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University District opens outdoor dining plaza as light rail inches closer

Outdoor dining plaza in the University District. (Photo courtesy of University District Partnership)

The U-District Link light rail station is set to open this fall, which will coincide with the completion of improvements on Northeast 43rd Street to make it easier for walkers, rollers, bikers, and those on transit to get to the station.

Light rail service to Northgate begins in October

The Seattle Department of Transportation announced this week that construction is nearing completion, including new sidewalks, curb ramps, installation of a natural drainage system, new street lights, and new paint on the roadway. The sidewalks are now open for use, and the street between 15th Avenue to University Way is open for drivers and bikers westbound.

Until the station opens in October, NE 43rd Street from University Way to the station will remain closed. It will then open to Metro buses traveling westbound.

At this time, there’s now curb-less streets where people walking, rolling, and biking are the priority.

“We also intend for the improvements to benefit nearby businesses,” the SDOT Blog reads. “As it becomes easier to walk, roll, and bike through the area, we envision more people traveling throughout the University District for exercise, dining, window-shopping, and real-shopping, too.”

Seattle’s street dining might be here to stay — at least for a while

As part of the Summer Streets program hosted by the University District Partnership, the group also opened an outdoor dining plaza on the recently renovated NE 43rd Street. It’s expected to remain open for the foreseeable future.

Sweet Alchemy, Ugly Mug Cafe, Samir’s Mediterranean, Kai’s Bistro, Mark Thai Food Box, Wenn Yen Seattle, Cedars of Lebanon, Flower’s Bar & Restaurant, and Crossroads Trading are all part of the outdoor dining activation.

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