4th Ave Mobility Improvements

December 2023

What's Happening Now?

We are upgrading the existing protected bike lane along 4th Ave between Jefferson St and Vine St. The upgrades include:

  • Removing paint and post
  • Installing concrete barriers within the existing painted buffer space

We expect to begin construction of this next phase of the 4th Ave Mobility Improvements project as soon as early 2024. We expect to hire a contractor by January 2024. We will provide an update once a contractor is selected and we have more information about the construction schedule. 

Project Overview

Protected bike lanes and signal upgrades in downtown Seattle help improve safety for everyone and connect pieces of the Center City Bike Network. In 2021, we completed building a two-way protected bike lane from Vine St in Belltown to the 2nd Ave protected bike lane (via Dilling and Yesler Way) in Pioneer Square. 

We still envision a bike network with a direct connection down 4th to S Main St, but the impact to bus travel times at this point is too significant. As an interim solution, we're routing the south end of the protected bike lane through Dilling Way to Yesler for a connection to 2nd Ave. When buses are routed off 4th Ave in the future, we intend to make this direct connection as funding allows.   

2nd Ave before protected bike lane installation

2nd Ave after protected bike lane installation

We're upgrading the recently installed protected bike lane on 4th Avenue by replacing the paint and posts with a concrete barrier. The map below shows the area where we'll be upgrading the 4th Ave protected bike lane. 

Project area for 4th Ave PBL upgrade

The photo below is an example of a concrete buffer installed on 2nd Ave. 

Example of concrete barrier on 2nd Ave bike lane

Project Design

The 4th Ave Mobility Improvements project added new protected bike lanes on the west side of 4th, made signal upgrades, and maintained bus accommodations on 4th Ave. The protected bike lane separates people biking from moving vehicles with markings, plastic posts, and signal upgrades. 

Before and after photos of bike lanes on 4th and Olive, and 4th and Lenora

Parking and loading: The parking and loading lane is generally shifted outside of the bike lane (similar to other downtown bike lanes). We maintained as much parking and loading as possible but needed to remove some to allow space for left and right turn pockets and to improve visibility at driveways. 

Signal upgrades: Drivers no longer need to yield across the crosswalk and bike lane to turn left. Now when people driving have the green left turn arrow, people biking and walking have a red to reduce yielding conflicts. These protected turns separate the signal phases for people walking/biking and people driving to improve traffic flow and make for a safer, more comfortable travel experience.

2nd Ave Signal

This project was completed in phases:

Madison to Pine St Map (installed in September 2020) 

Map

Pine to Bell Map (installed in November 2020) 

Phase 2 map

Pine to Vine Map (installed in October 2021)

Map of protected bike lane from Pine to Vine streets

Seneca to Yesler Way Map (installation complete)

Phase 3 Design Image

Click for more images of the connection at Dilling Way and Yesler Ave: 

Note: The bike lane connection on Dilling Way by City Hall Park won't preclude improvements as part of the Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Parks and Recreation Yesler Crescent Study.

Program Overview

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.

Improving safety for all

This project contributes to the City's Vision Zero plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. The protected bike lane not only separates people biking from moving vehicles, it separates the signal phases for all users, meaning drivers won't need to yield across people walking and biking to make left turns. This change will help reduce collisions and make the walking, biking, and driving experience more comfortable and predictable.  

Transportation options for the center city

We are faced with the fundamental challenge of moving more people and more goods in the same amount of space. By making biking a more attractive and more viable transportation option, we can lower the share of people driving alone to and through Center City. 

Protected bike lanes on 2nd Ave quadrupled the number of people biking there. Employers located near paths and protected lanes have higher bike to work numbers. Making biking a real choice means building out a network in our region's densest jobs center.  

Connectivity 

This protected bike lane is just one piece of the puzzle connecting to the bike lanes on Pike, Pine, and Bell streets and was prioritized as part of the Center City Bike Network. The Center City Bike Network, launched in 2015, developed a network map of better bike streets that separate people walking and biking from moving vehicles, provide safer all-ages and abilities transportation options, and maintain transit priority downtown.

This network was the result of community engagement, which continued through the One Center City program to make sure any improvements to the bike network are well coordinated and complimentary to the greater transportation system for people walking, driving, taking transit, and delivering goods. 

We've made a commitment to build this network of separated bike lanes 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.

Economic benefits

Protected bike lanes boost economic growth by fueling redevelopment, boosting real estate value, helping companies attract and retain skilled workers, improving worker health and productivity, and increasing retail visibility and sales volume, according to a recent report. Other cities have demonstrated the economic benefits of protected bike lanes. Intercept surveys in Portland, OR show that people arriving to retails stores on foot or by bicycle visit more frequently than those who drive, and they spend more money over the course of a month. Findings from a New York City protected bicycle lane implementation showed an increase in retail sales of up to 49% from locally based businesses on 9th Ave in Manhattan, compared to 3% borough-wide.

Equity

Sixteen percent of Seattle households do not have a vehicle for their use and nationwide the lowest income households bike for transportation most. Better bike lanes make biking a more viable transportation option to help people get to and from downtown. At the same time, not everyone is able to bike, which is why a high priority of the Center City Bike Network and this project is to maintain transit accommodations.  

Center City Bike Network Map 

Map showing all ages and abilities bike routes in Center City

click for full map pdf

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

Project Materials


If you need this information translated, please call (206) 775-8719.

በተከለለው የብስክሌት መስመር በ4th Ave. ላይ አዲስ የኮንክሪት ማገጃ እየጨመርን ነው። ለጥያቄዎች ወይም ለተጨማሪ መረጃ፣ እባክዎን ይደውሉ: (206) 775-8719

Estamos protegiendo la ciclovía agregando una nueva barrera de concreto entre el carril de las bicicletas y los automóviles en la 4th Ave. Si tiene preguntas o desea obtener más información, llame al: (206) 775-8719

저희는 4th Ave의 자전거 전용 도로에 새로운 콘크리트 경계석을 설치할 예정입니다. 질문이나 자세한 내용은 다음으로 연락해 주십시오: (206) 775-8719

Waxaanu ku dareynaa kala-teed shub ah oo cusub laynka baaskiilka ilaalsan ee 4th Ave. Wixii su'aalo ama macluumaad dheeraad ah, fadlan wac: (206) 775-8719

Nagdaragdag kami ng bagong concrete barrier sa protektadong daanan ng bisikleta sa 4th Ave. Para sa mga katanungan o higit pang impormasyon, mangyaring tumawag sa: (206) 775-8719

Chúng tôi đang bổ sung thêm một rào chắn bê tông mới cho làn đường xe đạp được bảo vệ trên đường 4th Ave. Nếu quý vị có thắc mắc hoặc muốn tìm hiểu thêm thông tin, vui lòng gọi: (206) 775-8719

我們在 4th Ave 上的保護型自行車道設立了新的混凝土護欄。如有疑問或想了解更多資訊,請致電:(206) 775-8719

Resources

Seattle Vision Zero Plan
Seattle Bike Master Plan
SDOT's Protected Bike Lane Page
The Green Lane Project - Helping cities build better bike lanes
Bike Lanes, On-Street Parking and Business - A study of Toronto merchants and patrons
Protected Bike Lanes Mean Business - Case studies on how 21st century transportation networks help new urban economies boom
One Center City's Proposed Near-Term Projects

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.