Bell St Protected Bike Lane

May 12, 2020

What's happening now?

As soon as May 18, we'll begin installing a two-way protected bike lane on the north side of Bell St between 5th Ave and Denny Way. To minimize construction impacts, we want to take advantage of this period of low traffic volume. We anticipate opening the new bike facility by fall this year. 

The project will provide a route that's comfortable for people of all ages and abilities, connecting the protected bike lane on 9th Ave N to the one on 2nd Ave. The project includes new accommodations for two-way bicycle traffic through Bell Street Park and will calm traffic for all users.

What to expect during constructions:

  • Typical work hours are 7 AM - 4 PM, Monday - Friday
  • You may experience construction noise, dust, and vibration
  • Access to businesses and homes will be maintained at all times
  • Traffic will be maintained in all directions but may be reduced to one lane at times
  • There will be temporary parking and driveway restrictions. We'll notify you individually if you'll be affected
  • There will be temporary pedestrian and bike detours around the work zone and staging area

Project Overview

Protected bike lanes in downtown Seattle connect pieces of the center city bike network and improve safety for everyone. As more people compete for limited street space, we've made a commitment to calm traffic and build out a network spine to make biking a real choice for people of all ages and abilities.

As a nonarterial street with a gentle grade, Bell St makes for an ideal connection between downtown, Belltown, and South Lake Union. Running along Bell St between 5th Ave and Denny Way, this project includes a two-way protected bike lane, concrete curb barriers with landscaping, and green striping at crossings. Additional traffic calming measures will be implemented in Bell Street Park and bicyclists will be able to ride both ways (though no designated bicycle lanes will be striped in the park). Upon completion of the project, bicyclists will be able to ride along Bell St and connect to protected bike lanes on 9th Ave N and 2nd Ave. 

This project stems from the 2018 Bell Street Concept Plan, which outlines design options to create a pedestrian-focused and cohesive corridor along Bell St.

Project area and map

Map of proposed protected bike lane on Bell St

Project Design

Our project design includes a two-way protected bike lane, signage and traffic signal updates, and modifications to driving and parking lanes. 

Project elements include:

  • New two-way protected bike lane on the north side of Bell St, between 5th Ave and Denny Way*
  • Changes to vehicular and parking lanes on Bell St, including some parking removal
  • Changes to the intersection of 5th Ave and Bell St to prevent vehicles from traveling westbound (except emergency vehicles)
  • Relocation of bus routes, stops, and layovers along Bell St (as of March 2020)
  • For updates on the permanent reroute of buses, please visit King County Metro's website
  • Replacement of traffic lights with stop signs on Bell St at the intersections with 3rd and 4th avenues

Download the project factsheet for more information.

This project will have minor impacts to Bell Street Park located between 5th Ave and 1st Ave:

  • Minor revisions to signs and markings at intersections of Bell St with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Avenues that will require permanent changes within Seattle Parks & Recreation property:
    • New stop signs and stop bars at 3rd Ave and 4th Ave to replace traffic signal for westbound motorists
    • New signs at 3rd Ave to clarify that westbound traffic must turn
  • Minor changes within Bell Street Park have been determined to be de minimis under Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Act of 1966. Compliance with Section 4(f) is required for projects receiving federal funding
  • Changes at Bell St and 5th Ave to provide an east-west connection for bicyclists
    • No right turn from 5th Ave onto Bell St
    • New bike crossing ramp and signal heads at 5th Ave to connect the protected bike lane and Bell Street Park

What are protected bike lanes?

A protected bike lane is an exclusive bike facility that combines the user experience of a separated path with the on-street infrastructure of a conventional bike lane. A protected bike lane is physically separated from motor traffic and distinct from sidewalks.

These lanes have different forms but all share common elements: they provide space that is intended to be exclusively or primarily used for bicycles, and are separated from motor vehicle travel lanes, parking lanes, and sidewalks. Learn more at our protected bike lane page.

Schedule

  30% Design   Spring 2019
  60% Design   Summer 2019
  Final Design   Fall 2019
  Construction   Spring 2020

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

Get Involved

We're reaching out to Bell St stakeholders and community members. Have a question? Let us know! We're committed to keeping you informed in a variety of ways, including:

  • The project email list (sign up here)
  • Briefings and meetings along Bell St (as requested)
  • Project mailings
  • Updates to this web page
  • Flyers dropped off at businesses and residential buildings
  • Signs in the project area
  • Prompt responses to your email inquiries

Materials

Project Factsheet (May 2020)

Construction Notice Mailer (May 2020)