Are you ready to huddle up? Husky Football traffic is coming. (UPDATE)

After nearly a two year absence (and $280 million dollars), University of Washington Football is back with us in Northeast Seattle.

The countdown to the first game on Saturday night has a motto: “Retake Montlake.” But residents in the path of 70,000+ spectators leaving the stadium area may take that slogan to mean “Retake Montlake, and 25th, and 45th, and 520, and residential streets used as a shortcut and…” etc.

The traffic plan for game days this year is similar to the one used in the past. But additional restrictions on parking in certain areas may be new to you.

Traffic Plan for Game Days

From the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Husky Game Day page:

  • The Washington State Department of Transportation will operate the Montlake Bridge under a modified schedule which will keep the bridge in the down position (open to vehicles and pedestrians) approximately two hours and thirty minutes before the start of the game and up to three hours after the game concludes.
  • Seattle Police officers will staff intersections before and after the event in the immediate area to help facilitate safe vehicle and pedestrian flow.
  • Lane and traffic restrictions to help control traffic flow will also be implemented throughout the area.
  • At the conclusion of the game, Montlake Boulevard NE will be closed to through traffic between NE Pacific Street and NE 45th Street until the traffic volumes exiting the stadium parking lots subsides.
  • All northbound traffic crossing the Montlake Bridge, excluding emergency and permit holding vehicles, will be re-routed westbound on NE Pacific Street.
  • Southbound traffic traveling toward Husky Stadium will also be detoured away from the stadium.
  • All traffic exiting stadium parking lots along Montlake Boulevard NE will be routed northbound.
  • Pedestrian traffic is given precedence for the first 20 minutes after the conclusion of the game by Seattle Police officers to help move the crowds safely away from the stadium.
  • At the conclusion of the game, NE 25th Street between Montlake Blvd NE and NE 75th Street becomes one-way northbound for approximately two hours.

Astute observers may note that there is no new traffic plan component for the newly redesigned NE 75th Street itself.

Reminder: NE 75th Street’s rechannelization was designed for the other 358 or so days of the year. As were all the other streets leading to and from Husky Stadium. We should all expect congestion on local roads when those other seven or so days of the year roll around, and 70,000 people all try to go home at once.

But having said that, should residents have comments/observations for SDOT about the massive traffic exodus (on NE 75th Street or elsewhere), we can leave them at this number: 684-ROAD.

Additional Restrictions on Parking

To ease parking congestion in popular areas of the city, SDOT has set up Restricted Parking Zones (RPZs) that allow residents to park for longer periods of time than visitors.

New to you, however, may be the RPZs around Husky Stadium: the Game Day RPZs  —  set up in Zones A, B, 1, 6 and 20 to specifically maintain parking for residents in the area on game days.

Zone A: Montlake / Husky Game Days

Zone B: Ravenna/Laurelhurst Husky Game Days

Zone 1: Montlake

Zone 6: University Park (NEW)

Zone 20: Ravenna/Bryant

This year, SDOT added Game Day restrictions to RPZ 6 (University Park). This area is directly south of Ravenna Park to NE 50th St, and between 15th Avenue NE and Ravenna Ave NE (down Ravenna all the way to NE 45th Street)

SDOT map of RPZ 6. Click to see the map in color (PDF)

SDOT map of Restricted Parking Zone 6 (University Park). Click to see the map larger and in color (4 KB PDF).

Below is a picture of a couple parking signs posted in RPZ 6. The green one on the top is probably familiar to you. The red one on the bottom, however, is new.

Pair of RPZ signs near NE 51st Street and Ravenna Ave NE. Photo by Jef Jaisun.

Pair of RPZ signs near NE 51st Street and Ravenna Ave NE in the University park (RPZ 6). Photo by University Park resident.

What this means for Saturday, for example, is that vehicles without a RPZ 6 decal or guest pass are NOT ALLOWED TO PARK in this area between 4 PM and 11 PM (three hours before the 7 PM game, and two hours after).

That’s seven straight hours of no parking for any vehicles without a RPZ 6 decal (or guest pass).

And this restriction does include those cute little Car2Go vehicles (answers apply to all Game Day RPZs):

The new restrictions have at least one resident of RPZ 6 very concerned. This individual lives in an area of the zone known as the Ravenna Springs neighborhood. Via email (name withheld until we get permission to use it):

These new restrictions were pushed through by several members of UPCC. Those of us who live on Ravenna Ave below 55th and have been following the “process” are extremely unhappy with it. We happen to live on the last street in Zone 6, and have pretty much nothing to do with the UPCC neighborhood up the hill. In fact, we’re the independent Ravenna Springs neighborhood.

On the Friday morning following Thanksgiving night, when friends and family are visiting and there is normally no parking enforcement, restrictions will begin at 9am! The only way you won’t get a $50 ticket is to have a Zone 6 permit or a guest pass. Problematic because guest passes cost an additional $30 and are limited to one per household.

UPDATE (10:41 AM): For more information on the city’s Restricted Parking Zones and how to obtain RPZ decals and guest passes, visit SDOT’s Restricted Parking Zone Program Online Permitting page.

Let the games begin.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    “But additional restrictions on parking in certain areas may be new to you.”

    WHAT DO YOU MEAN I CAN’T PARK ON 75TH?!?!

    loljk

  2. We live in Bryant near NE 55th, just north of U-Village mall. About 25-30 minute walk to Husky Stadium. Our street is usually wide open for parking, but game day it was jammed, as well as surrounding streets. Getting in and out of neighborhood by car involved a fair amount of traffic.

    BUT, that said, it wasn’t the end of the world. More of a “big whup”. It added some time getting to and from – but its a Saturday so its not like it was turning a Monday morning commute into a nightmare. And having to park a few blocks away or adding 10-15 minutes to getting into and out of the area wasn’t a big deal at all. Now, if your perspective is that city living should be exactly like suburban living – well then, I can see how one might be deluded and upset. If on the other hand, you accept this is a city (and not an overgrown fishing village), then its not that big a deal.

    People will whine about anything. I see no reason to enable or accomodate them. I swear that half my neighbors think they are living in Mayberry…

    • It is only a few times a year. I’m not in the chaos zone, so maybe my opinion matters less, but it does seem that we can suck it up a few times a year in exchange for our vibrant city life.

  3. Oh so that is why more folks are parking in my neighborhood. I’m finding the overhead, flying advertisement more annoying.

  4. Ravenna Springs says:

    I’m with David. Talk about SDOT smashing a flea with a sledge hammer. Saturday’s Idaho State game was over at 3pm, and by 3:30 there wasn’t even the usual cut-through traffic on lower Ravenna Ave. But the restrictions were in place for another four and a half hours! Anyone coming to visit who didn’t have a permit or guest pass was still subject to the whims of PEOs writing $53 tickets.

    Considering the football team’s been here for over 100 years, you’d think the folks in University Park might have adapted to the game day influx by now. I guess sharing the streets everyone pays for, for all of six days a year, is too much of a burden for them. But running to SDOT to force the rest of us into having our streets locked down for 10 hours on Saturdays is a bit much.

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