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Seafair Pirate Run and Torchlight Parade kick off at Seattle Center on Saturday

July 24th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

Seafair Torchlight Parade routeIt’s that time, Seafair activities are starting to pick up steam. Tomorrow, Saturday, July 25th brings the annual Seafair Torchlight Parade  and the Seafair Pirate Run to the streets of Seattle. And, it all starts at Seattle Center, so plan ahead for any traffic and parking issues it may bring along with it.

While up to 300,000 spectators are still grabbing spots to view the parade, the Seafair Pirate Run will be starting and ending at Seattle Center. The 5K/8K run starts at 6:30pm at the Seattle Center. Roughly 4,500 runners will head down the Viaduct to Royal Brougham and back to the Seattle Center to finish just as the parade gets going.

The parade starts at 7:30pm and the route takes it from the Seattle Center down 4th Ave to Pioneer Square. The main viewing area is at Westlake, but parade goers will line the route both north and south of Westlake. Pre-parade staging will occur near the Seattle Center, so expect road closures. Per SDOT:

“The northbound lanes of the Alaskan Way Viaduct will be closed from 5:30 p.m. to approximately 7:45 p.m. for the 5 k and 8 K Seafair Torchlight Run races. At approximately 6 p.m. Fourth Avenue will close from Broad Street to South Washington Street, complicating traffic circulation in the downtown area. Fourth will reopen around 10:30 p.m. and routes out of downtown will be congested as the crowds leave the event.”

King County Metrol service will be rerouted and delayed by the events from 3pm to 10:45pm – specifically around the Seattle Center, downtown Seattle, Alaskan Way Viaduct and adjacent areas.

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Bite of Seattle takes over Seattle Center today through Sunday

July 17th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

Bite of SeattleThe annual Bite of Seattle starts today, Friday, at 11am. The free three-day event runs through Sunday night. SDOT estimates 50,000 visitors per day to the event, and that means it’ll impact both traffic and parking.

Here are the hours:

  • 11am to 9pm Friday, July 17 and Saturday, July 18
  • 11am to 8pm Sunday, July 19

Plus, there are events at Key Arena on Saturday and Sunday. The Seattle Storm plays Atlanta Dream at 6pm on Saturday, July 18th, and Rush is at Key Arena on Sunday night for a show that starts at 7:30pm. 10,000 Rush fans are expected.

Take a deep breath, it’s going to be a busy weekend.

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Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon starts and ends at Seattle Center on Saturday

June 12th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

Another summer weekend is bringing more people into the neighborhood. The biggest event of the weekend is the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon tomorrow (Saturday) morning. 26,000 participants are expected per SDOT, but the numbers are even higher from the event organizers: “18,000 runners and walkers, in addition to tens of thousands of spectators, family and friends.”

Also, take note: the Seattle Pacific University commencement ceremony is also on Saturday at 1pm at Key Arena, with 10,000 attendees expected. The two events will overlap, so avoid the area if possible or walk.

Here’s the info on the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon:

Course Map:

Rock n Roll Marathon map

Road Closures:

So numerous, it’s a pdf of a spreadsheet of road closures. Rest assured, many are around Seattle Center, so plan accordingly. The route also takes runners on the Viaduct and out and back on I-90. Getting around is going to be tricky. You can check out an interactive map of road closures online here.

Here’s a snapshot of the pdf, click the image to see the full list in non-ant print:

Road Closures

Remember, deep breaths and pack your patience if you’re driving or biking around Lower Queen Anne tomorrow.

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SDOT to discuss 7-way stop and 20 MPH zones at the QACC meeting on Wednesday

June 2nd, 2015 by Laura Fonda

The monthly Queen Anne Community Council meets at 7:30pm this Wednesday, June 3rd, at Queen Anne Manor (100 Crockett St). It’s the usual time and place, but what’s notable about this meeting is the guest speaker – Richard Meredith from SDOT.

SDOT will review two key traffic-related items for Queen Anne: 1) the ongoing discussion on the 7-way stop, and 2) increased traffic and speed of said traffic on Queen Anne. Key to the latter is a proposed 20 mph zone on Queen Anne (see map below, click to enlarge).

SDOT 20 MPH

If you’ve lived on Queen Anne for any amount of time, you’ve likely noticed the increase in traffic that cuts over the hill at rush hour. As a pedestrian, walking at rush hour can be dangerous as drivers speed over the hill via Taylor & 4th Ave N on East Queen Anne and Gilman and Dravus on West Queen Anne to avoid Mercer or Aurora. The morning rush hour is especially dicey as it’s also the time of day when kids are headed to local schools.

The 20mph zone is an SDOT pilot program to create calmer streets on top of Queen Anne. It doesn’t apply to arterials, but rather to narrow neighborhood streets where slower speeds make sense.

SDOT wants to create the 20mph zone, but the Queen Anne Community Council is against it, so attend the meeting to hear both sides and voice your opinions on traffic and how a 20mph zone could impact it. All are welcome to attend.

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Traffic Alert: Barry Manilow at Key Arena tonight

May 27th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

ManilowPlan ahead for 10,000 Barry Manilow fans coming to the neighborhood tonight. Manilow is performing at Key Arena, and it’s his last multi-city tour. Kudos to Manilow for keeping a set of affordable tickets too:

The GRAMMY®, TONY®, and EMMY® Award-winning musician’s career skyrocketed to superstardom when his mega hit song, “Mandy,” topped the charts in 1975.  In the spirit of that special year, tickets will be priced to tie into that year and will start at $19.75.  According to concert promoter AEG Live, Manilow insisted that the average ticket price remain low and that a greater range of ticket prices be available.”

The show begins at 7:30pm and runs until 11pm, so expect traffic and parking to be tricky starting around 6:30pm or so.

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Events around Queen Anne this weekend may impact your travels

May 8th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

In addition to the Aurora/99 closure between Valley St and the Battery Street Tunnel, there are three events around Lower Queen Anne that will impact weekend travels around the base of the hill (and perhaps over as well).

Aurora is set to open at 5am on Sunday, but it’ll be closed during Saturday’s Lung Force Walk in South Lake Union – so expect traffic to spill over to our side of Aurora.

Saturday, May 9th: Lung Force Walk, 9am-1pm

The walk is limited to sidewalks and leaves Denny Park at 9am following a 3 mile loop through South Lake Union. The route: Northbound on Westlake Avenue N to Lake Union Park on Valley Street, southbound on Westlake Avenue, eastbound on Mercer Street, southbound on Fairview Avenue N, westbound on Denny Way to Denny Park arriving at 1:00pm. About 650 people are expected to participate.

Sunday, May 10th: Color Run, 7:15am-11:30am

The Color Run:  Mercer Street will be closed at 5:30am between 1st Ave N and 4th Ave N for set-up. Full route closure begins at 7:15am, with race starting at 8am and ending at 11:30am. Begins and ends at Seattle Center. About 9,000 people are expected to participate. Route map here:

Color Run Route

Sunday, May 10th: Neil Diamond Concert at Key Arena:  The concert begins at 8:00 p.m.  About 10,000 are expected to attend.

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Reminder: Part of Taylor Ave N fully closed this weekend

May 1st, 2015 by Laura Fonda

Taylor Ave closureJust a reminder that Taylor Ave N will be fully closed between Ward St and Prospect St this weekend. This weekend’s closure begins tomorrow, Saturday, May 2nd at 7am and runs through 7pm, Sunday, May 3rd.

SDOT crews will be replacing concrete panels in this section of Taylor Ave N. Crews were already working today to cut the existing concrete sections for replacement. A sign is already posted on Boston St, and detour signs are at the ready along Boston and Queen Anne Ave N.

Since this is one of two major arterial routes to Upper Queen Anne from the south, expect more traffic on Queen Anne Ave N this weekend.

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Part of Taylor Ave N fully closed this weekend and next

April 24th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

Taylor Ave closureTaylor Ave N will be fully closed between Ward St and Prospect St both this weekend and next. This weekend’s closure begins tomorrow, Saturday, April 25th at 7am and runs through 7pm, Sunday, April 26th.

SDOT crews will be replacing concrete panels in this section of Taylor Ave N. Crews were already working today to cut the existing concrete sections for replacement. A sign is already posted on Boston St, and detour signs are at the ready along Boston and Queen Anne Ave N.

Since this is one of two major arterial routes to Upper Queen Anne from the south, expect more traffic on Queen Anne Ave N this weekend and next.

The work will continue and be completed next weekend during another full closure from Saturday, May 2nd at 7am through 7pm, Sunday, May 3rd. Local access will be maintained during the closure.

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We Day Seattle is Thursday at Key Arena; expect increased traffic from chartered buses

April 22nd, 2015 by Laura Fonda

We Day Seattle returns to Key Arena tomorrow, Thursday, April 23rd, hosting 11,500 attendees that will arrive by private bus service between 8am and 10am, and depart between 2pm and 4pm. A heads up for traffic around Key Arena during the morning and early evening rush hours.

What’s We Day? According to their web site, We Day is “an annual series of stadium-sized events, We Day brings together world-renowned speakers and performers… with tens of thousands of youth to kick-start a year of action through We Act. You can’t buy a ticket to We Day—you earn it by taking on one local and one global action.”

Kids who attend this year’s We Day Seattle 2015 will hear from a wide variety of celebrities from sports, acting, performing, as well as from inspirational speakers. Local celebrities include Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, Seahawks players Doug Baldwin, Luke Wilson, and Bobby Wagner, local band The Head and the Heart, and more.

We Day MapTraffic-wise, here’s what you need to know from SDOT:

Buses will be staged at Smith Cove Cruise Park Terminal 91.

Buses will use curb lanes for drop-offs between 8-10am and pick-ups between 2-4pm at the following locations:

  • east side of 1st Ave N between Thomas and Republican
  • south side of Republican between 1st Ave N and Warren Ave N
  • east side of Warren between Republican and Mercer
  • south side of Mercer between Warren and 5th Ave N
  • east side of 4th Ave N between Mercer and 5th Ave N
  • west side of 2nd Ave N between Thomas and Denny Way
  • both sides of Thomas between Warren and 5th Ave N
  • east side of Warren between Thomas and John streets

Plan ahead for increased traffic from the busses and 11,500 attendees. It’ll be crowded around Key Arena and the surrounding streets.

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Key Arena events and PNB’s Swan Lake tonight and Saturday will impact traffic

April 10th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

Apologies for the late notice for tonight, but hopefully Facebook and Twitter will help spread the word.

This event is tonight at Key Arena:

Plus, there’s also Swan Lake at McCaw Hall tonight, Friday, April 10th – and Saturday and Sunday too:

And, Saturday, it’s PNB plus this concert that’s going to draw 10,000 people:

Chris Tomlin concert on Saturday, April 11 from 7pm to 11pm there are about 10,000 people expected to attend.

Heads up if you’re driving around Lower Queen Anne tonight or tomorrow, there will be extra traffic and less on-street parking.

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Controlled chaos at the 7-way stop caught on video

April 9th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

As confusing as it may be to some, the 7-way stop is a Queen Anne landmark of sorts. Sure, there have been recent efforts to change it and make it safer for nearby Seattle Country Day School – but, it tends to operate fairly smoothly. Perhaps because everyone tends to be extra cautious or forgiving (depending on time of day – rush hour is never harmonious, regardless of location).

A reader (thanks, Chris!) posted a video of the 7-way stop to our Facebook page, and it’s worth a look. An overhead aerial view of the traffic flow at rush hour shows how the traffic flows, and which routes are most popular – click the image below for the video:

7 Way Stop video

Stay tuned for any news on changes to this intersection, and in the meantime, enjoy the controlled chaos of the 7-way stop!

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Traffic is going to snarl our streets this weekend

March 27th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

Reddit Traffic MapRemember the traffic nightmare from the overturned fish truck on 99 this past Tuesday? All routes on the traffic maps were red. (See a Redditor’s map of Tuesday’s carmageddon to the right).

Same with last Friday’s NCAA tournament at Key Arena – red everywhere on the map around Queen Anne, SLU, and downtown. Well, get ready, here we go again.

Emerald City Comicon starts today and runs through the weekend. It’s a pretty big deal and draws 20,000 visitors each day to the Washington State Convention Center. There’s also a Professional Bull Riding event at Key Arena tonight (Friday) and tomorrow evening – 6,000 people attending each event.

For comparison, last week’s NCAA games drew 14,000 people per game and traffic was awful. Yet, somehow, the traffic overlords decided this weekend was a good weekend to have this slew of road closures:

March 27-March 30: Aurora Lane Closures between Valley & Highland
7pm Friday, March 27 to 5am Monday, March 30: northbound and southbound lane closures on Aurora between Valley and Highland

March 28-30: SR99 Viaduct closed for semi-annual inspection
10pm Friday, March 27 to 5am Monday: closed between the Battery St Tunnel and Valley St
Sunday, March 29: Closed between Spokane St and Battery St Tunnel

March 28-29: Fremont Bridge full closure
Midnight – 7am Saturday, March 28 and Sunday, March 29, bridge will be closed to traffic. Pedestrians and bicycles will be allowed 5 minute long crossing periods at 1:20am and 2:20am.

March 27-30: Westbound I-90 Detour
11pm Friday to 5am Monday, all westbound I-90 traffic between Bellevue Way and Rainier Ave S will be routed to the express lanes.

Get ready, the traffic will spill over into the neighborhood, and we’ll all essentially be trapped for the weekend (unless you want to fight the traffic). Pack your patience, and watch out for drivers trying to find their way through our streets as they avoid road closures and traffic backups.

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