15th Ave NE Paving Project

Paving, protected bike lanes, sidewalk repair, crossing improvements, parking removal.

Updated: August 17, 2023

 This project is complete!

The 15th Ave NE project was completed in summer of 2022.You can visit our blog to learn more about how the new 15th Ave NE improves safety for everyone


15th Ave NE is a minor arterial serving northeast Seattle. Approximately 10,000 vehicles travel this street on an average day. This corridor connects the University District, Ravenna, and Maple Leaf neighborhoods, and is a major transit street, serving King County Metro routes 45, 73, and 79. This section of 15th Ave NE is home to houses, apartment buildings, businesses, and Roosevelt High School.

As part of our paving program, we paved approximately 1.3 miles of 15th Ave NE making it safer and more comfortable to travel on, and extending the useful life of the pavement. 

This paving project provided opportunities to cost-effectively update the street design to promote safety, build features called for in citywide transportation plans, and coordinate with other projects. It also provided an opportunity for community engagement to ensure feedback was gathered and incorporated into the final design.

Community Engagement

This project is part of our Vision Zero initiative to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. Traffic collisions are preventable through smarter street design, targeted enforcement, and thoughtful public engagement. Together, we can make Seattle’s streets safer for everyone. Prior to making improvements, 15th Ave NE has had an above-average amount of injuries from collisions.

  • Vehicle volumes: 10,000/average day
  • Vehicle speed: 26.7 MPH (85th percentile speed)
  • Collisions: 143 in 5 years
  • Injuries: 48
  • Fatalities: 1
  • Peak hour parking restrictions: 7-9 AM (southbound) and 4-6 PM (northbound)

Beginning in the summer of 2016, we shared street design concepts with the community and asked how you get around your neighborhood. We sent mailers, offered an online survey, held an open house, dropped off materials, and visited businesses with door-to-door outreach.

We heard from hundreds of people about transportation safety and we appreciate everyone who took time to talk to us. Your feedback helped shape our design and here's what we heard from you:

  • Concerns about speeding
  • Desire to cross street more easily
  • Interest in using more transit and biking
  • Interest in maintaining parking
  • Discourage cut-through traffic
  • Desire for turn pockets and signals at key intersections
  • Preference for "protected" bike lanes

In addition to taking community feedback, we analyzed traffic and parking data and reviewed freight, transit, bike, and pedestrian master plan recommendations. All these factors informed our designs; therefore, we added various safety features to this project. New flashing beacons were added to the crossings at Roosevelt High School. New protected bike lanes were introduced, and new exclusive left-turn pockets and signals improved safety for everyone.

Safety has informed the parking design too, and we removed parking from one side of the street, while introducing 24/7 parking to the remaining parking spaces so people don’t need to move their cars daily. This project also included other measures to improve safety and improve all transit options:

  • Sidewalk repair and curb ramp upgrades
  • Removal of peak-hour parking restrictions to make parking available 24/7 on 1 side of the street
  • New protected bike lanes
  • New exclusive left-turn pockets and signals
  • Stormwater drainage improvements
  • Parking removal on 1 side of the street
  • Safe Routes to School and neighborhood greenway crossing improvements at Roosevelt High School

Improvements at Roosevelt High School

As part of this project, we reversed the direction of NE 68th St and NE 66th St between 12th Ave NE and 15th Ave NE (see map below for more details). These improvements are the product of an ongoing partnership between SDOT, Roosevelt High School, and Seattle Public School System, as well as feedback from local residents and businesses.

Reversing the direction of traffic around Roosevelt High School allows school buses to load and unload on the curb side of the street, improves access for students with disabilities, reduces bus/bike conflicts on 15th Ave NE, and improves traffic flow and safety. We appreciate the involvement, feedback, and partnerships that made these improvements a reality.

Map of changes around Roosevelt High School

Project Map

Project Highlights

We made the walking, rolling, and biking route to Roosevelt High School safer for students and neighbors by adding rapid flashing beacons at the connection to the Wedgewood to Roosevelt neighborhood greenway. 

Bike connectionsView of roadCrosswalks, bike lanes, a bike lane turn box, and new signals at intersections along 15th Ave NE.

We repaved about 1.3 miles to make 15th Ave NE safer and more comfortable to travel on, and to extend the useful life of the pavement. 

Paving work in progressCrews paving 15th Ave NE earlier this year. 

We added to our growing bike network with about a mile of new protected bike lanes and ¼ mile of bike lanes. We removed parking from one side of the street, making room for the bike lanes. There is now 24/7 parking in the other parking spaces, so people don’t need to move their cars daily. 

Protected bike laneNew protected bike lanes on 15th Ave NE, along with new 24/7 parking. The parked cars also provide an additional buffer between people biking and people driving. 

We worked with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) to install a new water main under 15th Ave NE between NE 80th St and NE 70th St. 

Sewer installation

SPU renewed water main connections along the entire project area. To improve drainage and surface water runoff, we installed several stormwater catch basins. We also updated an aging sewer line between NE 73rd St and NE 70th St. 


This project was part of SDOT's Arterial and Asphalt and Concrete (AAC) Paving Program. Design and construction of our paving projects, as well as the safety and mobility improvements shown, are funded by the Levy to Move Seattle, approved by Seattle voters in November 2015. Learn more about the levy.

Project Materials

To view a PDF of project-related materials, please click on the links provided below.

Preconstruction Phase

Design Phase


We're committed to maintaining a productive, inclusive, and collaborative relationship with all who live, work, or travel in the project area. Please contact us with any questions.

Phone: 206-775-8718
Email: 15thNEpaving@seattle.gov

Community Outreach Lead
Darrell Bulmer

Project Manager
Brian Glas

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Updated: 2/8/2018


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.