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Melrose Ave street changes at E Pike and E Pine streets in Capitol Hill coming soon

People walk along the raised intersection at Melrose Ave and E Pike St in Capitol Hill. Photo: SDOT

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We’re making updates to Melrose Ave between E Pike St and E Pine St in Capitol Hill. These changes will make the street more comfortable for people walking, biking, and rolling. They’ll also address issues of illegal parking and illegal left turns from E Pike St onto Melrose Ave.

These changes were informed by feedback from the community and nearby businesses, as well as evaluation by SDOT staff, the Melrose Promenade Project, and the Pike/Pine Streetscape project led by the Waterfront Seattle Program.

The upcoming changes in the Melrose Ave area are detailed below:

Map showing the focus area for street changes in this blog post. A section of Melrose Ave between E Pike and E Pine St are shown with an orange line that says "focus area".
Map of the focus area for upcoming street changes on and around Melrose Ave. Graphic: SDOT

1) Installing bollards and bike racks on west side of raised intersection at E Pike St

We plan to install a mix of bollards (sturdy posts that guide and limit vehicle access) and bike racks to discourage people driving from illegally parking within the raised intersection or entering the pedestrian area. Parking and vehicle loading is not allowed within the raised intersection, and there are currently signs and red paint that indicate these restrictions.

Bike racks and bollards will help further discourage drivers from stopping in the raised intersection and provide additional storage space for bikes, while keeping open space for people on the sidewalk. We will install these elements in 2024.

2) Restricting vehicle access to northbound Melrose Ave at E Pike St and installing a raised concrete island on east side of street at the intersection

The Waterfront Seattle program is permanently changing Pike St and Pine St to be one-way streets from 1st Ave in downtown Seattle to Bellevue Ave in Capitol Hill, with Pike St one-way eastbound and Pine St one-way westbound (read more in our recent blog). The change will happen in phases as the project is completed. As early as Saturday, November 18, the project will permanently remove westbound vehicle access on Pike St between Bellevue Ave and Terry Ave/Hubbel Pl. Left turns from eastbound Pike St to Melrose Ave are currently prohibited and they will continue to be prohibited.

In conjunction with this work, we will restrict vehicle access to northbound Melrose Ave at Pike St, including adding “right turn only” signs on Minor Ave as people driving approach the Pike St intersection. This change will help improve safety for people biking westbound on Pike St until the westbound bike lanes are moved to Pine St later in the Waterfront Seattle program’s construction schedule. It will also help reinforce the existing left turn restriction from eastbound Pike St to Melrose Ave.

In 2024, we will add a new concrete barrier on Melrose Ave at Pike St and a new raised concrete island with “do not enter, except bikes” signs.

Detailed infographic showing planned street changes at Melrose Ave and E Pike St. An orange bar shows a concrete barrier that will be installed, and other call-out boxes show where changes such as a raised concrete island with do not enter except bikes sign will be located.
Detailed diagram of planned changes at the intersection of Pike St, Minor Ave, and Melrose Ave. Graphic: SDOT

People driving south on Melrose Ave will still be able to access Pike St and Minor Ave, and Melrose Ave will remain open to two-way traffic north of the intersection of Minor Ave. Maintaining the northbound travel lane on Melrose Ave north of the Melrose/Minor intersection supports the localized movement of vehicles on the block and allows people driving to access the parking spaces on the east side of Melrose Ave.

We re-evaluated changing Melrose Ave to be southbound only between Pike St and Pine St. However, we are not moving forward with this change at this time because the street is an existing neighborhood greenway with two-way bike traffic.  

3) Reconfiguring parking and loading zones on Melrose Ave between E Pike St and E Pine St

We’re moving the signed loading zones to the west side of Melrose Ave and the paid parking to the east side of the street. Both sides of the street are currently a mix of paid parking and loading zones. This change will help make the designated parking and loading areas clearer for people driving. It will also make it easier for parking enforcement to monitor and enforce the area.

On the west side of the street, we plan to keep the parking space for people with disabilities near E Pine St, install two 30-minute commercial vehicle loading zones (one more than exists today), four paid 30-minute loading zones, and one passenger loading zone. On the east side of the street, we plan to keep the loading zone at the north end of the block and change it to a paid loading zone. The rest of the block on the east side of the street will be paid parking. Paid loading zones will help provide more turnover, support efficient enforcement, and help better manage loading needs in the area. We plan to make the parking and loading zone changes next year.

Next steps

We will monitor all these changes once they’re made, and we will continue to evaluate if additional changes are needed in the future. Thank you for your interest.

A person walks across a colorful crosswalk while listening to music. Cars and buildings are in the background.
A person walks along a painted community crosswalk at the intersection of Melrose Ave and E Pike St in Capitol Hill in 2018. Colorful painted crosswalks will be installed as the final piece of the Melrose Promenade project. Photo: SDOT.