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Seattle weekend traffic: DragonFest, STP, and Seafair

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

Juan Antonio Garcia Jimenez/Getty Images

Another weekend, another whole list of things that could disrupt getting around. Some of these events might be things you’re doing, too—like the West Seattle Summer Fest, DragonFest, or any other fest.

Interested in not getting stuck behind the wheel? Our weekend traffic report is here for you. (Although if you’re riding the Seattle to Portland, you already know what traffic is going to be like for you: sweaty.)

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.

Road work

Need to get between the Eastside and Seattle this weekend? Take note: westbound State Route 520 between 92nd Avenue Northeast in Bellevue and Montlake Boulevard in Seattle will be closed all weekend. That’s 11 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.

Taking a bus that runs on 520? Many, if not all, will be rerouted onto I-90, missing some stops in the process—so it’s best to check in advance what’s happening with your route. Either way, getting westbound from Bellevue will be slow, but at least on transit you can read a book and you’re not on the hook for extra gas.

We’re still in the midst five consecutive weekends of lane closures on I-5 this weekend so the freeway can get some much-needed repairs. That means that northbound I-5 south of State Route 516 until Military Road will experience lane, onramp, and offramp closures.

On the edge of Pioneer Square and Chinatown-International District, SDOT crews will be working on Fourth Avenue South between South Washington and South Jefferson Street from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday night through Monday morning. That area will be closed to all traffic—pedestrians, cars, bikes, and buses alike.

Sports games

The Mariners are in Chicago all weekend and the Sounders are off until Wednesday, so the only thing to watch out for around the stadiums is a Saturday morning 5K.

The one home game this weekend is the Seattle Storm’s game against the Atlanta Dream at KeyArena at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Get to KeyArena directly using King County Metro routes 1, 2, 8, 32, or RapidRide D.

DragonFest, the STP, the King County Fair, and more

West Seattle Summer Fest is going on from Friday through Sunday in, appropriately, the West Seattle Junction, with music, beer gardens, a kids’ play area, and a ton of on-street shopping. Because it’s in the Junction, transit there is pretty plentiful; Metro routes 11, 37, 50, 55, 57, 128, and RapidRide C will all get you to some point around the festival’s perimeter.

It’s time for Chinatown-International District’s annual DragonFest—two full days of cultural performances, including dragon and lion dances. South King Street between 5th Avenue South and Seventh Avenue South will be closed from noon through the evening Saturday and Sunday. If you want to get there without a car, Link Light Rail and the First Hill Streetcar go right there, as do a multitude of buses too numerous to list here. (The 41, 74, 101, 102, 150, 225, and 550 run in just the tunnel.)

Seattle Buddhist Temple is hosting its annual Bon Odori festival, a SeaFair event, starting Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Streets outside their location between 14th and 16th on Main will be closed; to get there, you can take the First Hill Streetcar or Metro routes 7, 9, 14, or 106.

AIA Seattle is hosting a day of creative playscapes at the Center for Architecture and Design on Saturday from 11 to 4, which means Post Alley will be closed between Spring and Marion.

Ambitious cyclists will be setting off on the 200-mile Seattle to Portland (STP) ride this weekend! About 10,000 riders are leaving from a University of Washington parking lot between 4:45 and 7:30 a.m. on Saturday and heading south, so watch out for large packs of bikes pretty much all day on Saturday. If you’re headed to STP and you don’t want to park your car, the start line is near Husky Stadium; Link Light Rail is a great option.

Another event to mark the start of SeaFair: the Milk Carton Derby, where people race milk-carton boats on Green Lake. Parking around Green Lake can get tricky and traffic can get bad when it’s just kind of nice out—if you want to avoid all that, the 26, 45, and 62 will all get you close to Green Lake Park.

The Refuse to Abuse 5K is kicking off at Safeco Field at 8:30 a.m. There are no street closures, since the race takes place entirely inside Safeco. But if you want to head that way on transit, Link Light Rail goes to the stadium, as does the Seattle Streetcar and a ton of bus routes from Metro, Community Transit, and Sound Transit.

On Sunday morning, Swedish is hosting their SummeRun and Walk for ovarian cancer research around First Hill and Capitol Hill. The route starts and funishes around Madison and Minor, and loops up to 12th and Aloha and back. To get to the starting line, take the Metro route 12 or 60.

Hooray: The King County Fair is this weekend. Boo: It’s kind of hard to get to Enumclaw by bus, and you might hit some of those I-5 closures coming back. The closest bus is the Metro route 186, and it only runs during weekday commute times—on Saturdays, Metro DART van 915 from the Auburn Transit Center is your only option.

No transit to the fair also means no transit to mitigate fair traffic, so things might get a little gummed up around Enumclaw.

This article has been updated.


305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109

Husky Stadium

3800 Montlake Blvd., Seattle, WA 98105

Green Lake Park

7201 East Green Lake Drive North, , WA 98115 Visit Website

Safeco Field

1250 1st Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98134 Visit Website


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