Things won’t exactly be getting back to a normal weekday tomorrow as the Lions Clubs International’s Parade of Nations is expected to bring thousands out to downtown streets for what is supposed to be Seattle’s largest parade ever.  Our advice, of course, is to be sure that you’re aware of the many reroutes downtown and delays that usually accompany them.  Driving as an alternative is definitely not recommended.

23 Replies to “Big Parade to Affect Downtown Routes Tomorrow”

  1. Especially important heads-up for folks from QA, Magnolia, Ballard and all points northwest; unless you are coming into the CBD early, plan on delays.

  2. Yet another fantastic example of why the “thousand spokes, no trunks” style of system design is horrifying nightmare.

    City/event planners can’t avoid ’em all, so they just plan as they would if no public transit existed, damn the consequences. No unaffected alternatives exist, and everything goes to hell.

    If we had a dozen high-frequency, well-managed trunk routes, hard lines on a map that everyone knew, everyone used, and everyone could access*, those lines would become sacrosanct. No one would plan a parade to cut them in two. No one would re-route them willy-nilly for the benefit of sports traffic. No one would think of them as expendable.

    Instead, we just get apocalyptic recorded warnings to leave an extra hour or six to get anywhere!

    * (read: not the RapidRide plan as it exists, which supplements rather than replaces wholesale, whether you admit it or not…)

    1. … and if they were subway / grade-separated rail, then you couldn’t reroute them, and parades wouldn’t have any effect in any case.

      Oh well, nice to imagine anyway…

      1. The DSTT is grade separated. You just don’t want to be coming into downtown on the surface.

        Coming from the north, you should travel into Northgate Transit Center and use the 41 to get downtown. From the Eastside, you should travel into Bellevue Transit Center and use the 550 to get downtown. From the south, you can transfer to a tunnel bus at Kent Transit Center (150) or Renton Transit Center (101, 102, 106), or use Central Link from Tukwila International Blvd station.

        From anywhere, you can usually also go to the UW without going downtown, and then take the 70-series into the tunnel.

      2. “You just don’t want to be coming into downtown on the surface.”

        So if you’re in Ballard, Interbay, Magnolia or Queen Anne you’re basically fucked.

      3. Unless you are on a bicycle, in which case, today is one of the nicest days to ride to work that you’ll see all year.

      4. [Gary] Yes, it was a nice bike ride this morning.

        [Grant] Of course! If you can get to the Seattle Center, that’s the way to get downtown. Hey, and it looks like the 1, 2 and 13 aren’t rerouted.

        (A gondola would have kept running today too ;-)

    2. While I think such a system would be better, and I agree RapidRide is pretty weak tea, I don’t think it would have the effect you describe in this case. There’s basically nowhere on the street grid between the Seattle Center and Downtown that you can put a parade that doesn’t cross one of the (current + proposed) RapidRide trunks somewhere.

      As others have noted, this mostly demonstrates the need for grade-separated transit, or at least transit that’s grade-separated in the dense parts of the city where things like this are apt to take place.

      1. Give me a mostly grade-separated busway and a 93′ triple artic BRT bus and I’ll change the city. Of course, once you’ve built that thing, how much further do you need to go for fully grade-separated light rail?

    3. Seriously, someone at the City’s Office of Special Events really needs to have their head examined over this.

      1. Why? The traffic is super light today as many people are on vacation and School is out. When would be a better time for a parade? Besides the city makes a bundle off these visitors. Time to take a break and go watch a parade and ignore the big and real problems of the world.

      2. Time to take a break and go watch a parade and ignore the big and real problems of the world.

        Well, you go right ahead. I just came off a 3-day weekend and have to go back to work now.

      3. Gary-

        I wouldn’t have a problem with a parade on a weekend. Having a Downtown parade on a weekday has caused a significant disruption to my business today (and to many of the folks I know who are health care or other professional service providers Downtown).

  3. Oh, jeez…it’s summertime, people! Take some time, enjoy the sunshine and quit worrying about the few times a year that your schedule gets disrupted.

    1. There will be masses of old guys in downtown Seattle on Tuesday, but the parade route is mostly under the monorail to the Convention Center. The 3N/4N will go up the Counterbalance and the 15/18/24 will still travel on their regular routes. The buses from Capitol Hill will run into heavy downtown traffic (get on/off at Convention Place or walk), but who doesn’t love a parade?

  4. Another example of how valuable the DSTT is. Imagine the same parade without it.

    Brings back memories when the DSTT was closed on weekends and we had public events downtown. Torchlight parade, July 4 fireworks etc. etc.

    1. Hey let’s run a parade through the DSTT and put the buses on the surface for a couple hours. Grade separated parade!

      1. From a post by Oran last autumn:

        gmer says:
        September 15, 2010 at 4:45 pm

        I remember doing some sort of organized fun run or walk from one end of the tunnel to the other as a kid. I believe it was before revenue bus service began.
        Elbar says:
        September 19, 2010 at 10:14 pm

        There was — a benefit walk through the whole tunnel, sponsored by the police as far as I recall, with proceeds used to purchase teddy bears for abused children. My daughter and I did the walk, lots of people, lots of fun.
        I remember that special walk every time I ride through the tunnel.

Comments are closed.