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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: May 25, 2017

What's happening now

This Spring and Summer we are sharing project information and gathering feedback through several community conversations, hosted by the Department of Neighborhoods. Click here to learn more and discover how you can be a part of the conversation.
Rainier Pilot Project Evaluation Report

In August 2015, Seattle moved forward with the Rainier Avenue Pilot Project. 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


Project Overview

In 2014, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) 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. Over the past year, bus reliability improved up to 3 minutes, on average, and the number of people speeding decreased by 10%.


Rainier Ave S and 39th Ave S, looking north


Rainier Ave S and 39th Ave S, looking north

Phase 2
This year were planning to continue 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

Safety measures being considered include: traffic calming, traffic signal upgrades, pavement repair, and pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements. We will 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

Other projects happening along Rainier Ave S:


Winter 2017: Share data from Phase 1
Spring 2017: Brainstorm options
Summer 2017: Share options for input
Fall 2017: Finalize concept for design
2018: Construction


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. Learn more about the levy at

Get Involved

In 2015, SDOT held several meetings with businesses and the community.  The public meetings include: issue identification and feedback sessions; design alternative review meetings; and announcement of the preferred alternative.  We implemented these changes in August 2015, and have been continually evaluating the corridor and making adjustments along the way. Feedback has been positive. This project received positive feedback from community members, including:

Joya Iverson quote

Now is the time to get involved! Large capital investments are coming to Southeast Seattle over the next few years, with Rainier Ave S as a primary focus to improve safety and help people connect to key destinations like shops, restaurants, schools, parks, and activity centers.

We will work closely with several other projects, including: upgrading Route 7 to a RapidRide line; enhancing safety and transit access at Rainier Ave and Martin Luther King Jr Way; and improving safety for students along S Henderson St.
Outreach opportunities are being coordinated to share information with the public, gather feedback, and have meaningful discussions about what you’d like to see in your neighborhood.


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

Translation and interpretation services available upon request (206) 684-3174.


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