Chinese motorcade causes traffic nightmare along freeways, downtown



SEATTLE -- Traffic was tied up all over Western Washington Wednesday, as the Chinese president made stops in Everett, Redmond and Tacoma.

And the traffic will be interrupted again Thursday morning, as President Xi Jinping travels from Seattle's Westin Hotel to Everett for his flight out of Paine Field to Washington, D.C.  His flight is scheduled to leave at about 9 a.m.

Some people are wondering if the hassle has been worth it. Many say even if it is, they’re ready for the visit to be over.

President Xi's motorcade had no problem getting around Wednesday. But his visit did not make it easy for everyone else.

“It’s just made it a lot more difficult to get in and out of the city,” says Wouter Seiling, who lives in downtown Seattle.

Police shut down roads and closed off sidewalks. Even buses had to be detoured.

“Today, especially, was confusing, because I normally catch the bus right here and I realized I couldn't when I got here,” says bus rider Cary Burns, as she walked through downtown.

“I don't know if the bus is going to stop where I expect it to stop, I have to get off different places and walk a lot farther,” adds Seiling.

Some people who work downtown did figure out a way to avoid the traffic.

“I bicycled in from Redmond this morning, because I know the motorcade is going to shut down the freeway,” says Woody Cox of Zum Fitness.

But many of his members stayed away, because of the uncertainty of the impact downtown.

“We, as business owners, didn't really know far in advance what was going on. We were scrambling to let our staff and our members know what was going to happen.”

A lot of people seemed surprised by the amount of police on hand for the Chinese delegation. Snipers were spotted on rooftops.

“It was way overboard,” says Tanita Beasley. “I don't even think when President Obama came they had that much security.”

But Seattle is a growing city, and some say these kinds of disruptions are to be expected.

“It’s just part of being in a big city like Seattle, and we just have to roll with it for a few days and make it work,” says Cox.

“It’s a bit frustrating, but I also understand that it's part of living in an international city,” adds Burns.