Get ready for big changes on downtown Third Avenue this Monday, Aug 20.
That’s when the busy corridor will be restricted to buses and people biking from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, from Stewart Street to just south of Yesler Way.
No car traffic will be permitted during these hours. Commercial deliveries will be allowed between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., but left turns will be prohibited for everyone in non-transit vehicles on Third Avenue at all times.
New signs and pavement markings will alert drivers to the changes, which are taking place earlier than originally planned because SDOT crews are taking advantage of dry weather to complete the work.
Metro is working with the Seattle Department of Transportation to keep transit moving efficiently through downtown during the completion of several big projects over the next few years.
Third Avenue is the busiest transit corridor in North America, in a city where transit ridership is growing. About 2,500 buses travel the corridor each weekday to pick up or drop off roughly 100,000 riders.
These extension of transit-only hours also will help make room for more buses using streets when the Downtown Transit Tunnel closes to bus traffic in March 2019.
Currently, car traffic is only restricted from 6 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Seattle Police Department will begin enforcing the new rules in the coming weeks. Expect to see officers out next week educating people that they can no longer drive on Third Avenue during the day.
If you normally drive along 3rd Avenue, you may want to try a few alternative routes before the new restrictions are in place.
Third Avenue is just one of several upcoming changes to keep people moving in downtown and around our region. Future mobility upgrades are planned to address how best to move people within the limited downtown space.
Read more about changes to the Third Avenue transit corridor at kingcounty.gov/metro/third-avenue or kingcountymetro.blog/2018/08/01/coming-soon-third-avenue-transit-improvements/.