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Seattle weekend traffic: The Torchlight Parade and more

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

The Seafair Pirates in the 2013 Torchlight Parade.
Michael B./Flickr

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 a whopping three Mariners home games, plus the SeaFair Torchlight Parade and all the surrounding hullabaloo (including a huge State Route 99 closure on Saturday).

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

Most road work, thanks to the Torchlight parade, is happening relatively far away from Seattle—but if you’re heading to Woodinville, coming from Olympia, or traveling around Renton a few couple of things could concern you.

State Route 202 will be closed between the State Route 522 ramps and Northeast 177th Place from 10 p.m. Friday night through 5 a.m. Monday morning for work on a new bridge over Little Bear Creek.

WSDOT is closing State Route 900 east of Renton starting 7 p.m. on Friday through 5 a.m. on Monday between 164th Avenue Southeast and Nile Avenue Northeast for work on improved fish passage through Green Creek.

During the closure we’re going to dig up a small old culvert and replace it with a 16-foot by 10-foot culvert. This will allow for a more natural creek bed. The work is part of our effort to comply with a U.S. District Court injunction that requires us to replace or fix culverts under state highways that are barriers to fish passage.

Meanwhile, Interstate 5 northbound will be reduced to two lanes approaching Lacey during that same time period—so people to the south coming up for sports and parades may want to build in some extra time.

Sports and the stadium district

Friday through Sunday, the Mariners face the New York Mets at home every single day.

Sounder trains will run for Sunday’s 1:10 Mariner’s game, giving people an alternate option from as far south as Tacoma and as far north as Everett (and perhaps clearing a little traffic for others). But note that Sounder trains will not run late enough to take you home from Friday’s game—and not at all on Saturday. 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.

The Sounders are in California for their game against the LA Galaxy, so no need to worry about competing SODO sports—there’s enough to worry about.

In Lower Queen Anne (or Uptown, depending on your preference), the Seattle Storm face the Dallas Wings at home Friday night at 7 p.m.. A whole host of buses serve Seattle Center, but the ones that get closest to KeyArena are Metro route 1, 2, 8, 13, 32, and RapidRide D.

Seafair’s Torchlight Parade and more

On Sunday, Filipino community festival Pista sa Nayon is going on all day, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., in Seward Park. Metro Route 50 will take you straight there from either West Seattle or the Othello light rail station.

Torchlight time

The Seafair Torchlight Run map
Via Seafair

The Torchlight Parade is Saturday night, which means major closures in and around downtown. Here’s what’s happening:

  • The top deck of Alaskan Way Viaduct and Battery Street Tunnel will close from the West Seattle Bridge to Roy Street for the Seafair Torchlight 8K Run between 5:00 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.—so it’ll be open during most of the parade, but not during pre-parade transit times.
  • The run will also close a stretch of Fourth Avenue—starting between Denny and Wall Street at 4 p.m. for staging, then the entire length of the route, which extends slightly into Uptown.
  • The parade itself runs from Seattle Center to Pioneer Square down Fourth Avenue, specifically from Broad Street to Washington Street. It doesn’t start until 7:30 p.m., but it’s probably best to avoid Downtown by car altogether on Saturday afternoon, especially with the 8K.
The Torchlight Parade route.
Via SDOT

Too many buses go along the parade route to name, but here are some potentially-useful suggestions:

  • If the viaduct closure messed up your route from West Seattle to the parade, try Metro routes 55, 56, 21, 22, or C Line.
  • If you’re trying to get to the starting line of the 8K, the Metro route 8, 3, or 4 will get you closest.
  • The above goes for trying to get to the start of the parade route. If you’re trying to get to the end of the parade route on Washington, Metro routes 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 13, 14, 15, 29, 36, 70, D Line, and E Line will get you around a block or two away, as will the Link Light Rail to the Pioneer Square Station or the First Hill Streetcar.

Everything should reopen by about 10:30 p.m.

Remember: SeaFair isn’t over yet. Get ready for next weekend, when Interstate 90 periodically closes for the Blue Angels air show.

This article has been updated.

St. James Cathedral

804 9th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

Safeco Field

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

Seward Park

5900 Lake Washington Boulevard South, , WA 98118 Visit Website

CenturyLink Field

800 Occidental Avenue South, , WA 98134 Visit Website

KeyArena

305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109