Beacon Hill Bike Route

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Updated: November 1, 2022

What's Happening Now? 

We Are Here Early Planning Timeline Graphic

We are excited to share some updates about the Beacon Hill Bike Route Project!

Today we are sharing early design concepts for the 15th Ave S and Beacon Ave S bike route that embody best practices for a safer, more sustainable street design based on what these communities have told us is important to them.

Our Beacon Hill project will:

  • Provide a north-south bike connection in southeast Seattle, which is challenging because of the hills and available street network. This route would create a new active transportation corridor between Beacon Hill and other vibrant neighborhoods across the Dr. Jose Rizal Bridge, like Little Saigon, and destinations in south Beacon Hill in the future.
  • Install protected bike lanes at the north end (Segment 1) on 15th Ave S and Beacon Ave S between the Dr. Jose Rizal Bridge and S Spokane St at Jefferson Park, separating people biking from car and truck traffic. 
  • Redesign key intersections to make it safer and more comfortable for people crossing the street. Streets and intersections would prioritize people walking, biking, rolling, and taking transit.
  • Focus on the needs of the Beacon Hill community who are going to local businesses and destinations instead of prioritizing people driving through the community at unsafe speeds. And it also provides all-ages and abilities routes off the hill to the places people want to go like the Chinatown-International District and Rainier Valley.
  • Encourage people to drive at safer speeds by narrowing traffic lanes to match current safety best practices. This creates a safer street design, which is easier for people to cross – especially children, elders, and people with disabilities. 
  • Manage public parking and access for residents, businesses, and institutions by shifting some parking spaces from the busy arterial streets to side streets. Detailed parking studies will help us have community conversations around parking and access plans.

Here are graphics showing the Segment 1 preliminary design concepts:

Our project timeline recently shifted to being in construction later than planned. We’re looking at ways to reduce the overall timeline and get these improvements implemented sooner.

We created these early design concept based on what we’ve been hearing from the community and businesses:

  • Create a safe, sustainable network of walk/bike/transit streets across Seattle.
  • Don’t leave Beacon Hill and southeast Seattle out of the growing active transportation network.
  • Make it safer and easier to cross the street, especially on busier arterials near businesses, schools, homes, and transit stops
  • Give residents enough on-street parking close to home and for people who drive to jobs, visit friends or family in the neighborhood, or deliver goods and packages.
  • Create streets and sidewalks where people feel safe and comfortable walking between their home and the bus, parking, or other community destinations.
  • Design streets in business districts where customers can easily access stores by walking, biking, rolling, taking transit, or driving.
  • Improve intersections where people say it is challenging or confusing to cross the street.
  • Learn and understand the history of the Beacon Hill community to better inform the process and project. Understand the history of segregation, disenfranchisement, and displacement that has shaped the experiences of many of the people who live, work, and travel in this unique and vibrant community.

Next Steps

  • We’ll conduct additional community engagement about this project, as we continue to advance the design informed by public input.
  • Please stay tuned for a survey later this month where you can share your thoughts, travel patterns, and priorities for the project.
  • We are building the project in segments, from the Dr. Jose Rizal Bridge to the intersection of Beacon Ave S and 39th Ave S.
    • Segment 1 extends from the Dr. Jose Rizal Bridge to S Spokane St.
    • Segment 2 is between S Spokane St to S Myrtle St.
    • Segment 3 completes the route to 39th Ave S.
  • Information we gather through the survey and our upcoming outreach activities will help us select a preferred design alternative for Segment 1. We’re currently focused on planning and design for Segment 1 through 2023, with construction in 2024.
  • We are working to secure funding to design and construct Segments 2 and 3.
  • We’re also looking into potential nearer-term safety improvements in the corridor, such as traffic calming and bike lane maintenance.

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.

  • Segment 1 extends from the Dr. Jose Rizal Bridge to S Spokane St.
  • Segment 2 is between S Spokane St to S Myrtle St.
  • Segment 3 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

Segment 1

Segment 1 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 coridor:
    • 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

Click on this map of the segment one project area points of interest to open a PDF version.

Segment 2

Segment 2 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 Segment 2 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.

Segment 3

Segment 3 will be between S Myrtle St and S 39th St in South Beacon Hill. This area is much more residential.

Community Points of Interest

Segment 3 Route with Community Destinations 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.

  • 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 Segment 2 and 3 options, answer questions and gather feedback from the community
  • August 2020: Online drop-in session - introduce the project, share Segment 1 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