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Rainier Avenue South Road Safety Corridor
Three Year Collision History
Three Year Collision Diagrams
Vision Zero

Rainier Avenue S Corridor Improvements

Last updated: July 12, 2017

What's happening now

We’re designing options to help reduce crashes and improve bus reliability on Rainier Ave S. Scroll down to learn more about them. We’ll launch an online open house, hold community conversations, and conduct face to face surveys along Rainier Ave S this summer to gather your input. You can also talk to us in person at the annual Rainier Valley Heritage Parade and Festival on August 12.

Check back soon to take participate in our online open house and share your voice!


Project Overview

In 2014, we launched a collaborative process to review conditions along Rainier Avenue S. As safety is our number one priority, we are committed to preventing crashes and improving safety for all travelers. This project is part of Seattle’s Vision Zero program to reach zero traffic fatalities or serious injuries by 2030.

Project Need: Over the last 10 years, there have been nearly 3,600 total collisions along Rainier Ave S. On average, there is 1 crash per day that takes 45 minutes to clear. Rainier has almost double the number of crashes per mile compared to Aurora Ave N and Lake City Way NE even though they carry almost twice the vehicle volume.

Most people were driving at 38 mph, where the posted speed limit was 30 mph. Speeding increases the severity of crashes and makes it more difficult for people driving to recognize possible hazards.

In 2015, one mile of Rainier between S Alaska St and S Kenny St was redesigned from four to three lanes. This project successfully improved safety along Rainier Ave S in Columbia City and Hillman City. Highlights from our evaluation report include:

  • Collisions reduced by 15%
  • Vehicle speeds reduced by 16% northbound and 10% southbound
  • Transit travel times improved by 1 minute in the southbound direction during the PM peak hour
  • There have been zero serious injury or fatal crashes in the area we redesigned

Click here to read the full report.

Phase 2
This year we’re continuing our work on Rainier Ave S from S Kenny St to S Henderson St. Here are our safety goals:

  • Reduce the average vehicle speed and incidents of speeding
  • Reduce the number of serious injury or fatal collisions
  • Improve intersections
  • Improve bus speed and reliability

Measures being considered include: traffic calming, traffic signal upgrades, pavement repair, and pedestrian and bicycle safety enhancements. We’ll also develop educational materials that address behavioral issues like speeding, distracted driving, and impaired driving and perform area-specific outreach to help prevent crashes.

Click here to enlarge view

Phase 2 Options

Alternative 1:


  • Inbound Business Access and Transit (BAT) lane improves bus speed and reliability
  • Provides additional on-street parking along Rainier Ave S
  • Accommodates future RapidRide


  • BAT lane may be used as illegal passing lane
  • BAT lanes may not be fully used until RapidRide is operational in 2021
  • Final BAT lane configuration removes parking
  • Cost estimate is within project budget

Alternative 2:

Cross section at intersections

Cross section between intersections


  • Provides north-south bike route
  • Maximizes use of right-of-way space
  • Provides on-street parking


  • May slow down transit and general traffic speeds
  • Cost estimate exceeds project budget

Check back soon to find out how you can share your input with us on the options we’re considering.

Other projects happening along Rainier Ave S:


Summer 2017: Share options for input
Fall 2017: Finalize concept for design
2018: Construction
2019: Project Evaluation


SDOT received funding from the Real Estate Tax to fund the second phase of the Rainier Ave S Corridor Improvements Project. The project is also funded by the Levy to Move Seattle, a 9-year $930 million levy approved by voters in 2015.


Phase 2 (S Kenny St to S Henderson St)

Phase 1 (S Alaska St to S Kenny St)


James Le
Project Manager
(206) 684-3174

Translation and Interpretation

If you need this information translated, please call (206) 684-3174.

Servicios de traducción e interpretación disponibles bajo petición (206) 684-3174.

Matutulungan ka naming maintindihan kung hihingi kang tulong (206) 684-3174.

요청하시면 번역이나 통역을 제공해드립니다 (206) 684-3174.

Dịch và thông dịch viên sẵn sàng nếu có sự yêu cầu (206) 684-3174.

Haddii aad dooneyso turjubeen fadlen wac (206) 684-3174.


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