The Two-Way Columbia St Transit Pathway is On Its Way!

We’re working with King County Metro to install a two-way transit pathway on Columbia St between 1st Ave and 3rd Ave by December 2019. This pathway will support all-day transit service between West Seattle and downtown Seattle by creating an efficient and reliable route for buses to access the new Viaduct-free Alaskan Way in early 2020, relocating these routes from 1st Ave and 4th Ave.

These changes are crucial to the next step in opening up the Waterfront for transit use and are the final step of the larger project to reconstruct Columbia St to accommodate two-way transit operation.

Here’s what you can expect.

Click here to download our Columbia St transit pathway flyer:

Between 1st Ave and 2nd Ave:

Graphic showing future pavement markings and signals on Columbia St from 1st Ave to 2nd Ave.
Columbia St from 1st Ave to 2nd Ave.

The southern curb lane will be changed to a 24-hour bus-only lane to allow buses to travel eastbound on Columbia St.

The existing left turn only lane will be converted to a left turn plus through lane.

 A new bus signal will be installed at Columbia St and 2nd Ave to keep the new eastbound buses moving.

Between 2nd Ave and 3rd Ave:

Graphic showing future pavement markings and signals on Columbia St from 1st Ave to 2nd Ave.
Columbia St from 2nd Ave to 3rd Ave.

The southern curb lane will be changed to a 24-hour bus-only lane to allow eastbound buses on Columbia St to turn left onto 3rd Ave.

The existing westbound through lane adjacent to the new lane will be converted to a left turn plus through lane.

A new bus signal will be installed at Columbia St and 3rd Ave to manage the new left turning bus traffic.

Which buses will use the Columbia St Transit Pathway?

A RapidRide C Line bus in downtown Seattle.

West Seattle, Burien, and neighboring area buses including the 21x, 37, 55, 56, 57, 113, 120, 121, 122, 123, 125, and the RapidRide C Line will use this new pathway.

West Seattle bus riders, we heard you about the extended travel times on 1st Ave through Pioneer Square this summer. Working with King County Metro, we moved southbound buses to 4th Ave S and temporarily moved northbound buses to that pathway while S Dearborn St was closed.

Northbound buses will remain on the 1st Ave pathway and southbound buses will remain on 4th Ave S until early 2020, when these buses will move to Alaskan Way and begin using this two-way transit pathway on Columbia St to access 3rd Ave.

Keeping buses reliable during the Seattle Squeeze.

Ensuring reliable transit in and out of downtown is a priority during the “Seattle Squeeze,” the period over the next five years as Seattle’s downtown continues to change to meet the needs of a growing city. Regional transportation partners including the Seattle Department of Transportation, the Washington State Department of Transportation, King County Metro, Sound Transit, and the Port of Seattle are all working together to keep people and goods moving safely to and through downtown.

Want more information?

Please contact Jonathan Dong, our Transit Spot Improvement Manager, at jonathan.dong@seattle.gov