Roosevelt HCT corridor. (City of Seattle)
Roosevelt HCT corridor. (City of Seattle)

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is moving ahead with the Roosevelt HCT project. SDOT will provide an update on project development this month with two open houses. Concept designs for bus rapid transit (BRT) will be revealed. Originally, the project evaluated a variety of high capacity transit (HCT) options for the corridor, but in Fall 2015 the agency strongly pointed toward to BRT technology for the corridor, or what SDOT is calling RapidRide+.

The corridor would connect neighborhoods from Downtown Seattle to Northgate, including South Lake Union, Eastlake, University District, Roosevelt, and Maple Leaf. Buses would generally follow the corridor via five segments:

  • Third Avenue in Downtown;
  • A couplet on Virginia Street and Stewart Street through the Denny Triangle and Westlake Avenue in South Lake Union;
  • Fairview Avenue and Eastlake Avenue through Eastlake;
  • A couplet on Roosevelt Way and 11th Avenue in the University District and Roosevelt; and
  • 5th Avenue through Maple Leaf and Northgate.

With RapidRide+ investment in the corridor, SDOT is looking at a menu of options to attain high quality bus service:

  • Exclusive bus lanes and BAT lanes at certain locations;
  • Queue jumps and signal priority along most of the route;
  • Electrification of the route;
  • Off-board payment and real-time information signs at stops;
  • Larger and enhanced stop facilities; and
  • Three-door boarding of buses to speed movement of passengers on and off.

During the December meetings, there was ample discussion on the degree of dedicated right-of-way that SDOT was proposing for BRT. Many felt that the proposal didn’t go far enough in ensuring faster service through the corridor. Walking and bicycle advocates also pressed SDOT to provide high quality facilities for bikes and pedestrians along the corridor. There was a particular emphasis on separated bicycle facilities on Eastlake Avenue and the Roosevelt couplet. Conditions on those streets are relatively poor for those walking and biking, but there is widespread support for improvements. The main challenge is the right-of-way width through Eastlake which is fairly squeezed even under today’s roadway layout. SDOT’s concept will likely provide more direction on how these issues will be addressed and more specifications on the type of BRT service that the corridor will receive.

Open Houses

Wednesday, June 15th from 6pm to 8pm
TOPS School Cafeteria
2500 Franklin Avenue E

University District
Thursday, June 16th from 6pm to 8pm
UW Tower North Cafeteria
4333 Brooklyn Avenue NE

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Stephen is an urban planner with a passion for promoting sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He advocates for smart policies, regulations, and implementation programs that enhance urban environments by committing to quality design, accommodating growth, providing a diversity of housing choices, and adequately providing public services. Stephen primarily writes about land use and transportation issues.


  1. As I wrote a while ago, the numbers for this route, and the implication of it, are eye popping. This would achieve subway style speeds, at a lot less cost. This is why I fully support doing what we can on this corridor: This is a very important area (UW, Eastlake and South Lake Union) but more than that, it would serve as a great example of what can be built for a relatively small amount of money. It would require some trade-offs, but if it achieved anything like this in terms of speed, it would be obviously worth it. That alone should get people to support this underrated project — if it succeeds, it will make it much easier to make similar changes throughout the city.

  2. What is the proposed southern terminus? Looks like it would ambiguously go down some distance on 3rd Avenue?

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