Views and News


I landed a job in Georgetown in the Duwamish industrial area. To save money on my 26-mile commute, I left my car behind and started trying other ways to get to work from my home in north Seattle. The effort soon expanded to other public transit options for other parts of the Duwamish, resulting in this website to help others get to, through and from the “Du” without always relying on their personal gas guzzler.

It wasn’t, and isn’t, easy to use public transportation in the Duwamish. It also wasn’t, and isn’t, boring.

Seattle south of downtown is a lot different than Seattle north of downtown. As a lifelong north ender, I guess I knew that from the start, but a bus ride between the two can really drive the point home. The Duwamish is also home to industrial-sized anomalies that aren’t found anywhere else in the city, like …mile-long railroad trains that roll back and forth with excruciating slowness blocking intersections … or clusters of RVs used as rolling villages by bands of street people … or world-class aerospace research labs … or unpaved roads filled with epic mud puddles … or Alaskan-bound barges filled to the top with cargo containers, cars, pickup trucks and pleasure boats … or waves of roaring trucks that never seem to end along the regional thoroughfares such as 1st and 4th Avenues South.

These differences are also part of the journey in the Duwamish. The web site will try to bring those experiences to readers along with commute tips.


Proposed Bus Route Changes

King County Metro is restructuring Seattle’s bus system to include new RapidRide bus lines.  Changes will be implemented September 2012.  Meanwhile, Metro is seeking public feedback. Here are route changes that will affect commuters in the Duwamish:

Bus Route 124 would operate 24 hours a day along Airport Way S and East Marginal Way beginning next September under route changes proposed by Metro. Route 124, which presently runs along 4th Avenue South and East Marginal Way, would serve the SODO and King Street light rail stations as well as round-the-clock businesses along Airport Way including Federal Express.

Other changes would make it easier to get from West Seattle to Georgetown and SODO. New Route 40 would connect with S. Michigan Street in Georgetown from the Junction in West Seattle while new Route 50 would link Lander Street in SODO with stops along Admiral Way. In addition, the RapidRide C line will carry passengers from Westwood Village all the way to downtown Seattle via the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Routes 132 and 131 between Burien and Downtown Seattle would also be modified to make stops every 15 minutes along 4th Ave S. Both routes would be shortened to terminate at Burien Transit Center, and neither route would continue to serve Highline Community College.

Routes 57 and 123EX would also be rerouted to travel the Alaska Way Viaduct rather than 4th Avenue S. Route 57 would operate every 30 minutes during peak hours between Genesee Hill and downtown via the Admiral District. Route 123EX would  operate every 30 to 60 minutes.

Metro will begin a second round of public outreach on the service proposals on February 1. The King County Council will consider final proposals from the King County Executive in April/May 2012, with approved changes taking effect in September. For further information or comments, please visit Metro’s Have A Say website. You can also fill out the survey here.



Smoothing a Bumpy Road

Thanks to a program called “Grow Seattle” there’s nothing remarkable anymore about the once pothole-choked Fidalgo Street between 1st and 4th Avenues in Georgetown. As shown in the picture to the right, motorists simply drive up and down Fidalgo today, just as they do on nearly any other road. That wasn’t the case when the “road” was filled with potholes large enough to hide pirate bands.

The roadway was recently paved through a partnership between the Seattle Department of Transportation and businesses along the road. The problems on Fidalgo were brought to the attention of city officials by the Manufacturing Industrial Council through an outreach program called “Grow Seattle” that is operated by the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development. Grow Seattle attempts to find solutions to problems facing Seattle industrial firms. If you have a problem that might be appropriate, contact Tory Gering at the MIC, at 206-762-2470 or by email at gro.yrtsudnielttaesnull@yrot.

The bad stretch of Fidalgo was among 11 miles of unpaved roadways that exist throughout the Duwamish. For that reason, Fidalgo didn’t qualify for the city’s pothole repair program. But SDOT officials were able to find another source of cash for about $150K that was matched by about $50K from local businesses to pay for the paving job and repairs to nearby Mead Street. The new, smoother roadway won’t last forever, but it should hold up for the foreseeable future and it’s a vast improvement over the previous conditions which were making Fidalgo nearly impassable.

Because of the city’s poor budget circumstances, no city money is presently available for similar paving projects, but if your street needs this kind of repair work, notify the MIC and it will be put in the hopper for projects that will become feasible when financial conditions improve.


Why Share the Ride?

With construction projects clogging traffic throughout the Duwamish these days, carpooling can be a great option to get to work quicker and save money. You’ll reduce wear and tear on your car and spend less on gas. Plus you can use the HOV lanes, which tend to move faster. The ride-matching website can help you find carpool or vanpool partners who have similar routes and schedules.