Headed to the U District Street Fair this weekend? Plan ahead and consider transit options with scheduled Montlake Bridge closure.

The University District Street Fair is this weekend, May 21 & 22, 2022. Graphic credit: The U District Partnership

Editor’s Note (5/20/2022 at 1:55 p.m.) – Update regarding this weekend’s Montlake Bridge closure:

  • The Montlake Bridge will be closed from 11 p.m. Friday, May 20 to 5 a.m. Monday, May 23 while WSDOT contractor crews complete paving work on both ends of the bridge.
  • At least one bridge sidewalk will remain open for people walking, biking, and rolling. There will not be a shuttle service.
  • Please visit WSDOT’s website for the latest information about this work.
  • The detour route for drivers in the area has been adjusted to accommodate the U District Street Fair, and is as follows:
    • Drivers north of the Montlake Bridge: To get to I-5, drivers will need to go north on 25th Ave NE to NE 75th St, then head west to reach I-5.
    • Drivers south of the Montlake Bridge: To get to the north side of the bridge, drivers will need to use northbound I-5 and exit at NE 65th St – or use the University Bridge.

Summary:


The U District Street Fair is happening this weekend on Saturday, May 21 & Sunday, May 22! Check out the U District Street Fair website for all event details. Festivities will stretch for 10 blocks along University Way NE (“The Ave”), between NE 41st St and NE 50th St.

We encourage you to plan ahead as a high volume of travelers to and from the event are expected. As well, WSDOT plans to close the Montlake Bridge over the weekend (weather-permitting), to complete paving work in the area. Below are several travel options to get to the event, including riding transit.


Travel options:

Light rail:

Bus:

Biking, walking, or rolling:

  • As spring continues with lighter, warmer days, we also encourage you to consider biking, walking, or rolling to campus, if that is an option for your trip or you’re coming from somewhere close.
  • The Burke-Gilman Trail runs near the UW campus. You can also check out Google Maps Biking Directions, our online bike map, or our Seattle bike map brochure (updated this year).
  • Once at the event, to support accessibility for people of all ages and abilities, the U District Street Fair is also offering rentals of wheelchairs, scooters, or walkers. If you’re interested in this service, please contact Wheels for Feet.

Driving:

  • If you need to drive, it could be worth taking an alternate route such as NE 50th St instead of NE 45th St. Please also consider carpooling if you’re going with family or friends.
  • Several paid parking lots exist within a few blocks of the Street Fair, but many lots fill up by the middle of the day. On-street paid parking is available in the U District, but is also limited – another reason to consider taking transit if you can.

Two people cross the street at the UW Seattle campus on a sunny day. The King County Metro bus route 43 (U District) waits for them to cross.
Two people cross the street at the UW Seattle campus on a sunny day. The King County Metro bus route 43 (U District) waits for them to cross. Photo: SDOT
Photo of the new U District light rail station that opened last fall, on October 2, 2021.
Photo of the new U District light rail station that opened last fall, on October 2, 2021. Photo: SDOT

We recognize that the U District is a busy place with thousands of students, Husky home sports games, a vibrant commercial district, the Burke Museum, and much more. That’s why we are working with our transit partners to continue to improve access.

We recently opened a new eastbound business access and transit (bus) lane on NE 45th St to help improve transit reliability for the Route 44 bus. This new lane helps ensure trip reliability for bus riders entering the U District via NE 45th St. This work was funded by the voter-approved Levy to Move Seattle. Thank you Seattle, for your support!

Photo of the new business access and transit lane (bus lane) along NE 45th St in the U District.
Photo of the new business access and transit lane (bus lane) along NE 45th St in the U District. Photo: SDOT.
Levy to Move Seattle infographic.
Levy to Move Seattle infographic. Graphic: SDOT.

We’re also working on upgrading traffic signals and installing new traffic cameras in the area (known as an “Intelligent Transportation System”), which will help the streets in the area be more responsive to traffic flow and help with congestion. Another benefit of this upgraded system is that we’ll be able to remotely operate the signals and adjust their timing in real time, as needed. Construction on these signal upgrades began last fall, and we expect to complete work this spring. For more information, please visit our website.

Thank you and we wish you safe, comfortable travels to this year’s U District Street Fair, if you plan to attend!

Event-goers in the U District celebrate on a sunny day in Seattle.
Event-goers in the U District celebrate on a sunny day in Seattle. Photo credit: The U District Partnership.