How do you survive Seattle traffic during All-Star Week? Use free public transportation

Jul 7, 2023, 2:38 PM | Updated: 3:23 pm

MLB All-Star Week Seattle...

Front of T-Mobile Park ahead of All-Star week. (Julia Dallas)

(Julia Dallas)

Picture approximately a half-million fans gathering at Lumen Field and T-Mobile Park in Seattle for All-Star Week. That’s a lot of congestion, road closures, high-cost parking, and backed-up traffic on Interstate 5, Highway 99, lake bridges, and the West Seattle Bridge.

So, what’s a Seattleite to do? Follow this guide to getting around, of course.

“I think the most important thing for riders to know is to pack their patience,” Sound Transit spokesperson John Gallagher told KIRO Newsradio. “It’s going to be busy. It’s going to be crowded. Don’t try and get there five minutes before the event or the game starts. Get there early, settle in, get comfortable, because it’s going to be really crowded.”

Sound Transit waives fees

Sound Transit is waiving its fares on July 10 and 11 to promote public transportation amid the increased crowds of visitors, according to Gallagher. Additionally, the Sounder train will also be free.

“Don’t worry about fare those days,” Gallagher said. “Other days, use our Transit GO app or get an ORCA card. That’s going to make it faster for you to get on board.”

Those passes are going to prevent you from standing in line at the ticket vending machine.

Trains will return to the station every 45 minutes after the Home Run Derby on Monday and the All-Star Game on Tuesday. The Light Rail will run every eight minutes during the three-day event.

More from the MLB All-Star Game: Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez, George Kirby added to AL roster

King County Metro is another free alternative

The King County Metro (KCM) is also holding free rides for the festivities, according to spokesperson Elaine Porterfield.

“Metro has made the decision to make transit fares free for July 10 and 11,” Porterfield told KIRO Newsradio. “This is not just for the fans, this is for all our regular riders to make things easier. There’ll be a lot of people out there who haven’t ridden with us before and we’d just like to get them some help, as well as speed things up for our regular riders. We will also be adding extra runs to help handle the crowd.”

Porterfield mentioned that the Seattle Monorail is not affiliated with KCM and will not have its fares waived.

Walking still a viable choice

Another alternative to driving is simply walking.

Visit Seattle spokesperson Ali Daniels said walking to the events at T-Mobile Park is a great way to avoid traffic on the roads, with a Green Path being formed specifically for the weekend.

“There will be a walking path that goes down First Avenue and a bike path that goes down Second Avenue,” Daniels said. “We’re encouraging people to use all forms of transportation depending on whatever they are comfortable with. We’ve walked the route a number of times to make sure it’s accessible. If I’m a differently-abled human, I can easily navigate the streets. A lot of thought was put into making it a very navigable path. And of course, it takes you by Pike Place Market, so being able to tell the Seattle story, as people are just getting from Point A to Point B, is so much fun.”

The Green Path is all sidewalk, but there will still be some street closures downtown.

“And along the way, especially on first we’re placing buskers because again, Seattle story is music,” Daniels added. “So, during key points of the weekend, we will be able to highlight over 20 musicians from Seattle, just as people are looking at sights and thinking about baseball.”

More from Micki Gamez: Gas prices are at an all-time high. This is how you can save.

Another cool addition on the Green Path is Downtown Seattle Association’s newly implemented roller rink in Occidental Park — giving both residents and tourists the opportunity to roller skate in the heart of Pioneer Square for free.

Additionally, more free events are taking place at the Seattle Center, including watch parties for both the Home Run Derby Monday and the All-Star Game Tuesday, a a drone show Sunday night and movies at the Mural Amphitheatre Monday and Tuesday night as well.

“And then, the MLB is bringing this AR-scavenger hunt. I think there are eight different spots,” Daniels continued. “If you go find them, you’re entered to win World Series tickets. There will be something for everyone this week. We’re so excited.”

Follow Micki Gamez on Twitter or email her here.

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How do you survive Seattle traffic during All-Star Week? Use free public transportation