Seattle May Day updates: PM commute and beyond

4:41 PM: Just in case you’re wondering before you leave work, the short version: No problems reported so far. The planned march to raise awareness about immigration issues is heading into downtown, and the SPD Twitter feed is tracking it.

6:16 PM UPDATE: The march and rally have been problem-free compared to last year’s May Day. But transit has been jampacked and that’s affecting people’s commutes in terms of simply getting out of downtown.

(Photo by @paulbalcerak via Twitter)
While headed into downtown to cover the Bicycle Advisory Board meeting, we noticed 2nd Avenue was partly blocked off just north of Marion, for a rally. We’ve since heard via Twitter that 2nd was starting to reopen – which means the buses shifted onto 3rd will be able to return. However, two “un-permitted” marches are gathering elsewhere – one at Broadway and Pike on Capitol Hill.

6:55 PM: To track Capitol Hill happenings, watch this thread on

7:56 PM: As discussed in comments, things are getting somewhat rough in Westlake area. SPD has tweeted that at least two people were taken into custody.

10:59 PM: You’ve probably seen the TV-news coverage by now, after protesters from the “un-permitted” events clashed with police. A WSB’er sent us this clip looking down at part of the scene as a flashbang-type device, believed to have been deployed by police, went off:

Police have just briefed reporters downtown. Via Twitter, SPD says 8 officers were hurt, 18 people arrested tonight.

29 Replies to "Seattle May Day updates: PM commute and beyond"

  • JA May 1, 2013 (5:26 pm)

    No problems? There are 200 people at second and Columbia waiting for buses that arent coming, and the ones that do come don’t even open their doors because they are full!

    • WSB May 1, 2013 (6:16 pm)

      P.S. By “no problems” I meant nobody rioting. Updating otherwise.

  • Westside May 1, 2013 (5:32 pm)

    I’ve never seen so many people at the bus stop on 3rd and Seneca, couple hundred people waiting. Every bus is packed to the gills. Missed 2 C line buses because they were over full (the second one didn’t even bother to stop). ‘One bus away’ says most every bus that stops here has a 20-30 minute delay. 2 route 55 buses should have been here by now but they are nowhere in sight.

  • Jen May 1, 2013 (5:34 pm)

    Been waiting 30 min for any bus to w sea @ 2nd & Columbia w/ 150 or so others. Only seen 3 busses and none stopped (all packed)

  • MindDriver May 1, 2013 (6:00 pm)

    Got an update?? No buses to SoDo coming from downtown, and I doubt it’s due to earth-shattering attendance at the Mariners game.

    • WSB May 1, 2013 (6:15 pm)

      Just passed by the gathering spot en route to the Bicycle Advisory Board meeting. Part of 2nd was closed off for a while but I hear it’s been reopening so hopefully things will ease.

  • mike May 1, 2013 (6:23 pm)

    Took 40 minutes longer today

  • MindDriver May 1, 2013 (6:38 pm)

    Yep, buses are delayed over an hour, so take what you can get folks!

  • Admiral Janeway May 1, 2013 (7:07 pm)

    My commute was over 90 minutes. Buses were crawling down 3rd Ave. Waited an hour at the bus stop.

  • Diane May 1, 2013 (7:48 pm)

    been watching live tv coverage of unpermitted marches via king5 and kiro7; hope you all got a bus home before this; 7:45, kiro7 still covering, crowds in Westlake now; worst of it was silly string, colored smoke bombs, firecrackers, and tv stations constantly apologizing for bad language; now 1st arrest

  • PA May 1, 2013 (7:51 pm)

    Wow, KIRO7 is really going overboard in their coverage, they seem to be realllllly hoping for trouble to get some good footage. Their twerp reporter got some silly string, yes silly string, squirted at him, and this constitutes being “attacked by an unruly mob”…. Steve Raible is eating this up and just salivating for a fracas to occur.

  • Diane May 1, 2013 (8:11 pm)

    Alison Grande down there reporting; she’s great; according to her the protesters are throwing things, and flash bangs, smoke bombs, more confrontational
    “city of Seattle official order to clear the streets”

  • Diane May 1, 2013 (8:12 pm)

    lots of smoke bombs and pepper spray

  • JanS May 1, 2013 (8:20 pm)

    PA….I LOVE the word “fracas” :D

  • JanS May 1, 2013 (8:29 pm)

    and…watching the live coverage, I didn’t realize this was a spectator sport, but it looks like some are just casually hanging out watching…there has got to be better things to do, wouldn’t you think?

  • kg May 1, 2013 (8:30 pm)

    The fire and police scanner sure is interesting at the moment.

  • Diane May 1, 2013 (8:36 pm)

    police pushing crowds up Pine back into Cap Hill; then what?

  • Diane May 1, 2013 (8:39 pm)

    sure wish Steve Raible would stop calling them “hooligans”

  • a May 1, 2013 (8:59 pm)

    Hey hey hey leave rabid raible alone guys! He is after all the beloved voice of our Seahawks so he is god as far as I’m concerned. If he says they are hooligans then by golly they are hooligans! Touchdown Seahawks!!!

  • jedifarfy May 1, 2013 (9:36 pm)

    My commute took an extra hour tonight. Got to 3rd and Pike between 4:35 and 4:40 as normal, only to be greeted by a seemingly never-ending parade of people going west on Pike. About 20 minutes later, buses could move, except there were so many buses so “moving” was more like inching. All were packed. Finally a 120 came, but I didn’t see it until it was almost too late and left me standing.

    Then a lovely 30 minutes of stop and go to get to the Viaduct (and I get motion sickness!) while a lovely woman screamed at the driver from the middle of the bus demanding he turn on the air. Oh, the foul language joys of the bus! To top it all off, the driver failed to turn at Henderson, despite our calls to get him to turn at the light, meaning he skipped every stop between Delridge/Trenton to the transit center.

    And now I know for sure I will not go downtown on May 1, no matter what.

  • Diane May 1, 2013 (9:45 pm)

    I never watch football, so did not know he is god
    just know he’s about my age, and embarrassing to hear him using terms from the 50’s, aka showing our age; please pinch me if I ever use the term “hooligans”
    he also called them vandals, thugs, and bugs that scatter when you turn on the lights…..

  • a May 1, 2013 (11:19 pm)

    start watching Diane and you will soon discover he is
    god. Go with Christ bra

  • miws May 2, 2013 (8:35 am)

    Note to self:

    Next time seeing Diane face to face, do not use the word “Hooligans”.

    Next time seeing Jan face to face, do use the word “fracas”.





  • sam-c May 2, 2013 (8:51 am)

    i’d have to agree with PA, the kiro7 coverage was a little excessive and over the top. they kept looking for something to report and excitedly showed the same thing over and over when they could have mentioned it once.

  • G May 2, 2013 (9:30 am)

    I am happy that work takes me out of Seattle to SoCal on a regular basis, and happy to have missed May Day downtown. But soon to return to the tension and anger that is now endemic in Seattle.

  • Sue May 2, 2013 (9:52 am)

    After the last year or two I decided I would never work on May 1st again. This year I was on vacation and was flying home yesterday and missed all the fun. I’ll take being patted down by TSA over the May Day bus “fun” any day.

  • sc May 2, 2013 (10:18 am)

    Do any of the “anarchists” have ATM cards?

  • Diane May 2, 2013 (12:41 pm)

    @Mike; pretty sure “Hooligans” will make me laugh; “fracas” is funny too
    anyone else fed up with this anarchist crap on May day? I think we need to take back our city next year; this stupidity cost how much in police overtime, caused downtown biz to lose money shutting down early for safety, and 1000’s left standing at bus stops trying to get home from work; how many avoiding going downtown for safety; so damn stupid; we need to take back our city on May day and every day; make it safe, inviting
    I remember about 5 yrs ago on May day, landing downtown via water taxi to the most beautiful afternoon march of diversity, with variety of music and song; please bring this back

  • NeoYogi May 2, 2013 (1:31 pm)

    The afternoon march was fine. Very peaceful. My office is at 4th & Madison so we were right in the middle of it at 5pm. I had a nice stroll to the water taxi (anticipating traffic issues, we parked near Salty’s in the morning) and walked in my front door by 5:40pm. Why did anyone think the buses were going to be running? Not trying to be snarky…just wondering why all the surprised responses? Like this has never happened before?

Sorry, comment time is over.