Spot Improvements

South Lake Union Streetcar Improvement Project

The South Lake Union line connects the fast-growing South Lake Union neighborhood to Seattle’s vibrant downtown core. We are planning to install a set of improvements to reduce travel delays and improve travel time for the streetcar.

Changes Planned Starting November 2018:

Phase 1: November 2018

  • Streetcar-only lane restriction on Terry Avenue
    • Between Harrison Street and Republican Street: 3-7pm; Mon-Fri
    • Between Republican Street and Mercer Street: 24 hours a day; 7 days a week
  • No parking on Terry Avenue between Thomas Street and Mercer Street: 3-7 pm; Mon-Fri
  • No northbound left turn from Terry Avenue to Harrison Street: 3-7 pm; Mon-Fri
  • No northbound left turn from Terry Avenue to Republican Street: 3-7pm; Mon-Fri

Phase 2: July 2019

  • Install streetcar-only legends and red-paint treatment on Terry Avenue between Harrison Street and Mercer Street

Phase 3: Mid-2020 (after construction at Terry/Thomas is complete)

  • Streetcar-only lane restriction on Terry Avenue between Thomas Street and Harrison Street: 3-7pm; Mon-Fri
  • Eastbound left turn restriction (turn from Thomas to Terry): 3-7 pm; Mon-Fri

Downtown Seattle Transit Improvement Project

Fourth Avenue is an important corridor for people traveling to Downtown Seattle. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is proposing to convert the existing peak-period transit-only lane (between I-90 off ramp and Weller Street) to all-day. This change will help reduce travel delays and improve travel time for King County Metro, Community Transit, and Sound Transit services.

Upcoming Changes to Northbound 4th Avenue (between I-90 off ramp and Weller Street)

  • Restrict the right curb lane on northbound 4th Avenue (between I-90 off ramp and Weller Street) to transit-only, 24 hours/day, 7 days/week;
  • Right turning vehicles will be allowed to use the curb lane to make right-turns at Seattle Blvd.

Downtown Seattle Transit Improvement Project map

Schedule

August 2018

What is a Transit-Only lane?

A transit-only lane will be reserved for the following transit routes:

  • King County Metro: 41, 76, 77, 111, 114, 150, 177, 178, 190, 212, 214, 216, 217, 218, 219, 301, 308, 312, 316
  • Community Transit: 402, 405, 410, 415, 417, 422, 424
  • Sound Transit: 510, 511, 512, 513, 522, 545, 550, 554, 590, 594, 595

The transit-only lane will improve travel time for transit vehicles and make riding transit a more attractive option for riders. Automobiles will be allowed to use the transit-only lane if they are using the lane to make right turns onto Seattle Blvd.

For Questions or Comments

Jonathan Dong
206-233-8564
Jonathan.dong@seattle.gov

Broadway Corridor Streetcar Improvement Project

Broadway is among the most heavily used transportation corridors in Seattle. It connects neighborhoods and serves as a major thoroughfare for commuters traveling daily to and from work.  As part of Seattle's First Hill Streetcar project, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is recommending traffic signal timing improvements for all lanes and the implementation of a Business Access and Transit (BAT) lanes between Pine Street and Madison Street.

Broadway Recommened Turn restrictions

Broadway Between Union St and Madison St, facing northbound

SDOT Recommendations

  • Retime traffic signals for all lanes to keep Streetcar and vehicles moving.
  • Implement southbound business access and transit-only lane: all day/7 days a week between Pine Street and Madison Street
  • Restrict vehicle turning movements on E Pine, E Pike, E Union and E Madison Streets

Recommended Schedule

Summer 2018: Retime traffic signals and add signage and lane striping to create southbound (all day/ 7 days a week) BAT lane between Pine Street and Madison Street.

What is a Business Access and Transit (BAT) lane?

BAT lanes are established all through Seattle, where the outside lanes are reserved for buses and right-turning vehicles only. They improve access to businesses and residences and save time for transit riders. BAT lanes also enhance the capacity of the remaining travel lanes by removing buses from general traffic.

How will travel times (bus, car, and freight) be improved on Broadway?

Northbound Travel Time Summary (James Street to E Denny Way)

Existing Travel TimeEstimated Recommendation Travel TimeTravel Time Improvement
Car/Truck 5 min, 25 sec 5 min, 16 sec -2.7%
Bus 6 min, 25 sec 5 min, 45 sec -10.4%
Streetcar 5 min, 51 sec 5 min, 36 sec -4.5%

Southbound Travel Time Summary (E Denny Way to James Street)

Existing Travel TimeEstimated Recommendation Travel TimeTravel Time Improvement
Car/Truck 8 min, 40 sec 6 min, 13 sec -28.4%
Bus 9 min, 26 sec 6 min, 43 sec -28.8%
Streetcar 8 min, 25 sec 5 min, 44 sec -31.9%

The Seattle Department of Transportation is making improvements to make travel on Broadway more reliable and efficient.  See inside for more information.

Broadway Corridor Improvement Benefits:

  • Reduce travel time for all users
  • Manage traffic growth within a constrained space
  • Keep First Hill Streetcar and buses moving, even in heavy traffic

We Want to Hear from You!

Please send your comments to: Jonathan.dong@seattle.gov

or call 206-233-8564.

Olive Way Transit Improvements

Eastbound Olive Way (between Terry Avenue and Minor Avenue)

We are working with King County Metro, Community Transit, and Sound Transit to address the delay buses are currently experiencing on Olive Way between 4th Avenue and Minor Avenue.  Currently, travel times for buses are long through this section of downtown Seattle.

To improve the reliability and bus travel times, we're planning to make the following changes in spring 2017:

  • Extend transit-only lane from Terry Avenue to Minor Avenue
  • Remove west-bound right-turn only lane on Olive Way between Boren Avenue and Terry Avenue
  • Install an eastbound transit queue jump on Olive Way at Boren Avenue that will allow buses traveling through Boren Avenue a head start when the light turns green

Street view of Olive Way

Map of Olive Way and Terry Ave

Questions or comments?

Please contact Jonathan Dong at
Jonathan.dong@seattle.gov or (206) 233-8564

 

Blanchard Street Transit-Only Lane

To improve reliability for the Metro routes 40 and RapidRide C Line, the Seattle Department of Transportation is proposing to make the following changes on eastbound Blanchard Street between Third Avenue and Westlake Avenue:

Bus on the street

  • Install a new eastbound bus-only lane on the right lane of Blanchard Street between Third Avenue and Westlake Avenue (active between 6 to 9 am and 3 to 7 pm/weekdays only);

  • Install an eastbound bus-only signal at Blanchard Street and Westlake Avenue

 


Metro Routes 40 and RapidRide C Line currently experience delay traveling east on Blanchard Street. The proposed improvements will help reduce travel time by up to 4 minutes per trip for over 22,000 daily riders and allow over 200 bus trips to bypass traffic which currently stacks up during peak travel times. This improvement leverages voter-approved city investments through the Seattle Transportation Benefit District in Route 40 and RapidRide C Line.

Map of new RapidRide Bus Zone

Contact:
Jonathan Dong
(206) 233-8564
Jonathan.dong@seattle.gov

Reconnecting the Ballard neighborhood and adding a bus only lane on 15th Ave NW

15th Ave NW is a major street carrying around 50,000 vehicles a day. It is a bus priority corridor and a major truck street. RapidRide D and the 15 Express use the street and move about 15,000 people a day. Currently bus routes experience delay northbound between NW 51st St and NW Market St. We want to retain and grow the number of people taking the bus. So to make service more reliable and faster, we're planning a bus only lane in this area. Buses can then bypass traffic that occurs when the drawbridge is lowered. To make room for the bus only lane, we'll remove the center turn lane. Construction is scheduled for late 2017.

Cross section of planned changes
Cross-section of planned changes.

Project Elements

Removing the center turn lane means people can no longer make left turns on NW 15th Ave at NW 52nd and NW 53rd streets. Some people and service providers will change their routes to get home or access businesses. However, the change will make the intersections safer. The chart below shows recommended thresholds for having a center turn lane and why restricting turns at these locations is a good idea.

FactorThreshold Value for Two-Way Left Turn Lane15th Avenue NW between NW 51st and NW Market
Crashes 3 crashes per million vehicle miles 5.3 crashes per million vehicle miles
Traffic Volumes 28,000 vehicles daily Greater than 50,000 vehicles daily
Number of Lanes 2 lanes or less in each direction 3 lanes in each direction

Recognizing 15th Ave NW is a truck street we wanted to make sure people and goods continue moving smoothly. We conducted studies to understand possible impacts to nearby intersections. The study found they will continue to perform at acceptable levels of service.
This busy street also divides the neighborhood. There is almost a half a mile between traffic signals at Leary and NW Market. To help reconnect the neighborhood we're adding a pedestrian signal. The improvement will happen at NW 53rd St.

Example of what the crossing would look like
Example of what the crossing would look like.

University Link Transit Improvements

People entering a public bus
People taking the bus along NE Pacific St outside the UW Medical Center.

Project Description

Over the next couple of months we'll work with King County Metro and Sound Transit to improve the bus stops around the University Link light rail station, which is set to open March 19. These improvements include two stops on NE Pacific St and one on Montlake Blvd NE. Anticipated completion is expected March 26, weather dependent.

Project Elements

  • Relocate both bus stops along NE Pacific St
  • Upgrade transit stop and shelters
  • Install real-time information signs at NE Pacific St bus stop locations
  • More frequent Metro transit service at each bus stop
  • Improved service on Routes 44, 45, and 48 funded by Seattle's Transportation Proposition 1 approved by voters in 2014

Map of construction information

These improvements will make it easier to access transit services around Husky Stadium and UW Medical Center. They'll also improve safety and reliability, by reducing the walking distance between bus stops and the light rail station.

Project Schedule

Construction activities are scheduled from Mid-January to late March 2016, weather permitting.

For more information, please contact:

Dawn Schellenberg
(206) 684-5189
Email: dawn.schellenberg@seattle.gov

For information about King County Metro's upcoming bus changes, visit http://www.kingcounty.gov/Metro/LinkConnections

For information about U-Link light rail, visit http://www.ulink2016.org/

Lake City Way NE & 125th Ave NE Southbound Bus Stop Expansion

Two buses causing traffic congestion
Figure 1: Two buses at the Lake City Way NE and 125th Ave NE bus stop cause congestion at the intersection.

Project Description

Lake City Way NE is a priority transit corridor, serving eight King County Metro and Sound Transit routes,  and over 30,000 riders per day. Many buses often arrive at the same time at the Lake City Way NE and NE 125th St southbound bus stop – one of the most heavily used stops in the area. Given the stop's proximity the Lake City Way NE and NE 125th Street intersection, it's not uncommon for the second arriving bus to get caught in the intersection and block traffic on NE 125th St. Extending the bus stop further south along Lake City Way NE would give enough room for two busses to load and unload simultaneously, reducing blockages in the intersection.

Project Elements

  • Map of proposed bus zoneExtend the bus zone south, to the existing mid-block curb bulb and crosswalk, allowing two buses to safely stop at the Lake City Way NE and NE 125th Street southbound bus stop
  • Remove four parking spaces (three 2-hour restricted spaces, one 30 minute load/unload space) between the existing bus zone to the north and the existing mid-block curb bulb to the south
  • Extend the curb to meet the existing curb to the north and south

These changes will improve transit reliability and overall safety in the area, while reducing causes of potential east-west congestion on NE 125th St.

Project Schedule

If approved, changes on Lake City Way NE are scheduled to be installed fall 2015, weather permitting.

For more information, please contact:

Jonathan Dong
(206) 233-8564 
Email: jonathan.dong@seattle.gov

Lake City Way NE Northbound Bus Lane Extension

Project Description

Map of existing bus laneLake City Way NE is a major transportation corridor in Seattle that serves people walking, driving, biking, transporting goods, and riding transit. These transit routes serve over 30,000 riders on a daily basis. King County Metro Routes 41, 72, 75, 309, 312, 330, 372, and 522 run along Lake City Way NE between NE 113th and NE 145th streets, and Metro and Sound Transit operate approximately 15 Northbound trips per hour during the AM peak period. To improve transit reliability, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is proposing extending the time restriction of the existing northbound "Bus Only" lane.

Project Elements

  • Extend restrictions of northbound "Bus Only" lanes to include the AM peak period (6 – 9 AM). Currently, the lane is only restricted to buses and right turns between 3 and 7 PM.
  • Parking would remain unrestricted during all other times.

 

These proposed changes would improve reliability and safety for transit and general purpose traffic.

Project Schedule

Changes on Lake City Way NE are scheduled to be installed in August 2015, weather permitting.

For more information, please contact:

Jonathan Dong
(206) 233-8564 
Email: jonathan.dong@seattle.gov

15th Ave NW PM Parking Restriction Extension

Project Description

Map of existing restricted parkingThe RapidRide D Line and route 15X serve over 12,000 riders per weekday. Many of these riders take advantage of the routes' frequent services in the afternoon and early evening. To improve reliability for the RapidRide D Line and route 15X, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is proposing extending the time period of the existing northbound parking restrictions.

Project Elements

  • Extend current on-street parking restrictions from 4 – 6 PM to 3 – 7 PM on weekdays on the east side of 15th Ave NW between NW 67th and NW 85th streets
  • All other parking will remain available as posted

These proposed changes will help improve the reliability of these routes during the PM peak period on weekdays.

Project Schedule

Changes on 15th Avenue NW are planned for installation in fall 2015, weather permitting.

For more information, please contact:

Jonathan Dong
(206) 233-8564 
Email: jonathan.dong@seattle.gov

Western Ave W PM Parking Restriction Extension

Project Description

Routes 15X, 17X, 18X, 19, 24, and 33 provide service along Western Avenue W, and serve over 6,900 riders per weekday. Many of these riders take advantage of the routes' frequent service in the afternoon and early evening. To improve reliability for the RapidRide D Line and route 15X, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is proposing extending the time period of the existing westbound parking restrictions.

Project Elements

  • Extend current on-street parking restrictions from 4 – 6 PM to 3 – 7 PM on the northeast side of Western Ave between 1st Ave W and W John Street
  • On-street parking will remain as posted on both sides of Western Ave

These proposed changes will help improve the reliability of these routes during the PM peak period on weekdays.

Map of existing restricted parkingProject Schedule

Changes on Western Avenue W are planned for installation in fall 2015, weather permitting.

For more information, please contact:

Jonathan Dong
(206) 233-8564 
Email: jonathan.dong@seattle.gov