Closer to filling the missing link

Improvements include two-way bicycle lane and all way stops

Today SDOT will start construction on Shilshole Avenue Northwest/Northwest 45th Street between Northwest 46th Street and 11th Avenue Northwest.

45th will become a one-way going eastbound for motor vehicles, with a separate two-way bicycle lane to the north. Motor vehicles traveling westbound will be detoured onto Northwest 46th Street at 11th Avenue Northwest, and eastbound traffic may experience sporadic slowdowns.

The construction is the result of longstanding safety concerns with the gap in the Burke Gilman Trail. The area of Northwest 45th Street is one of the highest bicycle collision locations in the city. It is also a heavy industrial area. Therefore, crews will be installing all-way stops on 14th Avenue Northwest at Northwest 45th Street and Northwest 46th Street.

The original South Ballard Corridor Safety Project called for advisory bike lanes and speed humps along Northwest 45th Street. The bike lanes are important because they indicate to drivers where they can expect to see cyclists within a driving lane. However, the roadway segment is narrow and therefore one-way motor vehicle travel with a separate bike lane was thought to be a better option.

Furthermore, SDOT will also be installing striping along the Northwest 45th Street area and add new signage this weekend, Dec. 20-22. The new signage will direct those heading westbound on Northwest 45th Street, east of 11th Avenue Northwest, to head north to Northwest 46th Street instead.

The choice for a one-way eastbound comes after SDOT collaborated with businesses in the area. Customers will still have access to all businesses during construction, although some routes will change because of the one-way.

Other safety improvements include curb islands a bridge abutments Northwest 45th Street and 15th Avenue Northwest; new intersection signage at Ballard Avenue Northwest and Northwest 48th Street, and at Ballard Avenue Northwest and 17th Avenue Northwest; and new speed limit sign on Shilshole Avenue Northwest and Northwest 45th Street between Northwest 46th Street and 11th Avenue Northwest.

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