4th Ave Mobility Improvements

Updated: October 8, 2020

What's happening now?

4th Ave now has a protected bike lane! On September 20, SDOT crews built the first phase of the 4th Ave Mobility Improvements project from Madison to Pine streets.

Next, we're aiming to extend the protected bike lane (one-way northbound) from Pine St to Bell St as early as this November. We're reaching out to adjacent neighbors to share project details and learn more about loading and access needs. Feel free to contact us with questions: ccbike@seattle.gov or 206-771-0481.

Check out this mailer for more info

4th and Pike bike lane

New 2-way protected bike lane at 4th and Pike

Project Overview

Protected bike lanes and signal upgrades in downtown Seattle help improve safety for everyone and connect pieces of the Center City Bike Network.

The first phase is complete which includes a two-way protected bike lane on the west side of 4th Ave between Seneca and Pine streets and one-way between Madison and Seneca. 

Future phases will extend the two-way protected bike lane from Pine St to Vine St in the north and from Seneca St to the 2nd Ave protected bike lane (via Dilling and Yesler Way) in the south.

As an interim step, we're aiming to extend the protected bike lane (one-way northbound) from Pine St to Bell St as early as this November. When we have the construction crew capacity for signal upgrades, we'll extend to Vine St and convert the protected bike lane to two-way. 

We still envision a bike network with a direct connection down 4th to S Main St, but the impact to bus travel times at this point is too significant. As an interim solution, we're routing the south end of the protected bike lane through Dilling Way to Yesler for a connection to 2nd Ave. When buses are routed off 4th Ave in a couple years, we intend to make this direct connection as funding allows.   

2nd Ave before protected bike lane installation

2nd Ave after protected bike lane installation

The new protected bike lane will look similar to 2nd Ave. Since protected bike lanes were installed on 2nd Ave, crashes are down and bike ridership is up.

Project Design

The 4th Ave Mobility Improvements project will add new bike lanes, make signal upgrades, and maintain bus accommodations on 4th Ave. 

The protected bike lane will separate people biking from moving vehicles with markings, plastic posts, and signal upgrades. 

Parking and loading: The existing parking and loading lane will be shifted outside of the bike lane (similar to other downtown bike lanes). We're working to maintain as much parking and loading as possible but need to remove some to allow space for left and right turn pockets and to improve visibility as drivers pull out of driveways. 

We're reaching out to adjacent building and business owners to understand access, parking, and loading needs. Please contact us for details or if you'd like a load zone change.   

Signal upgrades: As part of Phase 1, we installed protected left turns (meaning drivers get a green turn arrow rather than yielding) where 4th Ave intersects with Seneca and Union streets. These protected turns separate the signal phases for people walking/biking and people driving to improve traffic flow and make for a safer, more comfortable travel experience.

Additionally left turns are now restricted at Pine St to reduce collisions and keep traffic moving. This is low-volume left turn intersection and these changes are part of our Vision Zero goal to end traffic related deaths and serious injuries by 2030. 

As part of Phase 2, we're installing protected left turns where 4th Ave intersects with Olive and Lenora streets. 

Phase 1 Map

Map

Phase 2 Map

Phase 2 Map

Program Overview

We've made a commitment to build this network of separated bike facilities to make biking a reliable travel choice and calm traffic as more people compete for limited street space. A complete bike network improves Seattle's health and quality of life for people of all ages and abilities.

Improving safety for all

This project contributes to the City's Vision Zero plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. The protected bike lane will not only separate people biking from moving vehicles, it will separate the signal phases for all users, meaning drivers won't need to yield across people walking and biking to make left turns. This change will help reduce collisions and make the walking, biking, and driving experience more comfortable and predictable.  

2nd Ave Signal

Transportation options for the center city

We are faced with the fundamental challenge of moving more people and more goods in the same amount of space. By making biking a more attractive and more viable transportation option, we can lower the share of people driving alone to and through Center City. 

Protected bike lanes on 2nd Ave quadrupled the number of people biking there. Employers located near paths and protected lanes have higher bike to work numbers. Making biking a real choice means building out a network in our region's densest jobs center.  

Connectivity 

This protected bike lane is just one piece of the puzzle connecting to the bike lanes on Pike, Pine, and Bell streets and was prioritized as part of the Center City Bike Network. The Center City Bike Network, launched in 2015, developed a network map of better bike streets that separate people walking and biking from moving vehicles, provide safer all-ages and abilities transportation options, and maintain transit priority downtown.

This network was the result of community engagement, which continued through the One Center City program to make sure any improvements to the bike network are well coordinated and complimentary to the greater transportation system for people walking, driving, taking transit, and delivering goods. 

We've made a commitment to build this network of separated bike lanes to make biking a reliable travel choice and calm traffic as more people compete for limited street space. A complete bike network improves Seattle's health and quality of life for people of all ages and abilities.

Economic benefits

Protected bike lanes boost economic growth by fueling redevelopment, boosting real estate value, helping companies attract and retain skilled workers, improving worker health and productivity, and increasing retail visibility and sales volume, according to a recent report. Other cities have demonstrated the economic benefits of protected bike lanes. Intercept surveys in Portland, OR show that people arriving to retails stores on foot or by bicycle visit more frequently than those who drive, and they spend more money over the course of a month. Findings from a New York City protected bicycle lane implementation showed an increase in retail sales of up to 49% from locally based businesses on 9th Ave in Manhattan, compared to 3% borough-wide.

Equity

Sixteen percent of Seattle households do not have a motor vehicle for their use and nationwide the lowest income households bike for transportation most. Better bike lanes make biking a more viable transportation option to help people get to and from downtown. At the same time, not everyone is able to bike, which is why a high priority of the Center City Bike Network and this project is to maintain transit accommodations.  

Center City Bike Network Map 

Center City Bike Network map

click to enlarge

Schedule

The first phase of the 4th Ave project, from Madison St to Pine St was installed in September 2020. The next phase will extend the protected bike lane northbound from Pine to Bell St as soon as November 2020. We plan to make the protected bike lane 2-way (within the same footprint) and extend it to Vine St in 2021 when we have the crew capacity for more signal upgrades.

Also next year, we plan to extend the 2-way protected bike lane south from Spring St to the 2nd Ave protected bike lane via Dilling/Yesler Way. 

We still envision a bike network with a direct connection down 4th to S Main St, but the impact to bus travel times at this point is too significant. When buses are routed off 4th Ave in a couple years, we intend to make this direct connection as funding allows.   

Funding

This project is funded by the 9-year Levy to Move Seattle, approved by voters in 2015. Learn more about the levy at www.seattle.gov/LevytoMoveSeattle

Levy to Move Seattle logo

Get Involved

Have a question? Let us know! We’re committed to keeping you informed in a variety of ways, including:

  • (Virtual) briefings and meetings along 4th Ave
  • Project mailings
  • Updating this web page
  • Posting signs
  • Responding promptly to emails and phone calls: CCBike@seattle.gov; 206-771-0481

Project Materials


If you need this information translated, please call (206) 771-0481.

如果您需要此信息翻譯成中文 請致電 (206) 771-0481.

Kung kailangan mo ang impormasyon na ito na nakasalin sa Tagalog mangyari lamang na tumawag sa (206) 771-0481.

Si necesita traducir esta información al español, llame al (206) 771-0481.

Odeeffannoon kun akka siif (206) 771-0481.

Nếu quý vị cần thông tin này chuyển ngữ sang tiếng Việt xin gọi (206) 771-0481.

የዚህን መረጃ ትርጉም ከፈለጉ፣ በዚህ ስልክ ቁጥር ይደውሉ፡ (206) 771-0481.

ናይዚ ሓበሬታ ትርጉም እንተደሊኹም፣ በዚ ቁጽሪ ስልኪ ይድውሉ፡ (206) 771-0481.

당신이 번역이 정보를 필요로하는 경우에, (206) 771-0481 ? 전화 해주십시오.

Resources

Seattle Vision Zero Plan
Seattle Bike Master Plan
SDOT's Protected Bike Lane Page
The Green Lane Project - Helping cities build better bike lanes
Bike Lanes, On-Street Parking and Business - A study of Toronto merchants and patrons
Protected Bike Lanes Mean Business - Case studies on how 21st century transportation networks help new urban economies boom
One Center City's Proposed Near-Term Projects