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Know Your Seattle Commuting Alternatives During Viaduct Closure

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The Alaskan Way Viaduct is closing for two weeks on Friday, so make sure you know your alternatives

On Friday, April 29, the Alaskan Way Viaduct is closing for two weeks while Bertha digs her tunnel underneath it. That's going to displace roughly 90,000 vehicles/day that use the major Seattle artery, so you better believe everyone in the region is pulling out all the stops to cot down on traffic, delays, and disruptions this is going to cause.

Depending on how you commute and where you work, there's surely some kind of help that you should take advantage of.

Bus

If you take King County Metro transit, know that the 12 buses that use the viaduct as part of their route are being re-routed. Because those buses will now move through Downtown and SoDo, expect some delays. However, they're also putting a bunch of standby buses on alert to make up for that.

Metro recommends trying to take the bus earlier in the morning than you usually do and later in the day than you usually do on your commute. Doing so ensures you're more likely to get home without sitting in delays.

Train

If you're traveling into Seattle from the south and you've never taken the Link light rail for some weird reason, you should totally try it next week. Your route might be a little different and you might have to do a little more walking then you're used to but the ride is pretty smooth and you'll be helping to eliminate one more car from whatever hellish traffic awaits us all. Now that the line runs all the way up to Capitol Hill and UW, there's even more reason to give it a go.

If you're traveling into Seattle from the north, find your nearest Sounder Train station. It starts up in Everett and stops in Mukilteo and Edmonds en route to Seattle. There are four trips into town in the morning and four back north in the evening. Who knows, you might decide this is the way to go instead of sitting in traffic every day.

Water Taxi

King County Water Taxi is adding extra trips to and from Vashon Island to Colman Dock over the closure. There will be additional parking at Pier 2 in West Seattle for the water taxi’s new, larger-capacity boat, complete with shuttle service. They will be adding sailings from Vashon Island. There are worse ways to commute, you know...

Ferries

Colman Dock will remain open to vehicles and pedestrians during the closure but it's going to have major traffic impacts, including increased congestion. Ferry commuters are advised to adjust travel schedules to avoid the heaviest traffic and to walk aboard instead of driving if possible.

RideShare

Metro Transit has 1,500 volunteer vanpools on the road and they're hoping you use this chance to try one out. You can also coordinate a RideShare of your own.

Cycling

Talk about the perfect time to give bike commuting a try. Check out Seattle's bike commuter amenities map to help you figure out your route, where to lock up your bike, and where you can find special stopping spots along the way. Or see if there's a Pronto Cycle Share station near where you live and give that a whirl.If you're concerned about car traffic, well, it's going to be at a standstill all week, so it's probably the best time possible to bike it in the middle of Seattle.

Stay Later If You Can

We know, you don't want to spend all day at the office, but if it makes life easier to stay longer, it could be a win-win. Urban Renassaince Group announced this week that they're extending building hours in their nine office buildings across downtown Seattle in order to help. Operating hours for their buildings will extend from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and will continue until the viaduct reopens. Those places include Columbia Tower & Columbia House, 1600 Seventh Avenue Building, Second and Seneca Building, 1101 Second Avenue Building, 2200 First Building, Plaza 600 Building, Joshua Green Building and Seattle Tower.
· Alaskan Way Viaduct's Two-Week Vacation Starts April 29 [CS]
· Alaskan Way Viaduct closes for approximately two weeks starting April 29 [WSDOT]