West Seattle weighs in on commute since viaduct closure
SEATTLE - Week one is in the books when it comes to life without the Alaskan Way Viaduct — but old habits die hard — and it's unclear if commuters will leave their cars at home for two more weeks.
In West Seattle, arguably the one neighborhood most impacted by the shutdown, people said it wasn’t as bad because so many were willing to change their routine. Whether it was by carpool, bus or even bicycle, people got around this past week without driving solo.
“I'm careful this time because I know the commute's an issue,” said Cathy Thompson, who lives in West Seattle.
Still, public transit options had some pitfalls and Metro buses were occasionally very crowded.
With the viaduct off limits, some avoided trips into the city entirely, which helped the people who did head out on the roads.
“I drive older people to doctor appointments and we canceled the doctor appointment that was downtown,” said Cathy Hauger.
Not everybody switched it up but even they saw the benefits.
“I did go up to Everett for work on Wednesday and it was probably better than it's been,” said Ron Thompson, who normally travels to south King County for his job.
Bike share companies reported steady business, and more people cycled in general. On Wednesday, 1,325 people peddled out of West Seattle, more than twice the 585 people who cycled to work or school that same day a year ago.
So, can we all keep it up for two more weeks?
“I would keep doing the same thing,” said Lupin Murray. “I don't know, we'll see what happens."