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Roosevelt Way NE – More Than Just a Paving Project

Roosevelt Way NE has long been a critical arterial connecting the north Seattle to University District serving thousands of motorists, bus commuters, pedestrians, and bicyclists. The transportation demands on the corridor are being impacted by growth and developmentof apartment construction projects that will bring hundreds of new residents to the area. In 2021, Sound Transit expects to open its Roosevelt LINK light rail station on NE 66th St. SDOT is working to balance current needs and incorporate future corridor demands.

SDOT will be repaving Roosevelt from NE 65th down to the University Bridge, with construction currently slated to begin in late September of this year. However, while the repaving may be the cornerstone of this project, it is only one element.



Much of the public focus to date on this project has been on plans to include the installation of a protected bike lane (PBL) on the west side of Roosevelt all the way from NE 65th to the University Bridge. (To address near term safety needs, the PBL was recently installed south of N 45th.)

However, today’s blog post is intended to provide the reader with a brief rundown on the other elements of the project. The SDOT blog detailing the PBL plan can be found on our January 8 posting:



In-Lane Bus Stops (Bus Islands) – Already in place at some locations on nearby University Avenue, in-lane bus stops permit buses to pick-up and discharge passengers without having to pull over to the side of the road at stops and then wait for a break in traffic to get back into the travel lane. The feature increases bus speed and reliability, making the use of public transit more appealing to users. This will be particularly important once the Sound Transit station is open, when commuters will need to be moved quickly between the station and their homes or offices.

Curb Bulbs – As the name implies, sidewalks at corners will be bulbed out to shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians, while also making it easier for them to see oncoming traffic and to be seen by those cars. Curb bulbs are a safety feature, and will be installed at virtually every intersection along the corridor. In most cases, the corner will bulb out 6’ on the east side of Roosevelt, while up to 3’ on the west side (in order to accommodate the PBL and bus islands).

Buckled/Broken Sidewalks – Many sidewalk stretches along Roosevelt have been broken or buckled over the years, sometimes the result of expanding tree roots, while in other cases simply the product of years of wear and tear. The project will replace most such damaged sidewalk segments, although some sidewalk repairs will remain the responsibility of developers of new apartment or office structures along the street.

Curb Ramps – The project will add new curb ramps and replace other substandard ones to meet federal Americans with Disabilities (ADA) standards. These ramps make the transition from sidewalk to street grade, enabling those in wheelchairs or using walkers or strollers to more easily cross the street.

Those interested in the project can find additional details, along with updates during construction, at the project website, located at