Complete Streets: Providing Safe Streets for all Users

“Complete Streets” is an approach to planning, designing, and operating streets so that they provide safe, convenient and comfortable travel for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, transit riders, and freight. Complete Streets improvements can include safety-enhancing elements such as providing new and/or wider sidewalks, improved pedestrian crossing treatments, enhanced landscaping(including street trees or other landscaping between the sidewalk and the roadway), enhanced lighting, marked in-street or protected bike lanes, improved intersection design, traffic-calming measures, and improved accessibility for disabled travelers. Complete Streets safety improvements can help make streets safer for everyone by reducing vehicle crashes and providing safe facilities for walking and bicycling for people of all ages and abilities.

The City Council adopted a Complete Streets policy in 2007. Complete Streets is the lens through which SDOT approaches all new major transportation projects. One of our most recent Complete Streets projects is on 23rd Avenue East, a principal arterial connecting a variety of users to businesses, educational institutions and residences in the Central District and beyond, and serving high volumes of pedestrians, bike riders, and transit users. Given concerns about the poor pedestrian, bicycle, and transit facilities along the corridor, SDOT expanded its original plan to repave the roadway to include Complete Streets safety and accessibility improvements within the project’s scope.

The proposed roadway redesign for the segment between E John St. and Rainier Ave. S will reduce the roadway from four vehicular lanes to two through-lanes and a center turning lane, thereby allowing vehicles to turn without blocking traffic and managing drivers cutting in and out of lanes, reducing collisions and speeding, creating space for wider sidewalks, and making streets easier to cross for pedestrians. The project is also evaluating routes for a parallel greenway to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety in the area by providing a safe north/south route through the area. The intended result is a safer roadway for all users.

Phase 1 construction (between E John St. and S Jackson St.) begins in late 2014/early 2015, with construction between S Jackson St. and Rainier Ave. S, and between E Roanoke St. and E John St. beginning in late 2015. More information on the project can be found at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/23rd_ave.htm

23rd Ave E: Existing Cross Section

23rd Ave E: Existing Cross Section23rd Ave E: New Cross Section

23rd Ave E: New Cross Section