May Day protests equal traffic headaches, officials warn

SEATTLE -- Officials warn traffic and congestion problems were likely Thursday, as May Day marchers and protests are expected to clog city streets.

About 600 people are expected to participate in a planned May Day march from Judkins Park in Rainier Valley to Westlake Park downtown.

City of Seattle spokeswoman Peg Neilson said the May Day march, organized by El Comite, will start at 3 p.m when gathers leave the park located at 20th Avenue South and South Dearborn Street. Marchers will  then head to South Jackson Street; west on Jackson to Boren Avenue; north on Boren to Madison; west on Madison to Fourth and finally; north on Fourth to Pine Street and into Westlake Park for a culminating rally and speeches.

Police will escort the marchers, Nielson said.

Traffic will be slowed during the march and their could be considerable congestion throughout the afternoon during the commute hours. There is also a possibility that Fourth Avenue will be closed during the rally at Westlake Park.

Nielson warned that other unpermitted marches could continue to clog traffic throughout the evening.

Some city streets are scheduled to be closed as a result of May Day activities, King County Department of Transportation said. During the planned events, Fourth Avenue is expected to be closed for about an hour between 3:30-4:30 p.m., and Pine Street is expected to be closed for about four hours between 3-7 p.m., it said.

During the respective street closures, Fourth Avenue bus routes will travel instead via Third Avenue, and Pine Street buses will travel via Union Street. Reroutes are planned for Metro routes 10, 11, 43, 49, 64, 250, 252, 257, 260, 265, 268, 301, 306, 308, 311 and 312, and Sound Transit Express routes 522, 545 and 554.

Those identified routes are not the only ones expected to be slowed by traffic disruptions. All bus service that travels near or through the downtown Seattle area may be subject to delays during and after Thursday afternoon’s events. Bus riders are advised to plan ahead for longer trips, revise travel plans if necessary and allow plenty of travel time.

The best way to keep up-to-date with traffic and bus routes closures was with the King County Metro Bus app, available here.

Planned March Route