Center City Bike Network

Updated October 14, 2020

What's happening now

We're making progress on 3 major Center City Bike Network projects in 2020 including protected bike lanes on 4th Ave, Bell St, and 12th Ave S.

Last year, we completed projects on 8th Ave and 9th Ave in Denny Triangle, Pike St to Broadway on Capitol Hill, and the South End Connection through Chinatown-International District.

Program Map - Center City Bike Network Projects

Center City Bike Network Map

Program Overview

The Center City Bike Network launched in 2015 and developed a network map of better bike streets that separate vulnerable users from traffic, provide safe all-ages and abilities facilities, and maintain transit priority downtown. This network was the product of extensive community engagement, which continued through the One Center City program to make sure any improvements to the bike network were well coordinated and complimentary to the greater transportation network for people walking, driving, taking transit, and delivering goods.

We've made a commitment to build this network of separated bike facilities to make biking a reliable travel choice and calm traffic as more people compete for limited street space. A complete bike network improves Seattle's health and quality of life for people of all ages and abilities.

These protected bike lanes, paving, channelization changes, and signal upgrades in the center city improve safety for everyone and connect the critical missing segments of the center city bike network.

We've already built critical projects that have given Seattle large segments of a basic downtown network, including 2nd Ave, the west end of Pike St and Pine St, and 7th Ave. These go on to connect to additional, built connections like the Westlake Cycle Track, Broadway, and Dearborn St

We completed the following projects in 2019:

  • 8th Ave Mobility Improvements Project: Completed in early August, new protected bike facilities on 8th Ave between Pike St and Bell St, and Pine St between 8th Ave and 6th Ave completes a two-way couplet for people biking with the existing 7th Ave protected bike lanes. It also connects with protected bike lanes on Bell St and 9th Ave to get people to and from the Westlake Cycle Track and north Seattle neighborhoods, and with bike lanes on Pike St and Pine St to get people to and from greater downtown, Pike Place Market, and Capitol Hill.
  • Pike St Mobility Improvements Project: Completed in September, the new bike facilities on Pike St between 9th Ave and Broadway connect the existing protected bike facilities in Capitol Hill to the facilities on Pike St in Downtown.
  • 9th Ave N Mobility Improvements Project: This project connects the new 8th Ave and 7th Ave protected bike lane couplet with the existing 9th Ave N protected bike lanes north of Harrison St that lead to the Westlake Cycle Track. The protected facilities on 9th Ave N and Bell St, between 8th Ave and Harrison St were completed in November and provide critical connections to and through South Lake Union.
  • South End Connection Mobility Improvements Project: For the South End Connection Project, we've installed two-way protected bike lanes on 2nd Ave Ext S, S Main St, and 5th Ave S between the existing 2nd Ave protected bike lanes and the S King St Neighborhood Greenway. This project was completed in November.
  • S King St Neighborhood Greenway

We're making progress on the following projects in 2020:

  • 4th Ave Mobility Improvements Project: We completed the first phase from Madison to Pine streets and we're working to extend the protected bike lane north to Bell St as early as this November. In 2021, we plan to continue work on 4th, converting the protected bike lane to 2-way from Vine to Yesler (via Dilling Way).   
  • Bell St Protected Bike Lane: We opened a new two-way protected bike lane on the north side of Bell St, between 5th Ave and Denny Way.
  • 12th Ave Vision Zero: This fall, we're building a protected bike lane connection between the Jose Rizal Bridge and the S King St Neighborhood Greenway.

Each of these projects included targeted communications and outreach with neighbors and stakeholders. The Department of Neighborhoods is partnering with the Department of Transportation to provide greater outreach and community engagement.

Protected Bike Lanes

Protected bike lane projects typically include new bike lane markings, plastic posts, signs, and bike signals.

Before installation of protected bike lane on Pike St      After protected bike lane is installed on Pike St, showing more bikers biking safely

Since protected bike lanes were installed on 2nd Ave, crashes are down and bike ridership is up.

In general, protected bike lanes separate people biking from moving car, bus, and truck traffic, making the street safer, predictable, and comfortable for everyone. Cities around the world are increasingly embracing protected bike lanes that separate people on bikes from people in cars by using physical barriers such as posts, parked cars or simple landscaping. 

Seattle's center city network of bike lanes aims to:

  • Improve safety and predictability by separating all modes of travel
  • Expand connectivity throughout downtown and the rest of Seattle as our city continues to grow
  • Boost business by offering more travel options for getting to them
  • Promote physical activity and increase ridership
  • Provide affordable travel options
  • Maintain transit priority 

Parking and Loading

Some parking changes typically accompany the street redesign and new lanes. Our goal is to work closely with all adjacent building and business owners to understand parking needs and maintain on-street loading zones.

Funding

This project is funded by the 9-year Levy to Move Seattle, approved by voters in 2015. Learn more about the levy at www.seattle.gov/LevytoMoveSeattle

Levy to Move Seattle logo