LEVY DOLLARS AT WORK | Better intersections, bike lanes, sidewalks, and pavement arrive in northeast Seattle! 

15th Ave NE and Cowen PL NE. Photo: SDOT  

Summary 

  • We are excited to share that the 15th Ave NE Paving Project is complete! The improvements we made are a combination of many projects including paving, biking, Vision Zero, and Safe Routes to School!   
  • 15th Ave NE is a busy street connecting University District, Ravenna, and Maple Leaf neighborhoods, serving multiple bus routes, and containing homes, businesses, and Roosevelt High School.  
  • Over the past 5 years, 15th Ave NE has also had an above-average number of injuries from traffic-related collisions. 
  • In planning these improvements, we heard from hundreds of people about how they get around the neighborhood and what their priorities were.  
  • All in all, we paved 1.3 miles of roadway with new asphalt; added protected bike lanes, new left turn lanes, and new crossings with flashing beacons, and 24/7 parking; upgraded sidewalks and ADA-accessible curb ramps, along with sewer and water mains; and moved the Roosevelt High School bus loading zone to improve access for students with disabilities. 

15th Ave NE connects University District, Ravenna, and Maple Leaf, and serves King County Metro bus routes 45, 73, and 79. We made improvements to a section of 15th Ave NE that has homes, businesses, and Roosevelt High School. 

In the last 5 years, 15th Ave NE has also had an above-average number of injuries from collisions. As such, this project is part of our Vision Zero initiative to end traffic-related deaths and serious injuries by 2030.  

We heard from hundreds of people about how they get around the neighborhood and what their priorities were. Below is some of what we’ve heard throughout the project, and all comments are available on the project website

I live in the area and am significantly impacted by the construction but in the end, it will all be worth it. The bike lanes are something that my family and I will use regularly. We also walk and drive in the area on a daily basis so are looking forward to a safer street overall, for all users. And in 4 short years my daughter will attend high school at Roosevelt and I will feel so confident in her ability to bike and walk to school. Appreciate the creativity in rearranging the streets around the high school as well.” – NE Seattle neighbor

Neighborhood Greenway connection at Roosevelt High School. Photo: SDOT 

My family practices alternative commuting as much as we can. I bus to work. My husband bikes to his job in Bellevue three days a week. My school aged children either walk to school or take a school bus. I’d love to see more supports in our neighborhood for pedestrians. We live near the light rail station, and I expect our neighborhood will grow by thousands in the coming years. This is a fantastic opportunity to build in more alternative and low-cost commuting infrastructure in NE Seattle.” – NE Seattle neighbor

As shown on this map, the resulting project is a combination of many projects including paving, biking, Vision Zero, and Safe Routes to School! See below for photos and details related to each of these improvements. 


We repaved about 1.3 miles to make 15th Ave NE safer and more comfortable to travel on, and to extend the useful life of the pavement. 

Repaving in-progress. Photo: SDOT.

We added to our growing bike network with about a mile of new protected bike lanes and a quarter-mile of bike lanes. These connect to the new NE 65th St protected bike lanes we built a few years ago, making it easier for people to bike all over North Seattle and to the new Roosevelt Link light rail station!  

New protected bike lanes on 15th Ave NE, along with new 24/7 parking. The parked cars also provide an additional buffer between people biking and people driving. Photo: SDOT 
We also removed parking from one side of the street, making room for the bike lanes. There is now 24/7 parking in the other parking spaces so people don’t need to move their cars daily. The photo above shows these bike lanes and parking. The parked cars also provide an additional buffer between people biking and people driving. Photo: SDOT.

“Thank you for removing parking! And making improvements for safety of people traveling outside of cars! This is an important shift in priorities to really address climate change.– NE Seattle neighbor 


Traffic collisions are preventable in part through smarter street design. We created new crosswalks, dedicated left-turn lanes, and signals to improve safety for everyone. We also repaired areas of the sidewalk and upgraded curb ramps. 

The intersection at 15th Ave NE and NE 80th St. Photos: SDOT 
The intersection at 15th Ave NE and NE 80th St. Photos: SDOT 

After hearing concerns about safety at the intersection at NE 80th St and 15th Ave NE, we installed dedicated left turn lanes, which have their own left-turn signal – to improve safety for people driving. We also added leading pedestrian intervals at many intersections so that people crossing receive the walk signal before turning traffic. This makes them more visible to people driving. 

At 15th Ave NE and NE Ravenna Blvd, we added crossbikes (green crossings for bikes) to make people biking more visible, in response to feedback from the community. Photo: SDOT 
Clockwise from top left: (1) We also heard concerns about safety around Cowen Park and requests for this crosswalk at 15th Ave NE and NE 62nd St. (2) At 15th Ave NE and NE 65th St, we painted an area with white crisscrossing lines to keep cars from waiting there so that buses can comfortably make the turn. (3) At 15th Ave NE and NE Ravenna Blvd, we added crossbikes (green crossings for bikes) to make people biking more visible, in response to feedback from the community. Photos: SDOT 

To improve access for students with disabilities, we worked with Roosevelt High School and Seattle Public Schools to move the school bus loading zone from 15th Ave NE onto NE 68th St. 

This means the loading area is closer to the school’s accessible entrance, is less steep, and prevents the mixing of buses with traffic and bike lanes.  

Before, buses picked up and dropped off students with disabilities on 15th Ave NE, which is on a steep incline and far from the school’s accessible entryways. Now buses drop students on NE 68th St with a flat road, accessible curb ramps, and within 20 feet of the accessible school entry. Photo: SDOT 
Before, buses picked up and dropped off students with disabilities on 15th Ave NE, which is on a steep incline and far from the school’s accessible entryways. Now buses drop students on NE 68th St with a flat road, accessible curb ramps, and within 20 feet of the accessible school entry. Photo: SDOT 

We made the walking, rolling, and biking route to Roosevelt High School safer for students and neighbors by adding rapid flashing beacons at the connection to the Wedgewood to Roosevelt neighborhood greenway. 

15th Ave NE at Roosevelt High School before and after construction of a neighborhood greenway crossing and flashing beacons. Photo: SDOT 
15th Ave NE at Roosevelt High School before and after construction of a neighborhood greenway crossing and flashing beacons. Photo: SDOT 

We worked with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) to install a new water main under 15th Ave NE between NE 80th St and NE 70th St. 

To improve drainage and surface water runoff, we installed several stormwater catch basins. Photo: SDOT 

Shown at left, to improve drainage and surface water runoff, we installed several stormwater catch basins. (Photo: SDOT). SPU also renewed water main connections along the entire project area. We also updated an aging sewer line between NE 73rd St and NE 70th St. 

Thank you for making this possible through the Levy to Move Seattle!