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Third Avenue Transit Enhancements
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Third Avenue Transit Corridor Improvements

October 1, 2015

Thanks to all who shared your thoughts — in person or via our online survey — on how best to improve Third Avenue for bus riders, pedestrians and visitors. We'll use the feedback we received to refine the project design and prioritize elements for the first phase of construction.

You can still learn about the design efforts underway on Third Avenue:

We'll continue to keep you informed and provide more opportunities to weigh in. Click here to sign up for email updates or to send us your feedback.

Third Avenue is downtown Seattle's most heavily used transit corridor. More than 2,500 buses travel the corridor every weekday and about 47,500 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

November 12, 2015

Third Avenue Transit Corridor Improvements

The weekends of November 13-15 and 20-22, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and King County Metro (Metro) will install two more bus stops along 3rd Ave between Pike and Union.
3rd Ave is downtown Seattle's most heavily used transit corridor:

  • More than 2,500 buses every weekday
  • 47,500 people boarding at bus stops along the corridor each day

It's our goal to make 3rd Ave a place where people feel safe and comfortable while walking or waiting for transit.

This short duration project will improve the way people access transit, which is one of the main objectives of the larger 3rd Avenue Transit Corridor Project.

Construction work objectives:

  • Establish new transit stops, one in each direction, along 3rd Ave between Pike and Union, including a shelter with trash cans in the northbound direction
  • Fill in the existing load zones along 3rd Ave between Pike and Union
  • Establish a new loading zone on Union St, east of 3rd Avenue

Construction impacts during the next two weekends:

  • Work hours from 9 AM to 3 PM weekdays, and 6 AM to 3 PM weekends
  • Temporary sidewalk narrowing along 3rd Ave to accommodate construction activities
  • Noise, dust, and vibration associated with concrete work activities
  • Delivery loading zones along 3rd Ave between Pike and Union will be closed. A new loading zone along Union St (east of 3rd Ave) will continue accommodating business deliveries

Project Information and Contact:

Adan Carrillo, Seattle Department of Transportation, (206) 684-8105

Tristan Cook, King County Department of Transportation (206) 477-3842

For interpretation services, please call (206) 648-8105

September 14, 2015


We heard some great in-person feedback this week during our Neighborhood Sessions.
If you didn't make it, you can still learn about the design efforts underway on Third Avenue and provide your input.

August 24, 2015

Join us on Third Avenue

Last fall you helped us create a list of potential improvements to Third Avenue. Next week, we invite you to meet us on the street to hear about design updates and share your thoughts:

  • Monday, August 31 – 3-6 p.m. on Third Avenue between Battery and Bell streets
  • Wednesday, September 2  – 3-6 p.m. on Third Avenue between Pike and Union streets
  • Thursday, September 3 – 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Third Avenue between Yesler Way and S Washington Street

August 5, 2015

3rd Avenue Pike to Pine sidewalk & transit improvements nearing completion

Sidewalk and transit improvements begun in the spring along both sides of 3rd Avenue between Pike and Pine streets, as well as on Pine Street between 3rd and 4th avenues, are almost complete.

  • The temporary construction barriers on the sidewalk of the 1500 block of 3rd Ave (Pike-Pine) have been removed, restoring full access to the sidewalk.
  • The new "flexible loading zone" on the southbound (west) side of the street has been completed a week ahead of schedule and is in use.  The loading zone accommodates business deliveries and temporary parking during off-peak hours, while expanding bus transit load capacity during peak hours.
  • Pine Street between 3rd and 4th avenues has been restriped, creating 10 new back-in, on-street parking spaces, a commercial load zone, and 24-hour police parking.
  • During construction, the City also trimmed the street trees and improved the tree wells, upgraded the street lights with new LED lamps, and cleaned the pedestrian areas for a safer and more enjoyable pedestrian experience.

The project has been designed to improve the operational efficiency and commuter experience at these very heavily used bus stops, while improving also safety. 

This work was coordinated closely with the City's "9 ½ Block Strategy," a safety initiative which SDOT supported through modifications to the physical environment. 

SDOT and Metro are planning on keeping transit service at the temporary zones on Third between Pike and Union until the September service change on September 26th.

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.

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 Way and Jackson Street.

This work is supported by federal and local funds and is jointly sponsored by the City of Seattle and King County.

Together, the Seattle Department of Transportation and King County Metro Transit are working to make the Third Avenue Corridor a more inviting, accommodating, and attractive place for transit users, pedestrians and visitors.

The project is moving towards 30% design in fall 2015. Based on initial feedback received last year, we have learned that the following elements are most important to people using the corridor:

  • Upgraded transit amenities
  • Improved lighting
  • Enhanced landscaping (more trees, planters)
  • Artistic elements such as murals and intersection features


The project has $8.1M to spend; including money for design and initial construction—which means everything cannot be built at once. To remedy this, the project is considering a phased approach to making improvements in the corridor.

Our funding comes with restrictions on how it can be used. About half of the project funds must be used on bus stop improvements and half on sidewalk and urban design treatments that support transit function.






Project Library

June 2015 – 20 % Interim Design Report

Nov 2014 - Public Outreach Report

Nov 2014 - Urban Design Report
Appendix Part 1
Appendix Part 2

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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