Alaskan Way Protected Bike Lane

Completing the bike connection along Seattle's central waterfront

August 2, 2022

What's happening now?

Thank you to those who were able to join our online open house on May 10 to share your feedback, comments, and questions with our project team. Here's the recorded presentation and a summary of the Q&A session from the online open house.  

Project Overview

Seattle Department of Transportation will be building a protected bike lane on Alaskan Way from Virginia St to Broad St to connect the future Waterfront protected bike lanes with the Elliott Bay Trail. We are currently early in design and have a proposed concept for the bike facility design. View the concept and more details below.

With the new roadway changes and improvements being constructed on Alaskan Way including a two-way protected bike lanes as part of the Waterfront Seattle project, we have an opportunity to build a bike connection between this future facility from Virginia St and the existing Elliott Bay Trail at Broad St via Alaskan Way. When complete, the project will connect the Waterfront Park Promenade and Bike Path to the Elliott Bay Trail, providing a continuous all ages and abilities bike facility along Seattle's central waterfront.

This project will redesign Alaskan Way to enhance safety for all modal users, respond to changing traffic patterns following the removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and support sailing operations at Pier 66 and 69.

Project Map

Map showing project corridor on Alaskan Way between Virginia St and Broad St.

Project Background

The seawall project completed in 2017 constructed a new seawall under Alaskan Way from Colman Dock to the Seattle Aquarium. In 10 years' time, Seattle will need to rebuild the section of seawall north of Pier 62. While the new seawall project north of Pier 62 may include addition of a bike facility on Alaskan Way, the Alaskan Way Protected Bike Lane project will design and construct an interim, all ages and abilities bike facility to fill the existing 0.6-mile gap in the bike network between the Elliott Bay Trail and new Waterfront Bike Path.

The Waterfront Seattle Program is constructing the Waterfront Bike Path, a two-way protected bike lane on the west side of Alaskan Way from S King St to Virginia St. In addition, SDOT is working with Waterfront Seattle Program to construct the new Elliott Way Connection, which will divert vehicular traffic from Alaskan Way onto Elliott Way. This new connection, when complete in 2023, is forecasted to significantly reduce vehicular volume on Alaskan Way north of Pine St, poviding an opoortunity to redesign Alaskan Way and include a new bike facility.

Proposed Concept

The proposed concept includes a combination of different bike facility designs:

  • Broad St to Wall St: West side two-way protected bike lane
  • Wall St to Bell St: East side two-way shared use path
  • Bell St to Virginia St: East side two-way raised protected bike lane

Map showing proposed design of protected bike lane on Alaskan Way between Virginia St and Broad St.

North of Wall St, the bike facility is proposed on the west side of Alaskan Way to avoid intersection conflicts on the east side and connect directly to the Elliott Bay Trail at Broad St. The protected bike lane will be raised and load zone will be maintained in front of Pier 69.

Cross section of roadway showing Alaskan Way channelization between Wall St and Broad St, looking north.

South of Wall St, the bike facility is proposed on the east side of Alaskan Way to avoid passenger loading conflicts at Pier 66 and maintain space for sailing day operations. The raised protected bike lane will be fully separate from the sidewalk and people walking. The shared use path will be for people walking and biking and is only proposed for a short distance where space is most constrained and pedestrian volumes are lower. The project will connect to the west side Waterfront Promenade and Bike Path at Virginia St.

Cross section of roadway showing Alaskan Way channelization between Wall St and Bell St, looking north on non-sailing day.

Cross section of roadway showing Alaskan Way channelization between Bell St and Virginia St, looking north.

What are protected bike lanes?

A protected bike lane is an exclusive bike facility that combines the user experience of a separated path with the on-street infrastructure of a conventional bike lane. A protected bike lane is physically separated from motor traffic and distinct from the sidewalks.

These lanes have different forms but all share common elements - they provide space that is intended to be exclusively or primarily used for bicycles, and are separated from motor vehicle travel lanes, parking lanes, and sidewalks. Learn more at our protected bike lane page.

Funding

This project is funded in part by the 9-year Levy to Move Seattle, approved by voters in 2015, Puget Sound Regional Council, and Washington State Department of Transportation.

Schedule

Project schedule

Project materials

Other nearby projects