Rainier Ave S Corridor Improvements

What's happening now?

We’re designing alternatives to help reduce crashes and improve bus reliability on Rainier Ave S. Thank you for participating in our online open house. We’re looking forward to reviewing feedback.

We''ll share the results of our outreach to date and recommend a concept for design this fall. To receive project updates via email, subscribe to our email distribution list.

We're also holding community conversations and conducting face to face surveys along Rainier Ave S this summer to gather your input. If you have a community group that would like to host us or to learn more about the project, contact RainierAveS@seattle.gov or call (206) 684-3174.

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.

Map of Rainier Ave S project
Click to enlarge

Alternative 1:

Alternative 1: Diagram


  • Northbound Business Access and Transit (BAT) lane may reduce bus travel times and increase reliability
  • Retains on-street parking and provides center-turn lanes along Rainier Ave S
  • Northbound BAT lane leverages past Route 7 investments and supports future Rainier RapidRide implementation
  • Can be completed within existing budget


  • BAT and center lane may be used as an illegal passing lane
  • May reduce bus reliability in the southbound direction
  • Would consolidate parking to one side of the street

Alternative 2:

Alternative 2: Diagram between intersections
Cross section between intersections

Alternative 2: Diagram at intersections
Cross section at intersections


  • Provides a relatively flat parallel north-south bike route in Rainier Valley
  • Provides on-street parking


  • May reduce bus reliability in both directions
  • In-lane bus stops and parallel parking maneuvers will stop and slow traffic
  • Full build-out of this alternative exceeds current project budget and may need to be constructed in phases with yet to be identified funds. Interim build-out may involve further research into innovative treatments
  • Travel lanes may not follow a linear path throughout the corridor, due to varying block lengths and center turn lanes at intersections
  • Implications to pavement conditions are yet to be determined

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)

Translation and Interpretation

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

ይህመረጃተተርጉሞእንዲቀርብልዎትየሚፈልጉከሆነእባክዎወደስልክቁጥር (206) 684-3174 ይደውሉ።.

្របសិនេបើអ􀆒ក្រត􀈪វករប័ត៌មានបកែ្រប សូមេហទូរស័ព􀆐មកេលង (206) 684-3174.

如果您需要此信息翻譯成中文 請致電(206) 684-3174.

Odeeffannoon kana kabn baar baadan yootaatee lakk.bilbilaa armaan gaditti jiru fayyadamaa (206) 684-3174.

Si aad u heshid adeegyada tarjamada, fadlan wac (206) 684-3174.

Si necesita traducir esta información al español, llame al (206) 684-3174.

Kung kailangan mo ang impormasyon na ito na nakasalin sa Tagalog mangyari lamang na tumawag sa (206) 684-3174.

Nếu quý vị cần thông tin này chuyển ngữ sang tiếng Việt xin gọi (206) 684-3174.