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Beacon Hill Bike Route

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Updated: February 3, 2023

What's Happening Now? 

We Are Here Early Planning Timeline Graphic

Note: The Beacon Hill Bike Route project has evolved, and along with that comes a name change to Beacon Ave S & 15th Ave S Safety Project. This reflects the range of improvements the project will provide. It will create a safe and comfortable bike route that connects people to businesses and community destinations in Beacon Hill. It’s also an opportunity to improve safety for all travelers, provide a better north-south connection in southeast Seattle, and improve safe access to transit. We will be updating the project webpage in the coming weeks.

Safety enhancements coming this spring!

Last fall and winter, we held community site walks and listening tours to see the project area first-hand and understand the safety priorities of people living, working, and visiting the neighborhood. Along with providing a safe place for people to bike, people want traffic to slow down by their homes and businesses. And folks have said they want busier streets to be more people-oriented and easier to cross. 
  
So we’re excited to announce we'll be enhancing safety along 15th Ave S this spring. You'll see:

  • Speed cushions to slow speeds
  • Rapid-flashing beacon to make it easier for people driving to see you and safer to cross the street
  • Painted curb bulbs to make people walking more visible to drivers and shorten crossings
  • Pavement repairs for smoother travel
  • More green paint at existing bike lane crossings to raise awareness
  • Signs and pain where parking isn't allowed already at intersections so pedestrians aren't hidden by parked cars and trucks

15th Ave S Near Term Safety Improvements map

Map of safety enhancements in the project area. Graphic SDOT

What's Next

We are nearing 30% design of the bike route and drafting a parking management plan. We look forward to discussing it with you later this month. Continue reading to learn more about what we learned through public engagement and how we're collecting data to inform the parking management plan.

What we heard during our recent community outreach

During our latest phase of outreach, we asked people to share their thoughts about safety needs and the bike route, particularly in the project's north segment. We gathered comments through surveys, events, meetings and listening tours, conversations, and correspondence. We received over a thousand comments from a diverse group of people living, working, and traveling in Beacon Hill. We are excited to share what we heard and are thankful for the engagement. 

You can check out our early design outreach summary (2-page overview with full survey results) for a recap of our engagement activities from the past few months. It includes what we learned about your design preferences, priorities for potential improvements, and more. 

You can also read on for some key themes of feedback, below: 

  • Protected bike lane location:
    • About half of people (47%) prefer a protected bike lane on each side of 15th Ave S
      • Bikes moving in the same direction as vehicles feels safer and more logical to many people. It’s a more intuitive design for people walking, biking, and driving.
      • Nearly a quarter of people (22%) prefer a two-way protected bike lane only along the east side of 15th Ave S
  • How people travel: Folks shared they would prefer to bike (80%), walk (76%), or take public transit (68%) to get around north Beacon Hill.
    • Currently, most people get around the neighborhood by either walking (71%) or driving (71%).
  • Safety concerns: Unsafe driving is a big safety concern for people who weighed in. Specific concerns include speeding, cut-through traffic, and aggressive driving. People also mentioned drivers failing to yield to people walking and biking.
  • Street and sidewalk conditions: Street and sidewalk maintenance was another safety concern we heard. Feedback included dim lighting, missing crosswalks, and longer crossings. Folks also shared about pavement, sidewalks, and drainage being in poor condition.
  • Protected bike lane opposition: Some people shared feedback in opposition to installing the protected bike lanes. We heard people say they felt we were proposing the bike lanes for people who don’t live in Beacon Hill.
  • Concerns about parking: We also heard that there are not enough people biking to warrant removing parking. There is concern about where residents without off-street parking will park their cars
  • Maintaining access: Folks asked us to make sure their homes and businesses remain accessible. They need deliveries to be able to reach them. 

Stay Tuned!

We'll host a virtual open house in the next month to provide additional details on what we heard from the community, planned near-term safety improvements, and next steps for the project.

We’re evaluating how to manage limited parking for people who live and work nearby

In summer 2022, we conducted an independent, third-party parking study for north Beacon Hill. The parking study helps us to better understand parking capacity and parking demands. The planned protected bike lanes on 15th Ave S remove about 100 on-street parking spaces. This includes 50 spaces in an existing Residential Parking Zone (RPZ). There are apartments on 15th Ave S, between Golf Dr S and S Atlantic St that currently have limited on no off-street parking.

We’ve heard concerns about loss of parking for residents who rely on their car to get to work and possible displacement. Challenges along this stretch of the street include limited space to add parking. This is primarily due to the narrow street. There is also an existing ADA-accessible parking space to accommodate and steep side streets. 

Using data collected this summer and the concerns described above, we're drafting an on-street parking management plan with the residential community. This plan will be informed by the needs of the people that live in this area. The community includes Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community members, multi-generational households, and people with limited on-street alternatives. The draft plan will be shared during the next phase of public engagement.

As noted above, we encourage you to stay tuned as we develop the on-street parking management plan, by signing up for email updates.

Thank you for your interest, and for sharing your perspectives to help shape this important project. Let's continue to work together to create a safe and comfortable bike route through southeast Seattle that connects people to businesses and community destinations in Beacon Hill. 

Here’s how you can reach us and stay informed:

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Project Description

We are building the project in segments, from the Dr. Jose Rizal Bridge to the intersection of Beacon Ave S and 39th Ave S.

  • North Segment extends from the Dr. Jose Rizal Bridge to S Spokane St.
  • Middle Segment is between S Spokane St to S Myrtle St.
  • South Segment completes the route to 39th Ave S.

    Beacon Hill Bike Route All Segments Project Map

Project Overview

In 2019, SDOT partnered with the Department of Neighborhoods (DON) to conduct outreach around the City to find out about the community's priorities to having places to bike in their community. This outreach effort provided an avenue to listen to community members, understand how the implementation plan was perceived, and collect ideas on how we could improve the plan. We also learned about how future work can be more responsive to community needs. We heard clearly that it was important to have more routes in Southeast Seattle to connect people to the neighborhood and job centers, specifically on Beacon Hill. The Beacon Hill Bike Route Project was created in response to what we heard. The purpose of this project is to create a safe and comfortable bike route that connects people to businesses and community destinations in Beacon Hill. This bike project continues to build out the bike network connecting to the new bike lanes on S Columbian Way, S Myrtle St, and the Chief Sealth Trail. We're planning a bike route in Beacon Hill as we've identified the area as a high-priority corridor for meeting the following transportation and community needs:

  • This project will contribute to the City's Vision Zero goal to end traffic deaths and serious injuries.
  • Provide a better north/south bike connection in southeast Seattle.
  • Improve pedestrian and bicycle safety and connections to transit.

Though there are other existing bike routes nearby, these other routes do not connect to the same vital community destinations.

Project Schedule

Project Details

North Segment

The North Segment extends from Dr. Jose Rizal Bridge to S Spokane St and connects the North Beacon Hill neighborhood.

Cross Sections for Early Design Concepts

15th Ave S One-Way Protected Bike Lane
  • Parking available on west side of Golf Dr S
  • Metro's Routes 36 and 60 shared bus stop relocated from Golf Dr S to 14th Ave S
  • Parking available on east side between S College St and S Bayview St
  • New bike turn queue box with No Turn On Red on north leg of Beacon Ave S and 15th Ave S intersection
15th Ave S Two-Way Protected Bike Lane
  • Bike signal with No Turn On Red at Golf Dr S and S Charles St
  • Parking available on west side of Golf Dr S
  • Metro's Routes 36 and 60 shared bus stop relocated from Golf Dr S to 14th Ave S
  • Parking available on both sides between S College St and S Bayview St
  • Bike signal with No Turn on Red at S College St
  • New bike turn queue box with No Turn on Red on north leg of Beacon Ave S and 15th Ave S intersection

15th Ave S One-Way and Two-Way Protected Bike Lanes Cross Sections

Beacon Ave S One-Way Protected Bike Lanes
  • Parking and load zones available on both sides of Beacon Ave S
    • except between S Lander St and S McClellan St (Beacon Hill Light Rail station and Metro bus stop)
  • New curb ramps identified along the corridor
  • Bike lane and bus stop options at Beacon Hill Light Rail Station/Metro bus stop for Routes 36, 60, and 107
    • Raised bike lane with In-Lane Bus Stop
    • Bike lane behind bus stop, in front of existing street trees
  • Bike lane and bus stop options along corridor:
    • Floating Bus Stop
    • Raised Bike Lane with In-Lane Bus Stop

Beacon Ave S One-Way Protected Bike Lanes Cross Sections

Community Points of Interest

Beacon Hill Bike Route North Segment Project Map

Middle Segment

The Middle Segment is located along Beacon Ave S from S Spokane St to S Myrtle St. It goes by Jefferson Park and connects along the center median trail through central Beacon Hill.

Community Points of Interest

Beacon Hill Bike Route Middle Segment Project Map

Existing conditions on Beacon Ave S at Jefferson Park

Typical S Spokane St to S Alaska St

Cross section of Beacon Ave S at Jefferson Park

Proposed S Spokane St to S Alaska St

Segment 2 existing conditions on Beacon Ave S at Jefferson Park

Note: cross sections are not to scale.

South Segment

The South Segment will be between S Myrtle St and S 39th St in South Beacon Hill. This area is much more residential.

Community Points of Interest

Beacon Hill Bike Route South Segment Project Map

Community members using the Beacon Hill Center Median Path

Typical S Ferdinand St to S 39th St

Segment 3 typical cross section on Beacon Ave S

Proposed S Ferdinand St to S 39th St

Proposed wider multi-use trail on Beacon Ave S

Note: cross sections are not to scale.

Community Engagement

Since the summer of 2020, we have conducted multiple community engagement events with people who live and travel through Beacon Hill. The extensive feedback about route preferences and design features helped to inform the northern route segment. Read our Planning Outreach Summary report to learn more about the process and feedback received for this project.

During the planning, design, and construction phases of our project, we conduct inclusive community engagement and strive to balance varying needs presented by public comments that we receive at each step of our outreach processes. The below table summarizes our upcoming outreach activities.

  • Fall/Winter 2022/23: Early Design outreach activities -- gather community feedback for the North Segment early design alternatives and intersection options 
  • Winter 2021/2022: North Beacon Hill business district - gather feedback about access and parking needs
  • Summer 2021: Neighborhood and public meetings - gather community feedback and ideas about about the use of this busy corridor
  • November 2020: Online drop-in session - share the Middle and South Segments options, answer questions and gather feedback from the community
  • August 2020: Online drop-in session - introduce the project, share the North Segment route options, answer questions and gather feedback from the community
  • Ongoing: Business outreach - discuss project impacts, provide project information and updates and gather feedback
  • Ongoing: Stakeholder outreach - provide project updates and gather community feedback
  • Ongoing: Email updates - project updates

Bike Network Prioritization Process

The Beacon Hill Bike Route project was prioritized based on public feedback and City Council actions over the past several years. In 2019, SDOT and DON held four community meetings across the city to learn about people's priorities for building out the bike network. In that outreach, as well as engagement with the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board, it was strongly recommended to build a bike connection not only on 12th Ave S between Capitol Hill and Beacon Hill, but within Beacon Hill itself to create a greater connection between southeast Seattle and downtown.  

Beacon Hill was specifically recognized during that outreach as a priority of community and transportation safety advocates (see pages 13-14 of the 2019 Bicycle Master Plan Implementation Plan for summaries.) In addition, during the 2019 budget process, the City Council allocated funding to prioritize building a bike connection in southeast Seattle.

Funding

The Mayor's Office committed an additional $10.33M from the Mercer Megablock sale to building bike facilities prioritized by the community, including a connection Beacon Hill to Downtown. This project will be partially funded by the 9-year Levy to Move Seattle, approved by voters in 2015. Learn more about the Levy to Move Seattle.

Materials

To view a PDF of project-related materials, please click on the links provided below.

Background Materials

Transportation

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
684-Road@seattle.gov

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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.