Traffic changes coming to Seattle’s Westlake Avenue in 2025

Feb 8, 2024, 3:10 PM

FAB bus...

Passengers enter a King County bus along Westlake. (Photo: SDOT)

(Photo: SDOT)

Changes are coming to Westlake Avenue in a year that the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) hopes will help buses and freight travel more efficiently.

In a blog post, SDOT explained that it’s launching the first “Freight and Bus Only Lanes” (FAB lanes) along Westlake Avenue as a one-year pilot program.

But people driving freight vehicles over 26,000 pounds (about the size of a garbage truck, large box truck, or semi-truck) will be able to use bus lanes to travel along the corridor, the blog post reads. Commercial loading activities will only be permitted in designated locations separate from the FAB lane.

SDOT said in its blog that FAB lanes should have little impact on general-purpose traffic.

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In November 2023, SDOT announced the final designs of what it’s calling the Route 40 project. It said it also comprehensively analyzed neighbors’ views on the project and how to best coordinate with them during construction.

Construction is expected to begin in the next few months.

SDOT said after the FAB lanes are installed and construction is completed in 2025-26, people driving will still be able to make the right turns into driveways, parking lots, and intersections to access their homes and businesses.

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In its online post, the agency revealed the following details about what travelers can expect to see with the FAB lanes:

  • Convert one northbound travel lane on Westlake Ave N to a FAB lane between Aloha St and where the Aurora Bridge crosses over Westlake Ave N.
  • Convert one southbound travel lane on Westlake Ave N to a FAB lane between Blaine St and Aloha St.
  • Travel lanes on the Fremont Bridge will remain the same.

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Traffic changes coming to Seattle’s Westlake Avenue in 2025