Unless you’ve had your noise-cancelling headphones on these past months, you’ve probably heard about this little thing that’s about to happen: the Alaskan Way Viaduct closing. Local media outlets have been in countdown mode, taken videos of last drives on the thing, offered tips for how to deal with the closure and have just generally been preparing all of us for the inevitable traffic mess.
The city feels panicked, and we’re panicking right along with it. Our staff commutes from all corners of the city and beyond. We surveyed everyone in our office to see how they think this whole thing will play out. Here are some responses:
“Chaos all over the city. Total chaos.” — Krickette Wozniak, senior account executive who commutes from Belltown.
“Given our city's history with projects on this scale, an ‘unplanned’ event that will set the tunnel-opening timeline back. Just a guess.” — Gwendolyn Elliott, senior editor who commutes from White Center.
“I think a lot of negative emotions will stem from the fact that many Seattleites will have lost yet another degree of control within their lives.” — Beau Iverson, editorial assistant who commutes from Ballard.
“All hell will break loose, naturally.” — Ariana Taylor, marketing & events coordinator who commutes from Mount Baker.
However, not all of us think it will the traffic mess it’s been hyped up to be:
“There is a part of me that feels like this city is going to adjust and it won't be as apocalyptic as we think it will be. The last few traffic shutdowns weren't as bad as predicted, after all. Then again, I graduated from the school of wishful thinking and rose-colored glasses.” — Rachel Hart, editorial director who commutes from Ballard.
“Hopefully my commute will not be impacted. After the bus leaves Kent, it doesn't stop until downtown, so as long as I-5 isn't a total mess I should be fine.” — Matt Cole, design director who commutes from Kent.
“I think since everyone will be freaking out about the closure, many people will decide to work from home, making it easier for others to get into the city.” — Daria Kroupoderova, digital editor and social media producer who commutes from Bitter Lake.
“Personally, I don't believe my commute will be as affected as others. I imagine more people will get to the bus stop early ‘just in case.’” — Andrew Hoge, style & society writer who commutes from Capitol Hill.
“I think the first few days will be fine—because everyone will make an adjustment to their schedule. Then, when they see it’s not that bad, they’ll return to their regular commute patterns—and gridlock will ensue.” —Virginia Smyth, executive editor who commutes from Wallingford.
We’ll circle back with our staff come next week and see if any of our predictions came true. For now, enjoy this ode to the viaduct by local band, The Argument: