Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St Safety Project

Updated: November 2020

What’s happening now?

Thank you to everyone who participated in the early design outreach in spring and summer 2020. There were 948 survey respondents and more than 60 emails and calls with project input. The project team also virtually attended two Highland Park Action Coalition meetings to collect in-person input from community members.

Community input was used to inform 30% design and the traffic calming measures that were installed in summer 2020. You can see the early design survey summary of responses here. Visit our materials section at the bottom of this page to see more information shared about the project features.

Project Overview

Highland Park Way SW is a major north-south route in West Seattle, providing access to SR 99, SR 509, I-5, and the Duwamish Trail. It has been the site of several crashes and safety issues due to poor sight distances, high speeds, travel lane confusion, and a lack of pedestrian facilities like crosswalks. Additionally, it is now a major intersection on the detour route for the West Seattle Bridge closure. 

This project will build:

  • A permanent traffic signal at Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St
  • New curbs and ramps at the four corners of the intersection

1% Art Funding

We have secured 1% art funding for this project! The City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture can access approximately $120,000 in SDOT 1% for Art funds to implement some form of artwork at the project location. In early 2021, SDOT will work with the Office of Arts & Culture to select an artist or artist team. The artist(s) selection process will be focused on hyper-regional artists in West Seattle and the South Sound. Community engagement on the artist(s) design concept will take place as early as May 2021.  

We look forward to working with the Highland Park neighbors on the design concepts for this gateway into West Seattle.

Project Design

The 30% design graphic below shows all four corners of the intersection are being rebuilt to include curb ramps and a permanent traffic signal will replace the temporary traffic signal that was installed after the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge closure. 30 percent graphic

West Seattle High-Rise Bridge Closure Impacts

The closure of the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge on March 23, 2020 brought significant traffic to the Highland Park neighborhood and to the already-strained intersection of Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St.

Temporary traffic signal. One of the first projects SDOT crews built after the High-Rise Bridge closure was a temporary signal at the intersection, which will be replaced by a permanent signal in 2021 as part of the Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St Safety Project. We have heard from many community members, both who live in Highland Park and who are driving through on the West Seattle Bridge detour route, that the temporary signal needs a left-hand turn signal for people driving northbound on Highland Park Way SW and turning left onto SW Holden St. When the permanent signal is built in 2021, a left-turn signal phasing will be added. 

People biking on Highland Park Way SW. Prior to the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge closure, this project began design on an uphill bike lane on Highland Park Way SW from West Marginal Way SW to the Highland/Holden intersection. This would have required a vehicle lane reduction to accommodate the extra space for the bike lane. This design was shared with the community in early summer 2020 and we learned this was not desired while Highland Park Way SW was being used as a detour route during the West Seattle Bridge closure. Instead, we heard from many community members and the bike community that a widened path on the east side of Highland Park Way SW from the intersection to West Marginal Way SW could be a good alternative to the uphill bike lane.

At this time, the Reconnect West Seattle project team is looking at how this widened path would integrate into the full bike network in West Seattle. We are determining feasibility and funding options while gathering further input from the community and neighborhood.  

Traffic Calming 

In June and July 2020, speed humps and cushions were built in nine locations near the intersection to support safety around the new traffic signal. These locations are shown below. The speed humps and cushions help slow down vehicles as they approach the intersection and discourage neighborhood cut-through traffic. Speed humps are a solid hump across the road and speed cushions leave spaces between for emergency vehicles and people biking to easily pass through. 

Separate from this project, the Reconnect West Seattle project team is currently looking at additional traffic calming in the Highland Park neighborhood to address detour traffic from the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge closure, through a Home Zone. A Home Zone involves the entire neighborhood working together to prioritize improvements that calm traffic on residential streets and improve pedestrian mobility and neighborhood livability.

Locations of speed humps and cushions in Highland Park neighborhood

Schedule 

At 30% design, the Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St Safety Project includes building the permanent traffic signal, as well as sidewalks, curb bulbs, and ramps near at the intersection. The project design will move from 30% to 90% without a 60% design phase. This is because the design is more straightforward with the project no longer including the uphill bike lane, which would have required a vehicle lane reduction while Highland Park Way SW is still being used as a detour route for the West Seattle Bridge closure. 

Project schedule showing we are at 30 percent design

Materials

Funding

This project is funded by the 9-year Levy to Move Seattle, approved by voters in 2015.