Thomas St: 5th Ave N to Dexter Ave N

Updated: September 9, 2021

What’s happening now?

The Thomas St: 5th Ave N to Dexter Ave N project reached the 30% design milestone earlier this spring and is continuing to progress in design. Due to the complexities of coordinating with numerous public and private development projects in various stages along the Thomas St corridor, our project schedule will be pushed out from what was initially planned.

In spring 2020, this project was paused due to COVID-19 related budget impacts

Questions? Email Ching Chan at ThomasSt@seattle.gov or call (206) 900-8718.

Project Overview

The planning and design process for select improvements identified in the Thomas Street Redefined concept plan for Thomas St between 5th Ave N and Dexter Ave N is proceeding forward towards 60% design. In coordination with Seattle City Light and other adjacent property owners, the design will focus on improvements for a half-block closure at Thomas St east of 5th Ave N, a northern promenade for a multi-use trail from 5th Ave N to 6th Ave N, and a protected intersection at Dexter Ave N and Thomas St. Bicycle facilities are existing or planned between 6th Ave N and Dexter Ave N.

We have initiated the first phase of the improvements along Thomas St from 5th Ave N to Dexter Ave N by constructing an interim diverter at Dexter Ave N. This was completed in conjunction with the new traffic signal at Thomas St and 7th Ave N (formerly Aurora Ave N). The purpose of the diverter is to lower vehicle traffic volumes along Thomas St, a corridor prioritized for people walking and biking. This improvement changed access to Thomas St at Dexter Ave N - as Thomas St will function as a right in - right out street.

Project Map

Thomas St: 5th Ave N to Dexter Ave N

The project extent is along Thomas St from 5th Ave N to 9th Ave N and along Taylor Ave N between Thomas St and Harrison St. Most of the improvements in this project will be installed between 5th Ave N and Dexter Ave N, with some minor improvements between Dexter Ave N to 9th Ave N to connect to the existing protected bike lanes at Dexter Ave N and 9th Ave N.

Map showing project area on Thomas St between 5th Ave N and Dexter Ave N.

Project Background

Thomas St is an important east/west green street and public realm connection, linking the Cascade neighborhood through South Lake Union to the Seattle Center. This project stemmed from the Thomas Street Redefined Plan and is identified in the Bicycle Master Plan as a Neighborhood Greenway.

This project will construct a protected intersection at Thomas St and Dexter Ave N to support and prioritize non-motorized traffic in this corridor, particularly around event times at the Seattle Center. The protected intersection will include a traffic signal to make it easier for people walking and biking to cross Dexter Ave N. This will provide an important connection in the citywide biking network by linking Thomas St to the popular Dexter Ave N bike lanes. 

Thomas Street Redefined

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. This project will begin implementation of the Thomas Street Redefined vision by establishing the vehicular use of Thomas St as defined by the vision in coordination with the 7th Ave N project. More intermediate and permanent improvements will follow as early as spring 2020.

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). This project is the first phase of the East of Seattle Center connection.

Target Project Schedule

Graphic showing project schedule: Planning phase in 2019 through spring 2021, Design phase from spring 2021 through summer 2022, and construction in mid to late 2022 through end of 2023.

Spring 2020: Phase 1 installation of Dexter Ave N and Thomas St interim diverter.