City warns traffic may be nightmare this week during visit by China's president

SEATTLE -- The city of Seattle said Friday it is working with local and federal agencies to manage traffic next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during the visit of a large Chinese delegation.

“Seattle is honored to host President Xi and his delegation during his visit to the United States,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We want all travelers to be advised of the impacts ... everyone needs to be patient, reevaluate their commute plans, add in extra travel time, and monitor traffic alerts for the latest information.”

Intermittent closures of freeways, regional arterial roadways and downtown streets are expected. "The flow of buses and cars in downtown Seattle and around the region will be disrupted," the city's news release said.

"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," the release said.

The city advised drivers to follow local media and reports on Facebook and Twitter to learn the latest developments and to consult the city of Seattle’s website, SDOT’s Traveler’s Information page and WSDOT’s website for current traffic conditions. You can also sign up to receive emergency alerts from the city of Seattle.

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. Commuters are encouraged to use transit or park outside the area and walk in. People entering the area should expect delays and additional security screening.

Buses on surface streets in the north part of downtown will be rerouted; check with King County Metro Alert for routes impacted. The South Lake Union Streetcar will continue to operate, but the stop at the Westlake Hub at McGraw Square will remain closed. The downtown transit tunnel is expected to remain open and operating.

Parking on downtown streets will be restricted as needed.

Fans attending the Seattle Sounders game at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Century Link Field should expect significant traffic delays and allow more travel time than usual.

SDOT engineers will adjust traffic signal timing within the city based on expected closures and re-routing. The SDOT Transportation Operations Center will monitor traffic and provide ongoing advisories to the public on Twitter. SDOT will post messages on dynamic message signs as needed.