Traffic Changes on Howell Street Designed to Speed up Buses and Ease Congestion

King County Metro Transit is working with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to improve overall traffic flow along the Howell Street corridor approaching the Yale Avenue/Interstate 5 southbound on-ramp in downtown Seattle.

The project will keep buses moving and make transit service more reliable along Howell. Approximately 60 buses an hour from Metro, Sound Transit, and Community Transit use that corridor each weekday during the evening commute, and carry more than 1,200 transit riders per peak hour.

Currently, Howell Street between Terry Avenue and Eastlake Avenue has three eastbound lanes and one westbound lane during weekday morning and afternoon commute times. The city allows parking in the south curb lane during the non-commute periods.

Metro and SDOT will begin a project in May to make the following changes along Howell Street between Ninth Avenue and Eastlake Avenue at Stewart Street:

o Convert Howell to four eastbound lanes, with one lane reserved for transit only during the evening commute period from 3-7 p.m.;

o Convert Eastlake Avenue to a one-way northbound corridor between Yale Avenue and Stewart Street;

o Eliminate westbound lanes; and

o Create approximately 40 new paid parking spaces along the corridor.

The one-way conversion of this corridor will result in a traffic pattern change in the area; however, Stewart Street is a nearby alternative to destinations in that area.

Construction is expected to begin in mid May and to be completed by the end of June. During construction, drivers and bus riders may experience some delays due to temporary lane closures along Howell and Eastlake for restriping, traffic signal modifications, and installation of signs. Access to local businesses will be maintained at all times.

This project is funded by a Regional Mobility Grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Information about the project with a map is online (follow the link to "Howell Street traffic changes"). Or, you can contact Ashley DeForest with King County Department of Transportation Community Relations by email or phone 206-684-1154.

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