Shoreline Street Ends

What We Do

Shoreline street ends are designated portions of public right of way that serve as precious community assets and thrive through robust community partnerships. Each one tells a different story of Seattle's cultural and environmental history, and provides everyone the opportunity to experience and enjoy the splendor of Seattle's shorelines.

Our Shoreline Street Ends Program improves public access, protects unique views, enhances habitat, supports maritime industry, and fosters stewardship to create long- lasting community assets. Specifically, we:

  • Collaborate with community partners to improve designated shoreline street ends
  • Provide project management and capital investment for design and construction services
  • Facilitate the permitting process to develop these spaces

What's New

Some exciting new shoreline street ends projects will be starting soon. Please check back frequently for updates!

Program Goals

The Shoreline Street Ends Program seeks to:

  • Improve shoreline access and enjoyment across a broad spectrum of Seattle's neighborhoods
  • Enhance shoreline habitat by including, where possible, ecological benefits such as native plantings and green stormwater treatment.
  • Build partnerships and encourage stewardship through an extensive network of community partners
  • Support the maritime industry
  • Raise neighborhood awareness of shoreline street ends
  • Explore new opportunities for funding

Projects

  • Eastlake Avenue NE: The Eastlake Ave NE shoreline street end is located under the north side of the University Bridge south of the intersection of Eastlake Ave NE and NE Pacific St in the University District. 
  • E Allison Street: The E Allison shoreline street end is located in the Eastlake neighborhood, slightly west of the intersection of E Allison St and Fairview Ave E.
  • S River St: The S River shoreline street end is located at the intersection of 1st Ave S and S River St.
  • SW Michigan St: The SW Michigan shoreline street end is located near the intersection of 1st Ave S and SW Michigan St.
  • 6th Avenue W: The 6th Ave W shoreline street end is located at the intersection of W Ewing St and 6th Ave W in the Queen Anne neighborhood.
  • S Warsaw Street: The S Warsaw shoreline street end is located along the north end of Martha Washington Park in the Seward Park neighborhood.

Program Resources

Improving a street end is a fantastic way to enhance a neighborhood. Many of Seattle's most appreciated and enjoyed street ends came about as the result of residents and groups partnering with us. At any time, a community organization or a group of neighborhood residents may request permission to open and develop a street end for public use. 

Local community groups or the project's sponsor provide ongoing stewardship and maintenance at improved sites. 

To learn more about how to improve your local shoreline street end, contact Brian Henry at brian.henry@seattle.gov or 206-684-5146, or Yolanda Ho at yolanda.ho@seattle.gov or 206-233-5114.

Use our interactive map to locate sites for current, planned, and potential projects.

If you have questions about a particular site, please contact Yolanda Ho at yolanda.ho@seattle.gov or 206-233-5114.

If you would like to share information about the Shoreline Street Ends Program with your friends and neighbors, perhaps at your next community meeting, you can download our two-page program summary flier here. Click here to view the program summary in Spanish.

You may also be interested in viewing our 2009 shoreline street end work plan, in which all shoreline street ends were evaluated for their potential to be improved.  

SDOT Director's Rule 12-2015 is the document that sets the official rules and guidelines for the program.

In 1889, Washington became the 42nd state and was given ownership of its lands, including more than 3,000 miles of shoreline. To generate revenue for the newly- formed state, the legislature authorized the sale of public tidelands. An estimated 60% of all tidelands had been sold into private ownership by the time the State overturned its decision in 1971. As a result, public shorelands in Seattle are precious assets to be protected and enhanced. 

Seattle has a number of parks adjacent to the water, but there are significant gaps in waterfront parkland. In the early 1990s, community groups began embracing the opportunity to increase public shoreline access in Seattle by improving the spaces where streets, the public right of way, are platted into the water. In 1996, City Council approved Resolution 29370 designating shoreline street ends for "public uses and enjoyment." The resolution was followed by Ordinance 119673 that codified special permit fees to discourage private uses of shoreline street ends, directing the revenue produced toward the maintenance and improvement of shoreline street ends. 

Over the years, shoreline street ends have been stewarded by community groups, and they are maintained and improved through partnerships and strategic investments by SDOT, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Public Utilities, the Port of Seattle, and other agency partners.