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Third Avenue Transit Enhancements
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Third Avenue Transit Corridor Improvements – 10/27 update

Third Avenue is downtown Seattle’s most heavily used transit corridor. More than 2,500 buses travel the corridor every weekday and about 42,000 people board at bus stops on the corridor each day. Thousands of visitors, workers, shoppers and area residents also use Third Avenue daily.

To help create a positive and inviting environment for transit users and pedestrians, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and King County Metro Transit are working together to make the corridor an inviting, accommodating, safe and attractive place where people want to be.

The Third Avenue Transit Corridor Improvements Project will complement and be coordinated with the many other improvement projects underway in the downtown area.

Project Updates

October, 2014

The project team is close to finalizing 10% concept designs for the corridor! Proposed design options include:

  • New red bus zone curbs to delineate transit zones and feature pavers that organize and designate sidewalk uses
  • Landscape enhancements and tree drainage systems
  • Improved lighting throughout the corridor, including pedestrian, intersection and bus identity light columns
  • Updated transit canopies in certain areas along the corridor
  • Art integration and blank facade treatments

We Want to Hear from You!

SDOT and Metro want to know what you think will better connect and improve Third Avenue for transit users, pedestrians, business and visitors alike as we design future improvements along the corridor.

Thanks for joining us on Third Avenue!

Thanks for sharing your ideas on proposed design ideas at our series of Third Avenue Neighborhood Sessions Oct 9-16! We had over 300 people stop by our events and share their thoughts about Third Avenue with project staff!

Project Background

The Third Avenue Transit Corridor Improvements Project is part of a larger plan to create a vibrant, safe and thriving Third Avenue. It will improve transit function and create a more welcoming urban environment along the corridor between Denny and Jackson streets. The project will extend transit priority measures approximately .75 miles north through the Belltown neighborhood.

The initial phase of the project focused on the blocks between University Street and Stewart Street. This phase included both draft 10% concept design for this four-block area as well as a rebuild of the sidewalk and bus stop on the east side of Third Avenue between Pine and Stewart streets, otherwise known as the “Macy’s Block.” This new block showcases and tests improvements similar to those planned at bus stops along Third Avenue over the next few years. The construction in this particular block included a number of features, some new to Seattle:

  • A transit information kiosk (similar to other kiosks located along Third Avenue)
  • Ticket vending machine (coming soon!)
  • New sidewalk paving with “smog eating” photocatalytic material
  • A sidewalk widened by six feet to better accommodate bus commuters and passing pedestrians
  • New trees at the north end of the block (near Stewart Street)
  • An expanded bus stop during most hours of the day to allow more buses to serve the stop at the same time
  • New transit canopy (coming soon!)
  • New lighting to improve visibility and comfort
  • A new “street elements zone” to organize trash cans
  • A new red curb treatment to emphasize the loading zone and improve safety

The project team is currently developing a 10% design that updates and expands this conceptual design through the entire corridor. Potential corridor-wide concept design details could include features such as:

  • Improved lighting throughout the corridor
  • New bus shelters and waiting areas for travelers
  • New artistic elements to make Third Avenue more welcoming and enjoyable

SDOT and Metro are committed to working with area residents, businesses, commuters and other stakeholders throughout the project to ensure that designs consider the needs of a variety of users.


This work is supported by federal and local funds and jointly sponsored by the City of Seattle and King County Metro. Both agencies allocated local funds to match federal grants that provide about $9.6 million for design and construction of physical improvements.


Project Library

Third Avenue Fact Sheet

Fall 2014 – 10 % Concept Design | Denny Way to Jackson Street

Oct 9-16 Neighborhood Sessions Display boards
Fall 2014 Third Avenue Transit Corridor presentation
Crime and Safety Technical Memorandum

Fall 2013 – Draft 10% Concept Design | University to Stewart

Full Third Avenue University to Stewart 10% Design Report
Postcard for 10% Concept Design Open House

More information

SDOT Contacts:

KC Metro Contact:



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