Aurora Ave Project

Updated January 9, 2024

What's Happening Now?

We are excited to share what we've accomplished in 2023 as we continued to work to make Aurora Ave N safer and easier for everyone to use. Through our Community Design Workshop Series and crash pattern analysis, we identified several corridor improvements and implemented them to make it safer, especially for people who walk or bike. 

In 2023, we completed leading pedestrian intervals at all signalized crossings along the corridor crossings and implemented 'No Turn on Red' restrictions at most signalized intersections.

In 2024, we plan to implement the following improvements:

  • New pedestrian crossing signal at N 137th St with center median to provide pedestrian refuge and reduce turning conflicts
  • Hardened centerlines at all signalized intersections that do not have protected left turns to slow turning movements
  • Center medians and curbing at N 103rd St, N 128th St, and N 143rd St to reduce turning conflicts and improve safety
  • Widening crosswalks at all marked pedestrian crossings (This was originally scheduled in 2023, but has been pushed back to 2024 due to crew availability and weather conditions)

Please continue to follow us to stay up to date on additional corridor improvements we'll be working on next year.

Earlier this year, community collaborated with us to develop a new design vision for the corridor's future and transit services. Next year we plan to show you the draft concepts for each segment of the corridor, and you'll have more opportunities to provide your feedback. Stay tuned!

To stay up to date on the project and get involved, sign up for our email list here.  

Background

Did you know that the Aurora Ave N/State Route 99 corridor is one of the highest traffic volume streets within the Seattle city limits? This north-south corridor offers some of the busiest bus routes within Seattle City limits, is critical for freight movement, and offers connections to dense housing, businesses, social services, and employment opportunities. Aurora Avenue has a history of collisions, gaps in pedestrian facilities, inconsistent streetscape design, and accessibility barriers that make travel especially difficult for people with mobility challenges.

The last comprehensive Route Development Plan for the Aurora Ave N corridor was published in 2003, and while recommendations for near-term improvements were included, few improvements were made. Aurora Ave N has been a longstanding priority for transportation upgrades that improve safety and mobility for all travelers. Among these, there is a strong desire to enhance comfort and access for people walking along the corridor, reduce collisions for all users, and improve the quality of transit service.

In the last few years SDOT pursued funding to study safety and mobility improvements in the corridor. In late 2021, SDOT was awarded funding through a Pedestrian and Bicycle Program grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).  King County Metro is also contributing funds and partnering with SDOT to develop a new comprehensive design vision for the Aurora Ave N corridor and identify near-term projects that will advance improvements and safety.

As part of this study, we are also collaborating with other programs, departments and agencies who are doing work along this corridor. We are partnering with King County Metro to hear your feedback on improvements to the RapidRide E Line.  This study is a necessary step in identifying transit improvements for addressing safety and security, improving speed and reliability enhancing transit connections, and improving user experience.

We are also collaborating with Seattle Public Utilities to incorporate drainage issues and needs into our right-of-way design plans. SDOT’s Home Zone program is also launching in the Licton Springs neighborhood near Aurora, and we’ll be coordinating with their work as well.

This is one of several projects to improve safety and accessibility to and along Aurora Ave N, including the Green Lake Outer Loop ProjectAurora -Licton Springs Home Zone Project, and Aurora Ave Sidewalk Upgrades and Tree Preservation.

Project Purpose

  • Develop a new design vision for the Aurora Ave N corridor that enhances safety, mobility, and accessibility for all travelers. 
  • Address the needs of residents, businesses, and corridor stakeholders in a unified vision for the corridor through an equitable and robust engagement process. 
  • Consider collision history and safety challenges along the corridor with a focus on addressing the most serious collisions and collisions involving vulnerable road users.  
  • Identify potential transit service improvements and connections (e.g., with nearby light rail stations), as well as safety and security improvements (e.g., at transit stops). 
  • Develop a strategy to construct corridor improvements as resources become available. 

Aurora Ave Corridor Data Map

This map provides an overview of key data to understand the issues and opportunities along the Aurora Ave N corridor.

We’ll use this data to help inform decisions on safety, mobility, and accessibility upgrades.

Click here to start exploring the map.

A screen grab of the Aurora Ave data map. Click to open the interactive map in a new tab.

How To Explore the Map

  • Start by selecting the layer explorer icon The layer icon, represented by three solid squares stacked vertically.and selecting the type of information you'd like to see on the map.
  • Click on the crossed out eye icons crossed out eye iconto reveal each data layer.
  • Click the drop-down arrows to the left of each eye icon A screen grab of the dropdown arrow icon to the left of the eye icon which indicates that the layer is visible.to see a menu of the layers available.
  • Once a layer is made visible, you’ll be able to click on each data point on the map to pull up more information.
  • The legend icon The legend icon, represented by a column of three dots and three dashes, like a list.allows you to see what different colors and symbols mean in each visible data layer.

Have questions or need more information on the data? Feel free to reach out to our team at AuroraStudy@seattle.gov.

Project Area

Aurora Ave N between Harrison St (near the SR 99 Tunnel north portal) and N 145th St (at the Seattle city limits) is approximately 7.6 miles long. Throughout this area, Aurora features several distinct land use and urban village contexts, roadway cross sections, and access needs. To accommodate these differences in the analysis, community engagement, and design processes, SDOT plans to divide the corridor study into five segments for the purposes of the study:

  • Harrison St to N 38th St
  • N 38th St to Winona Ave N
  • Winona Ave N to N 85th St 
  • N 85th St to N 115th St 
  • N 115th St to N 145th St 
  • N 145th St to Mountlake Terrace (E Line assessment only) 

Graphic map of the five distinct segments of the the corridor study listed above

Project Outreach

The Aurora Ave N Safety Planning Study will include community engagement opportunities during each phase of the project. We included all feedback received during our phases into Outreach Reports available in our materials section below.

In 2022, we started outreach to understand key concerns to help us identify what changes the community needs to enhance safety for all travelers. In mid-2023, we hosted community design workshops to work together with community members to create a vision and design plans for the future of Aurora Ave N.  And, in 2024 we will share an evaluation criteria and draft design concepts that incorporate the range of ideas and priorities for Aurora Ave N that we have heard from community. To stay up to date on this project, you can sign up for project updates here.

Phase1:

  • Survey #1 to understand key concerns to help us identify what changes the community needs to enhance safety for all travelers. 
Summer/Fall 2022

Phase 2:

  • Design workshops to work together with community members  to create a vision and design plans for the future of Aurora Avenue and transit services in the project area. 
  • Survey #2 to learn more about which design improvements neighbors want to address the corridor’s transportation challenges
Spring 2023

Phase 3:

  • Share draft design concepts and evaluation criteria
  • Survey #3 to get feedback on whether the draft concepts incorporate the range of ideas and priorities for Aurora Ave N that we have heard from community. 
2024

Project Funding

Materials

Phase 2

Phase 1

Past projects in the area

Current projects in the area 

Translation and Interpretation

If you need this information translated, please call (206) 905-3620.

如果您需要此信息翻譯成中文 請致電 (206) 905-3620.

Kung kailangan mo ang impormasyon na ito na nakasalin sa Tagalog mangyari lamang na tumawag sa (206) 905-3620.

Si necesita traducir esta información al español, llame al (206) 905-3620.

Nếu quý vị cần thông tin này chuyển ngữ sang tiếng Việt xin gọi (206) 905-3620.

이 정보를 번역해야 하는 경우 전화하십시오. (206) 905-3620.

እዚ ሓበሬታ እዚ ኺትርጐም እንተ ደሊኻ በጃኻ ደዊልካ (206) 905-3620.

A photo of a pedestrian bridge over Aurora Avenue, facing north

Transportation

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
684-Road@seattle.gov

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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.