No SDOT alert yet, but with the memory of the KeyArena-event-traffic-nightmare day still fresh, we thought you might want early warning (and if you’re off, you might even want to go watch): Next Tuesday, what’s described as the biggest parade in Seattle’s history is set for downtown, 10,000 people parading as part of the Lions Clubs International convention. It starts from Seattle Center at 10 am, proceeding along 5th Avenue, and includes other road closures. It’s complicated, so go here for the full breakdown; the source page is here, including this map of the parade route.
ADDED 4:41 PM: SDOT is now out with its official advisory – read it after the jump:
Next Tuesday, July 5, more than 12,000 Lions Clubs members from over 100 countries will march along Fifth Avenue in the Lions Clubs International Parade of Nations. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) strongly urges downtown business owners, workers and residents to plan ahead for road closures and detours.
Staging for the parade will take place on Seattle Center grounds and on southbound Fifth Avenue between Mercer Street and Denny Way starting at 7:00 a.m. The parade, which will get underway at 10:00 a.m. and is expected to last until 3:00 p.m., starts on Denny Way at Fifth Avenue and travels south on Fifth to Pine Street where it terminates. Participants will disperse and then move east on Pine to the Convention Center on Seventh Avenue.
The following closures should be expected:
* 7:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.: Southbound Fifth Avenue from Mercer to Denny Way for staging
* 9:45 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.:
o Parade route on Fifth Avenue from Denny Way to Pike Street
o Cross streets to Fifth Avenue (except for Metro/Sound Transit during parade)
o Pike Street from Fourth to Eighth avenues
o Sixth and Seventh avenues from Olive Way to Union Street
The parade route will open to traffic as the tail end of the parades passes by.
Nearby roadways will have very heavy volumes and morning rush-hour traffic will likely be impacted, including I-5. Motorists should check traffic conditions and cameras on the SDOT Traveler’s Information Map at: http://web5.seattle.gov/travelers/. Seattle Police will work to accommodate local access needs along the parade route, but drivers should not expect normal levels of access and should plan accordingly. Parking garage access along the parade route will be very limited between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Metro and Sound Transit will be rerouting about 20 bus routes in the downtown area between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday due to the parade’s activities. Please visit www.kingcounty.gov/metro/alerts and check the “Construction & Events” section for details or call Metro’s Customer Information Office at (206) 553-3000. (Please remember that all Metro offices will be closed on Monday, July 4.)
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) warns drivers that while all downtown Interstate 5 exits will be open, congestion can be expected on all ramps exiting to Seattle between Mercer and James streets, and on State Route 99 near the Seattle Center. WSDOT recommends drivers arrive downtown before 8:30 a.m. and offers the following additional tools so drivers can plan ahead:
* Seattle traffic map: www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/seattle/
* Travel times: www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/seattle/traveltimes/
* Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/wsdot_traffic
* Traffic products for mobile phone and other wireless devices:
* Call 511 for traffic updates
* Tune to Highway Advisory Radio and watch electronic highway signs for information
The Lions Clubs 94th International Convention is the largest international convention to be held in Seattle in two decades. The convention is expected to provide over $30 million in economic benefits for the city and the region, providing a boost to retail establishments, restaurants, hotels, meeting venues, transportation companies, visitor and cultural attractions, and many other businesses. In addition, during the four-day convention, July 4-8, the Lions Clubs International will be donating hundreds of seedlings to local and regional parks, and offering other contributions to our community.