Update: Seattle celebrates the opening of NFL football seasonPlan ahead for traffic delays

It’s just one day away—the National Football League season opener and celebration in Seattle will take place on Thursday, Sept. 4 at CenturyLink Field. Thousands of fans will converge in the Pioneer Square and stadium areas for the event.

Allow extra time:

Whether you are headed to the event, or just wanting to travel through the area in the afternoon, allow extra time as there may be significant traffic delays. Public agencies and public transportation providers are coordinating plans to manage traffic. SDOT, the Seattle Police Department, and WSDOT will monitor traffic during the event and make adjustments to keep traffic moving as much as possible. Dynamic message signs will advise drivers and traffic signals will be set to accommodate incoming traffic before the game. Police Officers on the streets near the stadium will assist traffic. You will find real time traffic information on www.seattle.gov/transportation/travelers

The event:

The NFL Gameday Village in Pioneer Square will be open on Sept. 3 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sept. 4 from 10 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Occidental Avenue South will be closed to motor vehicles.

Going to the game? Allow a minimum of 60 minutes of extra time to get to the game. Gates to the stadium will open at 2:30 p.m. and if you have tickets for the game, you are advised to watch the concert from screens within the stadium to avoid missing the Seahawks championship moment. Enter the stadium from the south, and be in your seat by 5 p.m. to watch the game. You are encouraged to come by public transit or car pool. If you will be driving, plan for congestion and parking delays.

Going to the concert? There will be a free concert featuring Soundgarden and Pharrell Williams in the lot north of CenturyLink Field. Concert gates open at 2:30 p.m. Admission up to the capacity of the lot will be available on a first come, first served basis. Enter the area from the north, at Second Avenue South and South Jackson Street.

For additional tips offered by the Seahawks for fans coming to the concert or the game, please see http://www.Seahawks.com/Kickoff .

Street closures:

Streets near the stadium will close at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 3 for setting up. On Thursday, Sept. 4, Police Officers will close streets near the stadium as needed to manage traffic, possibly starting as early as 9 a.m. Streets as far north as James Street could be closed. Metro buses will be allowed through. First Avenue South, Second Avenue Extension South and Fourth Avenue South will remain open.

Everyone traveling through downtown Seattle:

If you are coming into downtown Seattle or the stadium area on Thursday, Sept. 4, you are encouraged to travel by bus, light rail, commuter rail, carpool or bicycle. If you work in downtown Seattle and not planning to participate in the festivities, you are advised to leave for home before 3 p.m. or wait until after 5:30 p.m., if possible.


The Sounder will operate on a normal schedule. Use the Jackson Street entrance to get to the platform. The Weller Street overpass will be open for those needing the elevator.

Sound Transit Express:

Expect delays for all buses downtown. Concert goers will not be able to use the Weller Street overpass; please use Second Avenue.

Light Link Rail:

Expect heavy crowding during the afternoon commute. Buy an Orca card beforehand to avoid the ticket line. If you are going to the concert, use the Pioneer Square station. If you are going to the game, use the Stadium Station.

Metro Transit:

Major traffic delays are expected on Thursday during the afternoon and evening commute that are likely to affect Metro service. Buses may be more crowded as fans head downtown, and transit customers using buses that pass through downtown Seattle should be prepared for possibly significant delays. Buses that normally operate on South Jackson Street in Pioneer Square area will be rerouted. View alerts online http://metro.kingcounty.gov/alerts/ and sign up for Transit Alerts in order to receive information from Metro http://metro.kingcounty.gov/signup/and watch for additional information online and at bus stops.

If you plan to use public transit, check the websites of your transportation provider to find out about any delays or reroutes. Links to transportation providers:
















May 1 Transit Service

King County Metro Transit

April 30, 2014

On Thursday afternoon, May 1, downtown Seattle area transit service will be affected by street closures and traffic congestion associated with May Day activities. During this event, Fourth Avenue is expected to be closed for about an hour between 3:30-4:30 PM, and Pine Street is expected to be closed for about four hours between 3-7 PM.

During the respective street closures, Fourth Avenue bus routes will travel instead via Third Avenue, and Pine Street buses will travel via Union Street.

All bus service that travels near or through the downtown Seattle area may be subject to delays during and after Thursday afternoon’s events. Bus riders are advised to plan accordingly, revise travel plans if necessary and allow plenty of travel time.

Visit Metro’s Service Advisories page for specific reroute details. Transit reroute start and end times may be subject to change.

Visit Metro’s Online Regional Trip Planner to find out how to get to and from events and locations.

Thank you for riding and for using Metro’s services.

May Day March and Rally Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Thursday, May 1, an estimated 600 participants will gather at Judkins Park at 1 p.m. for a rally, and leave from that location at 3 p.m. on a march which will culminate in a May Day rally at Westlake Park. The event is organized by El Comité, http://elcomitewa.wordpress.com.

Leaving the park located at 20th Avenue South and South Dearborn Street, the marchers will move north on 20th to South Jackson Street; west on Jackson to Boren Avenue; north on Boren to Madison Street; west on Madison to Fourth Avenue; north on Fourth to Pine Street and into Westlake Park for a rally.

Seattle Police will escort the marchers, and motorists should expect a rolling slowdown and heavy traffic as the procession moves along the route to Westlake Park. Considerable congestion will likely occur and impact traffic throughout the Downtown area during the afternoon commute.

There is a possibility that Fourth Avenue will be closed during the rally at Westlake Park.

There is also a possibility of other May Day-related gatherings in the Downtown area for which organizers have not requested permits from the City of Seattle.


Significant Crowds and Traffic Expected for Seahawks Parade

Public advised to be patient and plan ahead for travel delays

With unprecedented crowds expected to cheer for the victorious Seattle Seahawks, local transportation and transit agencies are advising the traveling public to expect significant delays in and around downtown Seattle on February 5. The Seattle Department of Transportation, King County Metro Transit, Sound Transit and Community Transit urge Seahawks fans to enjoy the event but to pack some patience and plan ahead for delays.

The parade, with an expected turnout of 200,000 to 500,000 spectators, will begin at 11 a.m. and conclude with a rally at CenturyLink Field at 1:30 p.m. Travelers should expect roadway and transit delays throughout the day due to crowds and road closures, with spectators likely arriving well in advance of the event. Given the celebration’s unprecedented size, drivers and transit riders should anticipate heavy traffic congestion in downtown, Lake Union, Queen Anne, the stadium area and nearby highways. Metro and Sound Transit plan to use every available resource to accommodate what will likely be the largest parade in the city’s history.

The parade begins at Fourth Avenue and Denny Way, and heads south on Fourth Avenue to S Washington Street. From there it will proceed west to Second Avenue S, turn south on Second and then move into the North Lot at CenturyLink Field. Fourth Avenue and all cross streets from Third Avenue to Fifth Avenue will be closed to traffic starting at 10:30 a.m. and reopen after the parade passes, and Occidental Avenue will be closed at 8:30 a.m. “No parking” signs for the event are in place and prohibit parking along the route from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday. More than 75,000 fans are expected to attend a ticketed rally in the stadium area after the parade, so sizable crowds and area delays will continue well after the parade concludes. Fans are encouraged to dress warmly and be prepared for delays.

Buses and trains are expected to be extremely crowded. Riders may encounter significant wait times and service delays. Some buses will be rerouted in Downtown Seattle. Riders should sign up to receive rider alert messages via e-mails or text message for their specific bus route or train.

General tips for transit users include:

  • Come downtown early to better avoid the worst traffic and full buses.
  • Dress for both cold temperatures and packed buses.
  • Be prepared for lengthy travel times.
  • Have transit fare or an ORCA card ready.
  • Sign up for transit alerts on Metro’s website.
  • Parking at most park-and-ride lots and all Sounder stations often fills early, and demand will be high. Riders who can’t arrive early are encouraged to get dropped off.
  • Bus service information accessed through the trip planners on transit agency websites and the One Bus Away service may not be accurate when road closures, re-routes and unusually high congestion levels are in effect. Riders should refer to rider alerts for the specific bus routes they are using.
  • Expect transit delays to continue as long as celebrating fans are downtown, likely into the afternoon commute.
  • Riders are reminded that if they see something say something, Report any suspicious activity to a bus driver or call 911.

King County Metro Transit—metro.kingcounty.gov

Tomorrow it will be all hands on deck for Metro. Extra buses will be added to key high ridership routes in and out of downtown Seattle. Metro also advises riders that the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel will be a better option than street service, especially when the parade is underway.

Most Downtown Seattle transit service is expected to be delayed by heavy traffic before, during and after the parade. Even as buses are rerouted, drivers will make every effort to continue to keep transit service moving.

Metro buses that typically travel via or cross Fourth Avenue will be rerouted along with general traffic to nearby streets during the parade. Riders can see which routes are affected at Metro’s website. Metro’s alert page lists where buses will be rerouted and where temporary bus stops will be during the parade. Look for that information to be posted Tuesday afternoon. Metro’s online Trip Planner indicates service that is rerouted as well as scheduled and predicted departure times. However, predicted times may be less accurate when buses are rerouted.

Metro is planning the following reroutes during the festivities:  Metro routes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 21, 24, 25, 26, 28, 36, 40, 43, 47, 49, 66, 70, 99, 124, 131, 132 & 358 and Metro-operated routes  ST 522, ST 545 & ST 554. Riders are advised to check Metro Online before departing to confirm reroutes.

Sound Transit—www.soundtransit.org

Sounder commuter rail, with service to the north end of CenturyLink field, will be an attractive option for many fans attending the parade. Southline trains offer congestion-free service to and from Lakewood, South Tacoma, Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner, Auburn, Kent and Tukwila. Northline trains serve Edmonds, Mukilteo and Everett.

  • Southline:  Sound Transit will operate one additional round trip leaving Tacoma at 8:30 a.m. and returning from Seattle at 2:30 p.m. (note that this special trip is not able to serve South Tacoma or Lakewood). This is in addition to the six trains that depart Lakewood beginning at 4:41 a.m. and two additional trains that depart Tacoma at 7:25 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. The added Seahawks train will depart King Street Station at 2:30 p.m., followed by regular service at 3:12 p.m., 3:42 p.m., 4:12 p.m., 4:32 p.m., 4:52 p.m., 5:12 p.m., 5:42 p.m., and 6:12 p.m.
  • Northline:  Four morning trips will depart Everett for Seattle at 5:45 a.m., 6:15 a.m., 6:45 a.m. and 7:15 a.m. Return trains in the afternoon will depart King Street Station at 4:05 p.m., 4:33 p.m., 5:05 p.m.and 5:35 p.m. The 7:15 a.m. and 4:04 p.m. north line departures will operate longer, five-car trains to accommodate larger than normal crowds. The 6:45 a.m. and 4:33 p.m. departures will run three-car trains.

Link light rail serves stops close to the stadiums and the parade route and will operate with service expanded to peak-hour levels throughout the morning and afternoon on Wednesday. Trains will leave stations approximately every 7.5 minutes. More information on Link is available at www.soundtransit.org. Link riders will have a new discounted parking option at Sea-Tac Airport where they park for $2 an hour all day and ride light rail downtown.

ST Express regional bus service will experience high rider demand, and some service will be rerouted.

  • ST Express Route 512: Northbound trips to Snohomish County will not serve 4th Avenue or Olive Way. Instead, board buses westbound on Stewart Street or southbound on 5th Avenue.
  • ST Express 522: Buses into downtown Seattle will drop off passengers along 5th Avenue with the first stop at Seneca Street. To board buses to Woodinville, take any bus or train southbound in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel to Stadium Station and board the bus at South Royal Brougham Way, or take any bus or train northbound in the downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel to Westlake Station and board the bus on a temporary stop on Pike St just east of 6th Avenue.
  • ST Express 545: Buses into downtown Seattle will operate their regular route. To board buses to Redmond, take any bus or train southbound in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel to Stadium Station and board the bus at S Royal Brougham Way, or take any bus northbound in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel to Convention Place Station and board the bus on Olive Way at 8th Avenue or Terry Avenue.
  • ST Express routes 554, 577, 578, 590, 594: These buses will not serve downtown during parade hours. All passengers will get off at Royal Brougham and transfer to Link light rail or King County Metro routes 101, 106 or 150. To depart downtown Seattle, board any bus or train southbound in the downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel to Stadium Station and board the bus on SODO Busway at South Royal Brougham Way.

Sounder and Link light rail tickets must be purchased before boarding trains and must be presented to fare enforcement officers upon request. Ticket vending machines are available at all stations before entering the platform area. Buying an ORCA card in advance will avoid lines at vending machines. Find ORCA information at www.orcacard.com.

Community Transit—www.communitytransit.org

Snohomish County fans who want to leave early and avoid the crowds can take advantage of any of 13 Community Transit routes from all over the county. Buses run to Seattle between 5 – 8:30 a.m., depending on the route. Fans can get home on those same routes between 2:30-6 p.m. Schedules and fares are available at www.communitytransit.org. If you’ve always wanted to ride a double decker bus, this is a great opportunity. Go to www.communitytransit.org/doubletall to see which routes feature the Double Tall bus.

West Seattle Water Taxi –http://www.kingcounty.gov/transportation/kcdot/WaterTaxi/WSeattle.aspx

The West Seattle Water Taxi plans to add additional midday trips between West Seattle and Pier 50 downtown on Wednesday. Look for three additional departures from West Seattle at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Additional mid-day trips will depart from downtown Seattle at 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Service information is posted on the Water Taxi website.

Ferry Traffic

Motorists driving to the Washington State Ferries on the waterfront should take I-5, go west on SR519/Edgar Martinez Drive, south on First Avenue S, west on Railroad Way and north on Alaskan Way.

Contacts: Rick Sheridan, SDOT, 206.684.8540

                  Jeff Switzer, Metro Transit, 206.477.3833

Bruce Gray, Sound Transit, 206.398.5069

Martin Munguia, Community Transit, 425.348.2348