Bellevue changes traffic plan due to overwhelming response to Chick-fil-A

The intense interest in the new Bellevue Chick-fil-A has created a traffic problem for the city.

BELLEVUE, Wash. — The city of Bellevue has had to change its traffic plans one week after a Chick-fil-A opened, garnering overwhelming attention.

The city now has the right-most lane of eastbound Northeast 8th Street dedicated to Chick-fil-A customers trying to turn into the lot.

All other traffic should stay in the left lanes.

Content Continues Below

For those not going to Chick-fil-A, Lt. David Sanabria recommended, “The best way is to take the Northeast 4th exit off the 405, and you go north on 116th and you miss this altogether.”

During the lunch rush on Friday, cars of people trying to buy chicken backed up onto I-405. People waiting in cars on the off-ramp told KIRO 7 they were sitting there for 10 to 15 minutes.

Bellevue police and KIRO 7 observed a few near-accidents, though no one has reported a collision because of the congestion.

“That’s made us realize we need to do something a little different than what we’re doing,” Sanabria said.

There have been two traffic cops devoted to the intersection since the restaurant opened, which has required a lot of overtime payment. Chick-fil-A is reimbursing the Bellevue Police Department for those services.

Many customers decided to get out of their cars and walk.

“We didn’t know if we could get in, so we decided to park and walk down here,” said Lori Depriest.

Jessica Lau and Greg Beasley were dropped off two blocks away and ended up buying $60 worth of chicken.

“I feel like I’m at a Black Friday night, where everyone is just coming to one centralized location,” Lau said.