The Seattle Department of Transportation has completed the final design on the Route 40 corridor, which promises to create a safer and more reliable bus route through downtown, Westlake, and North Seattle.
The Route 40 Transit-Plus Multimodal Corridor project will also create the city’s first freight- and bus-only lane. Route 40 serves the Northgate, Crown Hill, Loyal Heights, Ballard, Fremont, South Lake Union, Downtown Seattle, and Pioneer Square neighborhoods.
The project includes plans to add three total miles of new freight and bus lanes, along with 47 new ADA-accessible curb ramps and 6,000 feet of upgraded sidewalks.
The last few years of public outreach helped inform the design plans, which focused on several key themes such as:
- Concerns from business owners about parking removal and changes to loading zones in Westlake, Fremont, and Ballard
- Concerns from neighbors about increased traffic congestion in Fremont, Ballard, and Westlake
- Concerns from Fremont business owners about personal and property safety near bus stops
SDOT says the project improvements are focused on four key areas: Westlake, Fremont, Ballard, and North Seattle.
SDOT is piloting the new freight- and bus-only lanes for Westlake Ave N, which supports a regular amount of truck traffic. People driving large freight vehicles (over 26,000 pounds) will be able to use the freight lanes. The pilot will last one year, after which SDOT will review data and input from freight drivers to decide if they should become permanent.
The transportation department is selecting a contractor as the next part of the process to complete the project, which the Levy to Move Seattle is funding. Construction is expected to start in 2024.