23rd Ave E Vision Zero Project

Updated: September 6, 2018

What’s happening now?

Upcoming Work

Data shows that the people driving northbound between Boyer Ave E and E John St on average are going 39MPH. The posted speed is 30MPH. The chances of someone being fatally or seriously injured increase significantly being struck at 40MPH versus 30MPH. We converted 1 northbound lane to a center turn lane to encourage speeds closer to 30MPH along 23rd/24th Ave E from E John St to Boyer Ave E. This work was substantially completed Friday, August 31. No changes are planned between Boyer Ave E and E Roanoke St at this time.

What’s next

Later this year, we'll also add skid-resistant surface treatments at intersections where collision rates are high when the road conditions were wet and slippery:

  • 24th Ave E/E Louisa St
  • 24th Ave E/E Lynn St
  • E Helen St/ Turner Way

These surface treatments add a thin layer of course material on top of the street to improve skid-resistance pavement. We will update the webpage with more details on this work as the date approaches. We continue to analyze where we might install other enhancements and plan to construct a new traffic signal at 24th Ave E and E Lynn St. These changes could happen as soon as 2019 and will be coordinated with SR 520 construction.

Sign up on our project listserv to receive project updates and learn about future public involvement opportunities. For the latest project updates, see our email update archive. Interested in learning about transportation improvements happening on the southern end of 23rd Ave E? Visit the project website.

Project Overview

We're enhancing safety and mobility on 23rd Ave E/24th Ave E between E John St and E Roanoke St as part of our Vision Zero efforts to reach zero traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. The work will be done in two pieces over 2018 and 2019.

Data shows that people driving northbound between Boyer Ave E and E John St on average are going 39 MPH. The posted speed is 30 MPH. The chances of someone being fatally or seriously injured increase significantly being struck at 40 MPH versus 30 MPH.

In the last 3 years, there have been 134 total collisions on this portion of the corridor. These crashes caused 63 injuries to people walking, biking and driving. There has been 1 fatal collision on this street in the last decade. This important street provides access to the Montlake neighborhood, SR 520, and the Montlake Bridge crossing into north Seattle and is a vital street for transit.

The 23rd Ave corridor is currently 4 to 5 lanes with peak hour parking restrictions in some locations. There is a significant curve in the road where 23rd Ave E meets Turner Way and becomes 24th Ave E. A steep hill south of Boyer Ave E contributes to people driving faster than the posted speed limit.

Speed signs

We heard from the Montlake community that traffic calming, reducing speeds, and pedestrian safety are the top transportation priorities on 23rd Ave E/24th Ave E. We used data and public input to develop the preliminary design below.

Modeling and experience indicate we can make the proposed change without having a significant impact on capacity and that it will encourage speeds closer to 30 MPH. By creating a center turn lane, people driving can wait for a gap in traffic before turning left. The center turn lane also provides a predictable path for emergency response vehicles. We'll monitor this low-cost investment to see how the street operates after the change.

Design Map

Design map illustration

Boyer Ave E to E Roanoke St

Cross section of Boyer Ave E to E Roanoke St

Where traffic volumes are high and more likely to be impacted by SR 520 construction, we are maintaining four lanes. We can evaluate changing this in the future. This area also includes the Montlake business district and we heard that maintaining on-street parking is important.

E John St to Boyer Ave E

Lane change illustration

We're redesigning the street where traffic speeds are the highest between E John St and Boyer Ave E starting August 2018. We've implemented these changes in other parts of the City and have seen positive results in reducing crashes and vehicles following the posted speed limit. Note that while our preliminary design included one northbound general purpose lane and one northbound transit lane, we’ve decided to reduce the 2 northbound lanes to 1 northbound lane and 1 center turn lane based in part on community feedback and on technical considerations.

Redesigning a portion of the street can help reduce speeds and providing a turning lane means less back-up at intersections, or when accessing homes and businesses. The proposed design maintains efficient bus service along the street.

Other improvements

In addition to implementing the recommended design and installing skid-resistant surface treatments, we're using your feedback and conducting additional analyses to determine where we might enhance bus stops, install a new traffic signal, modify parking, and add new curb ramps within the project area. These changes would likely happen in 2019 and be coordinated with SR 520 construction.

Other projects in the neighborhood:


Summer 2017

Share what we heard to date and suggest possible near-and long-term alternatives

Spring 2018

Share conceptual design of near-term safety improvements

Summer/Fall 2018

Construction of recommended design (E John St to Boyer Ave E) (schedule subject to change)

Installation of skid-resistant surface treatments at intersections with high collision rates


Implement corridor-wide improvements, including improvements to existing bus stops, a new traffic signal (location to be determined), potential parking modifications, new curb ramps, and sidewalk repairs (E John St to E Roanoke St)


These projects are funded by the 9-year Levy to Move Seattle, approved by voters in 2015.


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