Plan ahead, fellow travelers.
Friday evening’s commute likely will be among the worst of the year, while the Great Figgy Pudding Streetcorner Caroling Competition uses the junction of Fifth Avenue and Pine Street at 5 p.m. An estimated 10,000 people are expected to join the merrymaking.
A year ago, bus commuters heading to Snohomish County were delayed 30 to 60 minutes along outbound Olive Way, as cars heading to I-5 via Fifth Avenue detoured through other intersections around McGraw Plaza. Pedestrian crowds stymied car turns at Westlake Avenue North and Denny Way, which brought streetcars to a halt in the general road lanes.
Community Transit warns passengers to expect delays, while the state Department of Transportation cautions motorists, “you will not be alone.” A Pearl Jam concert at 8 p.m. will draw more traffic, heading to KeyArena on Mercer Street.
Also this weekend, construction will close lower Aurora Avenue North and the Battery Street Tunnel for work on the Mercer West project, from 11:59 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday, while crews shift traffic onto new bridge lanes. The good news is there will be only two weekend closures rather than the expected three, says the Seattle Department of Transportation.