Reduce your #SeattleSqueeze frustrations with Seattle Parks and Recreation!

It’s almost here! Starting January 11, 2019, the Puget Sound region will experience the longest closure of a major highway when WSDOT closes the Alaskan Way Viaduct to complete the work needed to open the SR 99 tunnel three weeks later. Everyone traveling in the region will be impacted.

Curious about what the City has done to prepare and how you can get ready? Visit www.seattle.gov/traffic for more information, including tools to help you plan ahead, helpful maps, current traffic information and much more.

In addition to this online resource, we encourage everyone to check out our list of ideas for how Seattle Parks and Recreation can help you reduce your stress, connect with nature and maintain balance during this period of tough traffic.

Incorporating biking or walking into your commute is one of the best ways to avoid the traffic snarl while getting in some exercise and connecting with nature. The Burke-Gilman Trail, Elliott Bay Trail, Duwamish Trail and the Mountains to Sound Trail are just some of the regional trails that can help bring you closer to downtown Seattle while taking you through several Seattle parks or greenbelts and providing some stunning views of our Pacific Northwest landscape along the way.

Check out SDOT’s Bike Web Map to assist you in selecting routes through Seattle and to see the locations of the city’s various bicycle facilities and related amenities.

There’s no doubt that tough traffic conditions can cause stress levels to rise. If you’re looking for quick and easy ways to help yourself relax, research shows that spending just 10 minutes in nature two to three times per week yields health benefits. One study polled participants before and after spending just 10 minutes in nature. The participants reported having significantly less stress, elevated moods and increased focus after visiting the outdoors.

So, what’s the takeaway? Basically, that small pocket park next to your work or bus stop is worth popping into. Seattle Parks and Recreation has dozens of small, beautiful, urban parks spread across the city like Marshall Park, Denny Park, Cascade Playground or Ella Bailey Park. Cross through a park on your lunch break or on your way to the grocery store and reap free health benefits!  You can find a list of hundreds of parks and their locations here.

According to SDOT, peak commute hours will start earlier and end later, and in some cases, morning commute times will more than double during the #SeattleSqueeze. Commuting during non-peak hours is one way to help avoid the frustration of feeling like you’re sitting in a parking lot on your way to and from work.

Check current traffic conditions to determine when the best time to leave is. Seeing dynamic traffic times can help you make realistic plans and determine if it’s best to leave now or, say, in 45 minutes.

If you need to wait for traffic to subside, why not make the most of it and get in a quick workout at one of our community centers or pools? From swimming and water exercises classes at our pools, to Zumba and weight rooms at our community centers, and almost everything imaginable in between, we offer something for everyone!