred to me that snow routing will be one of the few instance when the FHSC will be spectacularly useful after 2016. Turn the First Hill/Central District buses into shuttles, run the streetcar every 10 mins and turn the Queen Anne trolleys around at the 13 layover wire.

    2. I rode the 2 yesterday from Chinatown to Trader Joe’s and thought, this would make a great route. I meant really the 12, which I also saw there. There’s probably a market for the east side of Capitol Hill to the west side of Jackson that has never been developed because it takes forever to go through downtown or wait for a transfer on Broadway.

    3. It also made me question the wisdom of taking buses off Pine. Earlier I had suggested pushing all Pine Street buses to John or Madison when Capitol Hill station opens. But with Pine being a snow route, that may be a reason not to.

      1. Well, you could keep their current snow-routings, or simply redraw the 90 to keep CH/Downtown connectivity on Pine.

        The 90 needs to be redone anyway, IMO. Yeah, it works in a pinch, but some of the routing choices are questionable (union-boren-pine? In the snow? Why?), and it’s just not right to have a one-way loop that long.

    4. I watched at least two snow shuttles (90) drive straight down 3rd, without slowing down or even pulling over into the right hand lane.
      The route was being driven by snow route, but not really served.

  10. I am seriously loving the snow routes … currently there is a 2/3/4/12/90 about every 5 minutes or so at Broadway/Terrace St. … and the ride down Boren to 12th doesn’t seem any longer than sloging through James St. I5 traffic

  11. Still no snow in central Seattle today. Even the snow in the dirt patches was almost completely melted by 6pm. J. says above that Lake City got snow… so where did the snow line end.

    I couldn’t believe the article in the Times linked on Twitter. “As Seattle’s carefully salted streets became icy sheets Monday, Mayor Mike McGinn saw two years of planning spin sideways.” Really? To me the snow seemed mild, the streets were plowed better than a few years ago, the buses were doing their normal snow thing, and I didn’t encounter any ice walking from 16th & Union to Trader Joe’s to Summit yesterday evening. “Steve Pratt, maintenance operations director for the city’s transportation department, said he didn’t learn until about 4 p.m. Monday that the roads were icing up. At that point, gridlock made it difficult for city trucks to reach hot spots quickly enough to treat them with rock salt or additional brine, he said.” Really? It’s like two different Seattles coexisting at the same time, one with widespread calamities and the other not. I wonder if one of them is the Bailoverse.

    1. Near 125th there was some snow but nothing on the roads. Busses seems to be running fine morning and evening today.

  12. If you have plans to go north today to Bellingham or Vancouver BC, please don’t. Roads are treacherous in Whatcom County. Even Interstate 5 is in horrible shape. Amtrak would be your best bet if you need to travel North.

    1. Wrong, I heard on the news this morning that all Amtrak service from Seattle to B.C. is closed with no alternate.

      1. Oh really? I had not heard that yet. Thank you for the updated information. Sounds like travel to the Bellingham or Vancouver BC area today is best avoided entirely. Roads are treacherous.

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