How the new Seattle Chick-fil-A could cause traffic problems

Jun 27, 2019, 5:15 AM | Updated: 9:09 am

Why did the Seattle driver cross the road? To get to Chick-fil-A.

The chain’s first Seattle location opens today. It will be the 12th Chick-fil-A in Washington. The openings of this fast food chain are usually accompanied by sleepovers, lines and a lot of traffic congestion. Just how much congestion depends on the location and that’s location’s access to major roads.

Have you noticed this change at Seattle intersections?
Graffiti along I-5 is becoming an extreme sport for vandals

That’s why I’m a little concerned about this new spot at 128th and Aurora in north Seattle, which opens the morning of June 27 at 7 a.m. It has only one entrance or exit. The location is off of 128th, which is a tiny street, filled with small businesses and homes. So people wanting to get their chicken fix have limited ways to access the restaurant — a recipe for congestion.

There’s fortunately a left turn lane on Aurora for those approaching from the south, but don’t expect much ease getting across. The Bellevue location only has one entrance, and we saw major traffic impacts when it opened. Those backups continue on some days during the lunch rush. Lynnwood has multiple entrances so it isn’t quite as bad.

Jerry Bernard runs an auto shop across the street from the new Chick-fil-A joint, and he told me he’s has some unanswered questions.

“Whether our customers are going to be able to get in or out,” he said. “Whether we’re going to be able to pull out of our parking spots. Whether people are going to be using our parking spots. That sort of thing.”

Chick-fil-A has a traffic plan to help ease congestion, but you never know what’s going to happen. Each opening and each location has its own vibe.

“I have assurances from the owner of the franchise that he will take every precaution to get traffic moving, if he has to hire people to do it,” Bernard said. “We’ll see how it works out.”

Chicken lovers could try to access the 128th entrance from the west, but that would put a bunch of cars on Linden Avenue North, which is even smaller than 128th. It’s two lanes with a protected bike lane that accesses the Interurban Trail.

It’s also possible that we could see protests at the restaurant opening on Thursday. Seattle loves to protest, and Chick-fil-A is a popular protest target because of its owner’s stance on same-sex marriage.

The city of Seattle said it is prepared for any potential traffic backups or possible protests. SDOT’s Ethan Bergerson said the city has a plan to deal with them, should they materialize.

“This is something we’re definitely ready for,” he said. “We’ve seen when Chick-fil-A’s open in other locations it definitely creates some traffic snarls. We’re standing by; we’re ready. We’re going to be monitoring and ready to do what we can to help traffic out.”

No tents were allowed at this location because of the limited space. The first 100 people in line get a free sandwich.


Chris Sullivan

Upcoming holiday weekends can’t escape Revive I-5 construction

WSDOT plans on Revive I-5 construction for most upcoming summer weekends, including Pride and the 4th of July.
3 days ago
Chris Sullivan

Tacoma Narrows Bridge toll going down, but who should get the savings?

Taxes, fees, and tolls usually never go down once applied, but drivers in Tacoma are about to see a drop in their toll rate on the Narrows Bridge.
5 days ago
Chris Sullivan

WA State Patrol powerless to clear rest areas of illegal camping

The state's rest areas have become the latest battlefront over homeless encampments, and a recent State Supreme Court ruling has left the police no way to enforce the illegal camping laws.
10 days ago
Follow @
Chris Sullivan

Major milestones ahead for Puget Sound region construction projects

The Main Street Bridge has closed in Bellevue, and now it's time to take it down.
12 days ago
West Seattle Bridge...
Chris Sullivan

West Seattle Bridge opening delayed another two months

West Seattle residents are going to have to wait until September before the high bridge reopens.
17 days ago
Trash and Litter...
Chris Sullivan

Why do 25% of people still litter in Washington state?

25% of the population still tosses stuff out of their cars, and that's enough to generate the trash we see on Washington's roadways.
19 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
How the new Seattle Chick-fil-A could cause traffic problems