NE 65th St Vision Zero Project

What's happening now?

The NE 65th Vision Zero Project began as a collaborative effort to identify traffic calming, signal, and safety enhancements to make 65th a safer corridor for all modes of travel. We implemented short-term safety improvements in 2017 and the project has now reached final design and is on-schedule for implementation this year. We’re committed to Vision Zero, our plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030.

How feedback shaped the design

Thanks again for visiting us at a drop-in session last month or emailing comments. Your engagement as daily commuters and community members provided thoughtful and insightful feedback. We’ve reviewed comments and emails from our December outreach and how community input shaped the design is detailed below.

Concern about transit island design
We heard concern about transit islands design and specifically about the 4-foot sidewalk. In response to your feedback, we’re piloting a new design for transit islands on NE 65th St, between Ravenna and 12th, that has been used successfully in Los Angeles and Toronto. Here’s what it will look like (click to enlarge):

Illustration

The design includes an 11-foot sidewalk next to a 5-foot bike lane, both at an elevated grade. Busses stop outside of the protected bike lane, in-lane with traffic, and passengers will cross the bike lane and load onto the bus. People getting off the bus cross the bike lane to get to the sidewalk. While this strategy provides more continuous space for people walking and waiting for buses, it relies on people biking to slow and stop for people getting on or off the bus.

The improvements and bus stops between Roosevelt Way NE and 12th Ave NE are part of a long-term, phased approach in coordination with Sound Transit that extends beyond the scope of this project. The interim design includes buses pulling to the curb and merging with the bike lane for loading and unloading. Implementation of a permanent design will coincide with the Link station opening.

Desire for additional new marked crosswalks
We understand safe arterial crossings are fundamental elements of a pedestrian network, but our traffic studies revealed that pedestrian volumes are currently under the threshold for adding new marked crosswalks and existing crosswalks are well-spaced in the corridor. We don’t plan to include additional marked crosswalks as part of this project but that does not preclude future improvements in the area as new development shapes the neighborhood. We’ll refresh striping at existing marked crosswalks to improve crosswalk visibility.

Concern about visibility and operations at NE 65th St and 20th Ave NE
We heard concern that southbound vehicles on 20th queue in the crosswalk due to limited visibility. Our traffic engineers reviewed operations here and approved a “no right on red” for southbound travel on 20th at 65th. Crews will install signs in the coming weeks.

Preference for additional bike improvements on NE 65th St east of 20th Ave NE
We’re adding protected bike lanes to 65th between NE Ravenna Blvd and 20th, as outlined in the Bike Master Plan. While the project doesn’t include protected bike lanes east of 20th, a parallel neighborhood greenway on NE 68th St provides an all ages and abilities option for people biking to and from the business district.

Preference for reduced speed limit on NE 65th St
One of the project’s short-term safety improvements implemented in early 2017 included lowering the speed limit on NE 65th St from 30 to 25 MPH between 8th and 12th. The street improvements included in the project aim to reduce the speed of people driving throughout the corridor and we’ll conduct an evaluation after implementation to see if additional speed reductions are appropriate.

Desire for protected left turn signals at major intersections
Signal modifications for protected left turns require significant funding and traffic analysis outside the scope of this project, however other improvements aim to address conflicts at intersections:

  • The center left turn lane provides designated queuing space for people driving to wait and make left turns
  • Clarifying the street for one lane in each direction means people turning left only need to cross one lane of traffic, which improves visibility between people walking, biking, and driving
  • We’ll adjust signal timing to include a pedestrian crossing phase during every daytime signal cycle to improve predictability

We’ll evaluate the project area in the year after it’s implemented and review if additional improvements are needed.

What’s next?

The project has reached final design and we’ll begin working to hire a contractor to build the improvements. Construction is scheduled to begin in spring/summer with completion at the end of 2018. We’ll be in touch again this spring to speak with businesses and residents about impacts, timing, and what to expect during implementation.

We follow the project for a year after implementation, tracking safety and traffic data for all transportation modes. After one year, we conduct an evaluation study to see how the project is performing.

Public forum

Public forum
Photos from May 18 Neighborhood Transportation Forum

Overview

NE 65th St is an arterial that moves people and goods throughout northeast Seattle. The street supports a diverse collection of retail shopping, restaurants, schools, parks, and activity centers, and the Roosevelt Link Light Rail station will bring additional bustle to the street in 2021.

Since 2012, there have been 3 fatalities, 1 serious injury, and 231 collisions along this busy corridor between NE Ravenna Blvd and 39thAve NE. Seattle is committed to Vision Zero, our plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. Learn more at www.seattle.gov/visionzero.

We’re launching a collaborative process to review street conditions along NE 65th St. In June 2016, Councilmember Rob Johnson and members of the community marched along the street, asking the city to study the corridor. Community concerns are explained further at #Fix65th. Safety is our number one priority, and we are committed to preventing crashes and improving safety for all travelers by making street improvements.

Together with the community, we will determine the specific nature and design elements of the necessary changes. We’ll consider traffic calming, signal modifications, pavement repair, and pedestrian and bicycle safety enhancements.

Project Area

Project map

Outreach & Schedule

In 2013, we conducted outreach to help update Seattle's Bicycle Master Plan. At that time we committed to working with the community to identifying transportation solutions for NE 65th St prior to implementing changes. We launched this effort in February 2017.

DateDescription
February 28, 2017 1st Community Forum to review existing conditions, share travel experience and gather input on possible safety strategies
March-May 2017 Implemented short-term safety improvements
May 18, 2017 2nd Community Forum to review possible concepts and get input on what to include in final concept
Summer/Fall 2017 Identify preferred corridor-wide plan and continue outreach to corridor stakeholders
December 12/14 2017 Design update public drop-in sessions
January 2018 Design complete
Summer 2018 Implement corridor-wide improvements

Materials

Outreach Materials
Drop-in Sessions Summary (January 2018)
Project Fact Sheet
 (December 2017)
Illustration, NE 65th and 15th Ave NE (December 2017)
Illustration, NE 65th and 25th Ave NE (December 2017)
Display Boards (December 2017)

2nd Neighborhood Transportation Forum
Online Survey Summary
Proposed cross-sections (May 2017) 
Display Boards (May 2017) 
Neighborhood Transportation Forum Notice (April 2017)
Project Fact Sheet (May 2017)

1st Neighborhood Transportation Forum
Survey Results Summary (March 2017) 
Neighborhood Transportation Forum Summary (February 2017) 
Neighborhood Transportation Forum Display Boards (February 28, 2017)
Project Fact Sheet (February 2017)
Neighborhood Transportation Forum Notice (February 2017)

Get Involved

The Seattle Department of Transportation is dedicated to providing frequent and timely updates throughout the process. Subscribe to email alerts to receive the latest information including public comments, recommendations, and meeting announcements.