Thomas St: 5th Ave N to Dexter Ave N

July 8, 2024

What’s happening now?

We have opened Seattle's first protected intersection, a major leap forward in our commitment to safer, more sustainable urban mobility. This revolutionary design not only modernizes our streetscape but significantly enhances safety and predictability for everyone—whether you’re walking, biking, or rolling! By seamlessly connecting major pathways like the greenway on Thomas St to the bustling Dexter Ave N bike lanes and bridging key areas from the Seattle Center to South Lake Union, we're ensuring that our community stays connected and vibrant, especially during our renowned events and festivals.

We are now working to complete this project and finish enhancements along Thomas St and on adjacent streets. However, due to the complexity of coordinating public and private construction, the remaining work takes place over the rest of the year. 

By mid-July, we expect to complete and open the bike lane on the north side of Thomas St between 5th Ave N and Dexter Ave N. We will also fill planters for safety reasons and complete the installation of irrigation. We will add plants later in the year to provide them with the best chance of survival.  

Click this link to read more about the opening of the new protected intersection on our blog.

Image of Seattle new protected intersection showing crosswalks, bike crossings, and intersection.

This short animation below shows how the various components of the intersection operate.

Project Overview

In coordination with Seattle City Light and other adjacent property owners, we will make improvements on Thomas St between 5th Ave N and Dexter Ave N.  
As part of the Thomas Street Redefined concept plan, the design focuses on improvements including a half-block closure at Thomas St east of 5th Ave N, Seattle’s first protected intersection at Denny Ave N and Thomas St, and bicycle facilities between 5th Ave N and Dexter Ave N. 
We initiated the first phase of improvements along this corridor by constructing an interim diverter at Dexter Ave N. This was completed in conjunction with the new traffic signal at Thomas St and 7th Ave N (formerly Aurora Ave N). The purpose of this diverter is to lower vehicle traffic volumes along Thomas St, which has been prioritized for people walking and biking. This improvement changed access to Thomas St from Dexter Ave N and allows Thomas St to function as a right in - right out only street. 

Seattle’s First Protected Intersection  

The Thomas St: 5th Ave N to Dexter Ave N Project includes the installation of Seattle’s first protected intersection, which is designed to support and prioritize safety for non-motorized traffic in the corridor. The protected intersection will include traffic signals to make it safer for people walking and biking to cross Dexter Ave N. It will also provide an important connection in the citywide biking network by linking the greenway on Thomas St to the popular Dexter Ave N bike lanes, as well as extending the connection to the Seattle Center from South Lake Union.  

Map showing the plans for the protected intersection of Dexter and Denny

You can learn more about protected intersections by clicking this link. 

What to Expect During Construction 

  • Access to businesses and homes always maintained.
  • Partial or full road and sidewalk closures with posted detours.
  • Possible parking restrictions near work zones.
  • Typical work hours between 7AM and 6PM, Monday through Friday. Some evening or weekend work is likely.
  • Typical construction noise, dust, and vibrations will occur.  

Project Maps

Thomas St: 5th Ave N to Dexter Ave N

The project extent is along Thomas St from 5th Ave N to 9th Ave N and along Taylor Ave N between Thomas St and Harrison St. Most of the improvements in this project will be installed between 5th Ave N and Dexter Ave N, with some minor improvements between Dexter Ave N to 9th Ave N to connect to the existing protected bike lanes at Dexter Ave N and 9th Ave N.

Map showing project area on Thomas St between 5th Ave N and Dexter Ave N.

Graphic showing work on Thomas StThe this link for a larger image. 

Project Background

Thomas St is an important east/west green street and public realm connection, linking the Cascade neighborhood through South Lake Union to the Seattle Center. This project stemmed from the Thomas Street Redefined Plan and is identified in the Bicycle Master Plan as a Neighborhood Greenway.

This project will construct a protected intersection at Thomas St and Dexter Ave N to support and prioritize non-motorized traffic in this corridor, particularly around event times at the Seattle Center. The protected intersection will include a traffic signal to make it easier for people walking and biking to cross Dexter Ave N. This will provide an important connection in the citywide biking network by linking Thomas St to the popular Dexter Ave N bike lanes. 

Thomas Street Redefined

Thomas Street Redefined is a community-driven, visionary concept plan for a pedestrian and bicyclist-oriented corridor connecting the Waterfront, Uptown, Seattle Center, South Lake Union, and Eastlake neighborhoods. 

Thomas Street Redefined consist of two parts: West of Seattle Center (connecting Seattle Center to the Elliott Bay Trail via Thomas St Overpass) and East of Seattle Center (connecting Seattle Center to Eastlake). This project is the first phase of the East of Seattle Center connection.


Time line showing we are in construction

  1. Planning (2019-2021): We collected traffic data, reviewed plans, and gathered community experiences to define options.
  2. Design (2021-2023): We are collaborating with the community, and developing a more detailed final design. 
  3. Construction (as soon as fall 2023): We will construct the project and keep the community informed on the latest construction updates, schedule, and expected impacts. 
  4. Project completion (planned for 2024)

 Project Materials

Click on the links below:

Construction Flyer (November 2023)


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.