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16th Avenue SW: SW 100th Street to SW 107th Street Pedestrian Safety Improvements & Traffic Calming Project

Construction scheduled to begin in spring or summer 2025

Existing view of 16th Avenue SW approaching SW 107th Street, looking south.


Status update

Winter 2024

Construction for this project is now set to start in spring or summer 2025. The initial plan was for it to start in summer 2024, however the County requires extra time to secure the funding needed for the project. Thank you for your patience. 


Overview

This project will make it safer for people to travel along 16th Avenue SW between SW 100th Street and SW 107th Street in White Center. King County will add safer street crossings, clearer signs and road improvements to help reduce speeding. 

The roadway will undergo restriping to have one vehicle travel lane and a dedicated bike lane in each direction. There will also be a center turn lane down the middle of the road. 

Construction is scheduled to begin in spring or summer 2025.

 

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Project map

This project improves pedestrian safety along 16th Avenue SW between SW 100th Street and SW 107th Street. 

This project improves safety for pedestrians and calms traffic

 

The image above shows what 16th Avenue SW between SW 100th and SW 107th streets will look like once the project is complete. The road will be restriped to have one 11-foot-wide travel lane and one bike lane in each direction. There will be a center turn lane down the middle of the road, and an eight-foot (8-foot) wide parking lane on the east side of the road. View larger image (49KB)

Safety improvements coming to 16th Avenue SW

This project will calm traffic and improve pedestrian safety by providing the following:

  • One lane in each direction
    This will help prevent speeding by slowing down traffic and makes crossings safer for people walking.
  • Center turn lane
    Provides a safer place for drivers to make left turns. This will allow traffic to move freely in the main travel lane.
  • Sidewalk curb extensions at SW 104th Street and SW 106th Street intersections
    There are no traffic signals at these two intersections to stop traffic. Sidewalk curb extensions will help drivers see people walking in the crosswalk. The extensions also will shorten the distance people need to cross.
  • Rapid flashing lights and new pedestrian crossing signs at intersections that do not have a traffic signal
    Flashing lights and high-visibility signs will alert drivers when pedestrians are crossing 16th Avenue SW at SW 104th and SW 106th Street.
  • Bicycle lanes in both directions
    New, five-foot (5-foot) wide bicycle lanes will separate bike riders from motor vehicle traffic. This will give people on bikes or other active transportation more room so that they don’t have to share the road with cars. 
  • Two feet of extra space (buffer zone) on both sides of bike lane 
    Cyclists feel more comfortable and secure when they are not too close to moving traffic or parked cars. A two-foot (2-foot) wide buffer zone on both sides of the bike lane could help encourage more people to choose biking or other types of active transportation to get to where they want to go.

Changes to on-street parking

Currently, there are 43 parking spaces on 16th Avenue SW between SW 100th and SW 107th streets. The project adds two (2) spaces on the east side of the road, but it will take away 17 spaces on the west side. Due to the new bike lanes, sidewalk curb extensions, and safety upgrades, the total number of parking spaces in the project area will go down to 28.

Why is this project needed?

16th Avenue SW, is important for people walking, biking, and driving. However, it is currently more focused on cars and trucks than pedestrians or cyclists. We want to make this part of 16th Avenue SW safer for everyone. In the past decade, over 22 collisions with pedestrians were reported in this busy area. Studies show that the safety improvements like the ones included in this project can reduce the number of collisions up to one-third.

Existing roadway layout 

The image above shows what 16th Avenue SW between SW 100th and SW 107th streets looks like today. The road currently has two travel lanes in each direction and a center turn lane. There are no bicycle lanes on this road. View larger image (55KB)

 

Google Earth photo of 16th Ave. SW between SW 107th and SW 102nd streets looking north (photo taken in 2022). The existing road layout is built more for car traffic than people walking or biking. 

 

Higher speeds can result in more collisions with pedestrians.

Roads with a single travel lane in each direction and a center turn lane have slower, calmer traffic. This is important for pedestrians and cyclists because slower vehicle speeds make it safer, reducing the risk of injury and death.

  • Fewer travel lanes make it safer to cross the street and allow room for sidewalk curb extensions and buffered bicycle lanes.
  • Sidewalk curb extensions reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians in the crosswalk.
  • Extra space, or buffer zone, on both sides of the bicycle lane provides a dedicated place for non-motorized traffic.

Project budget

This project is paid for with COVID Relief grant money, a grant from the national Highway Safety Improvement Program, and local funds. The total estimated project cost is $1.9 million. 

Project timeline

  • Preliminary design complete: Late 2021.
  • Initial public outreach and comment period complete: Spring 2022.
  • Final design complete: Winter 2024
  • Ongoing public outreach: 2022 through 2025.
  • Construction: Spring/Summer 2025
  • Project complete: Summer 2025

Community involvement 

In winter and spring 2022, King County conducted an outreach campaign and survey to collect input from over 800 community members. Two potential project design options were presented to the community for their consideration. 

  1. Design option 1:
    • One travel lane in each direction and a center turn lane
    • Dedicated lanes for bicycles in both directions.
    • Retains some street parking.
  2. Design option 2:
    • One travel lane in each direction and a center turn lane
    • No dedicated lanes for bicycles.
    • Adds more street parking on both sides of the road.

Over half of the survey participants chose Design option 1 the best fit for the community’s needs. As a result, the County proceeded with this chosen design.  

 

Frequently asked questions

We are focusing on this section of 16th Avenue SW to calm traffic and make it safer for everyone. This busy section of 16th Avenue SW has the highest number of collisions involving pedestrians. More than 22 accidents have been reported between 2011 and 2020. Traffic studies have shown that the types of safety improvements included in this project can reduce the number of crashes by 33 percent.
On a four-lane road, drivers stop in the left-hand lane to make left turns, increasing the risk of being struck by a driver using the left lane to go straight. When the road is changed to have two travel lanes and one center turn lane, the center lane provides a dedicated place for left-turning vehicles to wait. This allows traffic to move freely in the main travel lanes. In addition, one main travel lane in each direction helps to slow traffic. Fewer crashes happen when traffic is calmer.
Roads with three lanes have slower, calmer traffic, which is especially important for vulnerable users like pedestrians and people biking. The risk of injury and death to these users decreases as vehicle speeds decrease. Fewer travel lanes allow room for sidewalk curb extensions and buffered bicycle lanes. Sidewalk curb extensions reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians in the crosswalk. Buffered bicycle lanes provide a dedicated place for non-motorized traffic.
No, the new lanes will be able to carry the traffic volumes that are existing on 16th Avenue SW. This means traffic will flow freely, but the overall speed of traffic will be slower.
The project includes a dedicated center turn lane at intersections that have a traffic light. Left turn signals and a dedicated center turn lane help reduce collisions at intersections. Trucks longer than 40-feet in length will use the signalized intersections at SW 100th, SW 102nd and SW 107th streets to turn since there will be no curb extensions (bulb-outs) added at these locations.
The project includes the following American with Disabilities Act safety features:
  • Countdown pedestrian signal heads will let pedestrians know how much time remains to cross the intersection
  • Audible messaging will inform pedestrians which crossing has a “walk”
  • Vibration and tactile surfaces at crosswalks and intersections will also inform pedestrians which crossing has a “walk”
  • High visibility pedestrian safety signs make it easier for drivers to know when to expect pedestrians
  • Accessible ramps help people with disabilities, people pushing strollers, and others, access the crosswalk
This project adds a five-foot (5-foot)-wide bike lane and a minimum two-foot (2-foot) striped buffer space between the bike lane and the vehicle lane or parking spaces. Buffered bike lanes provide more space for people using bikes or other forms of non-motorized transportation, so they aren't sharing space with moving motor vehicles. The bike lanes and striped buffer areas also will help riders avoid opening car doors.
The existing 25 MPH speed limit increases to 30 MPH at SW 100th Street. This project may extend the 25 MPH speed limit on 16th Ave SW between SW 100th and SW 107th streets, pending additional study of how traffic moves through the area. We are considering a speed limit reduction between SW 100th and SW 107th streets.
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