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Shoreline Street Ends Program

Last updated: October 9, 2017

Program Overview

Shoreline street ends are precious community assets that thrive through robust community partnerships. Each one tells a different story of Seattles cultural and environmental history, and provides everyone the opportunity to experience and enjoy the splendor of Seattles shorelines. SDOTs shoreline street ends program improves public access, protects unique views, enhances habitat, supports maritime industry, and fosters stewardship to create long-lasting community assets.

Much of Seattles 200 miles of shoreline along Lake Washington, Lake Union, Puget Sound, and other waterways is either privately-owned or park land. The City of Seattle designated 149 public streets (map) in Seattle that end on waterfronts as special rights of way to be preserved and improved for public use (City Resolution 29370, adopted in September 1996, followed by Ordinance 119673 in 1999).

SDOT's Shoreline Street Ends Program prioritizes enhancing public access to these shoreline street ends and permits private uses, in some cases. See SDOT Director's Rule 12-2015 for more detailed information on program guidelines.

2014-2017 Street Ends Projects

We selected the following street end sites in 2014 for improvement. Two projects—S Willow Street and 51st Ave NE—were completed at the beginning of 2015. Additionally, we collaborated with the community to complete two partnership projects: 11th Ave NW and 28th Ave NW (see below for more information).

We are currently focused on improvements at E Allison Street, S River St, SW Michigan St, and S Warsaw Street.

In partnership with the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, we hired an artist to design new signage, site amenities, and art installations at a number of sites. More information about the scope of his work and his background can be found here.


Improved beach access was the focus of site improvements at S Willow St. Boulder steps were added to connect the seating area with the beach. Mulch was added to the access path and view point, shrubs and trees were planted, and the existing stairs and bench were repaired.


Site improvements included a gathering space with a picnic table, new landscaping, and timber steps to the water.

11th Avenue NW Street End Project

This project was successfully completed in June 2015 as a partnership project with the University of Washington. A landscape architecture studio, comprised of 25 undergraduate and graduate students, designed and constructed public access and habitat improvements over the span of two quarters (from January 5th – June 5th).

28th Avenue NW Street End Project

This project was completed in early 2015. We partnered with Sea and Shore Construction to develop the site improvements. 

Seattle Shoreline Street Ends Work Plan

In 2008, we conducted an extensive review of the Shoreline Street Ends Program and, in consultation with Friends of Street Ends (FOSE), drafted a work plan to help us achieve the following goals:

  • Improve shoreline access and enjoyment
  • Protect views & enhance shoreline habitat
  • Encourage community stewardship
  • Support maritime industry
  • Manage private permits

We have recently updated this work plan based on an detailed evaluation of each shoreline street end and incorporating lessons learned.

View the Shoreline Street Ends Program fact sheet

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