Even Better Bike Lanes

Project overview 

We’re making many of Seattle’s protected bike lanes more durable by replacing flexible posts with concrete barriers. This work will help improve separation between people biking and driving, reduce ongoing maintenance needs, and help strengthen Seattle’s overall bike network.  

Several projects have already been completed, with more in the works in 2024 and 2025. Keep an eye on this page as we continue to upgrade more locations, starting in Southeast Seattle. 

Project background

Seattle’s Better Bike Lane program is in full swing with multiple recently completed pilot locations that are currently testing the viability of several different types of barriers for our network of protected bike lanes. We’re replacing ‘paint and post’ protected bike lanes with a variety of concrete and plastic material options to improve trips for Seattle’s bike riders.    

This pilot is following the lead of cities like New York and Chicago, which have implemented similar pilot programs to help determine the best type of barrier for their protected bike lanes. We will be monitoring the performance of these new barriers to see how they last with a goal of identifying materials and processes that can be rolled out across the protected bike lane network. 

Where are we installing these barriers? 

The first location was installed on NE 40th St beneath the University Bridge in 2022, and we began scoping other locations citywide. 

Map showing completed locations on a map of Seattle.  The locations are also listed on the page.


  • NE 40th St from 7th to Lincoln- Installed July 2022
  • Dearborn Pilot: 10th to Rainier- Installed Winter 2023/2024
  • S Columbian Way Pilot: 16th to S Snoqualmie St- Installed November 2023 

In design 

  • 9th Ave N from Republican to Mercer
  • 5th and Main from Jackson to 4th 
  • S Columbian Way: S Snoqualmie St to MLK – (Installation underway in Spring 2024)
  • Swift/Myrtle/Othello: S Eddy St to MLK 

In the 2023 City budget process, the Seattle City Council required that $1 million dollars be reallocated to upgrading barriers in Southeast Seattle to improve safety for residents in these communities. We are currently prioritizing locations in District 2 to meet this requirement, but are also carrying forward a single block location in South Lake Union. 

Why does SDOT use flexposts? 

Currently, plastic posts (also known as flexposts or flexible delineators) are the most common material used for Seattle’s protected bike lanes and have continued to be the national industry standard for over a decade. Due to their availability and ease of installation, plastic posts have helped solve many of the challenges of planning and implementing new protected bike lanes. For example, the flexibility of plastic posts has allowed us to install protected bike lanes throughout the city in locations that may continue to require access for emergency vehicles.  

The downside is that because they are flexibile, plastic posts require continued maintenance and replacement when they are broken or detached. Better bike lane upgrades can also decrease maintenance costs for the city over time. 

A photo of a bike lane that uses plastic flexposts as the divider

Plastic flexible posts provide separation for the protected bike lane on N 92nd St in the Licton Springs neighborhood. Photo: SDOT. 

A close up of a bike lane with flexposts missing

Protected bike lane on NE Campus Parkway in the University District, with posts that need to be replaced. Photo credit: Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. 

What options are we testing? 

When considering materials for the Better Bike Lane program, we wanted to test materials that would offer an increased level of protection for bicyclists and be more durable than the current plastic delineator posts.  

There are three types of materials we will be testing:  

Low Wall Concrete Barrier

This is also known as a Toronto Style Barrier. This is a durable alternative to cast in place concrete curbing, suitable for use on busy streets with wide buffers between the bike lane and travel lane. 

A biker with a child on the back on a bike path with Low Wall Concrete Barrier

Precast Parking Stops

This is a durable barrier option useful for streets with less space between the bike and travel lane. 

A close up of a low precast concrete parking stops on a street


Low-cost direct replacement for flex posts with potentially better durability.

An example of low round barricades

(Photo credit - Bike Delaware) 

Related Projects 

Georgetown to Downtown Safety Project’s Protected Bike Lane  
This project plans to use the same low wall concrete barrier that was recently installed on S Columbian Way as part of the Better Bike Barriers pilot.  

4th Ave Upgrade 
This project is upgrading the protected bike lane on 4th Ave in downtown Seattle. Contractors will be doing the work using funding from a grant award.  

8th Ave Upgrade 
This project upgraded the protected bike lane on 8th Ave between Pike St and Westlake Ave. This project was delivered by contractors and funded by the Convention Center mitigation fund, which is supporting transportation investments near the Seattle Convention Center in downtown Seattle. 



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.