LOCAL NEWS

Flush with state dollars, Seattle’s Aurora redesign emerges

Mar 14, 2022, 5:36 AM | Updated: 1:38 pm
aurora...
The Aurora Bridge (SDOT)
(SDOT)

With the passage of the Washington Legislature’s transportation package arrives $50 million in new funding for the redesign of specific stretches of Aurora Avenue North. Those dollars are tied to the requirement that the city completes its design change plans by Sept. 30, 2023, and begins construction by March 1, 2024.

As legislative session ends, Gov. Inslee applauds victories on transportation, homelessness

That funding comes as the Seattle Department of Transportation is set to begin a comprehensive, long-term safety study for the noted-dangerous stretch of highway that has claimed the lives of 18 in the last five years, 15 of whom were pedestrians.

“Aurora Ave N safety improvements are a critical part of a much larger citywide effort to improve traffic safety,” an SDOT spokesperson wrote in a news release.

“While we have made numerous investments to make our streets safer, including reducing speed limits and creating safer crosswalk signals citywide as well as redesigning other dangerous streets like Rainier Ave S, we recognize that traffic safety trends are moving in the wrong direction and there is a lot more work to do. We must continue to work to design a safer transportation system, and this investment to Aurora Ave N will be a key part of that overall strategy.”

One of the community groups spearheading the safety improvements is the Aurora Reimagined Coalition. In their most recent blog entry, the coalition calls out the stretch of Aurora between North 84th Street to North 110th Street as being zoned for tall, mixed-use buildings that agree with its potential to be a robust commercial core. Despite that, the group notes that Aurora’s seven lanes of traffic make for an uncomfortable and hazardous urban experience, as evidenced by the high number of traffic fatalities in the area.

The group calls out a number of improvements that they would like to see made to the highway, including: more space for pedestrians, wider sidewalks, a greater number of traffic crossings, reduced speed limits from 30 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour, narrower lanes, designated schools zones near Robert Eagle Staff Middle School, added bike lanes, and “anti-displacement policies and funding to ensure that small businesses are protected and have affordable rents in the future.”

SDOT has made changes to Aurora piecemeal over the years. In April of 2021, speed limits were reduced to 30 mph between 85th and 109th Streets, and to 35 mph between 115th Street and 145th Street. In February of this year, SDOT announced that construction of the Green Lake outer loop bike path would begin in the summer or fall of 2022.

Seattle to move forward with preferred designs for Green Lake outer loop

With the new surfeit of funds, the city has the shot in the arm it needs to complete a redesign that has germinated for years. In 2018 and 2019, the Washington State Department of Transportation repaved Aurora Avenue North. The Seattle Bike Blog reports that WSDOT was interested in a more comprehensive resign with SDOT, but nothing materialized.

In July, the safety plan was announced for the full length of Aurora, minus the additional $50 million now granted by the Legislature. Those funds are specifically tied to safety improvements between North 90th Street to North 105th Street.

Local News

Juan Steagall-Martinez (Photo courtesy of Crime Stoppers of Tacoma/Pierce County)...
Darren Dedo

The Crime Blotter: Detectives searching for rape suspect, fear he may flee to Mexico

Detectives are actively pursuing and looking for a child rape suspect with a felony warrant.
14 hours ago
Seattle Fire Station 2 on 4th Avenue in Belltown (Seattle Department of Transporation)...
Shawn Garrett, KIRO 7 News

27 Seattle firefighters suing city over termination after COVID-19 vaccine mandate

In two separate lawsuits, 27 Seattle firefighters are suing Seattle Fire Department Chief Harold Scoggins and the city of Seattle over their imminent terminations or past terminations due to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
14 hours ago
Eviation's "Alice", the world's first all-electric commuter airplane, takes off for its first fligh...
Associated Press

Prototype electric airplane takes first flight

A prototype, all-electric airplane took its first flight Tuesday morning in central Washington state.
14 hours ago
Sea-Tac...
Sam Campbell

Sea-Tac arrivals ramp shut down, causing significant delays

The lower-level baggage-claim road at Sea-Tac Airport was closed overnight for construction work, causing some delays getting into the airport.
14 hours ago
water taxi...
Micki Gamez

King County Water Taxi continues service during the fall, winter amid high demand

As other transit operations cut back their fall and winter services, King County Water Taxi has decided to stay open seven days a week, through most of the day.
14 hours ago
Photo from KIRO 7...
Graham Johnson, KIRO 7 News

Drone delays at Seahawks, Huskies games highlight growing problem

Two drone delays at Seattle football games this weekend highlight what experts say is a growing problem.
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Flush with state dollars, Seattle’s Aurora redesign emerges