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Safety Improvements coming to Rainier Avenue

SDOT hosted a public meeting last week at the Rainier Community Center with about 300 community members attending to announce changes coming to Rainier Avenue South.

This project’s goals is to make Rainier Avenue safer for everyone.  There has been about one crash per day on Rainier Avenue .  Within the last 10 years, there have been nearly 3600 total collisions, +1700 injuries, and 11 fatalities.  Each time there is a crash, it takes about 47 minutes to clear the incident.

As a pilot project, Rainier Avenue South will be re-channelized from 4-lanes to 3-lanes between South Alaska and South Kenny streets.  The new channelization will address the correctable collision patterns we’ve seen along Rainier and will have minimal impact to traffic. Construction is already under way and you can see the new striping for the 3-lane configuration.

Rainier SafetyThere is still some work remaining for city crews:

  • Remove existing pavement markings
  • Install new pavement markings including:
    • One travel lane in each direction
    • A center turn lane to accommodate left turning vehicles
    • New transit lanes
  • Install left turn signal heads
  • New transit signal systems and signs
  • Longer signal cycles for vehicles and pedestrians
  • New 25 mph speed limit signs
  • Crack sealing to preserve pavement conditions


We appreciate the community’s patience while work is being done to complete this project. This work is expected to be completed by the end of August.

For more on the Rainier Avenue South Safety Corridor Project.

Here’s our project presentation which includes information about the modifications and travel time changes for the new 3-lane configuration: