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Seattle May Day 2018: March route, road closures, and what to expect

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Whether you’re marching or not, here’s what we know

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

May Day—both a traditional spring holiday and International Workers Day—is nearly upon us, happening Tuesday, May 1. With the day comes various demonstrations moving through the city. Whether you’re joining the big march or just wondering what’s going on, here’s what we know is happening on the day of.

March for Workers and Immigrant Rights location, route, and starting time

The big, permitted march, organized by El Comité and the May 1st Action Coalition, is both a traditional labor event and an action to call increased attention to Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s activities in the state of Washington—especially the Department of Licensing’s previous cooperation with the federal agency.

The march starts at Judkins Park at 20th and Dearborn in the Central Area with a rally at 2:30 p.m., then start moving at 3:30 p.m.

According to the most recent route given to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), the march will head north on 20th to Jackson, then west down Jackson to Fourth Avenue downtown. It continues north on Fourth to Madison, then heads west on Madison to Second Avenue, then north to Second and Spring.

A map of the current, proposed march route
Courtesy of SDOT

The route is still subject to change, according to both SDOT and march organizers—but the demonstration should end up somewhere downtown.

Those riding public transportation to the starting point at Judkins Park can get there using King County Metro route 14 or 48.

May Day road closures and bus reroutes

During the march, according to SDOT, police will “use rolling closures” on various downtown streets along the route—so just plan for road closures and delays downtown along the route that day if you gotta use the road, whether you’re traveling by car, bike, or bus.

While Metro lists no bus reroutes as rider alerts as of Monday afternoon, reroutes are still planned; a press release from Metro said to anticipate reroutes (both Metro and Sound Transit) for buses that normally travel along South Jackson Street, Fourth Avenue, Second Avenue, and elsewhere downtown. Those reroutes will eventually be posted online and sent via rider alerts, which riders can receive via email, SMS, or both.

One major reroute planned for the day is the First Hill Streetcar. Because the trolley normally runs right along the route, service will only run between Capitol Hill and the stop at 14th and Washington from 3 to 5 p.m. on May 1.

After the march

May Day is a pretty big deal for a lot of people, and is traditionally a day of civil unrest, with Seattle being no exception. Often, more decentralized demonstrations spin off throughout the day. While we can’t really advise on how to find or participate in those demonstrations or even what will happen during them, we can advise that they might happen and affect your day, causing some impromptu road closures and bus reroutes.

Metro is advising passengers that transit not affected by the march might be affected by later demonstration—including the South Lake Union Streetcar and other routes.