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South Lake Union Transit Improvements adding more Buses and options

Work begins this week to upgrade transit stops along Westlake Ave N. A series of five small projects will extend stops; widen sidewalks; add shelters; and real-time transit arrival information signs.


Construction impacts are expected intermittently along Westlake Ave N between Mercer St and Blanchard St. Work will begin at Mercer St and proceed south before moving to the east side of the street at Blanchard St and continuing north. During construction the South Lake Union Streetcar will not operate between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, or after 9 a.m. on Fridays. It will not operate at all on weekends.Transit customers can visit Metro Online for transit information. Rider Alert signs will be posted at affected transit stops.

Westlake Map v2

Since last June, Seattle has seen the largest increase in King County Metro bus service in 40 years; and the Move Seattle levy is making our streets work better for those taking transit. The project described below will make it possible for double the number of people to ride transit in South Lake Union during peak hours starting March 26, 2016.

  • New RapidRide C Line Extension operating every 7 to 12 minutes from W Seattle
  • More service on Route 40 operating every 9 to 15 minutes from Ballard/Fremont
  • More peak time service for Route 70 from the U District
  • More service and a shorter route for Route 8 from the Seattle Center and Capitol Hill/Rainier Valley
  • Dedicated transit lanes on Westlake Ave N
  • Transit stop upgrades


Project Description

Over the next few months we’re building a series of improvements along Westlake Avenue N and Aloha and Valley Street, including new transit lanes and transit stop upgrades. These improvements accommodate shifting Route 40 to Westlake Ave N in both directions, more trips on Route 40 and very importantly, extending RapidRide C Line from W Seattle to Downtown. The transit lanes also benefit the Streetcar.

To make transit work better, in addition to adding transit lanes, turn restrictions and removal or restriction of some on-street parking is required at the following locations:

    • Eastbound Denny St at Westlake Ave N—No right turn
    • Northbound Westlake Ave N at Thomas St no right turn
    • Northbound Westlake Ave N at Harrison St—No right turn
    • Northbound Westlake Ave N at Republican St—No left turn
    • Northbound Westlake Ave N at Mercer St—No left turn
    • Southbound Westlake Ave N at Mercer St—No right turn
    • Southbound Westlake Ave N at Republican St—No left turn
    • Southbound Westlake Ave N at Thomas St—No left or right turn
    • Southbound Westlake Ave N between Ninth Ave N and Valley St—Restrict on-street parking between 7AM and 7PM for transit only lane
    • Minor Avenue N between Aloha Street and Valley Street—on west side remove on-street parking on west side, trim trees and install layover signs
    • Valley Street between Fairview and Minor—On north side install platform for passengers, repair road, remove on-street parking, trim trees, remove one tree and add layover signs


All this means:

More bus service means there is room for hundreds of more people.
BENEFIT: Increased mobility, affordable transportation options

Dedicated transit lanes allow the streetcar and buses to bypass traffic reducing delay and making for a smoother, more predictable ride.
BENEFIT: Faster, more reliable service

Wider sidewalks and longer bus stops allow buses to board passengers without having to pull out then back into traffic. They also provide space for more buses and streetcars, shelters and real-time information kiosks.
BENEFIT: Faster, more reliable service, rider comfort, sidewalk space