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Seattle weekend traffic and transit: Folklife and other Memorial Day events

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

Another weekend, another whole list of things that could disrupt getting around. Some of these events might be things you’re doing, too: Memorial Day weekend means it’s time for Folklife and other festivities, including some sports games. Inrix and AAA had some insights about the best times to get out of town, but what about if you’re sticking around?

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: Seattle Folklife Festival

Seattle’s biggest, crunchiest, suggested-donation community festival is going on all weekend at the Seattle Center, and SDOT is planning for 50,000 attendees per day. This is not a great day to go around Seattle Center if your business is not Folklife-related, and no matter what your business, it’s probably not a great idea to drive there, and not just because you might catch a secondhand buzz.

Transit is plentiful, depending on what side of the Center you want to get to: The 8 hits both the south and west sides of the Seattle Center. The 1, 2, 13, 32, and RapidRide D also run along the west side of the Center by the Key. The 3 or the 4, which come from Upper Queen Anne on one side and from downtown and the Central District on the other, hit the east side.

Because veterans are the reason for the season, Bread of Life is holding its 10th annual Mission 10th Annual Memorial Day Celebration, which will close S Main Street between First Avenue and Alaskan Way from noon to 4 p.m. on Monday. The First Hill Streetcar will get you a block away, the Pioneer Square light rail station is three to four blocks away, and a whole ton of buses stop just a couple of blocks farther at Third and Prefontaine.

Sports: Mariners, Sounders, and Storm

The Mariners play a game at Safeco Field every day from Friday through Monday: at the Twins at 7:10 p.m. Friday, 7:10 p.m. Saturday, and 1:10 p.m. Sunday, then at the Rangers at 1:10 p.m. Monday.

Meanwhile, the Sounders also have a home game at Centurylink, playing Real Salt Lake at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Link Light Rail goes to the stadiums (take the Stadium stop), and if you’re hitting the Ms game, your game ticket is your light rail fare. You can also take the First Hill Streetcar or a ton of bus routes from Metro, Community Transit, and Sound Transit. Saturday’s Sounders game and Sunday’s Mariners game will also be served by the Sounder train for those a little farther out in the ‘burbs (or Everett or Tacoma).

The Storm are also in town for at least part of this weekend, playing the Chicago Sky at 7 p.m. on Friday. You can take any Seattle Center bus to get into the vicinity, but can get there directly using King County Metro routes 1, 2, 8, 32, or RapidRide D.

University of Washington has baseball—a title series—and softball home games all weekend long. Get to the festivities by taking Link Light Rail (the University of Washington stop lets off by Husky Stadium), or the 43, 44, 45, 48, or 73.

Road work and bus service changes

Earlier this week, a closure of S Lander Street started between First and Third. That runs through early 2020. There’s not a lot of other road work this weekend, but hold onto your butts for a full closure of northbound I-5 next weekend.

While Metro and Sound Transit rider alerts show nothing too critical this weekend, keep in mind that both agencies will be running on Sunday schedules on Memorial Day, which means Sounder trains and many express buses will not be running at all.

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.

Seattle Center

305 Harrison Street, , WA 98109 Visit Website

Safeco Field

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

Husky Stadium

3800 Montlake Boulevard Northeast, , WA 98195 Visit Website

Pioneer Square

, , WA 98104