LEVY DOLLARS AT WORK | Now open to riders: New 4th Ave protected bike lane through downtown Seattle is officially complete – come check it out!

The new 4th Ave protected bike lane in downtown Seattle is open now, providing a safer, more convenient option for cyclists traveling to and through the area.

Summary:

  • This past weekend, crews completed the final sections of the new 4th Avenue protected bike lane through downtown Seattle, with connections to the broader Center City Bike Network in and around downtown Seattle.
  • This project was made possible with tax dollars from the Levy to Move Seattle. Thank you, Seattle, for helping make this protected bike lane a reality!
  • This protected bike lane now runs uninterrupted along 4th Ave from Vine St in Belltown down to Yesler Way in Pioneer Square.
  • We hope you can come take a ride and check it out for yourself soon.
  • Read on to learn more about the route, including a quick virtual photo tour. We also share a few friendly reminders and best practices to safely use the new bike lane.
  • Check out the project web page or our previous blog post for more details on how this new protected bike lane is helping improve safety, comfort, and mobility for people walking, rolling, biking, and driving in downtown Seattle.

The new 4th Ave protected bike lane downtown is now complete and open to riders! We invite you to take a ride.

4th Ave now has a 2-way protected bike lane on the west side of the street between Vine St and Yesler Way! This is a big step forward in advancing our City Center Bike Network, with connections to surrounding neighborhoods such as Uptown, Capitol Hill, and Beacon Hill.

Protected bike lanes make biking a more viable transportation option for our “willing but wary” riders who enjoy biking but don’t feel as comfortable biking alongside traffic. This new route along 4th Ave creates another north/south downtown option alongside the existing 2nd Ave protected bike lane reach important destinations without having to climb hills.

Members of the Seattle Department of Transportation ride along the new 4th Ave protected bike lane on Thursday, October 7. Several people can be seen biking in the foreground and right side of the image, with cars and buses traveling along 4th Ave in the background. Trees are also visible in the background.
Members of the SDOT team try out the new 4th Ave protected bike lane in downtown Seattle. The new bike lane is located on the west side of 4th Ave. Photo Credit: Jeanne Clark.

The 4th Ave Mobility Improvements project contributes to the City’s Vision Zero plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. The protected bike lane not only separates people biking from moving vehicles, it separates the signal phases for all users, meaning drivers won’t need to yield across people walking and biking to make left turns. This change will help reduce collisions and make the walking, biking, and driving experience more comfortable and predictable.

Check out the new 4th Ave protected bike lane in action! (YouTube video)

Members of the SDOT team celebrate the newly-completed 4th Ave protected bike lane with a ride on October 7, near Westlake Park. Video Credit: Jordan Samson

This project was made possible with tax dollars from the Levy to Move Seattle. Thank you, Seattle, for helping make this protected bike lane a reality!

Take a ride with us on Seattle’s newest bike facilities! (YouTube video)

Check out this short YouTube video highlighting some of the newest bike facilities throughout the City of Seattle!

Thanks to your tax dollars at work, you can now ride all the way from Belltown to the Pioneer Square light rail station with the completion of the 4th Ave protected bike lane. It all connects to a broader network of city bike routes connecting people north to the Burke Gilman Trail, east to Capitol Hill, and south to Beacon Hill. See these and all bike routes on our map.

See below for a map of the new 4th Ave protected bike lane and other bicycle routes in and around downtown Seattle:

A map of the City of Seattle's bicycle route network in downtown Seattle and surrounding neighborhoods, for all ages and abilities. Current routes are shown with green lines, and Elliott Bay is also visible in blue on the left side of the image.
The new 4th Ave protected bicycle lane, which runs from Vine St in Belltown to Yesler Way in Pioneer Square, with connections to other existing bike routes in the area.

4th Ave is home to a wide range of destinations like Westlake Park, the Central Library, City Hall, and major office towers and residential buildings that are now easier to access via bike.

To get a better feel for the route, join us on a quick virtual photo tour!

Below, we travel southbound along 4th Ave – starting at Vine St in Belltown, continuing through downtown Seattle, and ending at Seattle City Hall, near where the route connects to the 2nd Ave protected bike lane via Yesler Way.

Photo of the intersection of 4th Ave and Vine St in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood. To the left a car and a van await a green light. A restaurant in visible in the middle of the photo. Many trees and several light poles are visible throughout the photo. Pedestrians walk on the sidewalk in the middle of the photo.
The new protected bike lane begins at 4th Ave and Vine St. Local restaurant MeeKong Bar sits at this corner, offering the Belltown community fresh Vietnamese pho noodle soup, bahn mi burgers, and other Asian fusion cuisine. Photo credit: Google Maps (Sept. 2017).
Members of the SDOT team and former Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien take a break from biking on 4th Ave, near the Dahlia Bakery. Several people are visible standing near bicycles on the sidewalk of 4th Ave, with the outside of the bakery visible to the right.
Grab a cookie, slice of pie, or fresh sandwich at Dahlia Bakery, one of Tom Douglas’ eateries in Seattle, located at 4th Ave and Virginia St. Photo credit: Jordan Samson.
Photo of Seattle's Westlake Park plaza. Several colorful tables and chairs are visible in the foreground alongside a large cement planter box with vegetation growing inside. Children are visible playing in a kids play area to the upper right of the photo. Many trees are visible near the top of the photo.
Take a break in Westlake Park, located at 4th Ave and Pine St, which features a fountain, games, open seating, and rotating food trucks. Photo credit: Seattle Parks & Recreation.
The intersection of 4th Ave and Union St is visible with large buildings such as the new Rainier Square Tower visible in the center and upper right side of the image. Cars are visible on the right driving down 4th Ave, with additional vehicles queued up on Union St to the left.
Check out the new Rainier Square Tower, located at 4th Ave and Union St, is now downtown Seattle’s second-tallest skyscraper at 58 stories. Photo credit: Google Maps (July 2021).
View of the Seattle Central Library from 4th Ave and Spring St in downtown Seattle. The library looks large in the center of the photo, with other buildings visible in the background. Vehicles travel down 4th Ave in the lower right side of the photo.
The Seattle Central Public Library stands loud and proud at the corner of 4th Ave and Spring St. The central library recently reopened and is now open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (except Sundays, when it opens at noon). Photo credit: Google Maps (July 2021).
View of the Downtown Seattle YMCA building from 4th Ave, near Marion St. The brick building is visible in the center and righthand side of the photo, with 4th Ave visible in the lower-right side of the photo, where several cars drive by. Several trees are also visible throughout.
Founded in 1876, The Downtown Seattle YMCA is the oldest fitness and wellness facility in the Northwest, and continues to serve the Seattle community while growing and adapting to meet the needs of a growing city. The downtown Y is located at 4th Ave and Marion St, and offers a wide range of programs, services, and activities. Photo credit: Google Maps (July 2021). 
View of Seattle City Hall from the sidewalk along 4th Ave, near the corner of James St. City hall stands tall in the upper-right side of the photo. The Columbia Tower and another building are visible in the upper left corner. A Black Lives Matter mural along the sidewalk is visible on the lower left corner, extending off into the distance.
View of Seattle City Hall from 4th Ave and James St. City Hall is open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Photo credit: Dawn Schellenberg.

Friendly reminders for people biking on 4th Ave, and everywhere else!:

  • Bicyclists:
    • When entering the protected bike lane, remain aware of your surroundings – please yield to any pedestrians or people rolling in wheelchairs on the sidewalk or crosswalks as you enter. This includes pedestrians walking across the protected bike lane to access nearby hotels, office buildings, and other destinations along the route.
    • Be sure to stop at red lights – the protected bike lane extends through many downtown cross-streets along its route.
    • Look for the bicycle-specific green light (green bike icon) before you go.
    • Look both ways before you roll through the intersection, keeping an eye out for nearby vehicles.
    • Communicate with other bikers and pedestrians nearby as needed – use your bike bell or a verbal signal when passing.
    • With these tips in mind, please stay alert and enjoy the smooth ride on 4th Ave!
  • Drivers:
    • Please wait your turn. Do not turn left through an intersection when you have a red “no turn” arrow.
    • Make sure you have a green left-turn arrow before moving through the protected bike lane – and look for bikers approaching from either direction before turning.

Once again, we hope you can use this new route soon and take it get where you need to go – be it traveling to work, running errands, or just enjoying a fun ride to grab a cup of coffee or meet up with a friend.

Please let us know if you have any questions. You can find more info on the project webpage.

Thank you again for making this project a reality through the Levy to Move Seattle.

This project was funded by the 2015 voter-approved Levy to Move Seattle.