Aurora Ave Project

Updated August 29, 2022

What's Happening Now?

Have you taken our Survey? 

Update: The survey closing date has been extended by one week until Friday October 7th. We have been collecting feedback from the community through our summer outreach activities and survey. Since we launched the survey in July, we’ve received an overwhelming response and a lot of helpful feedback.  

We want to ensure we hear from as many people as possible. If you travel or live near Aurora Ave, please take the survey and tell us about your experience on Aurora Ave. Your responses to this survey will help us better understand ways to improve safety on Aurora Ave N. The survey will be open through October 7th.   

Translated surveys:

IMPORTANT: 

Questions 9, 11, and 13 of this survey involve scaled answer choices. Although the scales used are different, this does not affect the survey results. We want to ensure that responses are not being misinterpreted due to this, please note that the scales used are as follows: 

  • For Question 9, the answer 1 is considered “Most important” while the answer 8 is considered “Least important”
  • For Question 11, the answer 1 is considered “Not at all needed” while the answer 6 is considered “Most needed”
  • For Question 13, the answer 1 is considered “Not at all needed” while the answer 5 is considered “Most needed”  

As part of this study, we are also collaborating with other programs, departments and agencies who are doing work along this corridor. We are partnering with King County Metro to hear your feedback on improvements to the RapidRide E Line.  This study is a necessary step in identifying transit improvements for addressing safety and security, improving speed and reliability enhancing transit connections, and improving user experience.

We are also collaborating with Seattle Public Utilities to incorporate drainage issues and needs into our right-of-way design plans. SDOT’s Home Zone program is also launching in the Licton Springs neighborhood near Aurora, and we’ll be coordinating with their work as well.

To stay up to date on the project and get involved, sign up for our email list here.  

Background

Did you know that the Aurora Ave N/State Route 99 corridor is one of the highest traffic volume streets within the Seattle city limits? This north-south corridor offers some of the busiest bus routes within Seattle City limits, is critical for freight movement, and offers connections to dense housing, businesses, social services, and employment opportunities. Aurora Avenue has a history of collisions, gaps in pedestrian facilities, inconsistent streetscape design, and accessibility barriers that make travel especially difficult for people with mobility challenges.

The last comprehensive Route Development Plan for the Aurora Ave N corridor was published in 2003, and while recommendations for near-term improvements were included, few improvements were made. Aurora Ave N has been a longstanding priority for transportation upgrades that improve safety and mobility for all travelers. Among these, there is a strong desire to enhance comfort and access for people walking along the corridor, reduce collisions for all users, and improve the quality of transit service.

SDOT recently pursued funding to study safety and mobility improvements in the corridor. In late 2021, SDOT was awarded funding through a Pedestrian and Bicycle Program grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).  King County Metro is also contributing funds and partnering with SDOT to develop a new comprehensive design vision for the Aurora Ave N corridor and identify near-term projects that will advance improvements and safety.

Project Purpose

  • Develop a new design vision for the Aurora Ave N corridor that enhances safety, mobility, and accessibility for all travelers. 
  • Address the needs of residents, businesses, and corridor stakeholders in a unified vision for the corridor through an equitable and robust engagement process. 
  • Consider collision history and safety challenges along the corridor with a focus on addressing the most serious collisions and collisions involving vulnerable road users.  
  • Identify potential transit service improvements and connections (e.g., with nearby light rail stations), as well as safety and security improvements (e.g., at transit stops). 
  • Develop a strategy to construct corridor improvements as resources become available. 

Project Area

Aurora Ave N between Harrison St (near the SR 99 Tunnel north portal) and N 145th St (at the Seattle city limits) is approximately 7.6 miles long. Throughout this area, Aurora features several distinct land use and urban village contexts, roadway cross sections, and access needs. To accommodate these differences in the analysis, community engagement, and design processes, SDOT plans to divide the corridor study into five segments for the purposes of the study:

  • Harrison St to N 38th St
  • N 38th St to Winona Ave N
  • Winona Ave N to N 85th St 
  • N 85th St to N 115th St 
  • N 115th St to N 145th St 
  • N 145th St to Mountlake Terrace (E Line assessment only) 

Graphic map of the five distinct segments of the the corridor study listed above

Project Outreach

The Aurora Ave N Safety Planning Study will include community engagement opportunities during each phase of the project. Community members will be invited to identify priorities, challenges, and opportunities along Aurora Ave N and to weigh in on design alternatives. We’ll be reaching out this summer to gather your feedback on what you see as the key deficiencies, problems and priorities for the corridor. Stay tuned for a survey link that we’ll be sharing in the coming weeks. You can sign up for project updates here.

Survey #1 to understand key concerns Summer/Fall 2022
Design charrettes to develop design alternatives Winter 2023
Survey #2 to receive feedback on the design alternatives Summer 2023
Share preferred alternative Fall 2023

Project Funding

Materials

[TBA when available]

Past projects in the area

Current projects in the area 

Translation and Interpretation

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A photo of a pedestrian bridge over Aurora Avenue, facing north