New South Lake Union Streetcar Ticket Pay Stations!

The South Lake Union Streetcar has 9 new ticket pay stations! Buying a Streetcar ticket for a group or for all day use will become much easier with these new ticket vending machines “TVMs.” The TVMs have added functionality, allowing purchases of:

  • Streetcar-only day passes ($4.50 adult, $3.00 youth and $2.00 senior/Regional Reduced Fare Permit)
  • Multiple tickets (up to five tickets per transaction).
New Streetcar Ticket Pay Stations

New Streetcar Ticket Pay Stations

The TVMs accept coins (nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollar coins), cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover) or a combination of coins and card.

The South Lake Union line of the Seattle Streetcar conveniently connects to Seattle’s other public transit systems. Link Light Rail and the Monorail are just across the street from the South Lake Union southern terminus station at Westlake and Olive.

You can transfer to buses at several points along the route. Bus service makes convenient, useful connections at selected streetcar stops including Route 8 (Seattle Center, Capitol Hill, Central District). There are also opportunities to connect to the local bike network along the line, including Pronto Cycle Share stations.2014-12-04 Streetcar Overview Map

For more information about how to ride the Streetcar, please visit:

Keeping Pedestrians Safe in Ballard at NW 65th Street and 18th Avenue NW

Early in 2015 SDOT completed another innovative project to improve pedestrian safety near the Salmon Bay School at NW 65th Street and 18th Avenue NW in Ballard. This project is another effort to help us achieve our Vision Zero goal, to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. .

New Curb ramps and RRFB at NW 65th and 18 Ave NW near Salmon Bay Elementary

New Curb ramps and RRFB at NW 65th and 18 Ave NW near Salmon Bay Elementary

The work at this intersection involved new curb ramps, curb bulbs, sidewalks repairs, and finally solar-powered Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB), signals that help pedestrians cross streets safely. An on-street bicycle corral was also installed adjacent to the school.

65th St at 18 ave

This project improves pedestrian, vehicle, and road sign visibility, thereby increasing awareness of pedestrians, vehicles, and bicyclists to one another. The solar-powered RRFBs are a sustainable yet environmentally friendly alternative. This approach to provide power to the crossing beacons is helping ensure the longevity and reliability of the signals for years at a lower cost.


This intersection improvement was funded by Seattle’s Safe Routes to School program. To learn more about this and other Safe Routes to School projects, please click here.

Join us at the Center City Bike Network Open House tonight!

Please join us tonight for the Center City Bike Network open house to meet the project team and share your vision for the project.

Tuesday, July 21, Town Hall Seattle at 1119 8th Ave from 5:00 – 7:00 PM

  • Learn the history and next steps in the selection and design process
  • Share specific input as well as your vision for a more vibrant city and safer traveling experience for people walking, biking and driving downtown
  • We’ll have activities for kids too!

The Seattle Department of Transportation is studying and prioritizing locations for a protected bicycle lane network in downtown Seattle. This work builds on outreach and data collected as part of Seattle’s 2014 Bicycle Master Plan. SDOT plans to implement the Center City Bike Network of protected bike lanes by 2020, pending funding availability.


Why Protected Bike Lanes?

U.S. cities are increasingly embracing protected bike lanes that separate people on bikes from people in cars by using physical barriers such as posts, parked cars or simple landscaping.
Seattle’s downtown network of protected bike lanes aims to:

  • Improve safety and predictability by separating all modes of travel
  • Expand connectivity throughout downtown and the rest of Seattle as our city continues to grow
  • Boost business by offering more travel options for getting to them
  • Promote physical activity and increase ridership by supporting people of all ages and abilities
  • Provide affordable travel options


Design that Builds on Best Practices

Like all good transportation systems, protected bike lanes require smart investments and careful planning. SDOT will use a combination of technical analysis, ongoing public input and coordination with projects such as the Center City Connector streetcar and Waterfront Seattle to design and phase-in cost-effective complete streets that are a win-win for everyone.

Outreach Process

Below is our outreach process for implementing bicycle projects (Bicycle Master Plan, page 94). This project primarily focuses on step 2, helping us prioritize the network and move through a portion of its design. Seattle has an ambitious schedule for implementing protected bike lanes in the Center City. Check out our five-year implementation plan.

As a part of the outreach for the project, SDOT has developed a Sounding Board made up of community members representing businesses, freight, people who bike, private development and residents. Learn more about the Sounding Board here.

Get Involved

Better bike infrastructure can benefit everyone especially when various perspectives are involved in the planning. SDOT is seeking input and guidance from people who live, travel and work downtown and in adjacent neighborhoods.

Outreach will include open houses, briefings, regular email updates, and a Sounding Board made up of Center City stakeholders.

Click here to sign up for email updates.

Project Contacts

Project Email:
SDOT Project Manager: Sandra “Sam” Woods
SDOT Communications Lead: Dawn Schellenberg

Mercer Corridor Project – Where We’ve been and what’s next

The Mercer neighborhood
Whether you’ve attended a concert at Seattle Center, watched the Fourth of July Fireworks around Lake Union, or dined at one of the many area restaurants, you’ve probably traveled along Mercer Street at some point. For more than 40 years, the Mercer Corridor has been a sticky transportation challenge. A priority for SDOT is addressing the needs of all users in the area which includes the 80,000 vehicles using the I-5 interchange daily, in addition to the growing number of pedestrians and bicyclists as people and businesses move into South Lake Union. SDOT is dedicated to keeping people, goods, and services moving on this major corridor in our city. Together with WSDOT’s North Portal project, the two projects will rebuild the street grid across Aurora Ave. N to connect South Lake Union, Uptown, and Seattle Center.

Mercer construction – nearly complete!
In early 2010, SDOT began the first phase of construction, Mercer East, and in August 2012 Mercer St. opened to two-way traffic between I-5 and 9th Ave. N. The next phase of construction, Mercer West, began in 2013, and focused on the corridor between Dexter Ave. N and 5th Ave. W. SDOT is pleased to announce that substantial completion for Mercer West is anticipated to occur later this summer.

In June, final lane striping along Mercer St. was completed and the intersection of Mercer St. and Dexter Ave. N was changed into its final configuration. This means that all turns are now legal – but please be sure to obey the signals to protect other vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists! Crews are currently working to complete sidewalks and landscaping along Mercer St. as well as a median between 8th and 9th avenues. The intersection of 5th Ave. N and Thomas St. will also be completed with final striping, crosswalks, and signal timing in August. At this point, Mercer Street and 5th Ave. North will be in their final configurations. This means that all signals, turn lanes, crosswalks, and sidewalks will be open and in their final configurations.

While construction on Mercer Street is nearly complete, the Project will be adding work for WSDOT’s North Portal Area Projects to our contract. The Mercer West Project will install a large storm water detention pipe in Roy Street between Fourth Ave N and Fifth Ave N this fall. This will provide storm water detention to meet code requirements for WSDOT’s North Portal Area Projects. SDOT and WSDOT have coordinated with Seattle Public Utilities and determined that this new facility is the most cost-effective way for WSDOT to meet the storm water detention requirements under the Seattle Municipal Code. It is also the preferred approach for Seattle Public Utilities who will own and maintain the detention system.











Keep in touch

Even though Mercer Corridor construction only has a few months left, we are always happy to answer any and all questions about its construction and your travels through the area. The best way to reach us is via email at or via the 24-hour construction hotline at 206-419-5818. To receive up-to-minute construction updates, visit our website and join our project email list at always, SDOT thanks you for your patience while project construction nears completion.

First Hill Streetcar Testing Update

Here is a video clip of the Test Run:

The new First Hill Streetcar visited all its neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to Pioneer Square on Tuesday as part of its ongoing testing program. These low-speed tests focused on the braking performance when traveling downhill in traffic. Many of our tests are performed late at night or on the 8th Avenue S maintenance facility track–some will even be performed with the new car delivered to the South Lake Union line–but this was a nice opportunity to show off for the lunchtime crowd on a sunny July day!  We are working hard with the manufacturer to get the vehicles ready for passenger service. The start date is still not fixed as we need the manufacturer to complete this iterative process of testing and fine-tuning to safety-certify the vehicles before we can finalize our start-up activities.

Test Team in Pioneer Square

Test Team in Pioneer Square








The Test Team completed the tests and will be back out soon. #TheStreetcar

The First Hill Streetcar is an important link in the regional transit system, and connects the diverse and vibrant residential neighborhoods and business districts of Capitol Hill, First Hill, Yesler Terrace, Central Area, Chinatown ID and Pioneer Square. For more on the streetcar please visit:

How Should Seattle Grow? Seattle 2035: Draft Plan Published

The Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) has released a Draft City of Seattle Comprehensive Plan. Entitled Seattle 2035, the Draft Plan is now available for public comment.  This important milestone brings the City one step closer to completing an updated Comprehensive Plan – our roadmap for Seattle’s next 20 years.


The Draft Plan is informed by the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that was released in May 2015.  The Draft Plan identifies proposed goals and policies to help achieve our vision for Seattle’s future.  Seattle is expected to grow by 120,000 residents and 115,000 jobs in the coming twenty years.  The Draft Plan also includes a new Future Land Use Map, showing a pattern of growth that supports the City’s vision.

The City of Seattle is seeking public feedback on proposed goals and policies as we continue to evaluate strategies to build a safe, vibrant, affordable, interconnected, and innovative city for all.  City staff has already received hundreds of public comments on the DEIS and on the overall direction of the Plan document.

DPD is seeking public comments on the Draft Plan during a three-month public comment period, from July 8 through the end of September.

Here’s how to join the discussion about Seattle’s future and provide comments:

  • Join the Seattle 2035 Online Community Conversation at and discuss the potential pros and cons of proposed policies with other Seattleites
  • Attend our Draft Plan Public Event on September 15 – Stay tuned for more details
  • Follow Seattle 2035 on Facebook and Twitter
  • Send comments by the end of September:
    • Email: Send comments to
    • Mail: Send comments to the City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development, Attn: Seattle 2035, 700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000, PO Box 34019, Seattle WA 98124-4019.
    • In Person: Attend our Draft Plan Public Event on September 15. Stay tuned for more details!



Please Join us at our Upcoming 35th Ave SW Safety Plan Meetings

SDOT would like to invite you to our next public meetings for 35th Ave SW happening this month. Since October 2014, we’ve been working with community members and our West Seattle neighbors to get ideas on how to improve safety on 35th Ave SW.

35thSW image

Our next open house meetings will be held to discuss our upcoming plans:

• Wednesday, July 15th from 7 – 9 PM at the Neighborhood House (6400 Sylvan Way SW)

• Thursday, July 16th from 6 – 7:45 PM at the Southwest Branch of the Seattle Public Library (9010 35th Ave SW)

We’ll be presenting our traffic analysis results and our plans to improve safety along this corridor.

We previously held four public meetings about 35th Ave SW and hosted one walking tour in May.  We heard a lot of good comments at our events and are incorporating a majority of them into our design and appreciate the feedback and community participation.

35th Ave SW at SW Cambridge Street

The Safety Project corridor is 35th Avenue SW between SW Roxbury Street and SW Avalon Way.

Safety is the City’s number one priority, and we are committed to preventing collisions and improving safety for all users of the transportation system.

Please join us at the open house and learn how we plan to improve the safety for everyone along 35th Ave SW.

We hope to see you there!


Levy to Move Seattle – A Recap and What’s Next


In late June, the Seattle City Council’s Special Committee on Transportation Funding voted on over a dozen amendments to the Levy to Move Seattle legislation Mayor Murray sent their way in May. The city council then voted unanimously on June 29 to place the levy on the November ballot.

This is a major milestone in the Levy to Move Seattle’s life (it kind of reminds us of the process of a bill becoming a law…oh Schoolhouse Rocks…but we digress). We’d like to take a moment to recap the process for how we got here.

This past March, Mayor Murray announced a new strategic vision for transportation – Move Seattle. Move Seattle integrates the long-range plans that we’ve put together with the public – walking, biking, transit, and now freight ; each one sets a vision for our transportation system  over the next 20 years.

Each modal plan went through many months of public discussion and engagement. For example, from 2012 to 2014 we worked with the public to update the Bicycle Master Plan. Staff attended dozens of community meetings, district council discussions, and hosted open houses and online meetings. We conducted a statistically valid phone survey with 600 interviewees, received over 3,500 responses to an online survey and learned about thousands of routes via an online mapping tool. All of this helped us understand what improvements residents wanted and where they would like to ride but currently don’t. Through this work we heard from thousands of people throughout the city, providing key input into the plan and ultimately shaping this year’s levy package.

As we work to realize the vision set forth in each plan, as individual projects get started, they go through their own outreach and design processes. Through Move Seattle, we’ve been able to bring all our plans together, so we can work toward building a safe and connected system that works well for all people, whether they walk, drive a car, take transit, bike or move goods.

On the heels of the Move Seattle announcement, the Mayor unveiled a proposal for a new transportation levy to replace the expiring Bridging the Gap levy (which expires at the end of 2015). In developing the draft proposal for the levy, we drew from the Move Seattle project list (this list came from applying the prioritization criteria found in each plan).

Over the course of about 45 days, we took this draft proposal out to over 35 community groups, hosted tables at farmers markets, held coffee hours, conducted traditional open houses, and had one meeting in a local bar. We also engaged with community stakeholders via roundtable sessions with Mayor Murray and our director, Scott Kubly. This helped us hear directly from representatives of immigrant and refugee communities, transportation advocates, neighborhood leaders, and communities of color.


Graphic recording of ideas captured at one of our open houses – March 29 at the New Holly Gathering Hall in southeast Seattle.

What we heard in our outreach – in over 8,000 public comments submitted through an online survey and in-person discussions – were three clear community priorities:

  1. Safety is a top goal
  2. People want better access to transit, and they want buses to be more reliable
  3. People want more investments in making Seattle a more walkable city

We used public feedback to rework the proposal, and in May 2015, Mayor Murray announced a final proposal that included new elements to directly reflect what we heard:

  • Funding for the Accessible Mount Baker and Fauntleroy Way Boulevard projects
  • More funding for transit investments
  • Increased investment in new sidewalks

The size of the levy also increased, from $900 million to $930 million over nine years, due in part to growth assumptions (increases in population and property values) and the City’s ability to direct additional estimated revenue to the levy versus the City’s General Fund for all services.

And that brings us back to today. We want to thank everyone for participating and helping to shape the levy. Whether you emailed us with comments or ideas, or maybe you sat in on a coffee hour or community meeting, or stopped to chat at a farmers market – we value your time, and we’re continually looking for creative ways to reach and engage people.

If you have any questions about the Levy to Move Seattle, please contact the Levy outreach lead, Allison Schwartz, at or (206) 386-4654. You can also learn more at

Live from Lake City: Construction Update at Lake City Way and 24th Avenue NE


Crews are busy preparing the subgrade for drainage and sidewalk improvements.

Crews are busy preparing the subgrade for drainage and sidewalk improvements

The city continues their work to transform the intersection of Lake City Way NE and 24th Avenue NE. As noted previously here on the SDOT blog, this project will overhaul this intersection and provide new pavement, sidewalks, curb ramps and traffic signal controls. The changes will improve the safety for all users of these streets. When finished, drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists will notice the significantly improved sidewalks and transit stop. Construction is expected to be complete in another 30 to 45 days.

Thanks to the outstanding summer weather, our contractor is making quick work. New curb ramps have been constructed on the east side of Lake City Way and excavation for the extensive sidewalks on the west side of the roadway is nearly complete. Over the next few weeks, crews will complete sidewalk construction and prepare foundations for new traffic signal mast arms.

New curb ramps on the east side of Lake City Way.

New curb ramps on the east side of Lake City Way.

This project was identified by the residents and business owners that have guided the Lake City Way Traffic Safety Project. SDOT and our partners will continue to implement priority projects for the next several years along this corridor.


Bike share your way around town!

Bike share can help you get around town faster and easier.

Bike share can help you get around town faster and easier.

If you need to make a quick trips on Seattle streets, consider signing up for bike share, an innovative program allowing users to take short trips easily without owning their own bike.

Pronto Cycle Share provides a fleet of specially designed and durable bikes found in docking stations located throughout Seattle. With this program, you can borrow a bike any time you like. The program is best for short trips – typically less than two miles.

Bikes can be picked up and returned to any station, creating an efficient network with many connection points, departures and arrivals.

One of the many bike share locations around the city-- 2nd & University.

One of the many bike share locations around the city– 2nd & University.

Bike share complements Seattle’s transit and light rail systems. In cities like Seattle, up to 50% of bike share trips are to or from public transit stations. In Seattle, bike share is used by commuters and tourists, for rush hour commuting, work or errand running, or moving among the city’s variety of attractions.

For more information on how to get involved, visit SDOT’S bike share page here.