Consider alternate routes: Navigating Seattle’s Labor Day weekend traffic

Sep 1, 2023, 1:52 PM

The Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) strongly suggests traveling during non-peak times during the holiday weekend. (Photo from KIRO 7)


There’s no way to avoid it, traffic is going to be tough to navigate this holiday weekend with a host of mega-events in the area.

From sports to Bumbershoot to the PAX West gaming expo, these are just a few events bringing upwards of 60o,00o people to Seattle over the span of four days.

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Drivers should consider alternate routes, as all major routes will take on heavy volumes, including Mercer Street, Aurora Avenue, and Montlake. Other surface streets will be busy as well, and it might be best to avoid driving altogether and ride transit.

The Puyallup area will be impacted by the opening of the Washington State Fair, which runs for 24 days.

The Transportation Security Administration predicts an 11% increase in travelers from last year at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport; this equates to 700,000 visitors through Monday.

The Washington State Ferry (WSF) system is predicting 400,000 riders on its fleet over the holiday weekend, according to WSF spokesman Ian Sterling, So, travelers should plan ahead. Most routes are operating on their holiday schedule, and you can reserve a spot on the boats here.

WSF added that potential riders should be prepared for last minute schedule changes due to the current lack of relief crews and mechanical challenges with the aging fleet.

Be careful on the roads

According to the National Safety Council, last year, 41% of deaths on our nation’s roadways were the result of impaired drivers. That number goes up slightly to 45% in Washington State, according to Quote Wizard, a local insurance company.

About one-third of traffic fatalities involve speeding, so, this weekend, be sure to drive sober, follow the rules of the road, and always buckle up to stay safe.

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Consider alternate routes: Navigating Seattle’s Labor Day weekend traffic