We have a plan to keep people moving to/from the new Climate Pledge Arena + an exciting update about the Seattle Center to Waterfront Walking and Biking Connection Project!

A rendering of the new Climate Pledge Arena with people walking around it at dusk.
A rendering of the new Climate Pledge Arena. Photo Credit: Climate Pledge Arena.

By 2025, it’s anticipated that 15,000 new households and 20,000 new employees will be added to the North Downtown Seattle area, and we have a plan to keep people moving as the area grows and changes.     

If and when large-scale events are safe for the public to attend, the Climate Pledge Arena (formerly known as Key Arena) at Seattle Center and currently under construction could draw crowds for events up to 250 days per year. This means that we need to plan on making space for more people to move through and around Belltown, Uptown, and South Lake Union.  

We want to hear from you! If you live, work, or visit the Uptown neighborhood, please take a few minutes to complete this survey about how to best utilize the on-street parking and loading in the area and prevent gridlock.   

In partnership with the Climate Pledge Arena – which aims to be a leader in responsible, efficient, multimodal transportation options to the venue – there are changes coming to facilitate people walking, biking, and taking transit. 

Here’s what you can expect: 

Red bike-share bike resting against a bike rack on a sidewalk, near a crosswalk sign with orange flowers growing next to it.
Photo credit: SDOT Flickr

The Arena’s goal is to be progressive, responsible, and sustainable. We’re planning improvements for people walking, biking, and taking transit along Queen Anne Ave N and 1st Ave N.  We’re also planning for bus-only lanes, protected bike lanes, widened sidewalks at intersections, new signals, and intersection changes at 2nd Ave and Denny Way. Street improvement construction is planned to begin at the end of 2020. 

Want to learn more? {COMING SOON: The Arena will be holding virtual drop-in sessions so you can learn more about how the transportation options in the neighborhood around Climate Pledge Arena will improve multimodal transportation.} For more information, visit this website.   

What might be on a lot of people’s minds is parking. We’re supporting access and parking in Uptown/lower Queen Anne.

Here’s what you can expect: 

Street-level view of an intersection in lower Queen Anne.
Lower Queen Anne. Photo credit: SDOT Flickr 

While we’re working to make it smooth and easy for people to walk, bike, and take transit to the new arena, we recognize people may drive there too.  

We’re working with you to design curbside regulations to support residents and businesses and prevent gridlock in Uptown. Curbside modifications will be designed to ensure access for residents, businesses, employees, and visitors, and should be in place before the Arena opens! We’re aiming to create a draft proposal to present to the community in late fall. 

We want to hear from you! We’re collecting feedback through September 15, 2020. Please fill out our survey (yes, we’ll say it again!), email us, or call us at 206-584-3433. We’re all ears. For more information, please visit our website

Now this update:

Thanks to your thoughtful feedback, we’re moving forward with a design for the Seattle Center to Waterfront Walking and Biking Connection Project!  

We’re designing an important walking and biking connection between Seattle Center and Myrtle Edwards Park via the Thomas St Overpass and W Harrison St. We expect to start construction in 2021.  

Street-level view of the entrance to the Thomas St. Overpass. Entrance includes a colorful mural.
Thomas St Overpass. Photo credit: SDOT Flickr. 
Map showing new pedestrian and bicycle connection by SDOT on 3rd Ave W from the base of the Thomas St Overpass.

In February, over 200 people provided input on the project design through surveys, drop-in sessions, and meetings with the Seattle Bicycle Advisory BoardSeattle Pedestrian Advisory Board, Uptown Alliance, and other community groups. 

Community input resulted in support for an expanded walking/biking path on 3rd Ave W at the base of the Thomas St overpass. We’re moving forward with that design and incorporating feedback to better separate spaces between people walking and biking. This will connect people walking and biking to W Harrison St.  

This project will build important connections and provide a safer, more comfortable way to walk and bike between the waterfront and Seattle Center. 

Based on what we heard, here’s what we’re doing:

A graphic representation of the extended bicycle and pedestrian space, which was a key design element of Option 3.
A graphic representation of the extended bicycle and pedestrian space, which was a key design element of Option 3.

We heard people wanted less-steep biking and walking routes:

Two blue triangles. In one triangle, a person is shown walking with the caption "67% of survey respondents to additional pedestrian related questions said they would be willing to walk out of their way to use a flatter route that's less steep." The other blue triangle has a person biking in it and the caption reads, "80% of survey respondents to additional bicycle related questions said they would be willing to bike out of their way to use a flatter route that's less steep."

So, we’re relocating the route to streets with less steep slopes and better pavement conditions. This makes it easier for people biking and walking, and more cost-effective to build. The route will now travel along W Harrison St between Queen Anne Ave N and 3rd Ave W, and will include some parking removal, primarily on the north side of W Harrison St. Parking that’s currently designated as loading is scoped to be relocated to a nearby location. 

We’re also connecting the route to the planned protected bike lanes on Queen Anne Ave N and installing all-way stops at four intersections to improve overall connectivity and safety for pedestrians and people biking. 

Proposed scope of the Seattle Center to Waterfront project design.
Proposed scope of the Seattle Center to Waterfront project design. 

As we finalize the project design, we’ll reach out directly to residents, businesses, and property owners along the route who may be impacted by these changes. 

In the meantime, we invite you to find more information and continue to share your feedback with us! 

  • Contact us with questions by email or phone: 206-900-8718.
Seattle Center to Waterfront Walking and Biking Connection Design Update title slide, with image of intersection.
Click on the presentation to view!