Traffic-alert update: 99 reopens after protest-related closure

3:37 PM: If you are heading toward downtown any time in the next half-hour or so, either northbound or southbound, note that Highway 99 and I-5 are both being affected by protests right now. We’re still trying to get a clear picture of what’s going on by monitoring scanner and Twitter, but we do know for sure that Highway 99 northbound is closed at the Battery Street Tunnel, with traffic being diverted off at Western. More to come.

3:44 PM: Seattle Times (WSB partner) photojournalist Lindsey Wasson is among the journalists on scene:

KING 5 reports protesters on Mercer near I-5. Via scanner, police are concerned about protesters getting onto Aurora. Journalists who are tweeting in the area confirm there are two separate groups.

4 PM: This is truly a fast-changing situation, but again, right now, avoiding downtown, especially the South Lake Union vicinity, is fairly solid advice. And 99.

4:21 PM: Police are hoping to be able to reopen 99 soon but the situation remains in flux, especially in the South Lake Union area.

4:23 PM: Per scanner, 99 has just been reopened. The I-5 ramps that were affected by the protest are open again too. But some protesters are still in action on surface streets, police are saying, on Fairview and on Dexter.

29 Replies to "Traffic-alert update: 99 reopens after protest-related closure"

  • MikeRussellFoto January 19, 2015 (3:47 pm)

    Just saw this on Twitter:
    “Protesters still on NB99, being sawed apart by #Seattle police. #BlackLivesMatter”

    (And just saw you already updated with another of Lindsey’s tweets)

    • WSB January 19, 2015 (3:51 pm)

      That was Lindsey’s tweet right before the one I just added. That one read a little alarmingly to me – she clarified, they were sawing the tubing the protesters had used to try to connect themselves, not the protesters themselves …

  • Marty January 19, 2015 (4:11 pm)

    That will get my support. NOT!!!

  • Mike January 19, 2015 (4:47 pm)

    This type protest gains no support or sympathy for their cause from me. I believe their 1st amendment right to free speech ends when it negatively impacts other people’s constitutional rights to go about their business in public places.

  • Diane January 19, 2015 (4:49 pm)

    oh jeez

  • West Seattle Hipster January 19, 2015 (4:54 pm)

    ALL lives matter.

  • Ted Johnson January 19, 2015 (5:46 pm)

    Not only is the battery Street tunnel all clear but it’s light traffic due to the MLK day holiday

  • Ted Johnson January 19, 2015 (5:46 pm)
    Here’s a time lapse showing the clear traffic

  • Danielle January 19, 2015 (6:20 pm)

    A little inconvenience to draw attention to the racist police murdering people’s children in our country. #BlackLivesMatter protests will continue indefinitely.

  • B January 19, 2015 (6:56 pm)

    Love the negative commenters, on MLK day, complaining about civil disobedience, which was the entire strategy of MLK. Keep it classy.

  • Ray January 19, 2015 (7:25 pm)

    Your right to “civil disobedience” does not have the right to infringe of my freedom to move around town.

    These “protesters” could have held their illegal event elsewhere that did not negatively impact the rest of us.

    No sympathy or support from me. While #BlackLivesMatter, your shenanigans do not.

  • Ms. Sparkles January 19, 2015 (7:27 pm)

    B – I don’t see the comments noting a lack of support for “civil disobedience” that closes down major roadways as lacking class, it’s an honest reaction.

    No matter how important the cause, it always loses the support/ sympathy of many when the protesters make the unilateral decision that their message is more important than public safety; it leads to others (rightly) questioning the judgement of the protesters…to the detriment of their message.

  • Brenda January 19, 2015 (7:34 pm)

    Protesters costing this city mass OT. Enough already. We get it.

    It’s pretty simple, don’t break the law and the police will be a non issue.

  • Danielle January 19, 2015 (8:14 pm)

    Did Tamir Rice break the law Brenda?

  • onion January 19, 2015 (8:43 pm)

    One person’s notion of a “little inconvenience” could have a huge impact on someone else…if one is trying to get to the hospital or pick up a child from nursery school, for example. Willfully disrupting people’s movement is a risky and potentially very counterproductive strategy.

  • B January 19, 2015 (9:25 pm)

    Civil disobedience means BREAKING THE LAW. If it was hitting “retweet” on your iPhone, it wouldn’t be disobedience, would it?

    Pretty sure people have been protesting about police brutality for years, did you tune in then? Heck, we have people coming onto this very website moaning about how the evil DOJ has tied poor SPD’s hands, as opposed to mentioning anything about the reason the DOJ got involved (I can post the link to the report if you need your memory refreshed).

    People are dying. Twelve year olds are dying. To you, it may be an annoying extra 30 minutes on the road while you find a different route to your kids day care. Be thankful, you could have worse problems -Tamir Rice’s mother never gets to pick her boy up again.

  • YzzyMa January 19, 2015 (9:32 pm)

    “Racist police murdering our children” wow
    Do we have problems to address -yes
    Are these men & women who are hired to protect us & keep the peace villians? NO.

  • Chrisd January 19, 2015 (9:56 pm)

    Stop the protesting and go to the source with solutions and proposals. Enough of the passive aggressiveness that is so this town.

  • Mike January 19, 2015 (11:23 pm)

    This wasn’t to protest the guy that robbed then beat up an elderly couple who had actually left a country under a true dictator that would set fire to you for fun? This wasn’t to protest the guy that robbed then gouged out an eyeball and stabbed the other eye of an innocent man working at a 76 station?
    There is no excuse for police stepping over the line OR murdering innocent people (of any race or age). Then again, there are so many more being murdered and lives destroyed by those that police are trying to protect us against. Without police doing their jobs, we have no civil rights.

  • WestofJunction January 20, 2015 (5:49 am)

    Instead, let’s protest the thugs that prey on innocent people- black, white, etc, etc.

  • WS Since 66 January 20, 2015 (7:12 am)

    I applaud and have a heartfelt thank you for those who have the guts to protest wrongdoings. Those who put their lives on the line protesting the Viet Nam war, for those who are making their voices heard about the XL Pipeline, for those who had the guts to be there for the March on Selma, for those who march for the right to a reasonable minimum wage, for those who protested and shed their blood in the fight to unionize for the benefit of all I have nothing but praise. For those who piss and moan about acts of civil disobedience please look up the word disobedience. Hint: It doesn’t mean acquiesce or shut up and blindly follow.

    The corporate press only reports on the anarchists part of the protest and ignore the peaceful protesters. Protesters are people, like your neighbors, fellow parishioners, co-workers, and family.

    In conclusion, how would YOU go about getting YOUR word out to an impotent and deaf press? Maybe you think that “Please, sir, may I have some more portage?” is the way to bring attention to an injustice. If so then instead of just whining please offer an alternative solution because “it is better to be thought an ass than to open one’s mouth (type) and remove all doubts.”

  • alkiobserver January 20, 2015 (9:52 am)

    I have zero respect or sympathy for these crackpots claiming to be protesters that endanger the public and the first responders that have to deal with them. I agree with the comments of Ray, Ms Sparkles, onion, YzzyMa, Chrisd, Mike and WestofJunction.

  • Brian January 20, 2015 (11:27 am)

    Good. Shut down all the freeways for a day. For a week. Hell, protest until the entire country shuts down.
    There’s no sarcasm tag for this because I’m being dead serious.

  • B January 20, 2015 (11:54 am)

    That’s exactly what happened in the 60s Brian, and it ended up in the Equal Rights Act. Be careful what you wish for.

  • WS Since 66 January 20, 2015 (12:30 pm)

    “That’s exactly what happened in the 60s Brian, and it ended up in the Equal Rights Act. Be careful what you wish for.”

    B,that speaks volumes about who you are.

  • joel January 20, 2015 (8:54 pm)

    Baltimore just had (again) 14 shootings in 48 hours. I am waiting for the protest to start over those shootings. oh wait….that’s right….I forgot… only protest when…………….happens…….my bad.

  • carl the magnificent January 20, 2015 (10:37 pm)

    I wholeheartedly I agree with what I have to say!

  • KM January 21, 2015 (8:47 am)

    Me too, Carl. I’m very wise.

  • Brian January 21, 2015 (8:54 am)


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