Thursday, November 17, 2011

Large Protest Scheduled For 4pm Today, Could Impact Commute, Neighboring Hospitals and Bridges

A large Occupy Seattle unpermitted protest is scheduled to start at 3:30pm today, according to the flier, with the protest at 4pm and the march and attempt to move onto the University Brige and possible SR520 at 4:30pm.

 A reader forwarded this information to us from the UW:

The University of Washington Police Department is expecting a large Occupy Seattle protest today beginning at about 3:30pm at Montlake Blvd NE and NE Pacific Street.  The protesters will have speakers at this rally presenting on how the economy has impacted them. 

They are then planning to move from the sidewalks to the street and march onto Montlake Bridge at 4:30pm, blocking bridge access until forced off by police.
This could potentially have severe impacts on patient/visitor access to the UW Hospital, ambulance, Metro and commuter traffic.  Law enforcement are actively planning to mitigate the impact of this event and maintain traffic access.
Alternative commuter routes to the North and West are not expected to be affected, including access to I-5 via 45th Street.  Metro and DOT have been notified, as well as Seattle Children's other potentially affected entities.
And here is information from the City of Seattle:
An Occupy Seattle rally and march today has the potential for creating major delays on all arterials leading to and from Ship Canal bridges during the afternoon commute.   The rally is scheduled to take place between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. on the University of Washington campus and then is expected to march west on NE Pacific Street to the University Bridge at roughly 4:30 p.m.

The demonstrators plan to block the bridge during the afternoon rush hour so their presence will likely cause traffic delays throughout the afternoon commute – until after 6:30 or 7 p.m.

Demonstrators may also block the Montlake Bridge during that timeframe.     Seattle Police Officers will be on hand to minimize traffic congestion but the blockage of any one bridge could impact other nearby Ship Canal bridges.

Commuters should allow additional time for detouring to another route. Motorists who must get to the University or Children’s hospitals should plan for extra time to reach their destination.   

The protests could be very disruptive to transit service this afternoon. For information or questions about transit service, please call Metro Transit customer service at 206-553-3000, and sign up to receive Transit Alerts at .

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