Rider AlertThe Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and King County Metro (Metro) announced today the start of the construction phase of the Westlake Transit Improvement project, as we previously covered.

Beginning on January 4, 2016 through March 26, 2016, service on the South Lake Union Streetcar will be severely curtailed in order to allow for new station platform construction and relocation.

From January 4th thru the 17th, SDOT will be upgrading the transit stops along Westlake Ave at Mercer and Harrison Streets. Expect short-term sidewalk and lane closures.

During this time, the South Lake Union Streetcar will not operate on Monday-Thursday between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM, on Fridays after 9:00 AM, or at all on Saturdays and Sundays.

In addition, SDOT states that the new transit lanes on Westlake Avenue as well as traffic and parking restrictions may go into effect as early as February 2016 when Metro begins testing new routes and training their drivers.

South Lake Union Streetcar Operating Schedule

JAN 04 - MAR 26, 20166AM - 9AM9AM - 3PM3PM - 1AM
Monday - Thursdaynormal serviceCLOSEDnormal service
Fridaynormal serviceCLOSEDCLOSED

Metro advises affected riders to use the Route 70 or Route 40 buses in the interim. And as for all large-scale projects, the schedule is subject to change.

For more information, please visit SDOT’s project page.


  1. Reading the SDOT page, they list a turn restriction as ”
    Eastbound Denny St at Westlake Ave N—No right turn”- I can’t imagine this is correct and that you will not be able to turn right onto Westlake from Denny? It will be a godsend for pedestrians if true, however.

      • It was suggested to me that Lenora should then turn into the primary route to Denny for Westlake users. Lenora isn’t even labelled on this map, though, so I doubt SDOT will actively work to make that a reality.

        To be sure, I’m in favor of restricting right turns onto Denny, it will help the 8 and pedestrian users. But I think water should have an alternate path when we create a dam.

  2. I applaud the effort but fear it will come up well short of expected results. Intersections will continue to be an impediment to transit flow because of the nature of lights as well as driver’s blocking the box. I have little faith in timed lights and signal priority based off of SDOT’s past track record. We will have to live with the lights for now but I want to see a traffic cop at the very least at Denny & Westlake ensuring no blocking of the box.

    In the future to address the light issue, I would love to see a general traffic overpass on Denny over Westlake to allow transit to pass unrestricted under the Denny crawl. This would have the added bonus of more pedestrian friendly connection between the wholefood’s plaza and Denny Park.

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