Seattle opens its first protected sidewalks in South Lake Union

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SEATTLE — On May 10, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) opened the first protected intersection at Thomas Street and Dexter Avenue North in South Lake Union.

Known as setbacks or offset intersections, the goal of the protected intersection is to increase the visibility of cyclists, and pedestrians, according to the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO).

The purpose of the design is to increase space and visibility between motor vehicle lanes and give the right-of-way to cyclists over turning vehicles.

SDOT worked with the community since 2013 because there was a need for greater safety at the intersection.

This new intersection will add islands, walking, and bicycle signals.

It is expected to ease driving in the area and improve the cyclist’s experience, SDOT says.

Additional improvements are planned this year to extend the distance of the bicycle lanes, create a new pedestrian plaza, expand existing sidewalks, and complete landscaping.

Additional details and project schedules are available at seattle.gov.

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