On May 11th, Mayor McGinn announced that the city is moving forward with a ‘road diet’ on Nickerson Street. When complete, this project will improve pedestrian and bicycle safety while accommodating traffic flows on this key arterial. SDOT reviewed and considered comments from many individuals and groups in response to informational flyers mailed to the neighborhood, signs posted on the corridor, and a public open house. In addition, a traffic study evaluating the impact of the proposed North Portal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct project and construction of the Mercer West Corridor revealed that these projects will have a minimal impact on the Nickerson corridor. After the changes are complete, SDOT will monitor the corridor to ensure mobility needs are being met.
Between Warren Avenue N and 13th Avenue W, SDOT will reduce the number of motor vehicle lanes. The new roadway configuration will include one driving lane in each direction and a two-way center turn lane. The uphill travel lane will include a bicycle lane and the downhill lane will have shared lane markings known as “sharrows”. A sharrow is a bicycle symbol with two chevrons which reminds motorists to share the road with bicyclists and helps bicyclists position themselves in the roadway. Pedestrian crossing improvements, including marked crosswalks, will be installed at 12th Avenue W, Cremona Street, and Dravus Street.
Work will begin this summer. Paving and channelization is expected to be completed by the fall. Final pedestrian crossing improvements will be completed by spring 2011.
For more details on the planned channelization design and its benefits, plus frequently asked questions, please see the project website: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/nickerson.htm