Pack patience for Labor Day
For Labor Day travelers, here's how to get information on congestion on Washington's roads, ferries and at border crossings.
Labor Day weekend is coming up, and you know what that means around Washington: Jammed highways and long waits at ferries and borders.
This year, despite high gas prices, more Americans are expected to hit the road for Labor Day than in 2011, says AAA's national forecast. Thirty-three million will travel (most by car) 50 miles or more, up 2.9 percent from last year.
If you're on the road for Labor Day around Washington, here's how to find out about traffic and ferry back-ups. And pack your patience, especially if you're traveling on Friday and Monday afternoons, the busiest periods.
Roads: Labor Day weekend is one of the most congested of the year for driving over Snoqualmie Pass on I-90. And I-5, especially from Everett to Olympia, will be unusually congested. Get real-time traffic updates at www.wsdot.wa.gov or phone 511 for statewide traffic info. Sign up for email alerts at www.wsdot.wa.gov/inform Ferries: Despite extra holiday sailings, ferry waits can be extra long. Get wait times at www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/
Border: On summer weekends there's often an hourlong (or more) wait to enter the U.S. at Blaine. Going into Canada usually is quicker. But expect longer waits both ways on Labor Day weekend. Highway signs on both sides of the border give real-time delays, letting you choose alternate border crossings. Or see www.wsdot.wa.gov/Congestion/border/
Kristin Jackson, Seattle Times