Traffic Alert: Trans-Siberian Orchestra & Seattle Marathon will impact traffic this weekend

Two traffic alerts for today and tomorrow – Trans-Siberian Orchestra is at Key Arena today, Saturday, for performances at 4pm and 8pm. The city estimates 10,000 people will attend each of the shows (20,000 total), so expect traffic around Key Arena this afternoon and evening.

The bigger impact will likely be from the Seattle Marathon, which is tomorrow, Sunday, November 29th. The organizers cite the Seattle Marathon as the “largest combination marathon/half marathon in the Northwest and one of the top ten largest in the US” – what does that mean? 15,000 participants + thousands of spectators, and road closures around the Seattle Center, where the race starts and finishes.

The race map with street closures is below. For some reason, the Seattle Marathon organizers have once again decided to produce a West-oriented map, instead of the standard North-oriented view. So, it may look a bit odd, but note that 5th Ave near the Seattle Center will be closed 5:30am-9am, and one side of Mercer will be closed 8:45am-4pm.

Click the map for a larger image:

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 1.34.42 PM

And, just to make things a bit more complicated, traffic-wise, the Seahawks are playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at CenturyLink tomorrow (Sunday), with kickoff at 1:25pm.

President of Ireland visits Seattle this week with stops at Seattle Center

President Higgins and Sabina

Official photo of President Higgins and Sabina Higgins

The President of Ireland is visiting Seattle this week, arriving tomorrow, Wednesday, October 21st. President Michael Higgins and his wife Sabina will be around Queen Anne, as well as at UW and Microsoft. Unlike President Xi’s visit, there is a travel agenda to help you anticipate the traffic impacts:

Wednesday, October 21: 
President Higgins will meet with Mayor Ed Murray in City Hall, then he and his wife will visit the Chihuly Gardens and the Space Needle.

Thursday, October 22:
In the morning, President Higgins will be on the Eastside at Skyline High School in Sammamish, then Microsoft in Redmond. But, he’ll head back over to Queen Anne for an evening reception at McCaw Hall.

Friday, October 23:
The President will be at the University of Washington for a keynote address and in the evening at the Chihuly Boathouse at the top of Lake Union (near the Ship Canal Bridge).

President Higgins departs Seattle for San Francisco on Saturday.

President Obama to attend Murray fundraiser at Westin this Friday

Westin Hotel mapPresident Obama will be visiting Seattle this Friday for a fundraiser at the Westin. The event is to raise funds for Senator Patty Murray’s re-election campaign, but few details have been released about the event or streets that will be closed.

Per SDOT, I5 and city streets will be impacted by the visit. Expect some traffic impacts around Queen Anne due to the proximity of the Westin and the ripple effect on Mercer.

Bus and Ride the Ducks collide on Aurora Bridge, resulting in fatalities and injuries

At 11:15am this morning, a Ride the Ducks bus collided with a charter bus on the Aurora Bridge. The bridge is closed as the accident resulted in fatalities. AVOID Aurora for the afternoon and likely evening commute as well. The Seattle Fire Department estimates that the bridge will be closed for “many” hours.

Below is a photo from KIRO’s Twitter feed:

Aurora Ducks Accident

Here’s a summary from The Seattle Times, click here for the full story:

4 dead, numerous injuries in collision between Ride the Ducks vehicle and charter bus
The Seattle Times
Updated September 24, 2015 at 12:08 pm
By  and 

[UPDATE: now 4 people] Two people have been killed and nine others are in critical condition after a Ride the Ducks tour vehicle collided with a charter bus on the Aurora Bridge, Seattle police say.

The total number of injured is unclear, although the Seattle Fire Department says about 50 people are being evaluated for injuries. All lanes on the bridge are blocked as Seattle police and fire departments respond to the accident.

The injured were removed from the bus on backboards. A triage area was set up on the bridge where medics evaluated and treated the injured. Up to 10 of the injured  are being taken to Harborview Medical Center. Others will likely be sent to other hospitals.

A witness reported that the amphibious vehicle collided with the bus, ripping out the side of the bus. Two SUVs swerved to avoid the crash and were also involved, she said….

Read the full story here.

Visiting Chinese President Xi and delegation will snarl Seattle traffic starting Tuesday

Have you missed the reports about Chinese President Xi’s visit’s impact on Seattle traffic? If so, read on. The predictions about traffic for 3 days starting tomorrow all have the same conclusion: traffic in Seattle starting tomorrow, Tuesday, September 23rd through end of day Thursday, September 24th, is going to be bad. Really bad, as in the Mayor’s office is advising people to work at home, if possible.

Traffic will surely increase on and around Queen Anne. Avoid downtown if possible. The SPD Blotter has common Q&A for downtown access here, along with the map below of which streets are completely closed:

Street Closures Chinese President

Here’s the run-down from the Mayor’s Office:

Intermittent closures of freeways, regional arterials and downtown streets are expected. The flow of buses and cars in downtown Seattle and around the region will be disrupted.

Travelers in Seattle are advised to plan ahead and expect traffic delays on all three days. Those who can postpone trips downtown or work from home are encouraged to do so.

Drivers should consult local media and follow reports on Facebook and Twitter to learn the latest developments; consult the City of Seattle’s website, SDOT’s Traveler’s Information page and WSDOT’s website for current traffic conditions; sign up to receive emergency alerts from the City of Seattle. (See additional information sources below.)

Vehicle access to the area bounded by Olive St., 7th Ave, Lenora St and 4th Ave. may be limited all three days. Drivers should expect street closures and restricted access. Commuters are encouraged to use transit or park outside the area and walk in. People entering the area should expect delays and additional security screening.

Buses on surface streets in the north part of downtown will be rerouted; check with King County Metro Alert for routes impacted. The South Lake Union Streetcar will continue to operate, but the stop at the Westlake Hub at McGraw Square will remain closed. The downtown transit tunnel is expected to remain open and operating.

Parking on downtown streets will be restricted as needed.

Fans attending the Seattle Sounders game at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Century Link Field should expect significant traffic delays and allow more travel time than usual.

UPDATED Information: The Seattle Center Monorail will have a modified schedule:

Seattle Center Monorail to operate with reduced frequency on Sept. 22 and 23. The train(s) will still operate from 7:30am to 11pm, however, they will depart from Westlake Center Station every 15 minutes instead of 10. The first Monorail train will depart at 7:30am, and then in 15-minute increments after that (7:45am, 8am, 8:15am, 8:30am, etc.).

Expect a lot of traffic headaches this week, with some spilling over to Queen Anne, compounding Mercer St traffic.

Two month closure of one block of Roy St starts Tuesday

As part of the Mercer Corridor Project, SDOT will be fully closing Roy Street between 4th Ave N and 5th Ave N for 6-8 weeks. The closure begins tomorrow, Tuesday, September 8th. Vehicle traffic will be detoured to Mercer, so expect increased traffic on Mercer St during the closure.

Here are the details from SDOT:

Roy St closure fall 2015

SDOT advises travelers of a full street closure on Roy Street between 4th Avenue N and 5th Avenue N for six to eight weeks beginning Tuesday, Sept. 8. This closure will accommodate installation of a large storm water detention pipe beneath Roy Street in September and October. This will help manage storm water flows and reduce the risk of sewer overflows into Lake Union during a heavy rain. It will provide storm water detention for the area, including the North Portal and surface street improvements for the SR 99 Tunnel Project. Travelers through the area can expect the following:

• Beginning Tuesday, September 8, Roy Street will be fully closed between 4th Avenue N and 5th Avenue N and remain closed for six to eight weeks.

• Local access will be maintained to the alley on the south side of Roy Street between 4th Avenue N and 5th Avenue N via eastbound Roy Street. The alley will be southbound only during this closure.

• Vehicles and cyclists traveling on Roy Street will be detoured south to Mercer Street between 4th Avenue N and 5th Avenue N. Please obey all closure and detour signage.

• Street parking will be restricted on this block while work is completed.

• Pedestrian access will be maintained on the south sidewalk along Roy Street.

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