Seattle traffic

Elaine Thompson / AP

The visit by Chinese president Xi Jinping will cause especially thorny and unpredictable traffic tie-ups. Transportation officials are asking drivers to plan for delays, or better yet, stay off the roads.

President Xi will be traveling around Seattle and the I-5 corridor, but we won’t know when or where until the last minute. Security is tight for his visit, and that means not revealing his schedule.

A major Seattle traffic choke point is poised to make a dramatic change this weekend. But officials don't expect the soon-to-be two-way Mercer Street will improve the afternoon commute out of downtown. As of Monday, Mercer Street will carry two-way traffic for the first time since 1968. But The Seattle Times ( ) reports much more work remains to be done in the neighborhood. Automobile congestion eastbound toward I-5 isn't expected to improve much on the thoroughfare called "the Mercer mess" by commuters.