Here’s the 411 on getting around this holiday weekend, with links to other helpful sites.
HIGHWAYS: AAA is predicting a 3 percent decrease in automobile traffic compared to last year, when gas prices were about a buck cheaper on average. In Washington, average gas prices were $3.83 a gallon ($3.80 in Tacoma), according to this week’s survey.
It’s still one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. The Washington Department of Transportation is advising to expect heavy traffic on Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass, US 2 over Stevens Pass, Interstate 5 near the border and I-5 between Olympia and Tacoma. The WSDOT web site has a great holiday travel chart that will help you time your trip to non-peak hours.
On Monday evening, drivers should expect closures and heavy congestion on southbound I-5 through Seattle leading to Lake Union fireworks show. Also traffic is typically heavy during the day on I-5 around JBLM, where Freedom Fest is taking place. If you’re staying in town, remember that Freedom Fair will shut down the Ruston Way waterfront.
FERRIES: WSDOT advises “Drivers should expect longer-than-typical wait times at ferry docks and Canadian border crossings for most of the holiday weekend. … The heaviest traffic is expected westbound Thursday, June 30, and Friday, July 2, and eastbound Monday, July 4.” For route information, see the Washington State Ferry website.
• On Monday, Pierce Transit will operate on a Sunday schedule and because of budget cuts will not provide special service to Freedom Fair. For more information, see Pierce Transit’s web site.
• Sound Transit will operate with special holiday hours. There will be no Sounder commuter rail service, and Sunday schedules will apply for all ST Express buses, Central Link, and Tacoma Link light rail.