ADVANCE TRAFFIC ALERT: President of China in Seattle for three days next week; mayor warns that traffic ‘will be disrupted’

In case you haven’t heard … the city is warning of a possible traffic-tastrophe when the president of China, Xi Jinping, visits next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Mayor Murray issued this alert late today, including:

Intermittent closures of freeways, regional arterials and downtown streets are expected. The flow of buses and cars in downtown Seattle and around the region will be disrupted. Travelers in Seattle are advised to plan ahead and expect traffic delays on all three days. Those who can postpone trips downtown or work from home are encouraged to do so.

He’s flying in and out of Paine Field in Snohomish County, reports The Times, not Boeing Field, so that likely means less disruption here on the south side of the city; some more-general info about his visit is on Gov. Inslee’s website.

14 Replies to "ADVANCE TRAFFIC ALERT: President of China in Seattle for three days next week; mayor warns that traffic 'will be disrupted'"

  • Mike September 18, 2015 (10:49 pm)

    A key note that will cripple a heavily used area of downtown: “Vehicle access to the area bounded by Olive St., 7th Ave, Lenora St and 4th Ave. may be limited all three days. Drivers should expect street closures and restricted access”
    This will force many buses to reroute and possibly prevent the South Lake Union trolley from running as it would not be able to make it’s route change point which is next to the Westin.
    My suggestion, use the Water Taxi if you can.

  • nachobeaver September 18, 2015 (11:47 pm)

    yay woohoo for china!! thanks for taking my job…both boeing and microsoft are going to announce the numerous jobs they will be outsourcing to china starting wednesday as he visits there facilities thanks prez!!

  • Too late September 19, 2015 (3:57 am)

    If MS lays off, it won’t be because of China. You obviously did not try Windows 8.

  • JayDee September 19, 2015 (8:25 am)

    C’mon now, this means we are a World Class city and we didn’t have to host the Olympics. We are the state with the highest trade volume with China, mainly due to Boeing, but still. And while you might blame the President for it, do you think Republicans wouldn’t export jobs? They didn’t object to any of the trade pacts that have been signed over the years.

  • Joe Szilagyi September 19, 2015 (10:16 am)

    Why are we closing entire streets indefinitely for the Chinese head of state? We don’t even do that for an overnight stay of OUR President, who is more important on both the domestic and international stage. What is the justification for the blanket closures here? They’re implying some of the east-west streets and 4th or 5th could be closed for periods even when he’s not traveling, or “extended” periods. That’s going to have huge ripples for all of us, but with our already existing deficiencies down here it will impact us even more.

  • AJ September 19, 2015 (12:57 pm)

    Thanks for noting the president will be using Paine field. I work south of Seattle, so I was worried about Tuesday morning. I’m glad I have no reason to go Downtown next week. The blanket closure of such a large area seems excessive to me.

  • datamuse September 19, 2015 (4:41 pm)

    Joe: ask the Secret Service. Security of visiting foreign heads of state is their job.

  • SeaSpade September 19, 2015 (7:14 pm)

    Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing at this late game SDOT, ST and other entities don’t have detour plans or contingencies announced? Wasn’t like the guy just grabbed a great last minute fare on Priceline….

  • Steve September 19, 2015 (10:38 pm)

    Cool, maybe he can get Bertha going for us.

  • lowman beach September 20, 2015 (6:46 pm)

    Thanks WSB for the information and the link to the Mayor’s alert. It has links to where we can get more information when it becomes available. I can always count on you to be provide the important details! Couldn’t find that anywhere else I looked. Thanks again.

    • WSB September 20, 2015 (6:58 pm)

      After getting that, we pointed out to the Mayor’s Office that we provide traffic info too. So you can count on us to be watching this closely, not just in the every-weekday-morning traffic/transit alerts but also through the day if gridlock really does occur. – TR

  • SDB September 21, 2015 (8:20 am)

    I just called Community Transit and their “Customer Service” Agent knows nothing of any re-rerouting even though a substantial number of their routes will be affected by the street closures in Downtown. His visit is less than 24 hours away — you would think they could “serve” their customers by at least telling them where to pick up their buses. Way to go CT — way to promoting “moving.”

  • Jand September 21, 2015 (9:34 am)

    RE: BERTHA comment. Actually, we need the drug cartel lord that “escaped” from the Mexican prison by walking upright through the mile long tunnel. Now THERE is the guy we want to fix Bertha!

  • Debi Y September 21, 2015 (5:24 pm)

    Does anyone know if Northbound I-5 will be closed when the Chinese president is going Southbound on I-5?

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