Friday, October 30, 2009

Photo Friday: The Random Sampling Edition

Poor neglected Photo's been a while hasn't it? Let's kick things off with this stunning beauty:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Safety tips for Halloween (and the dark nights ahead)

Halloween is Saturday, are you dressing up? Going to a party? Taking the kids around trick-or-treating? Or are you one of those people who turns off the porch light, closes the drapes and eats all the candy yourself? Whether you are spending your All Hallow's Eve in a hot itchy costume, or on the couch with a bag of Reese's Mini Peanut Butter Cups, it will most likely be dark by the time you get around doing whatever it is you have planned.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Earthquake simulation highlights the vulnerabilities of the Alaskan Way Viaduct

By guest blogger Ron Paananen

The double-deck Alaskan Way Viaduct, a fixture on Seattle’s downtown waterfront for more than five decades, was already showing signs of wear and tear when the last major earthquake struck in 2001. That 6.8 magnitude seismic event further weakened the structure by damaging its joints and columns and causing sections to settle into the loose fill soil in which it was built.

In the years since, crews have kept a close eye on the viaduct through quarterly inspections and have strengthened several columns to prevent further damage to the structure, but the threat of another earthquake was always present. During this time new soil data and a better understanding of local and regional seismic behavior clarified exactly how vulnerable the viaduct is to another earthquake. In 2007 we released a report that concluded there is a higher chance – specifically, a one in 10 chance in the next 10 years – of an earthquake occurring that could cause portions of the viaduct and adjacent seawall to collapse. The vulnerability analysis is available on our Web site.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hi. My name is Traffic Team. I’m here to help.

If you had told me five years ago that I would be able to find a government agency that would promptly and accurately answer just about any question I was able to throw at them, I probably would have checked to make sure you were still taking your medication.

Today, it’s no hallucination. There is such an agency. It’s WSDOT and their Ask the Traffic Team page.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

National Teen Driver Safety week

My first car was a 1971 lemon yellow Volkswagen Beetle with a Baja kit. It had gigantic tires and a teeny little Aftermarket steering wheel (wisely replaced by my father).  I would always get a circular soot mark on my jeans from one of the two chrome exhaust pipes while scraping the rear windshield on chilly Wyoming mornings. But my favorite thing to do was making it LOUDLY backfire by holding down the clutch as I coasted downhill on my way home from school.

That car was was my first love.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How high-tech tools can improve commutes

By guest blogger Noel Brady

George Jetson would be jealous. Sure, he flew to work in a domed commuter pod, but could his skyway tell him where the congestion was before he was stuck in it? I think not. But that’s exactly what we’re working on for some of the busiest highways in the Seattle area.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Massive landslide closes SR 410 near Naches

By guest bloggers Joe Irwin and Megan Pembroke

Drivers who use SR 410 near Naches are facing a traffic nightmare after a massive Oct. 11 landslide blocked a half-mile section of the roadway. The slide was powerful enough to demolish the highway and carry tons of dirt, pavement, and debris into the Naches River, shifting it off course. That new course took it right over the Nile Loop Road on the other side of the river, cutting off another access point for local residents.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Let's take the train!

Amtrak Cascades train en route to Seattle
Today we are are officially celebrating the addition of a second, direct round-trip Amtrak Cascades service between Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, B.C at King Street Station with Governor Gregoire and the British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell. Since the second began on August 19, ridership is averaging 60 riders per day and growing, which is pretty exciting. So in honor of today's event, our photos are all about Amtrak Cascades.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

How to prepare your car for winter

We are a week into October  and the weather has been mostly mild, which is a perfect time to get prepared for what winter will bring us.  I keep hearing opinions that El Niño will give us a milder winter, but just in case we have a repeat of last year's Snowpocalypse, take the time now to prepare your car for winter. Don't be left scrambling at the last minute when The Weather Event of Aught Nine hits and the stores are sold out of everything you need.

Note to self: Buy snow shovel...Just in case.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

And…Action! Take a look at our new low-light traffic cameras over I-90 Snoqualmie Pass

Night view of road conditions
By guest blogger Amanda Sullivan, I-90 Communications

Have you ever needed to travel over I-90 Snoqualmie Pass at night and tried to pull up WSDOT’s mountain pass traffic cameras only to see a pitch black image with the occasional car headlight?

Well, not anymore. WSDOT just completed installing eight new low-light traffic cameras on I-90 west of Snoqualmie Summit to Cle Elum. The new traffic cameras have infrared illuminators that provide around-the-clock views of highway conditions – even during a midnight snow storm!