Holiday traffic can get slow. Thankfully, the Washington State Department of Transportation has released day-by-day traffic charts to help you plan your Thanksgiving travel.
The black line on each graph represents average levels of traffic on any given day of the week. Green indicates little to no congestion, with yellow showing increased squeeze. During red hours, traffic is expected to reach roadway capacity. WSDOT says during this time, small accidents can cause significant backups.
Friday, November 29 - Black Friday
- I-5 Bellingham to U.S. Canada border: Northbound traffic will get a bit heavier, with the yellow zone stretching from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Southbound the yellow is longer, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- I-5 Lacey to Tacoma: Expect stop-and-go traffic northbound during the 12, 2, and 3 p.m. hours. Everything else is moderate to heavy. Southbound, the red zone is longer, stretching from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- US 2 Stevens Pass to Skykomish: Eastbound will have moderate to heavy traffic between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. Westbound no delays are expected.
- I-90 North Bend to Cle Elum: Eastbound will have moderate to heavy traffic between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Westbound will see moderate to heavy traffic 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, November 30
- I-5 Bellingham to U.S. Canada border: Northbound Is expected to have moderate to heavy traffic from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Southbound is the same.
- I-5 Lacey to Tacoma: Expect stop-and-go traffic northbound from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and southbound from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- US 2 Stevens Pass to Skykomish: Eastbound, moderate to heavy traffic will occur between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Westbound, moderate traffic will occur between 2 and 4 p.m. The number of cars both ways are still expected to be higher than average.
- I-90 North Bend to Cle Elum: Westbound is the route to watch, with congestion and stop-and-go traffic from 12-3 p.m. Eastbound will maintain moderate to heavy traffic during this time.
Sunday, December 1
- I-5 Bellingham to U.S. Canada border: Red alert! From 3-4 p.m. northbound and 1-2 p.m. southbound, stop-and-go traffic is expected. If you want to avoid traffic completely, travel early in the morning or after 8 at night.
- I-5 Lacey to Tacoma: Stop-and-go traffic is expected northbound from 11 a.m. to 4 pm. Southbound traffic will be exactly on average with a typical day, with stop-and-go traffic during the 1 p.m. hour and moderate to heavy traffic from 9 a.m to 7 p.m.
- US 2 Stevens Pass to Skykomish: No delays eastbound. Westbound, moderate to heavy traffic from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- I-90 North Bend to Cle Elum: Congestion is expected eastbound from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and westbound from 12-5 p.m. This is the busiest day to travel on I-90.