A quick reminder that numerous closures this weekend will snarl regional travel. From Friday at 11pm to Monday at 5am, both SR 520 (Montlake to I-405) and the I-5/Mercer interchange will close completely. SR520 buses will be rerouted to I-90, and expect backups in and around downtown Seattle all weekend.
Saturday is also the 32nd annual Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic (STP). 10,000 cyclists (including yours truly) will make the 204-mile trek to Portland. For our mutual sanity and safety, you would do well early Saturday morning to avoid Montlake, the University Bridge, Lake Washington from Madrona to Renton, West Valley Highway, Puyallup, Pacific Avenue/SR7, and SR 507.
In addition, I-5 northbound around Joint Base Lewis McChord will be restricted to a single lane (9pm Friday to 5am Monday), and WSDOT is predicting an 11-mile backup just as STPers drive and bus back from Portland. If planning on traveling to Portland, Amtrak Cascades is your ticket out of congestion (ok, Horizon too).
Though these closures will frustrate motorists and transit riders alike, I would suggest making the best of a bad situation either by kayaking/canoeing in Union Bay or by visiting the Arboretum (walk, or take the #11 or #8). The sunny and mild weather, combined with the tranquility afforded by a closed SR 520, should provide a lovely glimpse into the sights and sounds of pre-highway Union Bay. (Each time I visit the Arboretum I’m grateful anew that the R.H. Thompson was never built.) During the last viaduct closure I discovered that it’s really quite stunning to be near a major highway without the attendant white noise; one doesn’t internalize the scale of roadway noise until graced with its absence. So take advantage of it!