Best times to avoid Christmas congestion around Alderwood Mall

If you’ve done your holiday shopping at or near Alderwood Mall before, you know the surrounding streets can be very congested this time of year, especially as Christmas gets closer. But a little early planning can save you a lot of holiday headaches.

Lynnwood traffic engineer Paul Coffelt says for the next week or so, traffic near the mall is usually light until about 10 or 11 a.m. It gets worse when school lets out around 4 p.m. and doesn’t ease until 9 p.m.

As you’d expect, it’s much worse on weekends. Backups on Saturday can begin at 9 a.m. and last until 9  or 10 p.m.

“Get an early start if you have to be out on Saturday. Sunday is similar to Saturday, but may not be as congested,” Coffelt said.

Here’s the bottom line. If you want to avoid sitting in traffic near the mall, travel early in the morning or in the middle of the weekday.

  1. The best solution is don’t go at all! Is there really anything at the mall you can’t order online? I sat down and ordered most of my presents last night while watching the Eureka Christmas special.

  2. Or you can bike to the Mall as I do for Christmas shopping. Park outside of REI or any of the others bike racks around the outsides of the buildings. Do your shopping and be gone while others are still looking for a parking place.

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