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Significant reduction in street parking during viaduct closure

Significant reduction in street parking during viaduct closure (PHOTO: KOMO News)

SEATTLE, Wash. — More plans are underway to keep traffic moving as smoothly as possible during the viaduct shutdown for commuters, police and other first responders.

The Alaskan Way Viaduct closes for good at 10 p.m. on Friday. That’s when crews will begin connecting SR 99 to the new tunnel. The closure lasts three-weeks.

Blocking an intersection otherwise known as “block the box” has become all too common in Seattle.

During the viaduct shutdown police plan to put officers at troublesome intersections to make sure the roadways stay clear.

“Oh I think it’s important — I hate nothing more than being at an intersection, and cars especially on a yellow light, sit in the middle and block cars going the other way," said driver Larry Murr.

Hirjak said it is vitally important drivers keep intersections clear since city streets will be jammed packed during the three-week period.

Traffic enforcement has already started for bus lanes. Police are asking drivers to make sure only buses use the designated lanes. The city says more bus lanes will be added as more riders board buses during the closure.

“We are adding lanes at key locations through the city to help keep buses moving,” said Heather Marx, the director of downtown mobility at the Seattle Department of Transportation.

That’s because the closure will have a region wide impact on traffic.

The city announced today there will be a significant reduction in street parking on eight streets between Denny and Yesler. It’s a corridor created for transit and emergency vehicles.

“People should really pay attention to those signs because we are going to be towing with alacrity,” said Marx.

The city also plans to issue parking tickets. For some downtown workers reducing parking makes the Seattle Squeeze even more challenging.

“No – that’s not a good idea,” said Randall Hoxie who works and parks his car downtown.

No matter how you plan to get into the city after the viaduct closes — it will likely not be easy — but it’s will be an improvement on the end.

“I know it’s going to be hard on people, but it’s three weeks — it will get better,” said Murr.

City officials across different agencies told KOMO News they will be watching the squeeze 24-7 from the city’s traffic management center and will be ready to move resources to where ever they are needed most.

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