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Little changes do add up to big improvements

SDOT transit improvements are coming to heavily used Metro corridors.

Survey after survey shows Seattleites wanting improved transit service and SDOT is doing all it can to help King County Metro Transit (Metro) achieve that goal.  

This Wednesday, August 17, SDOT will make a time-saving change to the northbound left turn lane on 15th Avenue NE at NE 45th Street.  During the hours of 3-7 p.m. on weekdays, the left turn lane will be restricted to transit use only.   The goal of this project is to improve the speed and reliability of public transit buses, particularly the Metro Route 44. This change, though seemingly small, will eliminate a major choke point for Metro routes 43, 44, 49 and 167.  This revision along with other transit priority improvements in the NW Market/45th Street corridor connecting Ballard, Wallingford and University District will reduce travel time by up to 21 percent, or 9  minutes, for people riding from one end of the route to the other.   Every day, Route 44, one of Metro’s most popular Seattle routes, carries nearly 1,500 passengers during the peak afternoon traffic period (3-7 p.m.) alone.

SDOT analysis shows that most general purpose (vehicle) traffic currently using the left turn lane during the weekday afternoon peak period is likely to divert to NE 43rd and NE 50th ; and  these intersections will not be impacted.

SDOT transit improvements, such as this one, are designed to make transit a better option by keeping people moving quickly and reliably throughout the day on heavily congested corridors, improving the efficiency and productivity of Metro operations.  These projects are made possible by Bridging the Gap, the city’s voter-approved transportation funding measure, and state and federal grants.