Downtown Seattle’s Third Avenue is getting upgraded

From a transit corridor extension to bus stop improvements, Third Avenue will see multiple changes this year.

The intersection of two streets, with two buses traveling down one road while cars are seen in the distance on the other. The streets are lined with several tall buildings, and the stoplights are red.

Third Avenue is used by hundreds of buses every weekday.

Photo via SDOT

Third Avenue is about to go through ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.

This year, the Seattle Department of Transportation will work with King County Metro, other city departments, and downtown partners to make improvements to Third Avenue. Check out what upgrades are headed our way.

Extending the transit corridor

The Third Avenue transit corridor that currently stretches from Yesler Way to Stewart Street will be extended three blocks north to Blanchard Street — which means no cars on these blocks between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Construction is scheduled to begin the summer of 2024.

Bus stop improvements

The Third Avenue S. + S. Main Street bus stop will receive new covered shelters, benches, rails to lean on, and real-time information signs.

The sidewalk surrounding the stop will be widened and get two new trees, pedestrian-level lighting, an art installation, and new ADA-accessible curb ramps on the west side of Third Avenue S. Bonus: A section of the street near the area will also be repaved.

A graphic showing an intersection of several streets, outlining changes to come.

The Yesler Way and Third Avenue intersection will see various changes to enhance pedestrian and bike safety, among other improvements.

Graphic via SDOT

Repaving + water main replacement

Several portions of Third Avenue will be repaved as part of the project, primarily between Virginia and Pine streets. During repaving, Seattle Public Utilities will also replace an underground water main.

Pedestrian and bike improvements

A 2022 trial that reconfigured the traffic signal to provide more green time for buses or pedestrians and removed a northbound vehicle lane + right turn lane on Third Avenue across Yesler Way will be adjusted and made permanent.

Plans also include widening the sidewalk, planting more trees, adding pedestrian lighting, and installing pedestrian directional signs.

For bikers, plans include installing new bike traffic signals, building permanent bike lane protection along Yesler Way, repaving the bike lane on Dilling Way, and redesigning the bike crossing at Third Avenue to separate pedestrians and bikers.