Seattle Center to Waterfront Walking and Biking Connection

Updated: May 21, 2020

What's Happening Now?

Thank you to those who were able to attend our drop-in session or complete our online survey in February of this year! We've made updates to this project based on your feedback. These updates are reflected in a modified project route and design. 

Project Map

Map showing location of project site.

Project Description

The Seattle Center to Waterfront Walking and Biking Connection project will build an important connection between the Thomas Street Overpass and Seattle Center providing a safer, more comfortable way to walk and bike between some of Seattle's most popular destinations.

This project is identified and funded by the North Downtown Mobility Action Program (NODO MAP) and Bicycle Master Plan.

In coordination with the opening of the new arena at Seattle Center, currently 2021, this project will construct an all ages and abilities walking and biking connection between the Thomas St Overpass and the Seattle Center via Harrison St, Queen Anne Ave N, Thomas St, and Republican St in the Uptown Neighborhood. This project will extend the bicycle facility to connect with the future 1st Ave N and Queen Anne Ave N protected bike lanes that will be constructed in association with the new arena at Seattle Center.

Project Updates

Who we heard from

Thank you to those who were able to attend our drop-in session and/or complete our online survey earlier this year. 

Graphics showing 50 people attended drop-in session                                 Graphics showing 212 people participated in online survey

In addition to the drop-in session and online survey, we also presented to and heard from the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board, Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board, Uptown Alliance, and other community groups.

What we heard

  • Both pedestrians and bike users preferred routes with less steep slopes

Graphic showing 67% pedestrian responded preference for less steep routes                                           Graphic showing 80% bike users responded preference for less steep routes

  • We were asked to explore route modification options that would create a better and more direct connection to existing and future protected bike lanes
  • Most participants expressed preference for design Option 3 for the connection to the Thomas St Overpass (see our presentation boards for more details)

Chart showing participants' preference between the 3 design options

Perspective rendering of design option 3
Representation of the extended bicycle and pedestrian space that was a key design element of Option 3.

  • What about design Option 3 did participants like? 
    • Extra bike and pedestrian space
    • Larger buffer between moving vehicles and bikes and pedestrians as compared to Option 2
  • What modifications did participants want to see?
    • Delineated space between bike and pedestrian users (an element represented in Option 2)

What we're doing

In response to the feedback we collected, we've made the following changes to the project design:

  • Updated route to streets with less steep slopes

Map showing project area: a walking and biking connection between Seattle Center and the Waterfront via Thomas St and Republican St.

  • Maintain All Way Stops
    • All-Way Stops, three of which were retained from the initial route but are no longer on the project route, at four intersections will be installed as a part of a neighborhood analysis to improve overall pedestrian and bicycle connectivity.
  • Moving forward with the civil design elements of Option 3 for an improved walking and biking connection to the Thomas St Overpass (see draft plan below)

Plan view of design option 3

  • Ongoing coordination with arena project team
  • Ongoing coordination with other SDOT teams on stop control review of other intersections in the Uptown neighborhood

Project Background

The North Downtown Mobility Action Program (NODO MAP) was developed in late 2019 to support access and livability in North Downtown, which includes the Uptown, Belltown, and South Lake Union neighborhoods. The program builds on existing community planning efforts, reviews existing community plans, planned projects, and is closely linked to the redevelopment of the Seattle Center arena. 

Thomas Street Redefined is a community-driven, visionary concept plan for a pedestrian and bicyclist-oriented corridor connecting the Waterfront, Uptown, Seattle Center, South Lake Union, and Eastlake neighborhoods. Thomas Street Redefined consist of two parts: West of Seattle Center (connecting Seattle Center to the Elliott Bay Trail via Thomas St Overpass) and East of Seattle Center (connecting Seattle Center to Eastlake). 

Funding

This project is identified and funded by the North Downtown Mobility Action Program (NODO MAP) and the Bicycle Master Plan (Neighborhood Greenways).


Schedule

Project timeline showing planning in 2019, design in 2020, and construction in 2021.


*Draft schedule of the project is preliminary. Intent of project completion is to be aligned with anticipated opening of the new arena at Seattle Center.

Project Materials

Fact Sheet (May 2020)

Drop-in Session Boards (February 2020)

Drop-in Session Mailer (February 2020)