Next week the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will begin work on improvements to Aurora Avenue North to enhance transit speed and reliability, prepare for King County Metro’s RapidRide E Line, and reduce travel times for drivers. The department will install Business Access and Transit (BAT) lanes, add signal priority for Metro buses, and retime corridor traffic signals.
Beginning September 8, BAT lanes will be in operation for the north and southbound directions on Aurora between N 38th and N 115th streets during peak travel times – 6-9 a.m. and 3-7 p.m. BAT lanes are reserved for buses and right-turning vehicles. The exception will be the southbound BAT lanes between N 77th and N 72nd streets, which will be activated only during the morning peak period until parking in this area is further evaluated.
The project will complete the BAT lane network on all segments of Aurora Avenue N with sufficient roadway width from the Snohomish County line through Shoreline down to Seattle’s North 38th Street. Local cities and towns, including Seattle and Shoreline, are committed to the success of RapidRide and other transit improvements, and BAT lanes are essential for enhancing transit speed and reliability through congested areas.
Once the BAT lanes are operating, SDOT will retime signals to keep traffic moving and reduce travel times for all users of Aurora. During the fall, SDOT will install transit signal priority systems to enable traffic signals to detect approaching buses and extend a green light or end a red light early. This will improve service and reduce delays for transit users.
Following installation of the BAT lanes and traffic signal retiming, King County Metro will start RapidRide E Line service on Aurora Avenue N in February 2014, replacing Route 358.
Details of the project schedule are as follows:
- August 12, 2013: SDOT will begin removing existing signs and roadway striping, and installing new signs and striping. Medians also will be installed at Aurora/N. 87th and Aurora/N. 88th to improve safety. The expected duration of the work is three weeks, ending on September 6. Temporary parking restrictions will occur during construction.
- September 8, 2013: SDOT will open the BAT lanes.
- September 8-27, 2013: SDOT will adjust traffic signals based on the new roadway configuration and traffic queues.
- Fall 2013: SDOT will install and configure transit signal priority systems.
- February 15, 2014: King County Metro will begin RapidRide E Line service.
SDOT performed extensive community engagement for the Aurora Corridor Improvement project, including a mailing to 29,000 households, door-to-door outreach with over 400 businesses and residents, an online survey with over 1,000 responses, and meetings with nine local community groups. Public feedback from this community engagement led to the decision to install BAT lanes between North 38th and North 115th streets while delaying the activation of PM peak-hour southbound BAT lanes between North 77th and N 72nd streets until further parking evaluation is conducted.
For more information on the Aurora Corridor Improvement project, please visit the project website at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/aurora.htm.