Modernizing 80th and 85th Street Signals

Updated July 10, 2023

What's Happening Now?

Early engineering to modernize traffic signals along a portion of 80th and 85th streets between 15th Ave NW and I-5 starts later this year thanks to a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Grant and the Levy to Move Seattle. Work includes collecting data, conducting site surveys, modeling traffic, and developing possible street design alternatives to enhance signal operations.

Construction is currently unfunded.

Project Background

Many of Seattle’s signals are over 20 years old and have limited ability to adapt to our current transportation needs. For example, upgrading them to support safer pedestrian crossings and shorter wait times makes walking a better option. Connecting them to our Transportation Operations Center means cameras can be installed and signals adjusted to be more responsive to fluctuations in traffic volumes or if a crash disrupts the streets or freeways. And as more and more people rely on delivery service keeping freight moving on minor and major truck streets helps drivers reach their destinations on time. The east-west streets not only provide service for freight and people driving, but include Metro Route 45 connecting to Metro’s Bus Rapid Transit lines on 15th Ave NW and on Aurora Ave N, and Route 5 on Greenwood Ave N. They also serve important community destinations like the Greenwood Senior Center, Greenwood Elementary, and are crossed by a Neighborhood Greenway and Healthy Street.  

Project Overview

The project supports several initiatives and department values.

  • Safety: A Vision Zero momentum-building action resulting from the 2023 Top to Bottom Review, accelerating leading pedestrian interval (LPI) rollout. Between 2009 and 2018 we saw a 34% reduction in serious injury and fatal pedestrian crashes in locations with LPI. 
  • Mobility: Route 45 connecting Greenwood and Aurora Licton Springs to the Roosevelt Link Light Rail Station runs along 85th St and transfers with Route 40 and RapidRide D in Crown Hill, Route 5 in Greenwood and RapidRide E at Aurora Ave. In an area expected to see a 30% increase in housing by 2035, reliable bus service attracts riders and keeps them using it.
  • Sustainability: Curb ramps and sidewalk upgrades make it easier for people to walk and roll to destinations throughout the neighborhoods and catch the bus.
  • Equity: According to Seattle’s Race and Social Equity Index, neighborhoods north of 85th St are mid to second highest in equity priority. The census tract that includes Greenwood Ave N has a 33% rate of workers commuting on public transportation.
  • Livability: Keeping people and goods moving reliably on Seattle streets and minimizing congestion at signals reduces exposure to car pollution around homes, a senior center, an elementary school, and small businesses all adjacent to these two arterials.
  • Excellence: Leveraging local dollars for grant investments that modernize traffic signals to support bus reliability, real-time traffic management, capacity for safety adjustments, and the reliable movement of people and goods helps us meet the expectations of the communities we serve today and in the future. 

Project Location

map of signal locations along NW 80th and NW 85th Streets

Community Outreach

Collection of data, traffic analysis, and possible street design development will start later in 2023. Periodic emails will share what we are learning, if any street design changes are needed near signals, and status of the project.


This phase of the project is funded by an $845,000 federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Grant and a minimum local contribution of $132,000 from the Levy to Move Seattle for early engineering. An additional $3.5 million in federal grant funding will be sought for procurement of new signal equipment and implementation in late 2024 or early 2025. If award of construction funds is successful, the project could be completed by 2026. 


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.