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Seattle weekend traffic and transit: I-5 apocalypse, U District Street Fair, and baseball

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

Jose Luis Stephens/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 a Mariners game every day, it’s the University District Street Fair, and it’s fun run season. Plus: The Seattle Storm are back!

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.

Weekend events: U District Street Fair and running

Thursday, it’s the Seattle 17th of May festival, a massive Ballard event celebrating Norwegian culture with a parade and everything. The parade runs down 24th, Market, and Ballard from 6 to 9 p.m.; get to the festivities using a variety of buses depending on what angle you want to see. The 15, 17, 18, 29, 40, 44, and D Line will all at least get you somewhere of interest.

Friday is Bike Everywhere Day so also be safe everywhere.

Friday night, Paul Simon plays at Key Arena. To get to that side of the Seattle Center, take the 1, 2, 8, 13, 32, or Rapidride D.

The 49th annual University District Street Fair runs Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with vendors, artists, food, and performances. It runs up a long stretch of the Ave, so a lot of buses can get you there, including the 43, 44, 45, 48, 49, 70, 71, 73, and 74.

Saturday night, U.S. Figure Skating team members perform at Key Arena. Again, take the 1, 2, 8, 13, 32, or Rapidride D.

Sunday fun(run)day! The Nordstrom Beat the Bridge 8K Run and Walk, which raises money for juvenile diabetes research, starts and finishes at Husky Stadium and crosses the University Bridge, closing Montlake Boulevard to all vehicle traffic starting at 7:30 a.m. Take Link Light Rail straight to Husky Stadium, or ride Metro routes 44, 45, 71, or 73.

Meanwhile, in West Seattle, there’s another run and walk: the West Seattle 5K, raising money for West Seattle High School. It starts along Alki Avenue SW by Alki Beach Park just after 9 a.m.; take the 37, 50 (watch the rider alerts), or 56 to get there.

Sunday night, Georgetown car and bike show Spring Opener runs from noon to 5 p.m. and raises money for Treehouse. It sets up along Airport Way between Corson and Bailey; take the 124 (but watch the rider alerts) to get there.

Road work and bus service changes: More Revive I-5

Just like last week, WSDOT is doing a lot of work on I-5 this weekend—and it means lane disruptions stretching from the southend to past the University District.

Lane closures start at 8 p.m. on Friday and let up at 5 a.m. on Monday.

The whole time, northbound I-5 will be down to two lanes between Michigan Street and State Route 520, and the following ramps will be closed: Dearborn Street onramp, Seneca Street offramp, University Street onramp, Mercer Street onramp. (The Mercer onramp to the express lanes will be open but won’t provide 520 access.)

For two smaller chunks of that time—3 a.m. to noon Saturday and 3 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday—northbound I-5 will be down to two lanes even farther north, past the Ship Canal Bridge to the 45th and 50th street exits and onramps.

If your bus takes northbound I-5 or you have to drive on any road or freeway that connects to I-5, plan for delays. But if you think this week and last week are a lot, just wait for the full northbound closure on June 1.

Smaller closures happening this weekend:

  • Seventh Avenue will be closed between Pike and Pine on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for signal installation. Also, starting Friday night, Seventh between Pine and Olive will be a one-way southbound until forever.
  • Earlier this week, SDOT crews closed the southbound lanes of 23rd Avenue S s between S Jackson Street and S Norman Street, detouring traffic to MLK. This closure will last about a year—but this is the first weekend it’s on.
  • Starting Saturday in West Seattle, there will be some lane closures on SW Barton between 29th and 30th—right by Westwood Village—for concrete work. Those closures run through the 23rd.

Because it’s 5K season, parade season, and street fair season (see above), we’re also dealing with a good amount of bus reroutes:

  • Thursday night, the 17, 18, 29, 40, and 44 will be rerouted off Market for the Norwegian Constitution Day Parade.
  • Friday through Sunday, the 45, 71, and 73 will be rerouted off the Ave for the University District Street Fair.
  • Sunday morning, the Nordstrom Beat the Bridge Run will reroute Metro routes 32, 43, 44, 45, 48, 49, 65, and 70 around the University Bridge and Husky Stadium area, including several missed stops.
  • Also Sunday morning, route 50 will be rerouted eastbound off Alki and 61st for the Alki Beach Run 5K (but there will be a temporary stop at 61st and Admiral). The Water Taxi shuttle 775 will miss a few more stops along Alki and Harbor.
  • Car and bike show Spring Opener means that the 124 will be rerouted around Georgetown all day on Sunday.
  • Route 2 will be rerouted off Hubbell Place between Spring and Seneca for construction.

Note: We put immediate and new closures in this section, but not every single planned street closure appears here. Explore all 98 active SDOT projects, many of which involve street and lane closures, here. Here are Sound Transit rider alerts; here are King County Metro rider alerts.

Sports: Storm, Mariners and Huskies

The Mariners host the Tigers every day this weekend; 7:10 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, then 1:10 p.m. Sunday. Link Light Rail goes to the stadium (get off at, intuitively, the Stadium stop), as do the Seattle Streetcar and a ton of bus routes from Metro, Community Transit, and Sound Transit. Remember, if you take light rail, your game ticket is also your train ticket. If you live out in the ‘burbs, the Sounder train will also be running for Sunday’s game.

The University of Washington baseball team plays Stanford on Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m., then again on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Husky Ballpark, which is right by Husky Stadium. There are also NCAA softball regionals all weekend. Take Link Light Rail straight to Husky Stadium, or ride Metro routes 44, 45, 71, or 73.

On Sunday at 6 p.m., it’s the Seattle Storm’s season opener against the Phoenix Mercury at Key Arena. Once more: Rake the 1, 2, 8, 13, 32, or Rapidride D.

This article has been updated to add the Storm season opener, add an additional street closure, and to note that the Sounder train is operating on Sunday.

Alki Beach Park

1702 Alki Avenue Southwest, , WA 98116 Visit Website

Seattle Center

305 Harrison Street, , WA 98109 Visit Website

Seattle Pacific University

3307 3rd Ave W., Seattle, WA 98119

Alki Beach

, , WA

Husky Stadium

3800 Montlake Boulevard Northeast, , WA 98195 Visit Website