• Viaduct shutdown will affect 'virtually all schools' in Seattle

    By: MyNorthwest Staff

    Updated:

    SEATTLE - It’s not just commuters have to worry about the coming closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct — traffic and congestion will affect “virtually all schools” according to Seattle Public Schools.

    In a recent statement, Seattle Public Schools outlined how the three-week closure of SR 99 between South Lake Union and the stadiums in January will slow down travel times for families and staff members.

    “Virtually all schools will be affected by the closure,” said the statement. “Families and staff should plan for increased congestion and longer travel times during the upcoming construction.”

    More specifically, bus drivers will begin their days “earlier than usual” to account for increased travel times. According to information given to The Seattle Times, drivers will start their shifts approximately 30 minutes earlier.

    The families of any students whose pick-up and drop-off times will shift during this period will be notified by call or individual letter.

    School bus problems

    Seattle’s school bus drivers has had problems recently, as the city continues to face shortages, that in turn have made it difficult getting students to school on time.

    New Seattle Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau addressed that in a recent interview with KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien.

    “For us to be failing on delivering students to school in a timely way, we need to change that,” she said. “Yellow school buses make sense where I come from in Montana — they don’t make sense here in Seattle in such a congested urban area.”

    That “congested urban area” will only get more congested during SR 99’s closure. Meanwhile, Juneau’s hope is that in the future, there can be creative solutions that go beyond school buses.

    “We need to figure out how to disrupt the system and do it different,” she stated.

    For a Q & A , public transportation options and links to maps, visit our SR 99 Tunnel/Viaduct Shutdown section at this link.

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