Washington state says it will try harder to inform motorists Wednesday when Chinese President Xi Jinping uses local highways after Tuesday traffic jams.
Washington state says it will try harder to inform motorists Wednesday when Chinese President Xi Jinping uses local highways, after a sudden 8 a.m. security closure of the Interstate 5 express lanes caused 17 miles of congestion Tuesday.
“There’s just going to be a better coordinated effort by government to let people know what roadways are closing, when they’re closing,” said Kyle Moore, spokesman for the State Patrol, with few details.
That’s hardly a rock-solid pledge, because the U.S. Secret Service has jurisdiction, and tends not to divulge a head of state’s movements in advance. Overhead freeway signs and the state Department of Transportation’s Twitter account (@wsdot_traffic) are two means of issuing rapid updates.
Xi will travel north Wednesday morning from Seattle to visit Boeing at Everett, followed by Microsoft in Redmond, and Lincoln High School in Tacoma, before returning to the Westin Seattle Hotel.
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The Secret Service wouldn’t discuss any details, including whether the express lanes will close for Xi’s morning trip to Everett.
Tuesday’s closure came an hour before Xi’s jet landed at Paine Field in Everett, and almost two hours before the motorcade headed toward Seattle.
About 50 drivers went the wrong way along an I-5 interchange at 41st Street in Everett to avoid traffic — so many that troopers turned them around, instead of issuing citations, said State Patrol Trooper Mark Francis.