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Seattle weekend traffic: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

What’s blocking up traffic this weekend—and how to ride transit to it (or around it)

In addition to everything else, you might get stuck behind a horse-drawn carriage.
Poul Costinsky/Shutterstock

Another weekend, another whole list of things that could disrupt getting around. Some of these events might be things you’re doing, too: There’s football and, of course, a whole lot of holiday business.

We’ve combed through the alerts and advisories from both the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to deliver transit-friendly solutions for your weekend outings.

Some of this weekend’s advisories—and transit-oriented alternate routes to events—are listed below.

Sports: Seahawks and Sounders

Thursday night, the Sounders take on Houston at 7:30 p.m. It’s the second round of the playoffs so it’s a big deal. On Sunday, the Seahawks have a home game against the Philadelphia Eagles at 5:30 p.m. Both games are at Centurylink Field.

Link Light Rail goes to Centurylink—take your pick of the International District or Stadium stations—as does the First Hill Streetcar and a ton of bus routes from Metro, Community Transit, and Sound Transit.

Other events: Christmas season is here

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker starts Friday and runs through the weekend (and beyond), with showtimes throughout the day. The 2, 3, 4, 13, and 19 will all get you close to McCaw Hall.

Speaking of the season: On Friday night, the Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition is closing streets downtown around Westlake Center starting around 6 p.m. (That’s Pine from Fourth to Seventh, and a block of Fifth.) Fortunately, that’s one of the easiest places to get to via transit. Link light rail stops literally underneath, or any bus that runs down Third Avenue will get you a block or two away (although buses might get caught in the same traffic as everyone else).

Also on Friday night, but apart from holiday festivities, A Perfect Circle is playing Wamu Theater at 7:30. That’s right next to Centurylink Field; follow the same transit directions to get there.

On Saturday in the Central District, a procession for Our Lady of Guadalupe will start at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church, then run west on South Jackson Street to 12th Avenue South, then west on East Cherry Street to St. James Cathedral on 9th Avenue and Columbia Street. Best to avoid those streets on Saturday morning if you’re not going; if you are, the 14 will get you to the starting point.

The downtown Christmas tree is already lit, but on Saturday, West Seattle is having their own tree lighting in the Junction. Southwest Alaska Street will be closed between California Avenue Southwest and 42nd Avenue Southwest from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., but the tree lighting itself is at 5 p.m. Metro routes 37, 50, 55, 57, 128, and RapidRide C will all get you to some point around the Junction’s perimeter.

Also in neighborhood holiday gatherings (and street closures): Magnolia Winterfest will close West McGraw Street between 32nd and 34th Ave W from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. They also have a tree lighting is at 5 p.m.! Transit is, unfortunately, less plentiful in Magnolia, but the 19 and the 24 both stop right at this location.

Not holiday related, but also Saturday: The Deadbeats Seattle concert at Wamu Theater starts 7 p.m. Again, directions are going to be the same as going to the Seahawks or Sounders game.

Road work

Starting Saturday and running for a couple of weeks, Queen Anne Drive will be reduced to one lane at Warren during the day for curb ramp installation.

Saturday and Sunday, East Union Street will be closed between 13th and 17th for paving.

St. James Cathedral

804 9th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104


4550 38th Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98126 Visit Website

CenturyLink Field

800 Occidental Avenue South, , WA 98134 Visit Website