Let’s Make Rainier Ave. a Place for People
Safety project success

If you stroll through Hillman City or Columbia City today, it’s hard to imagine that just a short time ago cars were barreling through this bustling area, and people walking had to dart across four lanes of high-speed traffic to visit local business. Thanks to the leadership of our partners Rainier Valley Greenways (RVG), and a band of caring neighbors and businesses, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) “fixed” that stretch of Rainier Ave.

The result? Speeding and crashes are down; bus travel times improved; and more than ever, Hillman and Columbia City are places built for people.

Since then, neighborhood advocates with the support of organizations like Cascade, Bike Works and RVG, have kept the momentum going. Back in May, a group of us invited SDOT Director Scott Kubly to ride bikes on Rainier Ave. and envision the future of this corridor: A future where the safety of people is prioritized over the speed of vehicles, and active transportation, whether by walking, biking or taking transit, is an attractive option for everyone.

More investments are on the way

Major investments are coming to the Rainier Valley. The community will have a big part to play in ensuring these projects make Rainier Ave. a place for people:

  • Rainier Ave. S. Corridor Project Phase II This project will cover Rainier Ave. from S. Kenny St. to S. Henderson St. with the primary goal of reducing crashes and improving safety for all users. Neighbors can use the email tool below to weigh in before Aug. 31 on initial designs, one of which includes protected bike lanes.
  • Judkins Park Light Rail Station Access Study Located at Rainier Ave. at I-90, the future Judkins Park Station will be a major transit hub, unlocking mobility from S. Seattle to the Eastside. Safe and intuitive walking, biking and bus access to this station will be critical.
  • Accessible Mt. Baker project This transformative project focuses on making the Mt. Baker Link light rail station safer and more accessible for people arriving by bus, by bike or on foot. It will improve crosswalks and change the way car traffic moves through the Rainier Valley by “uncrossing” Rainier Ave. and Martin Luther King. Jr. Way.
  • Rainier RapidRide Upgrades to the heavily-used #7 Metro bus line will include faster and more reliable service, real-time arrival information, better bus stops and improved walk/bike access to neighborhoods.
You can help make Rainier Ave. a place for people

With your help, we can ensure that improvements coming to Rainier Ave. make this now-dangerous corridor a safe and welcoming place for people. 

SDOT is collecting community feedback on the next phase of its Rainier Ave. safety project  which will run from S. Kenny St. in Hillman City to S. Henderson St. in Rainier Beach. Use this simple tool to email SDOT about the initial designs, which include an option for protected bike lanes on Rainier Ave.

Kelsey Mesher's picture
Kelsey Mesher