Today, it was super late, so I decided to just press my luck and walk all the way down instead. It was close, but I made it. I think I'll just set my alarm five minutes earlier and walk down every day. It's only .8 miles and it feels dumb to take a bus downhill for such a short distance. And a walk in the morning is nice.
I think after doing that for a while, I'll try walking down to the Montlake bus stop instead. It'd be 2 full miles, but it might be really nice once it's during sunrise each day. But let's see how my lower back feels about it.