Get me to Pike Place Market!
March 26, 2013 9:14 PM   Subscribe

Can you help me figure out a good way to get to Downtown Seattle without driving in Downtown Seattle?

I plan on going to Seattle for a day. I have a car, and I'll be driving down from the North, on I-5. I would really like to avoid driving in Seattle as much as possible. Ideally, I'd like to find some park-and-ride that is right off the freeway, so I can just park and then take some public transport from there. I'll be going on a weekday, so I'm also hoping to find a park-and-ride place that isn't filled to the brim with commuters. There goal here, for me, is to get to Pike Place Market and the surrounding area with the least amount of stress possible.

Any suggestions about what I should park? Or have a better suggestion for how I can get where I wanna go?

posted by meese to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (10 answers total)
Maybe the Northgate park and ride? I'm just going off of what I remember.
posted by bolognius maximus at 9:22 PM on March 26, 2013

There are 1486 park and ride spaces near Northgate Transit Center. Some of those lots and garages fill up early but others don't, and I would try that. If you go this week things will be better because there are no classes at the University of Washington.

Route 41 runs from there express to the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel in about 20 min. Other routes that go downtown do it slowly or very slowly.
posted by grouse at 9:26 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Pay someone to let you park in their driveway. Memail me, I could hook you up with contact information for the woman I stayed with a few summers ago in Queen Anne.
posted by oceanjesse at 9:50 PM on March 26, 2013

If you're willing to drive to downtown on I-5, want to minimize your time driving in downtown, and are willing to pay for parking:

You can get to parking in an easy 1.5 blocks from I-5:
- Exit I-5 at Union.
- Make the first right at 7th.
- Half a block on the right there's an entrance to a parking garage.

There are more garages on the left and right further up on 7th, but that's the one closest to the freeway exit.

Pike street is the next street after the garage, and an easy walk to the Market.

To get back to I-5 north from that lot is easy but takes a few more steps:
- Make a left from garage onto 7th.
- Right on Union.
- After two blocks, make a left onto 5th.
- After one block, make a left onto University.
- University leads right into I-5 north.
(All but 7th are one-way streets.)

Here's a map of the area
posted by ShooBoo at 11:26 PM on March 26, 2013

I worry that the Green Lake (NE 65th St) P&R might be full.

+1 for ShooBoo's solution of parking downtown just off of I-5. If you don't want to pay for parking, Northgate.
posted by mvd at 1:48 AM on March 27, 2013

Nthing the northgate transit center option. Park there, take the #41 bus. It runs like every ten minutes and only takes about ten minutes to get downtown.

Easy, instant and best of all free right off the highway parking, easy bus ride, and simple and easy to get back to later.

Any other solution will be comparatively complicated and more annoying to deal with. And this is coming from someone who lives there.
posted by emptythought at 2:22 AM on March 27, 2013

My understanding is that Green Lake Park and Ride fills up almost every day. Also, the 26 local and express are both much slower than the super-express 41.
posted by grouse at 5:56 AM on March 27, 2013

I'm not sure if you've been there before, but FWIW, as far as driving in cites goes, I didn't find Seattle to be remotely bad. (Parking, on the other hand, was a lot more difficult than I expected it to be).
posted by schmod at 6:52 AM on March 27, 2013

Pacific Place is the big downtown mall, they have a pretty good sized parking garage, reasonably priced, and centrally located...
posted by stenseng at 10:26 AM on March 27, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone! I feel like I know what to do now -- and I like I have a good variety of options!

as far as driving in cites goes, I didn't find Seattle to be remotely bad.

For anyone looking at this thread in the future for travelling advice, this is true. I've driven in Seattle before, and it's not that bad. I just deal with a lot of anxiety when I'm driving in new, crowded places, so it's far more of an issue for me than it would be for most people.
posted by meese at 9:30 PM on March 28, 2013

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