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South Seattle safety and bike projects are making exciting progress! | LEVY DOLLARS AT WORK

Crews work to install new smoother sidewalks along Martin Luther King Jr Way S. Photo: SDOT.

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We are committed to building safety and mobility improvements in South Seattle. The four Levy to Move Seattle-funded projects detailed in this blog are a top priority for our entire department. We are working hard to deliver these important safety improvements for everyone.


  • The MLK Jr Way Safety Project broke ground in early October, and construction is in full swing. All safety improvements at the intersection of S Judkins St and MLK Jr Way S are nearly complete.
  • Three more projects start construction next year:
    • The Beacon Ave S and 15th Ave S Safety Project begins construction in 2024. We already installed near-term community-requested safety improvements such as a new all-way stop and speed humps, while collaborating with residents to manage on-street parking.
    • The Georgetown to South Park Safety Project is ready to start construction in 2024. Prior to starting we must identify additional funding to cover the increased costs of building these safety improvements.
  • We’re committed to breaking ground on all four projects before the Levy to Move Seattle expires at the end of 2024.
  • As detailed in our 2023 Vision Zero Top-to-Bottom Review, protected bike lanes support safe travel for everyone. We’re excited that these safety projects are balancing the needs of transit, freight, and expanding our citywide bike network connections.
  • Learn more about what work has already been completed along MLK and in North Beacon Hill, and what’s ahead for each of these projects.

Construction of the MLK Jr Way Safety Project is in full swing

Since breaking ground in September, crews have made progress implementing safety improvements along Martin Luther King Jr Way S. Here’s what we’ve accomplished so far:

  • Construction crews have broken ground at two intersections along the corridor 
    • Martin Luther King Jr Way S & S Judkins St: 
      • Installed ADA-compliant curb ramps and pedestrian signal improvements at the northwest, northeast, and southeast corners 
      • Began work on the southwest corner 
    • Martin Luther King Jr Way S & S Massachusetts St: 
      • Installed new drain structure at northeast corner 
      • Installed ADA-compliant curb ramps and pedestrian signal improvements at the northeast and southeast corners 
      • Began work on the northwest and southwest corners 
Newly-installed ADA-accessible curb ramps at an intersection on a sunny day. Houses and trees are in the background.
Recently constructed ADA-accessible curb ramps and sidewalks at the southeast corner of S Massachusetts St. Photo: SDOT
Crews work to install newly placed sidewalks along a street on a partly cloudy day. A bus and car travel by in the adjacent street.
Recent construction of the sidewalk southeast of the intersection of MLK Jr Way S and S Massachusetts St. Photo: SDOT

When construction is complete, you’ll see:

  • One vehicle travel lane in each direction and a center turn lane to create more predictable vehicle movements without disrupting the flow of traffic
  • Concrete-protected bike lanes on both sides of MLK Jr Way S
  • Fresh street paint to improve visibility and safety conditions for pedestrians, vehicles, and bicycles
  • New or improved sidewalks and crosswalks to better separate pedestrians from traffic
  • New or upgraded pedestrian walk signals and bike detection signals to make people walking and biking more visible to drivers
  • 30 new ADA-accessible curb ramps

This project helps advance recommendations identified in previous community engagement on Accessible Mount Baker. It will also improve access to Franklin High School, the Northwest African American Museum, several nearby city parks, local businesses, and community gathering spaces.

Visit the project webpage and sign up for our email list for bi-weekly construction updates. Thank you for your patience as we build these safety improvements.

The Levy to Move Seattle

The nine-year Levy to Move Seattle concludes at the end of 2024. Approved by voters in 2015, the Levy makes up nearly 30% of Seattle’s transportation budget. The Levy funding makes all four of these top-priority safety projects in South Seattle possible.

We’re finalizing designs for the Beacon Ave S and 15th Ave S Safety Project and helping neighbors navigate parking changes

The Beacon Ave S and 15th Ave S Safety Project reached the 90% design milestone this fall, and we hosted a public meeting on November 9 to share the latest news: 

  • We’ve received positive feedback from neighbors about the new all-way stop we implemented at the intersection of 14th Ave S, 15th Ave S, and Golf Dr S in October.
  • We’ll make additional improvements soon, which include moving the speed cushion near this intersection further down 15th Ave S near S Atlantic St, adding ADA-accessible curb ramps and a new crosswalk, and relocating the bus stop from just north to just south of the intersection.
  • We’re also adding new bike signals for people crossing Beacon Ave S at S Spokane St and we’re building a raised platform at a bus stop and bike lane.
  • We’ll start repairing pavement on 15th Ave S between 14th Ave S and S Hill St.

These safety improvements represent important and tangible near-term upgrades in the public right-of-way, helping to advance our Vision Zero safety goals for all travelers in Seattle.

A worker wearing an orange vest and red hard hat installed flex posts as part of a new all-way stop, next to a marked bike route. Parked cars are in the background.
SDOT crew members installing flex posts as a part of the new all-way stop in North Beacon Hill. Photo: SDOT.

We also finalized a parking management plan, which adds, formalizes, or gives residents priority for around 35-50 parking spaces around the neighborhood:

  • S Judkins St: We’ll implement two new blocks of Residential Parking Zone (RPZ) 17. This adds approximately 20 RPZ parking spaces, which prioritizes these spaces for residents instead of visitors.
  • S College St and S Grand St: As soon as crews are available, we’ll begin formalizing 5-6 parking spaces on each street. This means we’ll add signage to encourage people to park in places where it is legal to park but not currently highly used by neighbors.
  • 14th Ave S: We’ll replace the curbside bike lane on the west side of the street with a parking lane, adding 7-9 new parking spaces outside of Beacon Hill Elementary school.

We will implement these parking improvements before full construction starts in 2024. In the meantime, we are continuing to inform neighbors and local business owners about what parking changes to expect through door-to-door outreach and direct mail. We’re helping people navigate the changes and find individualized solutions to ADA parking needs. We will maintain most existing parking on both sides of Beacon Ave S, and loading zones will be preserved and expanded for business access and needs.

When this project is complete, it will be safer and easier to walk, bike, and roll to the many businesses, community destinations, and transit stations in the growing North Beacon Hill neighborhood.

The Georgetown to Downtown Safety Project is nearing final design and includes additional safety improvements

We’re making changes and additions to the design to better support the local community and further improve safety.

At a virtual public meeting on November 30, we shared these project updates:

  • Relocated the SODO Trail connection from S Forest St to S Lander St based on business owner, freight, and bike community feedback: We visited businesses with our partners at the SODO Business Improvement Area (BIA), attended freight and bike advisory board meetings, and sharpened our pencils. As a result, we’ve identified a design to connect the new bike lanes on 6th Ave S to the southern end of the SODO Trail at S Lander St near SODO Station. We’ll extend the protected bike lanes on both sides of 6th Ave S one block north and add a two-way protected bike lane on the north side of S Lander St. We’ll continue working with SODO BIA to connect with businesses and other stakeholders in this new segment for greater transparency and inclusion in our decision-making!
  • Designed the northern connection to downtown: We’ll implement interim safety improvements on S Royal Brougham Way and 6th Ave S from the northern end of the SODO Trail to the existing bike facilities downtown. The early design for this segment would use a new corridor through the currently closed portion of 6th Ave S between S Royal Brougham Way and Seattle Blvd S along with short stretches of new protected bike lanes. We are also coordinating with a property owner and developer in the area on a permanent configuration for the protected bike lane along this stretch of 6th Ave S.

We plan to start construction in 2024. For more details on the full design, please visit our project web page.

Map of the project area, showing where routes will go, heading primarily north and south from S Lucile St to S Dearborn St.
The project map for the Georgetown to South Park Safety Project. Graphic: SDOT.

We’re seeking additional funds so we can launch construction on the Georgetown to South Park Safety Project

Despite the many obstacles we’ve overcome in building the Georgetown to Downtown Safety Project, we’re dedicated to breaking ground in 2024. Here’s how we’ve worked to overcome several challenges since 2020:

  • While it was necessary to temporarily pause work in 2020 to focus on managing the transportation system during the early COVID-19 pandemic, in 2021, we resumed working on the project design and completed design plans later that year.
  • In spring 2022, we began the environmental review process. We learned that this project required additional levels of review, including a cultural resources survey. Despite this unexpected hurdle, we completed the environmental review by spring 2023.
  • In summer 2023, we submitted the revised final design plans to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). Once WSDOT approves the project, we will advertise the project to hire a contractor for construction.
  • Another unexpected challenge we are working to solve is the significantly increased cost to build the project compared to our initial estimates. We’re dedicated to finding new funding sources to build the safety improvements we committed to the community. We’re over halfway to bridging the remaining funding gap.

We’re working hard to prevent further delays and ensure we can start construction in 2024. To stay updated, visit the project webpage and sign up for our email list. Thank you for your patience and support as we work to make these safety improvements.

A section of bike path and street along E Marginal Way. Large buildings are in the background as well as parked cars.
A section of existing bike lane on 16th Ave S. Photo: SDOT.
A person bikes along a path on a bridge on a sunny and cloudy day. Vehicle traffic travels the opposite direction on the bridge.
A person bikes along the South Park Bridge over the Duwamish River. Photo: SDOT.

Our project will create an off-street connection for people walking and biking through the Georgetown ‘Flume’ property, where Seattle Parks and Recreation is developing a new dog park! Construction of the new park is anticipated in early spring of 2024. Learn more on the Georgetown Flume Off-Leash Area Development webpage.

These projects support Seattle’s Vision Zero plan

The designs for these safety projects were guided by our Vision Zero Top-to-Bottom Review and the USDOT’s Safe System Approach. We’re excited to continue building these tangible safety upgrades in the public right-of-way to help keep all travelers safer during their trips.

Vision Zero logo, stating Vision Zero - Safer Streets for Seattle
Seattle’s Vision Zero logo. Graphic: SDOT.