4th Ave Mobility Improvements

May 17, 2024

What's Happening Now?

Happy Bike Everywhere Day! As we celebrate this special day on May 17, 2024, we have exciting updates to share about our ongoing efforts to make biking in Seattle safer and more enjoyable.

Since March, crews have removed the old paint and posts on almost every block within the project area and have installed new concrete curbs. After all the concrete curbs are installed, crews will add reflective lane markers on the first buffer at every block. We expect the remaining blocks of the project to be completed by July.

 Image of a street with a protected bike lane featuring concrete curbs. Current conditions along 4th Ave between Virginia and Stewart streets.

Photo: New concrete curbs on the bike lane along 4th Avenue, between Virginia and Steart Streets.

The overall configuration of this protected bike lane will not change. Barriers will not be placed in areas that interfere with loading zones, driveways, and other areas which require street side access.

Here’s what you need to know

Bike lane closures:

  • The northbound bike lane will be closed for 3-4 days on each block where work is being performed, between Jefferson St. and Pine St. Between these streets, the closure will take place one block at a time.
  • From Pine St to Vine St and the work zone will occupy two blocks at a time. During this time, the bike lane will be closed for 6-8 days on the specific blocks where the construction is taking place.
  • The southbound bike lane will remain open at all times.


  • There won't be any alternate routes between Jefferson and Pine streets. Northbound cyclists will be asked to dismount and walk for one block then continue back onto the northbound lane at the next block.

  • Cyclists will be detoured to the 2nd Avenue bike lane from Pine St. to bypass sections where the bike lane is temporarily closed. Cyclists can continue their route on 4th Avenue in blocks where there is no ongoing improvement work.

Traffic impacts:

  • Prepare for a temporary closure of the lane next to the bike lane on 4th Avenue as our crews work on installing the concrete bike buffer. Keep in mind that on certain parts of 4th Avenue, this lane functions as a general-purpose traffic lane, while in other areas, it's designated for off-street parking.

  • Between Jefferson St. and Pine St. this lane will be closed for 3-4 days on each block where work is being performed.

  • From Pine St to Vine St this lane will be closed for 6-8 days on the specific blocks where the construction is taking place.

During construction:

  • Typical work hours are Monday to Friday between 7AM – 5PM

  • Noise, dust, vibrations, and equipment staging

  • Temporary closure of the bike lane, some parking and traffic lane

  • Maintain access to driveways, alleys, and load zones

Project Overview

Protected bike lanes and signalization improvements in downtown Seattle enhance safety for everyone and connect segments of the Downtown Bicycle Network.

In 2021, we completed Phase 1 of this project, building a bi-directional protected bike lane on 4th Avenue. This lane extends from the 2nd Avenue protected bike lane (crossing Dilling and Yesler Way) in Pioneer Square to Vine Street in Belltown.

2nd Ave before protected bike lane installation

2nd Ave after protected bike lane installation

During phase 2 of this project, in 2024, we upgraded the protected bike lane on 4th Avenue by replacing the paint and posts with concrete curbs, between Jefferson and Vine Streets.

Concrete curbs were not installed in sections where utility service amenities, such as manhole covers and Light Rail vents, are located, in order to maintain clearance for access and functionality.

The photo below shows the before and after images of the protected bike lane between Vine and Wall Streets.

The image is split into two sections. The above section shows the "Before" state, where the bike lane lacks concrete curbs. The below section shows the "After" state, where newly installed concrete curbs clearly separate the road and the bike lane.

We still envision a bike network with a direct connection down 4th to S Main St., but the impact to bus travel times at this point is too significant. As an interim solution, we're routing the south end of the protected bike lane through Dilling Way to Yesler for a connection to 2nd Ave. When buses are routed off 4th Ave in the future, we intend to make this direct connection as funding allows.   

Project Area

The map below shows the project area along 4th Ave, from James St. to Vine St. 

A map showing a green line outlining the project area

Project Design

The 4th Ave Mobility Improvements project add new protected bike lanes on the west side of 4th Avenue, maintained bus accommodations and included signal upgrades.

This protected bike lane separates people biking from moving vehicles with concrete curbs and signal upgrades. 

Project elements:

  • Parking and loading: The parking and loading lane is generally shifted outside of the bike lane (similar to other downtown bike lanes). We maintained as much parking and loading as possible but needed to remove some to allow space for left and right turn pockets and to improve visibility at driveways.

  • Signal upgrades: Drivers no longer need to yield across the crosswalk and bike lane to turn left. Now when people driving have the green left turn arrow, people biking and walking have a red to reduce yielding conflicts. These protected turns separate the signal phases for people walking/biking and people driving to improve traffic flow and make for a safer, more comfortable travel experience.

2nd Ave Signal

Phase 1 of this project was completed in segments:

Madison to Pine St Map (installed in September 2020) 


Pine to Bell Map (installed in November 2020) 

Phase 2 map

Pine to Vine Map (installed in October 2021)

Map of protected bike lane from Pine to Vine streets

Seneca to Yesler Way Map (installation complete)

Phase 3 Design Image

Click for more images of the connection at Dilling Way and Yesler Ave: 

Note: The bike lane connection on Dilling Way by City Hall Park won't preclude improvements as part of the Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Parks and Recreation Yesler Crescent Study.

Program Overview and Benefits

This project is part of the Bike Program. We've made a commitment to build this network of separated bike facilities to make biking a reliable travel choice and calm traffic as more people compete for limited street space. A complete bike network improves Seattle's health and quality of life for people of all ages and abilities. These are some of the benefits:

Improving safety for all

This 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.  

Transportation options for the center city

We are faced with the fundamental challenge of moving more people and more goods in the same amount of space. By making biking a more attractive and more viable transportation option, we can lower the share of people driving alone to and through Center City. 

Protected bike lanes on 2nd Ave quadrupled the number of people biking there. Employers located near paths and protected lanes have higher bike to work numbers. Making biking a real choice means building out a network in our region's densest jobs center.  


This protected bike lane is just one piece of the puzzle connecting to the bike lanes on Pike, Pine, and Bell streets and was prioritized as part of the Center City Bike Network. The Center City Bike Network, launched in 2015, developed a network map of better bike streets that separate people walking and biking from moving vehicles, provide safer all-ages and abilities transportation options, and maintain transit priority downtown.

This network was the result of community engagement, which continued through the One Center City program to make sure any improvements to the bike network are well coordinated and complimentary to the greater transportation system for people walking, driving, taking transit, and delivering goods. 

Economic benefits

Protected bike lanes boost economic growth by fueling redevelopment, boosting real estate value, helping companies attract and retain skilled workers, improving worker health and productivity, and increasing retail visibility and sales volume, according to a recent report.

Other cities have demonstrated the economic benefits of protected bike lanes. Intercept surveys in Portland, OR show that people arriving to retails stores on foot or by bicycle visit more frequently than those who drive, and they spend more money over the course of a month. Findings from a New York City protected bicycle lane implementation showed an increase in retail sales of up to 49% from locally based businesses on 9th Ave in Manhattan, compared to 3% borough-wide.


Sixteen percent of Seattle households do not have a vehicle for their use and nationwide the lowest income households bike for transportation most. Better bike lanes make biking a more viable transportation option to help people get to and from downtown. At the same time, not everyone is able to bike, which is why a high priority of the Center City Bike Network and this project is to maintain transit accommodations.  

Center City Bike Network Map 

Map showing all ages and abilities bike routes in Center City

click for full map pdf

Project Materials


  • If you need this information translated, please call (206) 775-8719.
  • በተከለለው የብስክሌት መስመር በ4th Ave. ላይ አዲስ የኮንክሪት ማገጃ እየጨመርን ነው። ለጥያቄዎች ወይም ለተጨማሪ መረጃ፣ እባክዎን ይደውሉ: (206) 775-8719
  • Estamos protegiendo la ciclovía agregando una nueva barrera de concreto entre el carril de las bicicletas y los automóviles en la 4th Ave. Si tiene preguntas o desea obtener más información, llame al: (206) 775-8719
  • 저희는 4th Ave의 자전거 전용 도로에 새로운 콘크리트 경계석을 설치할 예정입니다. 질문이나 자세한 내용은 다음으로 연락해 주십시오: (206) 775-8719
  • Waxaanu ku dareynaa kala-teed shub ah oo cusub laynka baaskiilka ilaalsan ee 4th Ave. Wixii su'aalo ama macluumaad dheeraad ah, fadlan wac: (206) 775-8719
  • Nagdaragdag kami ng bagong concrete barrier sa protektadong daanan ng bisikleta sa 4th Ave. Para sa mga katanungan o higit pang impormasyon, mangyaring tumawag sa: (206) 775-8719
  • Chúng tôi đang bổ sung thêm một rào chắn bê tông mới cho làn đường xe đạp được bảo vệ trên đường 4th Ave. Nếu quý vị có thắc mắc hoặc muốn tìm hiểu thêm thông tin, vui lòng gọi: (206) 775-8719
  • 我們在 4th Ave 上的保護型自行車道設立了新的混凝土護欄。如有疑問或想了解更多資訊,請致電:(206) 775-8719


Seattle Vision Zero Plan
Seattle Bike Master Plan
SDOT's Protected Bike Lane Page
The Green Lane Project - Helping cities build better bike lanes
Bike Lanes, On-Street Parking and Business - A study of Toronto merchants and patrons
Protected Bike Lanes Mean Business - Case studies on how 21st century transportation networks help new urban economies boom
One Center City's Proposed Near-Term Projects

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Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.